The Tampa Bay Buccaneers had their eleventh training camp practice Monday, and they were once again in pads as preparations continue for the first preseason game against Jacksonville on Friday. It was a practice dominated by the defense.
Pro Bowl Defensive tackle Gerald McCoy got to quarterback Josh McCown using a mean swim move that would have been a sack.
And whether it was Doug Martin or Charles Sims or Bobby Rainey, he and fellow defensive tackle Clinton McDonald also made it virtually impossible for any of the running backs to rush inside.
With that type of presence upfront, the secondary, from top to bottom, had one of its best days of camp.
Safety Mark Barron picked off McCown on a pass intended for wide receiver Mike Evans. Barron, who’s better known for being a thumper and playing in the box, came into camp looking to improve his coverage skills.
“Very pleased with him,” said head coach Lovie Smith after practice. “I really like what he did at Alabama when he came out. He had a good season last year. But it’s ahead of him. What we need: we need a big, strong safety. He’ll be down into the box. He went three days and had interceptions on three days. He has good hands for a big guy. I could talk about Mark for quite a while, as you can see, but we like the direction he’s going.”
The play of the day was an interception by free safety Dashon Goldson on a tip-drill. It came during 11-on-11s, with McCown attempting to hit tight end Tim Wright on out-route. You can see below where Wright cuts hard and looks to make the catch at about the 30, but it bounced off his hands.
Cornerback Johnthan Banks got a hand on it, but it was Goldson who came down with it. Goldson has been recovery from foot surgery and at times has been limited in practice, but he looked full-go here.
Goldson also nearly stripped the ball from Vincent Jackson on a catch Jackson made it traffic during 11-on-11s, with Jackson spinning around to hang on to it.
“[You have] got to take the ball away some kind of way,” said Smith after practice. “Every day, I go over with our team the turnover ratio and how important that is. When the ball is in the air, you’ve got to come up with it. And we did come up with a few today.”
Cornerback Quinton Pointer made a diving pick off McCown. Cornerback Keith Lewis intercepted a pass intended for wide receiver Louis Murphy.
Former USF safety Mark Joyce, an undrafted free agent who had just signed with the team Monday, had a near-interception off quarterback Mike Kafka during 7-on-7s, and on the very next play, he did manage to pick him off. Linebacker Danny Lansanah also picked off Kafka.
There haven’t been many blitzes up until this point in camp, but they blitzed safety Keith Tandy, who would have sacked Glennon on the play.
Center Evan Dietrich-Smith returned to practice after missing a couple days because of an injury to his big toe.
Cornerbacks Alterraun Verner (hamstring) missed practice, along with Mike Jenkins (upper leg injury) both continue to be sidelined. They are day-to-day.
Defensive end Da’Quan Bowers and tight end Luke Stocker both missed practice for undisclosed injuries. Stocker was seen on the sideline during practice with a sleeve on his leg. Both are expected to still play Friday.
The Bucs waived wide receiver David Gettis with an injury settlement, allowing them to sign Joyce with the extra roster spot.