Boy was it hot. Like, really hot.
Tuesday’s practice featured not just heat from Mother Nature, but from a defense that put a lot of pressure on the Buccaneers offense.
It wasn’t a 100-percent successful day for the defense, the offense had their fair share of success, too. But the defense suffered a major blow early on.
1. Down Goes Vea
Defensive tackle Vita Vea went down during linemen drills early on and it initally didn’t look good. The moment he hit the ground, Vea was favoring his left knee. Although he got up pretty quickly for the most part, he was clearly limping when he did.
There are to things to take from this. For starters, Vea got up without any assistance. He walked off and headed inside with the training staff. Second, head coach Bruce Arians said he didn’t hear of any updates on Vea. Arians added that Vea looked okay to him.
So take all that for what it’s worth. But that is a situation that has to be monitored closely.
2. Running Men
Today was the day of the running back. It seemed like Peyton Barber, Ronald Jones III, an Dare Ogunbowale had nice days of practice.
During 11-on-11s, it seemed like all three had shifty runs for big gains. Barber had the biggest one when he found nothing but green grass on the left side of the after wide receiver Justin Watson sealed his block off left tackle when he motioned in. The run could have easily been recorded as a 30-plus yard gain.
Here’s a clip of one of Barber’s runs.
3. The defense was in the backfield... OFTEN.
I am not sure how many times Todd Bowles called for there to be seven to nine guys on the line of scrimmage, but I’d say it was far more than 50-percent.
Buccaneers quarterbacks had to check out of their initial play call and the defense didn’t shy away from bringing the heat when they needed to. And when they did, whistles were being blown because linebackers or linemen that were freed were in the quarterbacks or running backs faces for sacks or tackles for loss.
The defense had some nice wins today. Here’s one. The pressure up front was on. pic.twitter.com/gbNZT4DUec— Gil Arcia (@GilArciaBUCS) August 7, 2019
If that translates into the season...
4. Then there was Jameis...
Jameis Winston’s day wasn’t bad. Really, it wasn’t. It was... good. But the defense certainly gave him some headaches.
You had moments where the defense gave him something he didn’t like and was forced to check out of the original play. That gave offensive coordinator a reason to wave his hands in disappointment and approach James about it.
However, Jameis also had moments of shine, like the video below where he made the smart decision to break free from a collapsing pocket and picked up what would have been a first down.
That’s why it was a “good” day. Good decisions were being made. It was all up hill from there.
5. MJ *kinda* had a day
From what we were able to observe (myself and Bucs Nation intern Alex Galvez), cornerback M.J. Stewart did pretty well on Tuesday.
Although he has had a fairly quiet camp thus far, Stewart was in a zone today. He recorded a big pass breakup during 11-on-11s against wide receiver Mike Evans. He also — on several plays — was in on tight coverage.
It was also entertaining to hear him screaming after plays the defense won.
6. The offensive line is still a head scratcher.
I know. It’s only training camp. But it is hard to figure out how successful or how bad the offensive line will be. This is Week 2 of camp practices and it doesn’t seem like there is much reason to be excited for the offensive line. At least not yet.
The unit behind the starters struggled some, but they also had moments of brilliance and held up well. Same can be said about the starters. There was just a lot of inconsistencies especially when the defense loaded up the box.
That can be chalked up as the defense being that much better. Or the offensive line being that bad. You be the judge.