Bucs Training Camp Notebook: Wednesday

August 7 - The Tampa Bay Buccaneers held a practice on Wednesday morning, but the afternoon practice was cancelled due to heavy rain and lightning. The team sported pads during the morning practice and received some relief from the hot and humid weather conditions. The sky was cloudy and conditions were wet at Disney's Wide World of Sports Complex. Pewter Report has compiled a notebook with news and notes from Bucs training camp.

The Tampa Bay Buccaneers sported pads for its Wednesday morning practice, but Bucs head coach Jon Gruden cut the practice short by about 30 minutes because the team received weather reports that there was lightning in the area.

The Bucs never made it onto the football field for the afternoon practice as weather conditions in Lake Buena Vista worsened throughout the afternoon. The team cancelled it's afternoon practice (shorts, helmets) due to heavy rain and lightning.

Bucs RB Aaron Stecker was held out of the team's Tuesday afternoon special teams practice after he strained his hamstring during Tuesday morning's padded practice. But Stecker returned to action on Wednesday morning and was not limited in terms of reps.

Bucs running backs Michael Pittman (ankle) and Travis Stephens (hamstring) both participated during Wednesday morning's practice. Both players' carries were limited, but they took more reps than they had earlier in the week.

Bucs wide receiver E.G. Green (calf) and starting left defensive end Marcus Jones (shoulder and groin) both returned to practice on Wednesday.

Bucs WR Keenan McCardell (knee sprain) and rookie DE John Stamper (hamstring) did not participate on Wednesday.

The Bucs' defense played well during Wednesday morning's practice. The offense was hindered by the rainy weather conditions --the first rain that had fallen during a training camp practice since Tampa Bay opened camp on July 29.

Gruden had his offense run several plays from the defense's goal line in a full-contact drill. This wasn't the first time the team ran this drill -- they had ran it a few days earlier. While Bucs running backs Aaron Stecker, Mike Alstott and Dicenzo Miller worked their way into the end zone for scores, the defense held the offense out of the end zone on the other three attempts. Stecker's leap over the pile of offensive and defensive linemen into the end zone from the 2-yard line was the most impressive play made by the offense during this drill.

The offense also had an 11-on-11, four-minute drill. The offense was told it had the lead and from there, their objective was to run the clock out by moving the chains for first downs. The defense, however, did a nice job of stopping the offense during this drill, especially on running plays.

Bucs starting middle linebacker Shelton Quarles made a nice read on one play during this drill when he intercepted a pass thrown by second-string quarterback Rob Johnson.

Although the Buccaneers held an exclusive special teams practice on Tuesday afternoon, Gruden decided to take another look at his kick return unit on Wednesday afternoon for about 10 minutes.

Gruden felt he didn't get a good look at his kick return candidates on Tuesday afternoon, so he had wide receivers Frank Murphy, Aaron Lockett and Karl Williams field one kickoff each. While Lockett is arguably the fastest player on the team and Williams is the most experienced of the return candidates, Murphy, who is a speedster, too, appears to be the leading candidate for the kick return job.

Due to practice being cut short and the limited amount of reps the team took during 11-on-11 drills, there will be no PewterReport.com Insider report today.

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