Training camp has officially arrived and even though it was day one and a “shell practice”, there were plenty of notes and storylines popping up all over the place.
Check out the top stories below and be sure to check back in as we continue our training camp coverage throughout the offseason!
1. A day for the defensive backs.
These guys came to play, which is good news for anyone out there that has followed this team over the past few years.
I counted at least four interceptions, with most of them coming during 11-on-11s. Players like Isaiah Johnson, Mazzi Wilkins, Jordan Whitehead, and De’Vante Harris all got their hands on the ball for the INT, and even Carlton Davis had a very nice pass breakup of his own.
Bruce Arians even told me after practice that he was happy about the fact so many players got their hands on the ball.
The group was fast, confident, and effective. If this can translate to a real-time game, there could be vast improvement coming around the corner - and it could come as soon as Week One.
2. Alex Cappa began with the starters on the offensive line.
Now this could obviously change once the pads are on, but sure enough, Alex Cappa came out as a member of the starting five on the offensive line.
There has been a lot of speculation about his development over the offseason, but to actually see him as a starter is somewhat-encouraging news.
There’s no question that the right guard position is in dire need of an upgrade. We still don’t know if Cappa represents said upgrade, but he is obviously getting a chance to show the coaching staff what he can do.
3. Running backs were involved in the passing game.
Whether it was by design or the result of decisions from the quarterbacks, the running backs saw plenty of action in the passing game.
Jameis Winston and Blaine Gabbert both made the easy throw when it was required and the result was a decent gain just about every time. There was one play where Winston checked it down to Andre Ellington and he was given an emphatic helmet-tap from offensive coordinator Byron Leftwich, signifying that it was a good move on Winston’s part.
4. Justin Watson or Breshad Perriman will win the third wideout spot.
This no knock against the other receivers below Mike Evans and Chris Godwin, but Watson and Perriman are head and shoulders above the competition around them. Both players made plays today, with Perriman showing out on two deep receptions, including a beautiful over-the-shoulder grab for a touchdown.
Perriman is likely the front-runner for the third spot, but you’d be amiss to count out Watson.
He looks like he has a good rapport with Winston. There were several times where Winston looked his way in an attempt to make a play.
He’s also a smooth, natural route-runner with the size to go up and snag the ball out of the air. As long as he continues to develop, he should find his way onto the field with ease.
5. Blaine Gabbert was good.
He was making throws all over the place, including the two deep shots to Perriman.
That’s all I’ll say on his performance on Friday. For more details, be sure to check out our own Bailey Adams’ story that will publish tomorrow morning!