By Tom Krasniqi (Twitter: @TKras)
If you attended Saturday’s practice, you heard some pops. There was some hitting going on. Wideout Eric Page got blasted by cornerback Anthony Gaitor along the sideline. That drew some oohhs and ahhhs from the crowd during Saturday’s training camp practice from a hot and humid One Buc Place.
Then you heard an even louder thud. Safety Dashon Goldson and defensive end Da’Quan Bowers were converging on running back Doug Martin. They missed. There was a violent collision between Goldson and Bowers. Thankfully, both were fine. That thunderous blow could’ve been heard from Safety Harbor. “There were some shots out there today,” said Schiano after Saturday’s practice. “Even though we’re not tackling to the ground, there were some guys who made some good contact. We challenged them. We challenged our football team. I think they were ready for that challenge. We practiced really hard.” They sure did and it sounded like it.
The competition between the offense and defense has been fierce. On Saturday, Schiano made things more interesting: Play-it periods without tackling but the losing side does push-ups. Offense makes a play. Defense dropped and did 10. Defense came up with a play and the offense did some push-ups. It made for a very competitive and spirited practice session. There was a point in practice where Schiano called everyone to the middle of the field. According to eyewitnesses, Schiano himself did a few push-ups. “That did not happen. I don’t think you saw that happen,” Schiano said with a sly grin. Even the media surprised Schiano with a well coordinated push-up session as he entered the media studio for his press conference. “That was well orchestrated,” Schiano said with a laugh.
After 9 days of camp, guys are starting to get a little antsy. They want to hit somebody. Linebacker LaVonte David said as much during a radio interview with me after practice. “Yeah man, today at practice…we had those team periods and I was like ‘man, I want to tackle somebody’. I just need to get back in the habit of tackling somebody. It’s coming around the corner. We’re going to get there,” said David. That time is coming. The preseason opener is Thursday night at Raymond James Stadium against the defending world champion Baltimore Ravens.
News & Notes:
- CB Darrelle Revis did participate in practice on Saturday but mainly during the walkthroughs. “Darrelle is ahead of the plan,” said GM Mark Dominik during a radio interview with me on Saturday. Dominik says the team is trying to decide whether Revis will play in the preseason.
- Dominik says the team is always looking for ways to upgrade the roster. He says he will make calls to other teams after the first wave of preseason games to begin some dialogue. The team is thin at tight end.
- WR Vincent Jackson was excused from practice on Saturday to be with his wife, who gave birth to a new baby boy.
- WR Mike Williams (slight hamstring strain) was held out of practice. Schiano says Williams wanted to go but the team is being cautious. With an off day Sunday, Williams should be back on Monday. CB Johnthan Banks missed practice again with the same injury.
- DE Adrian Clayborn (groin) should return to practice next week according to Schiano.
- Pro Bowl guard Carl Nicks (toe) participated in some 11-on-11 drills.
- Schiano praised wideouts Chris Owusu and Derek Hagan for making some plays during practice. Josh Freeman hit Owusu on a beautiful 57-yard TD pass down the sideline as Owusu beat CB Anthony Gaitor on the play. Hagan made a tough catch in traffic over the middle for another score.
- Former Bucs great Warren Sapp will be inducted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame on Saturday night from Canton, Ohio. The Bucs sent a large contingent up to Canton for the ceremony.
- The Bucs have an off day on Sunday. They will hold their next public practice on Tuesday morning from 8:45am-11:30am at One Buc Place. Parking and admission are free. Schedule is subject to change. For more information, check out 620wdae.com and buccaneers.com.
- For the latest news on Bucs training camp, keep it locked all day long on 620 WDAE and 95.3FM, your home of the Bucs and the best Bucs coverage.