Day 8 of Tampa Bay Buccaneers’ 2017 training camp saw one of the most energetic and exciting practices so far, as the “Stick Carrier” movement united and several hundred fans gathered in the stands to cheer the players on and show a positive force for the future of the franchise. With chants such as “SUPER BOWL” and “Why not us?” the movement has been described as what the 12th Man is for Seahawks. Aside from the electricity coming from that, there were a lot of 11v11 and 7v7 drills and competitiveness between players.
Caleb Benenoch, competing for a roster spot as the eighth offensive lineman on the roster, showed this when he pushed Gerald McCoy around ten yards off the ball. Although McCoy had a right to be mad as the team’s star player and having someone continue to play after the whistle was blown, he gave Benenoch a high-five and they both went back into the huddle, embracing the competitiveness.
With this being said, there were several highlight-reel plays from practice that need to be broken down, so let’s get into it.
Wide Receiver Chris Godwin
Godwin continued his strong training camp performance by burning his defender in red zone 1v1 drills and making several nice grabs on crossing routes over the middle of the field. Godwin is likely competing for targets as the #3 receiver with third-year pro Adam Humphries, and has been a breakout star so far.
This is a great play where Godwin lines up on the outside and runs a skinny post route, slowing down and speeding up to leave his defender, playing in zone, still backtracking. He makes a nice grab and despite the safety making a break for a football that could have easily laid him out, he spins and limits the contact, turning upfield.
If Chris Godwin gets this much time, it's six. Nice diving catch in the end zone. pic.twitter.com/ASYXNx3Tg3— PewterReport (@PewterReport) August 5, 2017
This is another play that shows Godwin’s deceptiveness in the open field and when the quarterback has time in the pocket — Ryan Smith actually does a superb job of mirroring Godwin for the first few seconds of this rep, but as Godwin breaks inside, Smith overcompensates and Godwin plants his foot and goes in the other direction, leaving him wide open. Although this situation might not be realistic in terms of being in-game, but I think it shows his situational awareness.
Safety J.J. Wilcox
Wilcox continued his strong camp performance today, setting the tone for the defense and getting into the offensive players’ heads. Wilcox would play in the box for Tampa Bay, but the Bucs have used him in a variety of spots, even trying him out at nickel corner.
Wilcox does a good job here, even if Ryan Griffin had an unrealistic amount of time in the pocket of making up ground and recovering to break up the pass. I think one of Wilcox’s most valuable attributes is his confidence and ability to believe that no matter if he got beat on the previous rep that he’ll go into the next one with the same mindset and compete.
Bad INT here from Winston. Throws it right to S Wilcox on the run. pic.twitter.com/cHYeTK8awX— PewterReport (@PewterReport) August 5, 2017
This is more of what I’ve been preaching so far in this article — being able to have situational awareness and play well in space. Winston rolls out of the pocket and really has no one to throw it to since all of his targets are locked down, so he tries to force it to the tight end on the right side of the field and Wilcox makes the play.
Other Big Plays
Gerald McCoy did Gerald McCoy things and single-handedly blew up the run play, letting Doug Martin know to watch out next time he runs up the middle.
Keith Tandy 1-on-1 with OJ Howard; gets the best of him here. pic.twitter.com/6yvX2AgEjm— PewterReport (@PewterReport) August 5, 2017
Keith Tandy did a good job of playing big against the 6’5” and 250-pound OJ Howard and getting a hand in the way to break up the pass.
Doug Martin, who is trying to earn back his starting job after his suspension and durability issues last year showed off his stop-and-go ability and patience as a runner.
And finally, Peyton Barber had a lethal cutback that gave him plenty of green grass to run in and he was off to the races.
Today was easily one of the biggest days of camp so far. With the general excitement created by the “Stick Carriers,” even small plays felt on a larger scale and had more energy with them. Practice is back on Monday after a day off tomorrow (Sunday) at the same time as all other practices have been — gates open at 8:00 AM and the practice starts at 8:45.