Ronde Barber sat out the Buccaneers first preseason game with a minor injury but he returned to practice today and head coach Greg Schiano worked him hard.
Barber saw work at what appeared to be every single spot on defense except the frontline as he saw an extra load of reps with the second unit. Roy Cummings of the Tamp Times noted that at one point it appeared Barber was playing linebacker while Dakota Watson slide down to the defensive line.
Interesting defensive look here: Barber at LB, Watson at LDE, Bennett at DT. That could cause a little confusion
— Roy Cummings (@RCummingsTrib) August 14, 2012
As Bucs Nation noted, and I fully agree upon, it’s likely that Barber was the slot corner with run defense responsibilities. But Watson played Michael Bennet played the defensive line a lot last year (well Bennett did because, ya know, that’s where he plays). Bennett played the three-tackle position in this package, something he did a lot last year too.
Ronde also got some regular reps at the slot corner spot as well. While Barber was sort of at home at corner, the safety spot opposite Mark Barron he left vacant was held down by Ahmed Black.
Barron himself was returning from a minor injury. He too, sat out Friday’s preseason opener and is set to make his Bucs debut this Friday against the Titans.
Speaking of safety, Myron Lewis got more first team even though his performance in Friday’s preseason game was less than impressive. Larry Asante and Cody Grimm were both practicing with the second unit and it looked like Grimm was getting reps over Asante. Grimm was also coming off a poor performance on Friday and continued the trend of safeties getting a second sot to prove themselves.
As for the offense, Tiquan Underwood continued to look impressive. But it was Mike Williams who had the best catch of the day, making an amazing catch and converting a 4th and 20 during the two minute drill, at the expense of rookie Mark Barron. Williams pretty much stole the ball away from Barron on the play, one that drew applause from the crowd.
The Bucs wrapped up their final open practice of training camp today and even though the season is just around the corner, there is going to be a lot of changes on this roster before September 9th.