Insider: Observations from Bucs’ Minicamp
Some notes, quotes, and observations from Day One of the Bucs’ Minicamp on Tuesday:
- Preston Parker continues to impress this offseason and is separating himself from the rest of the pack as the clear #3 WR on this team, behind Vincent Jackson and Mike Williams. In red zone timed drills between the #1 offense and #1 defense, Parker slipped past Anthony Gaitor on a post-corner route and dragged his feet for an impressive touchdown.
- Mike Williams also continues to look more like the 2010 version than last year’s….at least without pads. Williams blazed past Gaitor on a go route, but Freeman’s pass sailed on him.
- Lavonte David continues to work with the first team defense at weakside linebacker and had an interception of Freeman on Tuesday. The first team linebackers were Quincy Black, Mason Foster, and David. However, during the team’s red zone timed drills, Foster and Dekoda Watson were on the field for the first team in their nickel package.
- I had the chance to stand next to Josh Freeman after practice, and it’s incredible how much he’s slimmed down, even since OTAs. However, he says he’s still at 237.5 pounds.
- Although Mark Barron is known for being a physical player, he told ESPNFlorida.com that being without pads through the NFL’s limited offseason drills has not affected his ability to learn and get ready for the season. “I don’t think it makes much of a difference. The way we practice out here, we practice like we pretty much have on pads. We just don’t hit each other. We run through the player and tag off like we have on pads. The only difference is we just aren’t taking anybody to the ground and actually making that contact.”
- Much has been made of Greg Schiano’s attention to detail, and one of those things is protecting the football. Schiano barked out ball security drills, and the team broke out in a run to different stations. The wide receivers caught slant patterns on the goalline and turned into a set of coaches slamming blocking pads at their hands, trying to jar the ball loose.
- Regarding detail, DE Michael Bennett told ESPNFlorida.com about the change in philosophy regarding attention to detail by this coaching staff. “Other people are playing closer attention to details. Coach talked about it and everybody is starting to understand it. This is a job and people do lose their jobs if they don’t do the right thing. He’s just preaching if you don’t do your job, you’re probably not going to be playing. And that’s the way it should be. Guys that don’t understand it, they probably shouldn’t be playing. And that’s the right thing. Coach is holding us to a higher standard.”
- Bennett also said there is something to learn from practicing without pads, specifically with technique. “It’s always physical in football, but at the same time, not having contact helps your technique, because when you don’t have contact, you have to rely on your skills, your technique. When you have pads, you can kind of get away with certain things. Right now, he’s definitely preaching on our technique, and that’s becoming a great thing for us.”