The third day of Tampa Bay Buccaneers training camp was the least eventful of the three by far, but had some new players show up, and saw the shoulder pads be put on and hits start to be dealt out by players.
Although there weren’t many especially explosive plays, there is often more to be said for what you do when you don’t touch the ball as much as there is when you do. I was again at this morning’s rainy practice in the stands and shot more videos of Bucs making plays, so let’s go ahead and break it down.
Wide Receiver Josh Huff
The Bucs signed Huff last season after he was released by the Eagles following an arrest on gun/marijuana related charges. Huff was a dynamic return threat for the Eagles and the Bucs were in dire need of one, so the needs matched. However, Huff’s impact was near-nonexistent last year, and he had issues on special teams at times. The team opted to give him another shot in camp this year, and despite the fact that he didn’t do much during the first two days of camp, Huff showed up nicely today.
Josh Huff is such a good athlete. pic.twitter.com/H2JR2BwCos— PewterReport (@PewterReport) July 30, 2017
This play was pretty simple — receivers coach Todd Monken was running players through a drill where they ran an outside dig route and despite a slightly overthrown ball, Huff made a great leap and extension for the ball to get it and stay in bounds.
Huff also consistently made nice catches over the middle of the field and didn’t have any drops on the day. With the passing attack being as inconsistent as it was today — with several interceptions from both Winston, Fitzpatrick, and Griffin — Huff helped to solidify his case for the fifth or sixth receiver job.
Defensive End Noah Spence
The Bucs picked Spence with the 37th overall pick in last year’s NFL Draft out of Eastern Kentucky, where he starred after being kicked off of Ohio State’s team after several off field incidents. Spence was picked highly by the team despite these concerns, showing their faith in him, and he has a quality rookie season as a rotational pass rusher.
Some might call him “undersized” at 6’2” and 250 pounds, but Spence finds ways to create leverage and create disruption — and he did so with a shoulder harness on his right shoulder in the second half of last season. Although the team re-signed defensive end Will Gholston, they expect big things from Spence in 2017, and he showed them today.
This is a completed pass to Mike Evans, but watch DE Noah Spence on the edge. Blows up/by Donovan Smith pic.twitter.com/HCk8bRjEqY— PewterReport (@PewterReport) July 30, 2017
Spence wins off the snap here against Donovan Smith with twitch and first-step quickness — two of the things Spence utilized most in college. And despite the fact that Smith gets his hands up quickly and into his stance, Spence already has positioned his hands perfectly to discard him out of the way, giving him a direct path to the quarterback that forces a quick throw from Winston.
Wide Receiver Adam Humphries
During this offseason, the Bucs made it a priority to upgrade their wide receiver depth, giving DeSean Jackson a hefty payday in free agency and drafting Chris Godwin 84th overall in the NFL Draft, so Humphries may have seemed to have fallen into background in the receiver picture. However “Hump” is still doing what he does best, consistently creating separation and winning on a snap-to-snap basis and being a reliable target for Jameis Winston.
Winston did a good job of threading the needle here to Humphries, putting it in a spot where only he could catch it and make the play in stride.
Other Plays Made
D-Jax makes a sick sideline grab right in front of the media. pic.twitter.com/ZfAedSEMOj— Riley Auman (@junioraumanac) July 30, 2017
DeSean Jackson continued to make plays today — this time going all the way up to make a sick catch over veteran cornerback Brent Grimes.
End around to DeSean Jackson fakes out the defense. pic.twitter.com/GlTnm0ydVO— Riley Auman (@junioraumanac) July 30, 2017
The Bucs had a nice trick play here that fooled me initially, as Jackson comes over in motion, but the fake to the running back fakes out the defense and allows Jackson to have more space to put some moves on defenders and make plays in the open field to break away.
Bad throw, deflected pass, should've been picked... but a catch by OJ Howard *shrug* pic.twitter.com/YyhUvILBc0— PewterReport (@PewterReport) July 30, 2017
This play is just pure fun — it’s a bad throw by the quarterback, bad catch by the receiver and a miss by the defender, but O.J. Howard comes flying in to make the play and come up with the ball.
HELLO, JEREMY McNICHOLS.— PewterReport (@PewterReport) July 30, 2017
Great diving catch. pic.twitter.com/xL3Cd1Q8IT
Bucs rookie tailback Jeremy McNichols, who the team has applauded for his receiving skills, continued to do well in practice today, making a highlight-reel diving grab.
As a whole today’s practice was relatively uneventful. However, there’s still growing and development if big plays and things of that sort aren’t going on and it should be even more interesting when the pads come on for tomorrow’s practice. The team’s next practice should be tomorrow at the same time as previously at 8:45 AM EST, with gates opening at 8:00.