Per Bruce Arians, the Bucs stepped it up on Day Six of training camp after a shameful Day Five showing. It was the first day of pads, so the players were flying around the intensity was cranked up a notch.
Pads are a big deal. They separate the men from the boys. And when you throw in the Tampa heat, things really start to get interesting.
But intro aside, let’s dive into the Day Six happenings of Bucs training camp.
Tom Brady had a really inconsistent day
Brady didn’t look much better the day after he said the Bucs had a “shitty” practice. He was off on a good chunk of throws and wasn’t on the same page with receivers in a few instances. Most notably the miscommunication with Antonio Brown during the receiver/cornerback drills and the really bad pick he threw to Devin White during 11-on-11s. The interception was bad. There was literally no one in the vicinity and the ball was delivered right into White’s breadbasket.
It is worth mentioning that Brady came out on the next drive and led the team down the field for a touchdown. He found a wide-open Brown, who had beaten Jamel Dean‘s coverage.
There is obviously no reason to worry at this point, but I’m sure Brady is frustrated over the last two days of practice.
Vintage Brady: Comes out and finds AB for the deep TD after the White pick.
AB roasted Jamel Dean’s coverage.
— Evan Winter (@evan_winter) July 31, 2021
Jordan Whitehead and William Gholston returned to practice, Lavonte David continued to rest
It was a welcome sight to see Whitehead back on the field. He even broke up a Brady pass in the end zone, which was cool to see. Gholston also returned after a maintenance day. Arians did specify that LVD is resting, but that’s still interesting considering he’s sat out the last two practices after the Bucs rest day on Thursday. Either way, LVD is a veteran, so it makes sense for the Bucs to give him a break during what has been a grueling training camp so far.
Cam Gill sat out practice again. This is now the third straight practice. Hopefully he can find his way on to the field soon.
The secondary came to play on Saturday
Granted, they’ve come to play every day, but Saturday was impressive. Multiple players were getting their hands on the ball and you could even say the secondary evened things out during the receiver/cornerback drills and in 7-vs-7s. The key with that is the receiver is basically favored each play due to a lack of pass rush. But that wasn’t the case on Saturday. Even if the situation favored the receivers, the secondary did everything it could to keep that from coming to fruition.
Ke’Shawn Vaughn has improved a lot over the offseason and is showing it during the first week of Bucs training camp
Arians even said Vaughn has been “spot on” after Saturday’s practice. The second-year back looks markedly better so far during his second camp. He’s running the ball well, catching it very well, and has been decent in pass protection.
We know how much the coaching staff and Jason Licht like Vaughn, so it’s a great sign that he’s doing what he’s doing right now. Now, the trick is to keep it going throughout camp and into the regular season.
BA says Ke’Shawn Vaughn has been “spot on” so far throughout camp.
— Evan Winter (@evan_winter) July 31, 2021
Leonard Fournette and Ronald Jones II essentially split snaps with the 1s during 11-on-11s
I tallied each player’s snaps with the first team during 11-on-11s and it was essentially a perfect split. Granted, Jones ended up with more because Brady’s interception happened on the first play of Fournette’s drive. If White doesn’t pick the ball off, then the offense stays on the field and so does Fournette.
Regardless, right now, it’s a 50/50 timeshare between the two.
Antonio Brown’s competitive nature on full display
Brown was fired up after the miscommunication between he and Brady. He was on the sidelines shouting and saying things like, “I don’t waste reps!”. There was nothing malicious and Brown was not being a malcontent, whatsoever. He knows how valuable practice reps are, so he wants to make the most out of every single one. And there’s nothing wrong with that.
After he vented, he ran back to the huddle and gave his coaches and teammates some dap. It was interesting to see the switch flip like that.
Mike Evans is in midseason form
The dude has been the best player of Bucs training camp so far. Is that a surprise? Hell no. But it’s good to see Evans healthy and dominating. He had another tough catch on Saturday. As soon as he caught the ball, he collided hard into a defender, but held on to the ball.
So far, it looks like Evans is going to have a big year. Especially if this holds through into the regular season.
The Bucs are expanding their use of pre-snap motion, play-action, bunch sets, and more
It’s been a cool sight to see. We know Arians’ offense is diverse and features multi-level reads, but it hasn’t typically been that way with pre-snap motion and other strategies.
Saturday -as well as most of camp- featured a ton of stacked formations, bunch sets, pre-snap motion, play-action, and even some split flow. Arians shot me down during the post-practice presser saying this is what his offense has been “for the last 15 years” and he’s right to a degree. But it looks like they are putting extra emphasis on these strategies and that’s a great thing.
This offense is already loaded in terms of personnel and what they can do to you physically. But if the Bucs start consistently messing with defenses mentally, then it’s guaranteed to take this offense to the next level.
The run defense hasn’t lost a step
There were plenty of moments where the front seven just simply stood the offensive line up and didn’t let any create any holes, whatsoever. Joe Tryon and Khalil Davis where both getting into the backfield, among other defenders.
So far, it looks like the Bucs run defense will yet again be one of the league’s best six days into training camp.
Chris Godwin is an excellent receiver
Look, this isn’t anything groundbreaking. But Godwin just looks like a Pro Bowler out there. He’s so smooth running his routes and his hands are among the league’s best. He also appears to be over whatever held him out of Tuesday’s and Wednesday’s practice.
This will do it for my in-person coverage of Bucs training camp. I’ll obviously be watching the Twitter feeds and reading other reports over the coming weeks, but this is my last day of watching it in person. I want to thank everyone who followed along the way and I hope you all were able to learn something at the end of the day.
If you missed the previous five reports, you can check them out below: