Before the team even took to the field, there were roster moves to talk about as the team moved on from offensive lineman Evan Smith and brought on two new players to help bolster their injury plagued defense while placing Bryant Mitchell on IR.
We've signed DB Micah Abernathy and DL Shane Bowman. In corresponding moves, we've released OL Evan Smith and placed WR Bryant Mitchell on IR.https://t.co/g1dxgxV9Iw— Tampa Bay Buccaneers (@Buccaneers) August 11, 2019
Before practice, the Bucs hosted fans for autograph sessions. Fans had a blast, the players enjoyed it, and as you might guess Jameis Winston was one of the last players to stop signing merchandise, memorabilia and babies. Yes. Babies.
Eventually, the team got to football. And here are a handful of notes and highlights from the days activities.
Sean Murphy-Bunting Seen Making Plays
It’s no secret Tampa Bay’s first second-round pick of the 2019 NFL Draft didn’t have the greatest debut in Pittsburgh, Friday night. He said it. The coach said it. We’ve all said it.
Which is why it was encouraging to see Murphy-Bunting in good coverage making a play on a receiver, leading to an incompletion. Yes, Godwin could have come down with the ball. But the tight coverage and contention by SMB contributed to the ball hitting the ground.
Getting the full lifespan the jersey. Have to respect it pic.twitter.com/BGe6fnqoIj— Trevor Sikkema (@TampaBayTre) August 11, 2019
Anyone who’s ever dealt in sports will tell you consistency is huge when building a successful unit.
In Week 1, the Buccaneers defense showed flashes of what everyone wants to see, but didn’t do it on every snap. This resulted in several chunk plays by the Steelers offense, and eventually helped lead to the Bucs being out scored by the time the clock ran out.
Today’s run defense looked good early. Communication was big, and while Ronald Jones did get one pretty nice dash up the sideline, overall it was a solid session for the run defenders.
Coaching and Teaching
I know it’s been said before, but the amount of coaching actually happening around the field is great. At one point during a red zone period I took the time to look around the edges of the practice and saw coach after coach after coach talking to and teaching their players.
Not a surprise, or even a developing occurrence anymore, but still something great to see in person and worthy of reiterating.
Peyton Barber Doing Well, Too
Ronald Jones has gotten a lot of press and attention this pre-season. All of it well deserved. Peyton Barber certainly deserves his own batch of good press as well though, so we’re going to give him some here.
Talking with many people who have been at camp throughout the proceedings, including Evan Winter of this very site, all of them agree Barber has been strong and stable. What you would want in a primary back.
People tend to forget though, the former Auburn standout has some wiggle and slithering skills of his own though.
During one particularly impressive rep, Barber leaked through the defensive line through a hole which wasn’t there. His ability to ‘get skinny’ as they say, was impressive.
Speaking Of Good Camps
I know at least one PewterCaster who’s been carrying the torch talking about Vernon Hargreaves III and his camp performance this year.
Hargreaves continued his strong play throughout the practice, but one play got a little more attention from the crowd in attendance than others.
Vernon Hargreaves with a nice pick on deep ball from Jameis Winston, going for Mike Evans ...— Greg Auman (@gregauman) August 11, 2019
Head coach Bruce Arians commented on the play after practice, saying, “He got his hands on another ball. He’s got great hands so when he touches it, you expect an interception.”
Of course, he also had a penalty called against him during practice.....
Vernon Hargreaves wasn't too happy about the defense giving up this touchdown from Winston to Perriman. pic.twitter.com/r40ia0QiRB— Taylor Jenkins (@TJenkinsTampa) August 11, 2019
All in all, a good day. It wasn’t ended with this, but we’re going to close this out with a bomb.