The Tampa Bay Buccaneers are continuing their training camp and yesterday's practice was the first one in pads. We have all of the most important takeaways for you.
Jameis Winston threw three interceptions
He did, and two of them even came on consecutive throws. This is all over the internet right now, but interceptions are to be expected of someone like Winston: willing to take risks and not afraid to make tough throws. For his part, Lovie Smith wasn't overly concerned.
"We're doing a lot of things that we normally don't do this early," Lovie Smith said. "Defensively too - to try and give him as many looks as we possibly can. The blitz period is where he had the most trouble. That's how it should be for a young quarterback."
Koetter compares Austin Seferian-Jenkins to Tony Gonzalez
We all know Austin Seferian-Jenkins is massively talented, but Dirk Koetter may be going a bit overboard: he's comparing the second-year tight end to future Hall of Famer Tony Gonzalez, who Koetter coached in Atlanta.
"I tell you, if Austin is healthy, he reminds me...I coached Tony Gonzalez at the end of his career. Our tight ends coach, Jon Embree, had Tony in Kansas City. Austin's talented. He can't have little nicks - now back surgery, that's not a nick, but soft-tissue injuries. If Austin can stay healthy we have very high expectations, and so does he."
Right guard is a mess
Garrett Gilkey has been the starting right guard for most of the offseason, which is pretty disastrous given his play last year. But Gilkey's at least getting competition, and in the first day in pads Kadeem Edwards took over as the starting right guard, per the Tampa Bay Times. At least Gilkey is out of there, but I'm not sure a second-year fifth-round pick is really going to get the job done. In the long term the Bucs will want Marpet to take over.
"Just the same things we've talked about, pretty good in the running game," Lovie Smith said about Edwards. "We liked some of the things he was doing last year, before he got hurt. It's kind of his time to get an opportunity to really show us what he can do. Just like we were talking about those young linemen, we were talking about him. We are going to try to get those young guys in as many good situations as we can. The young players, we are going to play them. Try to get them as many reps, I'm talking about in the preseason too, just try and get them game-ready."
Is Bowers' humbling really going to get him ready?
"Definitely humbling," said Bowers, who had 21 tackles last year, 14 in four games while filling in at defensive tackle while Gerald McCoy was injured. "Sometimes that's what it takes to bring the best out of yourself. God puts us in amazing situations sometimes to help us, and I think that's exactly what I went through. ... I made some positive strides in my life."
I'm always skeptical of these sudden turnarounds. It's easy to talk, but it's a lot harder to actually do. Players know what the media expect them to say, and what plays best. That said, the Bucs do seem pleased with Bowers so far, and Lovie Smith was positive about his conditioning. It's also important to note that Bowers was genuinely disruptive as a defensive tackle last year -- he could make a minor impact there. Still, I'll wait until the regular season comes around before I really start singing his praises.
Kwon Alexander at middle linebacker
It looks like the Bucs are grooming their fourth-round pick to be the future at middle linebacker. That's where he's been playing exclusively as a backup behind Bruce Carter, Alexander told Pewter Report. The Bucs signed Carter to a four-year deal to play that position, but they can cut ties with Carter after just one season with no further commitments, meaning that Alexander may be ready to take over that position as early as next season -- if he develops. Intriguingly, Alexander turned 21 yesterday, making him the youngest player on the roster.