Ok fans, tonight is the first time that we get to see the new Buccaneers in pads and the team dealing with full contact. The work so far, per the new rules that Coach Morris lamented in the press conference, dramatically limit the amount of contact practice that a team can have. In fact, the morning workout had to be slowed down in order to meet the new guidelines.
If you are coming out tonight (which you should if you can!), I would recommend you focus on a couple of key areas:
1. Trenches – This will be a chance to see the shiny new Buc defensive lineman get to work and a chance to see how the offensive line depth is holding up as the free agents cannot participate yet. Look to see the RDE (Clayborn or anyone in that spot) take advantage of the fill in right tackle. It will also be interesting to see how much time in 11 on 11 Bowers and Price get given the injury concerns with both.
2. They call him, “Mike” – It is one of the hottest topics, but with Ruud no more, Tyrone McKenzie or Mason Foster needs to show good decision making and bring the heat that the coaching staff wants to see out of the middle linebacker spot. Assignment sound will be the phrase to watch as the tendency will be to flow too fast and leave teammates in a bad spot.
3. Flash – Thus far, the offense has been lighting things up. Mike Williams has been a beast and Josh Freeman looks to have not missed a beat. Now that the DB’s can touch some folks, look to see them try and remind the skill position players that the defensive backfield is a “no fly” zone.
There is plenty more to see, but these are a couple of spots that I will be looking for today. I will be roaming about so if you see me, say hello.
Can you feel it yet? The season is just around the corner! Go Bucs!