Arriving at One Buc Place, the training facility for The Tampa Bay Buccaneers, there was already a mob of fans outside chanting and showing all their support for their Bucs team. There was a line of about 100 people waiting to enter the training facility, AN HOUR BEFORE THE TEAM TAKES THE PRACTICE FIELD! The fans started chanting Super Bowl and Let’s Go Bucs, while the teams started to take the field, now as a complete side note, the atmosphere, and energy on and around the practice field was energetic and intense. The fans have high expectations for this team and the team and faculty know what needs to be achieved to have a successful season this year. The team takes the field and begins one on one drills, while others warm up and participate in stretching activities.
The first team drill that was started was the quarterbacks and receiver core took to the end zone and practices goal line drills, running goal line routes and catching the pass in the end zone. Jameis looked extremely vibrant, making nice spiraled throws to the corner of the end zone to where no one but the wide out would have had the ability to catch the ball. O.J. Howard looked extremely good, and another side not HUGE in person, Mike Evans made a wonderful toe slide touchdown in the corner of the end zone, as well as DeSean Jackson making a toe tap touchdown right under the field goal uprights. After this drill, quarterbacks went with running backs and performed some hand off drills along with some of the same catching drills in the end zone on the opposite side of the field.
Next drill was punt return formation and separate quarterback drills on footwork. The team is having about 10-15 minutes of practice time for each drill, and watching the quarterbacks do everything and every type of throwing drill with throwing off the back foot or throwing on the run, once again Winston stood out amongst the pack of quarterbacks. Afterward, the wife receivers practiced route running drills against opposing cornerbacks and attempted to make catches from their quarterback. While Jameis made amazing passes to Mike Evans and DeSean Jackson, the defense put up a tough battle against some of the other receivers. Brent Grimes and Vernon Hargreaves III were the vocal leaders of this defense, barking orders to their teammates to adjust to the best coverage as possible. While the corners were making great plays, the defensive line stood out making big plays against the offensive line. The improvement of this defense is just astounding, from defensive line to the secondary, improvements and maturity as been made and known throughout the team, and considering this was a major concern coming into this season, the defense is looking like it will make major plays to help win big games this season.
Afterward, the teams started to take it slow, considering an hour into training camp and it was already 85 degrees outside, with the humidity making it feel like 92. The players took off their helmets and started walking thru a multitude of plays on the field. After about 30 minutes of walk thru practicing, the teams went back to full speed drills as the offense went through 4 down drills, and attempted to move the chains against the defense. Jameis attempted some big plays to Mike Evans who had his pass deflected and to DeSean Jackson, who got lost in the sun and had his pass picked off by Brent Grimes. After those two plays, the maturity of Jameis Winston shined as he jumped right back into the huddle and coached his guys into a successful drive.
After this drill, the team went back to slow it down and practiced punting and punt coverage drills while the quarterbacks went back to footwork and throwing motion drills. The heat started to settle in as the team started to take it slow and the fans started to get quieter, it was nearing the end of practice. But it before receivers went against the secondary in an offense drill without the line. Jameis came out a little shaking throwing a pick on the first pass, but was able to bounce back making a nice pass across the middle of the field for a nice 30 yard gain and then on the next play dumping the pass off to the full back who was wide open in the middle of the field. Jameis was making great reads after the interception and made a great rebound after the opening interception. Next drill the implemented the same style, except in the red zone, Jameis made some great passes, that the receivers just were not able to hang on to.
Just watching this training camp, it is clear to see that The Tampa Bay Buccaneers are not just trying to get a winning record, but to win the NFC South along with making a DEEP run in the playoffs. This team and fan base want nothing less than a dominant playoff run this season, which lucky for Tampa Fans this year, they have a great look at it.