With the exception of horrendous special teams play and a flurry of dominance from the Bucs defensive line, Thursday night’s game was a typical preseason Bucs battle royale in preseason. As anticipated, we saw the good, the bad, and the horrid state of where the team stands in their chief aspects of concern. This week, the team will journey up to Jacksonville for joint practices, followed by their 2nd preseason game on Saturday evening. Coach Koetter, a former offensive coordinator with the Jags, was asked why he likes joint practices.
“Well, everybody here knows from talking to the players we’ve practice 11 times against ourselves and it gets chippie, all right,” Koetter said. “They get tired, they start going against the same guys, and this guy’s got his hand in this guy’s face mask, and this guy’s holding this guy. Now it’s going to be exactly the same when we go to Jacksonville except it’s just going to be different guys, and they have to figure out what they don’t like about the other people and them we’re going to play them on Saturday. I love the competition; I love the newness of it, and then going against different guys. From an offense standpoint, just taking a quick look at Jacksonville’s defense I mean heck they’re two-deep on defense is impressive, so it’ll be good work for our offense. Just across the board we’re not just going down there and scrimmaging, we’re doing drills, we’re doing our half-skelly drill, we’re doing 1-on-1, we’re doing 1-on-1 pass rush, so all good stuff.”
In a USA Today article from back in 2014, they point out that joint practices have been a staple of the NFL for years, but they've become more popular since the 2011 collective bargaining agreement put an end to the old two-a-days in full gear and limited practice time and the amount of hitting that's allowed.
Of course, the juxtaposition of this viewpoint is the increased likelihood of more injuries due to the extra practices where pride can intensify live contact. Going up against a solid defensive unit, in the Jaguars, the Bucs’ offensive line, and the defensive secondary should get quality preseason competition. The following week, which will be the Bucs home field debut, the Browns come to town and will participate in another joint practice for the Bucs. As a fan, do you like this? Is this beneficial for a team with a lack of depth at optimum positions?