Morning Report — Defense is winning

In today's edition of the Morning Report, find out how the defense is giving it to the offense during the morning workouts, and why special teams coach Richard Bisaccia is yelling at second-round pick Sabby Piscitelli. It's your window into training camp at Bucsblitz.com.

The defense won the morning workout for the second straight day on Wednesday.

In a 9-on-9 drill, designed to work on running the football, the defense just dominated the offense on four straight plays.

Play 1: LB Derrick Brooks stuffed RB Cadillac Williams.

Play 2: LB Cato June and DT Jovan Haye stuffed Williams.

Play 3: LB Barrett Ruud forced Williams to fumble, which S Will Allen recovered.

Play 4: RB Lionel Gates fumbled after being hit at the line of scrimmage.

It was a rough day for the offense, which didn't look sharp. Rookie Tanard Jackson and veteran corner Torrie Cox each broke up passes.

Of course, it is pretty normal for the defense to be ahead of the offense this early in camp. Offensive success is based on timing, while defensive success is based on speed and pursuit. The latter is easier to produce this early in camp than the former.

Hang on to the ball: Gates wasn't the only one with issues on Wednesday. Tight end Keith Heinrich had a false start that caused him to be taken out of a drill, and later dropped a pass after being hit by a safety.

Head coach Jon Gruden wasn't amused by any of those plays.

"If you fumble the ball you will not be here long," Gruden said.

Simms update: QB Chris Simms got precious few throwing reps again for the fourth straight day, but the craziness surrounding his sore elbow has subsided. Gruden said on Tuesday that he hopes Simms will be ready to shoulder a bigger load later this week.

Meanwhile, Simms' close friend, backup Luke McCown — who took most of the reps directly after Jeff Garcia on Wednesday — is trying to keep the fifth-year pro's spirits up.

"I know he's in a tough situation," McCown said. "Anytime I get a chance I just try to give him some encouragement and give him a little something — ‘Hey, smile because your daughter's at home and she's healthy, and you have a beautiful wife and a healthy family, so be happy."

By the way, Garcia's "hamstring issue," as Gruden called it on Tuesday, didn't seem to be an issue on Wednesday. He got the majority of the reps in all drills.

And here's a random stat. The past three opening day starter for the Buccaneers — Brad Johnson (2004), Brian Griese (2005) and Simms (2006) have started a total of 13 games for the Buccaneers, not even a season's worth of games. Chew on that.

Sabby gets an earful: Apparently rookie S Sabby Piscitelli blew an assignment on a special teams drill and heard about it from special teams coach Richard Bisaccia.

I'm not sure what assignment he messed up, but instead of paying attention to Bisaccia after the play, he went to backup receiver Chas Gessner for guidance. Bisaccia didn't like that.

"SABBY!" He yelled. "I'll (expletive deleted) coach ya!"

The expletive was clear as a bell to everyone within shouting distance, and prompted one parent to say, "I can't be held responsible for what a coach says."

Piscitelli did have an interception earlier in the practice.

No afternoon workout: There will be no afternoon workout on Wednesday. I guess the Bucs got tired of having them rained out.

Still, several players did not work out, including T Luke Petitgout, CB Phillip Buchanon, DT Ellis Wyms and DT Ryan Sims.

With Petitgout not practicing, Anthony Davis slid over to left tackle with the first team and rookie Arron Sears slid into left guard.

Really cool down: I found out today in talking to a colleague that the cool down trailer the Bucs go into for three minutes during each practice at training camp is 56 degrees.

My hotel room has been set at 70 degrees and I'm bundling up. I'm such a wuss.

Oh, and I saw myself in a photo gallery on TBO.com today. You don't actually know it's me, but I know it's me because I've been wearing one of those Australian hats to keep the sun off me. I look like a dork, but I'm not sunburned.

He won't go there: Cornerback Brian Kelly spoke at the podium today, and wouldn't be baited into questions about his contract.

"Oh, no," he said when someone asked about how much money the Bucs have under the salary cap. "I'm not answering that. Next question."

There have been indications in the past that Kelly is not happy with his deal, and there was concern that he might hold out of training camp for a new deal. But he said earlier this offseason that he would report on time, and he did.

There is no afternoon practice today, but there will be an Afternoon Blitz, as Shelton Quarles is joining the team as an advance scout. Plus, we'll have Gruden Speaks today and much more as training camp continues at Bucsblitz.com.

Have a question for Buccaneers expert Matthew Postins? E-mail him at bucsblitz@mac.com and he'll personally answer your e-mail, and possibly feature it in an upcoming feature.


Matthew Postins covers the Buccaneers for BucsBlitz.com and the Charlotte Sun-Herald in Port Charlotte, Fla. He is a member of the Pro Football Writers Association. Included among his more than two dozen writing and editing awards are national awards from the PFWA, the National Newspaper Association and the Associated Press Sports Editors, and state awards from the Florida Press Club and the Florida Sports Writers Association, for his coverage of the Buccaneers since 2004.


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