Ten periods in a heat index of 104 degrees is no walk in the camp… errrr, park. Luckily, the players are more acclimated as they headed into the meat of training camp.
Yes, the Buccaneers are accustom to how the Bruce Arians regime is running practice. The timing couldn’t be more perfect because only four remain before they head north to Pittsburgh for their first game of the preseason against the Steelers. That’s when we’ll get a more telling glimpse of just how much their hard work is paying off.
We can have all the fun we want with prognosticating, but it’s still too early to determine exactly who will land on the 53-man roster, let alone who will have standout seasons.
It’s not too early, however, to discuss who had a standout day five. Everyone was going fast and furious, and Jameis Winston was no exception. Not only did he show an improvement over days one to four, but also played defender. Ronald Jones fumbled a screen pass from his quarterback after looking like a superstar and breaking three tackles. When safety Jordan Whitehead recovered, Winston just wasn’t having it; he chased down Whitehead and attempted a shoestring tackle. But No. 31 powered through, only to be finally tackled by Winston seconds later thanks to some jersey pulling by Cameron Brate.
Jones has seen a lot of action this camp. Based on his performance last season, he needed the work. He had a most solid day of camp, showing good hands, strength, wiggle, and vision. Andre Ellington has looked pleasantly sharp, especially considering he spent 2018 team-less. He has seen most of his drills with first and second teams. Dare Ogunbowale has been working mostly with the second team and rookie Bruce Anderson with the third.
Incumbent kicker Cairo Santos looked disconcerting for the first time since camp began. He went 6-for-8 for his first multiple-miss of camp. Some will scoff at kicker talk, but Buccaneers fans know just how important it is to get the kicking game right this season. We’ll all cross our fingers for a bounce-back on Thursday.
The Buccaneers have a well-deserved day off tomorrow after five consecutive days of practice, the majority in the Tampa heat.