The night practice at Raymond James Stadium came a week early this season and thus the Buccaneer faithful were rewarded with a rare, cool summer’s night. Though the comfortable conditions did little to help the quarterbacks on the 2013 Buccaneers roster as, once again, they were plagued with inconsistency.
Naturally the first practice in pads allowed the offensive and defensive lines to bring the most intensity of any of the position groups. Gerald McCoy consistently broke down the pocket on 11-vs-11 drills. Clayborn and Bowers both appear to be fully recovered from their injuries. At one point, Adrian threw up his arms in protest, after Butch Davis awarded a point to Donald Penn, who had all that he could handle from the returning defensive end, during the one-on-one competition. Here are some other takeaways from the line play:
The quarterbacks were inconsistent again tonight. From what I saw Glennon, despite taking a few sacks, was a bit more accurate than Freeman, but that’s not saying much. On one corner route to Vincent Jackson, Freeman threw the pass a good five yards too far to the sideline. Josh was able to drive the team down during the two-minute situational drill, but I’ll hold my 20-plus-yard Brian Leonard touchdown celebration dance for when it happens in the regular season. Glennon was also successful in setting up a scoring attempt, after throwing a strike down the seam to Underwood for a touuchdown, that was eventually ruled down by contact.
As bad as the quarterbacks were, the running back corps, led by Doug Martin, looks to be a position of depth. Martin seems to be every bit as good this year as he did in the 2012 training camp as a rookie. The forgotten man, Michael Smith, looked quick in and out of cuts during his carries. Peyton Hillis struggled in pass protection, while Brian Leonard may have surprised fans with his deceptive speed.
If I had to bet, I’d take the field against Tiquan Underwood winning the slot receiver spot. Underwood dazzled in last year’s training camp, reeling in long bombs down the sideline, but underwhelmed toward the end of last season with a rash of drops. Though Kevin Ogletree, who has an existing relationship with Bucs wide receivers coach John Garrett from their time spent in Dallas, has done little to flash during the first three practices. Lesser known options Chris Owusu and Derek Hagan continue to impress, as well as Eric Page.
Check back with us later for continued coverage of the 2013 Buccaneers training camp.