Buccaneers morning camp report: July 27

How did the Tampa Bay Buccaneers fare on Sunday morning at training camp? Find out here. Learn which offensive linemen looked great, what defensive end moved up to first-team reps, which wide receiver had the catch of the day and which coach went off on his second day in the sun. It's an exclusive from Bucsblitz.com.

Give the OL some love: In one-on-one blocking drills no two offensive linemen looked better than guards Davin Joseph and Arron Sears. Facing players like DTs Chris Hovan, Jovan Haye, Marques Douglas and Chris Bradwell, they didn't give any ground. At times, they dominated. After practice RT Jeremy Trueblood said those two players sometimes flash "brilliant." They'll be interesting to watch in pads tomorrow, but it looks as if the investment in those two linemen, plus C Jeff Faine, could pay off big time this season.

What else happened during those drills? Well, Hovan blew past reserve guard Dan Buenning on an inside move. New DE Jimmy Wilkerson completely fooled TE Ben Troupe with an inside move. Greg Peterson swept around T Dennis Roland, who heard about it from line coach Bill Muir. And, DE Marques Douglas whipped TE John Gilmore with an inside move. The tight ends typically take the brunt of the abuse in this drill, as they're less adept at handling speed rushers. During games, tight ends typically are used to help tackles with double teams. They rarely are asked to take on end rushers by themselves.

DE Gaines Adams and LT Donald Penn engaged in two of the best battles of the day, with Adams blowing past Penn on the outside and then Penn stopping Adams on an inside move.

Overall, I thought the offensive line won the day.

White moves up: DE Greg White, who arrived in camp yesterday after signing his one-year tender, moved up to take first-team reps at left defensive end. White looked solid all morning during the workout, playing with a physical streak against players like Trueblod and Roland. DE Kevin Carter had taken the first-team reps on Saturday, but moved back to second team. If White expects to get the contract he wants, he'll need to claim that starting position.

Kickoff returns: There's not much you can say about kickoff returns this early in camp, except to point out which players took reps. RB Clifton Smith, RB Michael Bennett, CB Phillip Buchanon, WR Micheal Spurlock and WR Dexter Jackson all took reps. Smith and Bennett both dropped returns.

I firmly believe the competition will come down to Spurlock and Jackson. You'll see a lot of them during the preseason at both punt and kickoff return.

By the way, Spurlock had the catch of the day, a diving grab with his fingertips on a slant route during 9-on-9 drills. He did a fantastic job of hanging onto the football as he hit the ground.

Monte's in midseason form: Before practice even started, defensive coordinator Monte Kiffin was already running his mouth, yelling at his defense. Now, this being Monte, half of it was incomprehensible. But not even the quarterbacks and centers could escape Monte's ire.

"How long are you going to work on that quarterback center exchange?!" Kiffin yelled to the quarterbacks, about 50 feet away from his defense.

There's no telling what got Kiffin's dander up, but it was fun to listen.

More quotes: Veteran WR Ike Hilliard probably isn't a fan of training camp. He and the rest of the receivers went through some simple running drills in which they had to run in between pads. At one point, they had to hop over the pads with one leg. Hilliard finished the drill and then said to no one in particular, "It's not like it used to be."

And, head coach Jon Gruden took a jab at WR Paris Warren after Warren blew a blocking assignment on a bubble screen. Warren was supposed to block Gruden if he moved up from the safety position to make a play. But Warren flat out missed him. "Have some peripheral vision like Steve Nash," Gruden yelled.

Wide receiver rotation: These receivers worked at the X position during drills against air (no defense) on Sunday — Maurice Stovall, Antonio Bryant, Chad Lucas, Dexter Jackson and Ike Hilliard. These receivers worked at the Z — Michael Clayton, Brian Clark, Paris Warren, Cortez Hankton and Micheal Spurlock.

Other rotation changes: S Sabby Piscitelli took some first-team reps at free safety opposite Jermaine Phillips. Tanard Jackson, the starter, returned later in the drill. Kevin Carter and Jimmy Wilkerson worked the second team ends, while Ryan Sims and Marques Douglas worked inside on the second team defensive line. That's the second day in a row Douglas has worked inside. S Donte Nicholson saw some additional work on the second team at free safety.

Another bad exchange: For the second straight day, QB Brian Griese had a bad center-snap exchange, this time with Dan Buenning. It's always difficult to see who is at fault in these exchanges, but Griese is the only one having problems right now among the quarterbacks. It bears watching, because his hold on the No. 2 job is not a given.

Keep an eye on Smith: I've watched Clifton Smith the past two days and I like the way the rookie free agent plays. He's quick and more physical than you would think a 5-foot-8, 190-pound back would be. He moves his hips well, too. Now, he's not going to make this football team, given what the Bucs have at running back right now. So he's playing for a potential job with another team or for a spot on the Bucs' practice squad. Chances are the Fresno State product will be among the first cuts and could be picked up by someone else. But he is talented and earning some reps with the third-team offense that lead me to believe he's more talented than one would assume by just looking at him.

Injuries: WR Joey Galloway (groin) missed the workout. Gruden said he would be back in a few days. CB Torrie Cox (knee) missed the workout and Gruden was unsure of his status. It could be a sprained knee.

Cox should be worried about his job, given the number of talented cornerbacks in this training camp. First-round pick Aqib Talib is already starting to make splash plays on his second day of camp. New acquisition Eugene Wilson is also playing well, too. If Cox doesn't return quickly, he could be out of a job.


Matthew Postins is the editor and publisher of bucsblitz.com.


Bucs Blitz Top Stories