The Bucs resumed training camp Friday after taking a break Thursday. It was another hot day, but there was plenty of cloud cover and a consistent breeze helped keep things relatively moderate, for the most part.
The Bucs also had the gigantic, 50-foot Skull-N-Swords flag raised out front for the first time during training camp, which was a cool sight to see.
But don’t worry, there’s a lot more to talk about than that.
Some big names returned to the practice field
Chris Godwin returned after missing Tuesday and Wednesday’s practices and looked pretty good. O.J. Howard made his training camp debut. Jordan Whitehead was on the field, but not practicing due to his continuing presence on the Reserve/COVID-19 list. But Whitehead’s presence is encouraging because it means that he is out of the isolation period. As long as there are no setbacks with his shoulder, he should be practicing very soon.
Like Howard, Raven Greene also made his Bucs camp debut after missing the first four practices for personal reasons.
Lavonte David and William Gholston were held out, but that’s most likely because of a maintenance day. Cam Gill missed practice for the second straight day, so this will be something to monitor over the next few days.
#Bucs WR Chris Godwin is walking out of the building with his helmet. A good sign for practice today.
— Evan Winter (@evan_winter) July 30, 2021
Bruce Arians was not pleased with Friday’s practice
He actually called it a “horseshit” practice during the post-practice presser. Arians wasn’t pleased with the amount of dropped balls and he wasn’t pleased with the tempo.
It’s not an ideal situation to be in the day before pads come on. Whatever held the players back should get fixed over the next few days since things will be ramping up. But that remains to be seen if it actually does happen.
Tom Brady was off today, according to Arians
Personally, I thought Brady had a pretty good day. But there’s a reason I’m not a Super Bowl-winning head coach.
Arians lumped Brady in when talking about the sluggish tempo and Brady even apologized for his Friday performance after practice, so there’s obviously something there.
Feeling like he wasn’t giving the type of response we wanted, Tom Brady stopped mid-answer saying, “You guys are catching me on a really bad day today. We had a really sh*tty practice. I’m not feeling great about what we did today.”
Came away really appreciating the candor.
— JennaLaineESPN (@JennaLaineESPN) July 30, 2021
But, obviously, of all the players on the roster, Brady is the one you don’t have to worry about unless something drastic happens. Regardless, it will be interesting to see how he bounces back on Saturday.
Ryan Succop missed two straight field goals during a hurry-up period
The Bucs were running their training camp drill where they complete a pass, then hurry-up to kill the clock and then attempt a last-second field goal. Well, all went according to plan except for when it was Succop’s time to do his thing.
His first attempt was low and wide right. His second attempt was a bit higher, but went wide left. It was not a good showing, whatsoever. And both kicks were in the 45-yard range.
Succop was masterful for the Bucs in 2020, but didn’t have a good day during Day Five of training camp. How will he respond in the coming days?
Leonard Fournette shows off his hands
Between Fournette and Ronald Jones II, the former has shown the most improvement when it comes to catching the ball so far in camp. Don’t get me wrong, both players have looked good in this context, but Fournette is ahead.
Friday was definitely his strongest day. He showed good concentration and even better hands, reeling in some difficult passes. His best reception of the day came during 7-vs-7s. Devin White was all over him in coverage, but Fournette was able to concentrate and bring the ball in for a nice reception.
Right now, it certainly appears as if Fournette has the leg up on Jones. But speaking of White…
Devin White continues to show improvement in pass coverage
Yes, Fournette made the aforementioned reception, but that was a really good play on Fournette’s part. White had really good coverage – Fournette just made a play.
White had one of the day’s biggest plays, picking off Ryan Griffin during 7-vs-7s and taking it to the house for a touchdown. His pass coverage abilities drastically improved during the Bucs playoff run and it looks like White is picking up right where he left off.
Todd Bowles brings the heat
It’s not just the Tampa Bay sun making things hot outside. Bowles and his defense are lighting it up, as well.
After a very strong four days, the unit was at it again, creating all types of havoc for the offense. There was the aforementioned White interception, Bowles sent Carlton Davis III on a corner blitz which resulted in an Antoine Winfield Jr. pass break-up, and Mike Edwards had a nice interception on a pass intended for Scotty Miller.
Everyone talks about Brady and the offense -and rightfully so- but this defense is no joke and is getting better each day.
Travis Jonsen had a solid day
This was needed for Jonsen, who has struggled during camp. He was able to get behind the defense for a touchdown and then had a really nice catch down the seam a little later on.
The deck is already stacked against Jonsen and after a rough start, his chances of making the roster are even slimmer. However, if he can build off Friday and continue to exponentiate solid practice performances, then he could throw his name back in the running for the WR6 spot.
Ross Cockrell continues to show out
Another day, another Cockrell update. But in all seriousness, the dude is playing really well at safety. He had two solid reps against Tyler Johnson and Jaelon Darden where he was all over both players. The Bucs have been playing him mostly as the deep safety during training camp, which is a testament to his coverage skills.
Granted, Godwin did beat him deep down the middle for a touchdown during the latter portion of practice. But hey, a) it’s Godwin and b) you’re not going to win every rep.
At the end of the day, Cockrell has been big for the Bucs throughout training camp.
The Bucs’ starting trio of receivers had a really good day
All three players showed up and showed out on Friday. Each player made big plays and all three even hauled in a touchdown at one point. Evans had one of the day’s biggest plays (go figure) with a contested touchdown catch in the end zone. Godwin caught the aforementioned touchdown with Cockrell in coverage, and Brown roasted Cameron Kinley for a touchdown in the back right corner of the end zone.
Day Five of Bucs training camp is a wrap, but be sure to check back in Saturday for updates from Day Six!
If you’ve missed the other four days of coverage here at Bucs Report, you can check those reports out below: