Two days before their preseason opener in Philadelphia, the Buccaneers took the practice field at One Buc Place for day 11 of training camp. Here, we have some highlights from Tuesday’s practice.
With inclement weather on the horizon, the Buccaneers moved practice up from 8:45 to 8:15 on Tuesday morning. The team got a full day of practice in ahead of Thursday night’s preseason opener against the Philadelphia Eagles.
On the injury front, guard J.R. Sweezy, who has yet to practice for the Bucs, was absent again. Head coach Dirk Koetter said that Sweezy is in California to see a doctor, but there were no updates yet. Charles Sims had the day off on Tuesday after an apparent injury on Monday. While Koetter previously noted it wasn’t anything serious, he said “we’ll have to see” about whether or not he will play on Thursday night. Vincent Jackson also missed practice today, with Koetter saying “he was a little banged up.” Koetter noted that “proven” players with any minor injury would be held out against the Eagles, so it’s possible that Sims and Jackson sit on Thursday.
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Tuesday was a good day for the Tampa Bay defense, as the offense was 0-for-9 inside the 10-yard line against Mike Smith‘s unit. Noah Spence stood out once again, getting into the backfield multiple times while getting work with the first team during seven-on-seven drills. Josh Robinson had a good day, intercepting two passes and latter adding another pass breakup. Chris Conte came up with another interception today, picking off a Jameis Winston pass in the end zone:
The offense did get some good work in, with some bubble players standing out. Evan Spencer, Storm Johnson and Bernard Reedy showed flashes with some big plays, while Mike James got some extra work with Sims sidelined. Koetter said that James is still fighting for a roster spot with Johnson and Peyton Barber, pointing out that “three, four, five and six running backs will get some good looks in the preseason.”
After practice, ASJ talked about making himself a “detail-oriented guy,” something he said he has never been. He maintained that he is not worried about the depth chart at all, instead focusing on the opportunities he is getting in camp and trying to be the best he can be. With his OTA episode firmly behind him, Seferian-Jenkins looks to be taking his challenges in stride. If he can continue working hard, he’ll come up big for the Bucs this year regardless of his place on the depth chart.
The kickoff return battle continued today, with Kenny Bell, Donteea Dye and Ryan Smith splitting reps. While Bell is currently the first returner on the depth chart, the position is definitely not wrapped up. Dye looked explosive during his reps on Tuesday morning.
The team continued to be aggressive today, with multiple scuffles breaking out. After two weeks of just practice, it’s clear that guys on both sides of the ball are ready for game action.
Tampa Bay opens up the preseason on Thursday night in Philadelphia against the Eagles before returning to One Buc to resume practice on Saturday.