Camp Diary: Day 5

The high temperatures at Wednesday’s training camp session brought out the best in starting quarterback Josh Freeman. The twittersphere was abuzz with compliments of Freeman’s accuracy. He continually hit receivers in stride, over the middle of the field, a task in which he has not always been successful. For the second practice in a row Freeman was able to lead the offense down the field for a score during the two-minute drill.

As good as Freeman looked, the top end of the receiving corps looked awful at times. Mike Williams struggled to hold on to the ball, often allowing the pass to hit his chest plate. Even a few of Williams’ receptions were trapped between his hands and sternum. Vincent Jackson joined in the folly with a few drops of his own.

It wasn’t all bad news for the receivers. Kevin Ogletree began to show off his talents in the slot by reeling in several passes from Freeman. Owusu, Page and Hagan continued to show good effort and capable hands, though preseason games will be a better test of their ability to produce at the NFL level.

Gerald McCoy has been a disruptive force in the backfield since camp began and today’s practice was no different. McCoy, along with Lavonte David and Doug Martin, look like they could start the season tomorrow. They’ve consistently produced day in and day out during training camp sessions.

The coaching staff has done a good job of keeping their search for a kick and punt returner under wraps. Today Darrelle Revis, Mike Williams, Eric Page, David Douglas and Braden Smith all fielded punts. In prior practices, only veterans fielded punts, as they did during the first week of last year’s training camp. Old School suggested, during our last camp video, that the secrecy surrounding the position could be a result from the logjam at receiver. As the bottom rung of the receiving corps settles in, we will most likely begin to see who will lead the return game.

During one-on-one drills with the offensive and defensive line, Da’Quan Bowers ended up giving up on a rush against backup tackle Mike Rennels. After hearing a coach get after him about placing his hands inside Rennels’ arms, Bowers showed frustration and quit without reaching the finishing point of the drill. A few plays later, Steven Means blew by Rennels with a speed move to the outside, sweeping the tackle’s hands away. Hopefully the coaching staff finds a way to light a fire under Bowers, as the Bucs pass rush will be essential to their success.

Check back tomorrow for notes from Friday’s Bucs training camp practice.