Defense Dominant Again In Brady’s Return


Saturday’s Bucs coaching camp apply noticed Tom Brady again in motion after lacking the 2 prior. That additionally meant the primary time Brady was in a position to work with Chris Godwin in lots of, many months.

A Couple Of Bucs Again In, A Lot Of Veteran Gamers Out

Together with Brady, the opposite Bucs to make their return was security Troy Warner and linebacker JoJo Ozougwu. Receiver Mike Evans was out of shape after struggling a hamstring damage on Friday. Veteran tight ends Cam Brate and Kyle Rudolph got the time without work. Receiver Breshad Perriman and working again Ke’Shawn Vaughn had been out once more.

Brady Returns To Observe With Primarily Backup Weapons

Bucs QB Tom Brady and OC Byron Leftwich – Photograph by: Cliff Welch/PR

The extra issues change, the extra they keep the identical. With Brady again beneath heart at apply this morning, the offense was doing their greatest to remain on top of things with quite a few absences. Evans, Rudolph, and Brate didn’t apply in any respect, whereas Godwin and Julio Jones continued to stand up to hurry and took part minimally after early positional drills. 

For the offense, this meant extra reps for the receivers, lots of whom are persevering with to jockey for spots on the backside of the roster. Performing because the No. 1 receiver at present in scrimmage, Russell Gage stood out probably the most with six catches from Brady alone. Between certainly one of them, Brady and Gage had been seen discussing routes with their palms and looking out like they’ve sturdy chemistry.

Proper after that, Gage and Brady related on a bubble display play and general had a stable morning collectively. Their budding connection may very well be the largest dynamic within the Bucs’ offense this yr and at the least within the short-term with the opposite big-name wideouts not on the market. 

In addition to the play of Gage, nobody actually stood out on the receiving finish of passes from the quarterbacks. Tyler Johnson made just a few good performs in the long run zone in the direction of the top of the morning, whereas Jaelon Darden and Deven Thompkins each made good sideline catches and flashed their elusiveness. 

Fournette Will get The Bulk Of The Dashing Makes an attempt

Within the backfield, working again Leonard Fournette obtained extra reps at present than he has all camp, at one level getting 5 out of six touches each on the bottom and on quick routes. Fournette appears to be in stable form and acquired the majority of touches with Giovani Bernard, Rachaad White, and Kenjon Barner sprinkled in.

As camp rolls on, and with joint practices and the primary preseason recreation upcoming, it will likely be fascinating to see who precisely stays within the combine for repetitions. After apply at present, head coach Todd Bowles acknowledged that “we’ll plug and play to see guys we have to see” all through the week.

Go Rush Continues Dominance On Saturday

If there was one group at present that stood out above the remainder, it needed to be the Bucs’ move speeding group. Not solely did the protection apply strain but additionally batted down passes on the line of scrimmage. This was evident from a few of the first snaps, as William Gholston on back-to-back reps deflected a move on the line and had a would-be sack on Brady. 

In addition to Gholston, Akiem Hicks made his presence felt, clogging the center and on one play utterly stuffing Bernard on the line. In his transient post-practice press convention, offensive guard Shaq Mason remarked that he “goes after it” loads with Hicks in apply. Hicks, together with Vita Vea, are two variables that equate to edge rushers having a better time getting after the quarterback. It ought to be famous as properly that on the other aspect at left guard, Brandon Walton acquired the beginning with the primary group. 

Particularly, the line of defense created strain on 4 straight performs, with Joe Tryon-Shoyinka, Cam Gill, and Rakeem Nunez-Roches all forcing the quarterbacks to make hasty selections resulting in incompletions. 

LBs, DBs Create Heartbreak With Go Break-Ups

In addition to the D-line, the linebackers and defensive backs additionally made it robust for the offense to be productive. Of be aware, rookie cornerback Don Gardner seemed nice in protection, breaking apart three passes and forcing an incompletion on one other. This continues a stable begin to camp from Gardner, who additionally had an interception off of Ryan Griffin yesterday. Whereas the preseason can be a greater determinate of the play of Gardner, an undrafted free agent from South Dakota State, he has carried out nothing to harm his case for being a backup cornerback. 

However the greatest defensive play at present got here from a linebacker when Lavonte David picked off a move from Tom Brady. David minimize off a route and made a pleasant play on the ball, displaying the wanted savviness Bowles desires to see on that aspect of the ball. 

“[We’re] making an attempt to make turnovers occur,” Bowles acknowledged after apply. Tampa Bay has the ball-hungry personnel to steer the league in that class, however execution can be key within the coming weeks.

Enormous Day For Rookie ILB Fatukasi

Bucs ILB Olakunle Fatukasi

Bucs ILB Olakunle Fatukasi – Photograph by: Cliff Welch/PR

Out of all of the performs made by the Bucs’ protection, it was undrafted rookie linebacker Olakunle Fatukasi that stood out probably the most. Fatukasi had two turnovers in apply. One interception got here as a defensive lineman tipped Kyle Trask’s throw. The ball traveled about 10 yards and went into Fatukasi’s palms.

For the opposite play, a ball was caught by Barner, however Fatukasi was there to jar the ball free for a fumble. That’s two splash performs for Fatukasi in numerous intervals. The Bucs have most of their linebacker room set with David, White, Okay.J. Britt and Grant Stuard, but when the Bucs determine to maintain 5, he’ll be in competitors with J.J. Russell.

Brady, Younger TEs Can’t Discover Chemistry Collectively

Bucs TE Cade Otton

Bucs TE Cade Otton – Photograph by: Cliff Welch/PR

With Brate and Rudolph out, it gave Brady time to work with rookies Cade Otton, Ko Kieft and J.J. Howland. The outcomes weren’t lower than par, although because the communication was off all day. There have been occasions in warmups working on air when Brady and Otton weren’t on the identical web page. That continued in drills the place Brady and Otton couldn’t join for a move completion.

On one other play, Howland utterly ran in the wrong way of the place Brady was throwing to and anticipated to him to be. We don’t know who was at fault however we’re speaking a few 23-year veteran versus a rookie. Brady did join on a brief move to Kieft, however it’s apparent that this trio has plenty of work to do.

Gabbert & Trask Replace

Blaine Gabbert was his regular self as typical. He seemed snug within the pocket and didn’t flip the ball over. It seems like he’s easing extra right into a groove after getting within the ebb and flows of apply. Gabbert additionally seems to have a robust maintain on the No. 2 QB job for now.

Trask, then again, continues to battle. He had a number of passes tipped on the line of scrimmage and when he was really getting them off, they weren’t correct. Trask had a brief throw of lower than 15 yards that he hit into the bottom earlier than it acquired the receiver. He simply by no means seemed snug and held onto the ball manner an excessive amount of.

Is it over for him? No. There’s much more practices and video games nonetheless to play. He rallied as properly in the direction of the top of apply, occurring a run of a number of completions in a row. Trask must proceed that transferring forward earlier than joint practices start.

Succop Was Good, However Not Good

It was Ryan Succop’s flip to kick on Saturday and he carried out fairly properly. He hit 10-of-11 kicks and was even good from deep, connecting on his kicks from over 50 yards out. Oddly sufficient, the lone kick that he did miss was from a brief distance of 38 yards away.

The Bucs did some hurry-up, last-second conditions the place the sector aim workforce needed to run on and arrange earlier than the clock ran out. Succop hit all of these kicks. This competitors could be practically determined till after the final preseason recreation.

Despite the fact that apply seemed preferred it was in favor of the protection, Todd Bowles loved this yet one more than the day earlier than.

“[A] lot higher effort on each side than yesterday,” Bowles stated. “Yesterday was a bit of one-sided – at present was extra give and take.”

Tampa Bay has one other apply this weekend that may happen on Sunday morning. On condition that Brady was out for 2 practices this week, it might seem possible he’ll apply once more. We’ll see who might come again how a lot additional exercise that Godwin will become involved in.

– Adam Slivon contributed to this report



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