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DLT’s Doubloons – Training Camp Edition #1

The brutal Florida summer was in full effect on Sunday as fans for the first time got an opportunity to see their 2018 Tampa Bay Buccaneers first hand. While Old School has been keeping you up to date with his awesome training camp reports and outlets like the Pewter Report have been delivering some awesome coverage, nothing beats seeing things yourself.

It doesn’t hurt that the Bucs brought the pads and delivered some hard contact for the first time this year.

Pieces of Eight

1) So it was one practice, so take it for what you will, but the quarterbacks and receivers sure look to be on the same page. Now, of course, the question is – is that great offense or really bad defense? Is Mike Evans and Desean Jackson just that good, or is father time finally catching up to Brent Grimes and the rest of the secondary are a bunch of kids trying to find their way? It’s hard to say until the face a team in a different color jersey.

The secondary was certainly a concern coming into camp and the Bucs have a long way to go in proving that it can (and is) fixed.

2) Both Fitzpatrick and Winston had some really great moments on Sunday. In the indoor practice session, Winston finally delivered the pass we’ve been waiting to see for a year and a half, a perfect laser to Desean Jackson, who had busted a wicked double-move on Brent Grimes and dusted him.

Pewter Report captured it perfectly –

Fitz came back with a nice throw of his own. I really think many are underestimating Fitzpatrick. If the Bucs can generate any kind of running game to keep the dogs off of him, Fitz can be a capable quarterback. Can he start 16 games at this point in his career? No. But he can get the Bucs through Winston’s suspension.

Speaking of Winston, reports were that Jameis was struggling with the weight of all that had transpired in the off-season. There wasn’t any evidence of this on Sunday, as he was firing lasers. What was even more encouraging is Winston was making quick, good choices with the football, which is what you had to have.

3) With the pads coming on, what you truly wanted to see was that revamped Bucs defensive line taking on the improved Bucs offensive line. The d-line did not disappoint, folks. JPP is the real deal and the Bucs were getting really good pressure on the QBs. Add to that, they were physical and thumping. On his first run in a padded practice, RoJo (Ronald Jones II) got walloped by Kwon Alexander and fumbled the football.

The secondary may be a work in progress, but the Bucs front-seven may be something to be reckoned with.

4) As for the running game, Ronald Jones II has a ways to go, folks. I could see that vision and burst that excited the Bucs enough to nab him in the 2nd round, but he’s got some holes in his game, mainly on passing downs, that definitely need to be shored up. Peyton Barber looks confident and faster than I remember him being. He is going to be tough to steal carries from.

5) Coach Buckner is as advertised, definitely working his crew’s technique at every chance he can get. It seemed all the coaches had a bit more spit-and-vinegar than I’ve seen in other camps. They all have the sense of urgency. I will say it appears the team is responding. While last year there was a lot of goofing off and carrying on, especially with the Hard Knocks cameras keeping a watchful eye, this team seems to be all business and focused. I like that…alot.

6) It was my first opportunity to go into the indoor practice facility, which is absolutely gorgeous. I think this thing will be a huge benefit to the Bucs this year.

7) The one thing you don’t want to see is the injury bug striking the team and it got two Bucs today, as Vita Vea suffered a calf strain early on and Leonard Wester, after having a pretty solid day, looks to have suffered an ankle injury of some sort. Injuries are going to happen, let’s hope neither of these are serious.

8) All in all, there were some encouraging signs and stuff to still be concerned about, but I saw nothing to dissuade me from thinking the Bucs are going to suprise some folks this year.

J.C. De La Torre

J.C. De La Torre

Want to give JC a piece of your mind? E-mail him at JC@whatthebuc.net JC De La Torre is formerly a columnist/blogger for the Tampa Bay Buccaneers blog site BucsNation.com where in 2016, he was nominated as best sportswriter in Tampa Bay by Creative Loafing. Previously, he served as a featured columnist for Bleacher Report on Tampa Bay sports, an editor and featured columnist for SB Nation Tampa Bay covering the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, Tampa Bay Lightning and Florida Gators, wrote for NFL.com’s Blog Blitz and contributed to Pewter Report, one of the top magazines on the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. JC is also a filmmaker, comic writer and rabid Whovian.

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