How damn good does it feel to talk some training camp?
After weeks (perhaps months) of speculation, the 2020 NFL season looks to be in full swing with the start of padded practice on Monday. As we expected, the news coming out of One Buc Place was ripe and plentiful.
What were some of the day’s biggest storylines? Let’s take a look and find out.
3. Vita Vea practices in pads
Vea injured his hand a couple of months ago and the initial word was that he may miss the start of training camp.
While that may have been true in a normal offseason, that wasn’t the case on Monday. Vea was not only at One Buc, but he was practicing, as well.
The third-year player has yet to participate in a full training camp due to injury, so it was encouraging to see him out on the practice field. Hopefully this continues throughout camp and the regular season.
2. Tristan Wirfs runs with the ones
Bruce Arians kind of alluded to this on Friday, but it’s still worth noting that Wirfs is starting off camp with the ones.
It makes sense. There hasn’t been an in-person offseason, so the Bucs need to see what he can do against top competition and they need to see it now. What better competition than the NFL’s sackmaster himself?
The biggest issue was Wirfs’ pad level. While that is a bit alarming when you consider the thought that a player’s pad level is a fundamental issue, it’s an issue that can be corrected with coaching. It’s not irreparable.
“It’s not the mistakes, it’s the pad level. When you’re playing in shorts, you’re standing straight up. You get in those first day in pads – if you’re allowed, you’d cut every defensive lineman because they’re straight up. Then, they’re knocking the crap out of the offensive linemen because they’re standing straight up. That’s the thing about playing in pads – we’ve got to get our pad level down to play in a ballgame. [That is] something you miss in preseason games, getting your pad level down defensive line-wise, linebacker-wise, offensive line the same way and tight ends. It’s something we have to work on and get better at quickly.”
There’s not much reason to worry if Wirfs can’t hold on to the spot during camp, either. This is speculation, but I’m sure Arians and offensive line coach Harold Goodwin have explained the 2020 process to him as clear as possible. If he can’t hold up, it’s not an indictment on him. And in terms of the roster, the team has Joe Haeg, who has shown that he is more than capable of playing in the NFL.
First day in pads and first-round pick Tristan Wirfs (78) is working as primary right tackle. Arians said if he doesn’t look ready in full pads, they’re confident putting Joe Haeg there if they need to. pic.twitter.com/nDLiYJuFHd— Greg Auman (@gregauman) August 17, 2020
All that’s needed from Wirfs is improvement on a day-to-day basis, which isn’t a tall order for the 13th overall pick.
1. Tom Brady is makin’ plays
And big plays, at that.
But the day didn’t start off so well for Brady. Parnell Motley, the undrafted rookie cornerback out of Oklahoma, intercepted Brady early on, but it didn’t take long for the savvy veteran to start making some plays of his own.
Per Scott Reynolds of Pewter Report, Brady hit second-year wideout Scotty Miller for a 90-yard touchdown off play action. It wasn’t just a catch-and-run situation with Miller, either. Per Reynolds, the ball traveled around “50 yards in the air” before hitting Miller in stride.
Brady’s ball traveled 50 yards in the air and was on the money to Miller. Edwards was playing FS and couldn’t get over the top of the route in time. Touchdown Tampa Bay! #Bucs— PewterReport (@PewterReport) August 17, 2020
Arians raved about Brady, as well, but that’s almost to be expected due to Brady’s reputation. Regardless, it seems as if everything is going smooth so far in One Buc.
“He’s throwing to the right guy all the time and the 7-on-7 is what it’s supposed to look like – completion after completion. In the blitz drills he’s seeing how we call it, how we protect it. He’s doing a real good job with his hots and sights. He’s right where he needs to be – I’m not worried about him.”
It’s the first day, but you have to love hearing about this.
What did you find to be the biggest news of the day? Let us know via the poll/comment section below!
What was the biggest storyline from Day One of training camp?
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Wirfs with the ones
Other (tell us in the comments!)