Bull Rush: Mr. Miyagi And All Things Day 3

August 2nd, 2010


Former Bucs DE Steve White

Former Bucs DE Steve White

JoeBucsFan.com analyst


 Former Buccaneers defensive end Steve White (1996-2001) is a devoted student of the game. He’s even authored a coaching guide and coached defensive linemen at the University of South Florida. And after all those years breaking down film with former defensive line coach Rod Marinelli and the other architects and legends of the Bucs’ defense, White shares his knowledge with JoeBucsFan.com readers in his must-read Bull Rush column

You’ve read various reports about this morning’s training camp session. But those are laughable compared to White’s breakdown below. Grab a cold beverage and enjoy.

The first thing I want to talk about is tempo. Or rather the lack thereof.

Now today admittedly was my first time visiting the Bucs’ training camp since I played here, but the tempo wasn’t up to par today.

I know it was hot, very hot. And I know it was the third day in pads. But the one thing we prided ourselves on back in the day, especially on defense, was how hard we practiced every single day.

I was reminded today of a situation back when I was playing where we signed a veteran linebacker one offseason to back up the starters. Well, during training camp we’d run what’s called a “pursuit” drill, where the whole defense has to sprint 40 or so yards down the field through the goal line. If one person in your group doesn’t bust his tail all the way through, the whole group has to do it again.

Well, this free agent guy happened to be in a group that had to go back twice. And I BS you not, this guy was so gassed that he retired pretty much on the spot. That’s the kind of effort that used to be asked of us no matter what the conditions, and I just didn’t see that today at One Buc Place.

Roy Miller Shows His Work Ethic

Now its just one day, and again maybe this is the norm now. Still, it just didn’t sit right with me.

On the defensive line there were some guys who were going balls to the wall, most notably, in my opinion, was Roy Miller. But as a group they just looked like they were going at about three-quarter speed. Or at least three quarters of the speed I’m used to seeing.

Another thing I noticed was the lack of position-specific drill work for the D-line. Again it was just one day, and I wasn’t there for the two preceding days of practice. But they didn’t do the bags today and the drills they did do were more akin to linebacker drills.

Why does that matter?

Well, we have two second-year guys and two rookies who are going to play a LOT for us this season on the defensive line. And those guys need to get as much drill work as possible so the team work comes easier for them.

Wax On; Wax Off

The thing about Rod Marinelli is that he put us through 15 to 20 minutes of hell to start off every practice. Along with going through the bags, we had to do a bunch of change-of-direction drills, get-offs, and quick hands work. This had a kind of Mr. Miyagi effect where you did it over and over and over again, and then when you got to team work you reacted basically off instinct. You didn’t have to think to turn your hips on a pass rush; you just did it. You didn’t have to concentrate to knock an offensive lineman’s hands down; it was just second nature.

Now I am not about to make a judgement after seeing just one practice, I’m just making observations.

One guy who could definitely benefit from change of direction drills everyday is Gerald McCoy. I had heard that he had been up and down so far in the first two days of practice, and I immediately could see why.

Two things I noticed about him today. First, his stance is kind of elongated instead of compact which makes it a little harder to get off. It would help if he had his feet under him a little more and he bent his legs more. That would give him a more spring loaded action out of his stance. Second thing is that he was taking too long of a step on the snap.

When that happens, guys lose their gaps because they aren’t able to react to the guard’s block while their foot is out of the ground. By the time he got his step down he was playing catch up whether it was a reach block (outside) or a slip block (inside). He did ok when it was a pass, but even then he got caught a couple of times with a punch before his foot came down and that made it easier to get him off balance.

Roy Miller, in addition to being a ball of energy today, also was solid when I saw him. He is good keeping his ground at the point of attack on a double team. And he is slippery with his pass rush.

Competition Lacking For Price

I had seen reports that Brian Price was tearing it up in camp, so I was looking forward to watching him work. It’s true that he was dominant against our second team offensive line. Unfortunately, that’s not saying much.

He is very quick off the ball, but at times it appeared that he wasn’t sure where he was supposed to go, and at other times his effort wasn’t consistent. He does use his hands well, and when he understands the effort level needed play in and play out, he looks like he will be more than ready to handle his own. Still, I didn’t exactly see the “beast” that everybody else described.

The first team defensive line today consisted of Kyle Moore, Gerald McCoy, Roy Miller, and Stylez G. White. They held their own most of practice today but neither Moore nor White made a whole lot of plays. Some of that is because of the plays run against them, but you would like to see your starting ends show up a little more, even in practice.

Something that caught my eye was on the second team D-line, where Michael Bennett was backing up Moore on the left side and Tim Crowder was backing up White on the right.

Now I don’t know if this has been consistent all camp but it was still curious to me. I mean, I like Bennett’s potential and everything, but Crowder in my opinion has a better chance of pushing Moore for that starting left end spot. If they have really moved Crowder to the right side backing up White for all of camp, then to me its a sign that the Bucs have handed Moore the starting spot on a silver platter.

Don’t get me wrong, I predicted this after the season was over. But still I thought there would at least be a competition. I think Crowder pushing Moore for that spot would only make both guys better and whomever ended up on top would be better for having gone through the competition. I don’t necessarily think Moore won’t give it his all, if that’s not the case, but it’s hard to understand the move if only because Crowder showed that he could play well there last season.

I also noticed that they have Ryan Sims running as the undertackle with the second team. I’m sure that’s mostly to make sure Price gets enough reps at nose tackle to develop. But, to put it bluntly, Sims just isn’t an undertackle. I don’t know what that says about his future with the team, but it will be interesting to see how he performs there during preseason games.

Reality Check On Ronde Barber

I thought the linebackers practiced well today. Quincy Black had an outstanding pass breakup sliding underneath what appeared to be an out route to knock the ball down. Barrett Ruud and Geno Hayes were both physical against the run and really flew to the ball when it was thrown to the short routes. Hayes had a good PBU himself being physical with a guy to get the ball out.

The backups were ok but nobody particularly stood out. I did see Rico McCoy make a couple of plays and Dekoda Watson looked good in blitz period.

It was hard to focus on the secondary and the front seven at the same time but everyone seemed to hold their own. The offense scored on a few red zone passes, but for most of the day the secondary kept everything in front of them.

I will say that a lot was made of a catch Mike Williams made on Ronde Barber in 1 on 1s. I should say first off that the drill is one of the most unrealistic in all of football practice. The receiver has the ability to run any route he wants with the knowledge that there is no rush to make the quarterback hurry the throw and there is no underneath coverage to impede their progress down the field.

Williams put a double move on Ronde and admittedly made him look bad. But the thing about double moves is that they usually take a long time to develop. That’s why you don’t see a lot of successful double moves in the actual games. So, in my opinion, it was much ado about not a lot. But to Ronde’s credit he came back and made a beautiful interception right along the side lines and kept both feet in.

I thought our offensive line did well today. Keydrick Vincent ran with the starters, and I didn’t personally see a lot of Jeremy Zuttah.

Vincent is a powerful blocker and he is really good on double teams. Donald Penn looked as good as I have seen him both in pass and run blocking. The right side of the line with Jeremy Trueblood and Davin Joseph looked solid all day. There were refs at practice today, and although there were a few jumps during blitz period, for the most part the guys held their water during the later team periods.
As for the backups….
All I can say is that we all should be praying that our starters on the offensive line stay healthy. Like I said before, Price showed flashes of dominance against the second team offensive line but I think my old behind could get out there and give those guys fits. They just don’t seem to be very physical or athletic.

One of the things I noticed about the offense was that they ran a lot more split-bellys and counter-plays today. Translated, that means a lot of downhill runs, which is what I think fits our personnel best.

Cadillac Williams sat out at running back but Derrick Ward and the rest of the guys took up the slack. Kareem Huggins looks just as explosive as advertised both as a runner and as a receiver. I really like the kid and I think he has an excellent chance of making the final roster if he stays healthy and keeps it up.

His primary competition for a roster spot, Clifton “Peanut” Smith, is quick but he doesn’t seem to possess the power Huggins has and that will make a difference when either guy actually has to break a tackle. Of course, Smith is also a former Pro Bowler on special teams so its wayyyy too early to count him out.

Kellen Winslow sat out practice this morning and I didn’t see a lot out of the other tight ends, but Jerramy Stevens did catch a touchdown on a rollout from Josh Freeman that was pretty impressive. I still didn’t see the physicality out of them as a group that I think we need to run the ball effectively.

Freeman Looks On Track

At quarterback, I had seen reports where Josh Freeman had been off the first two days of practice. Well, he seemed to practice well today. He didn’t throw a lot of deep balls but he was sharp taking what the defense gave him and hitting the underneath routes.

The one thing he has to realize is that he now has some guys who can make things happen after the catch. Arrelious Benn, Mike Williams, Sammie Stroughter, Kellen Winslow and plenty of other guys can turn a short pass into a pretty good gain. So every pass doesn’t have to be past the first-down marker. Sometimes you just have to deliver it to those guys in space and let them work and Freeman seems to be starting to understand that concept.

I didn’t get to see all of his throws but by my count he was 5-for-7 or so during 7-on-7 and, as I referenced before, he had a really nice touchdown throw to Stevens on a bootleg play.

Josh Johnson was ok but not great. He throws a somewhat flat ball without a lot of air underneath it, but it seemed to get where it needed to more often than not. He also had what appeared to be a touchdown on a quarterback draw during the redzone portion of practice.

Rudy Carpenter fumbled the snap and didn’t look great overall, but he did have a nice touchdown throw on a slant to Benn.

Overall, I would say it was a good practice and the stands were full even in the heat.

26 Responses to “Bull Rush: Mr. Miyagi And All Things Day 3”

  1. eric Says:

    The usual outstanding roundup from Mr. White.

    Has Sabby been oficially surplanted as a starter?

    I havent heard boo about Reggie Brown.

  2. Derek 'OldSchool' Fournier Says:

    Nice work as usual. Would love to hear if you see Coach Wash addressing the items you point out.

  3. Dew Says:

    Great perspective. Thanks.

  4. Dew Says:

    Also just have to say that this site by far has the most comprehensive Bucs coverage. Great work guys.

  5. Sander Says:

    Great write-up. It’s good to hear someone offer some detailed analysis of the positions, and to put the hype into perspective.

    The note about the tempo is particularly interesting, because all I’d heard was how everyone looked like they were really fast and playing hard.

  6. BigMacAttack Says:

    I hope the Buc’s have someone on staff who reads the blogs and monitors these websites(specifically this one). This information provided here by SGW can only help the team. It seems though it is early in camp that Steve can easily see flaws and knows something that Todd Wash and the Staff do not. So if they take to heart these fireside chats the same way we do it would be a good thing. As much $$$ as they have wrapped up in GMC it would make sense if he had a part time tutor such as Steve to help speed his development and prevent bad habits early on.

  7. Pete Dutcher Says:

    The only problem I have with this is the personal opinions based on what? 2-3 days of camp? Right now, they are installing plays, learning them.

    There is a reason Raheem is limiting publicly open training camp this year…because obviously he does not want to show his hand for whatever they have planned.

    And I think it’s waaaay to early to start whining about a lack of competition for certain players, to accuse Roy Miller of not going full tilt and any number of things.

    Normally, I love reading your stuff, Mister White. This time…well I was at least a little disappointed…which is something I’m not use to with your articles.

  8. admin Says:

    Joe here,

    Pete Dutcher – Not sure what you were reading. Steve was praising Miller for going “balls to the wall,” among other stuff.

  9. Joe Says:

    I hope the Buc’s have someone on staff who reads the blogs and monitors these websites(specifically this one).

    If you only knew BigMacAttack. 🙁

  10. Joe Says:


    Thank you very, very much!

    Joe’s trying.

  11. Joe Says:


    Reggie Brown has played well from what Joe has seen.

  12. Brian Price Da Beast Says:

    Steve, don’ t be jealous of The Price is Right’s skills bruh bruh. That hateraide you been drinking, concocted through old mans envy bruh bruh?

    My boy B Piddy gonna stand up that oline and get to that QBibby bruh bruh.

    Hate not the skilz or B to tha P bruh bruh. For B Presha is gonna brang the B Pain bruh bruh.

  13. sgw94 Says:


    Ive learned that one way or another I wont please some folks who read my stuff and thats perfectly fine with me. But Id be remiss if I didnt point out that a) I repeatedly pointed out that this was just my take based on one practice and b) I actually praised Roy for his efforts. Maybe you dhould try reading it again? Or maybe not. Either way I write what I see. Can’t help it if ppl disagree.

  14. Joe Says:

    Brian Price Da Beast:

    English please. Joe doesn’t have the budget to go hire someone from Langley to decipher this. 🙂

  15. BibFortuna Says:

    Steve – Best camp breakdown read ever! Hope to see you do more of these and give us your expert take on the progress of the D-line. Putting Price’s performance in the correct perspective (i.e. against the 2nd team) is something that many websites have neglected to do (can’t blame them though – i’m rooting for him too).

  16. gotbbucs Says:

    Ryan Sims at Under Tackle is a nightmare I would really love to not have to see again. Actually, Ryan Sims at Nose Tackle is basically the same nightmare. I’m really hoping somebody better gets released by another squad so they can send Sims on his way.

  17. gotbbucs Says:

    I’ve noticed that stance that McCoy has too and I really hope somebody on staff has the balls to force him to correct that, at least a little bit, because if he doesn’t tighten that up a little bit he’s going to get washed quite a bit. Just watching the limited college film that I’ve seen from youtube it looks like Price has a much more balanced stance than McCoy has.
    I also had a question for you Steve. Do you think there’s a chance that the Bucs will try to get McCoy, Price, and Miller on the field at the same time on some obvious passing down? In that situation I think they could slide McCoy out to LE and move Price over to the 3-Tech. Move McCoy around, kind of how the Giants use Justin Tuck. They might just view Moore as an early down DE and then they’ll bring in the Price when they’re in the Nickel and slide McCoy out. Ha ,or maybe I’m just completely overthinking this.

  18. sgw94 Says:


    Id say you’re probably over thinking. I dont think McCoy would be our best option on pass rush as a left end.

  19. gotbbucs Says:

    I just noticed that he did really well out at LE when Oklahoma slid him out there from time to time, plus it would be nice to get both Price and McCoy in one-on-one situations on passing downs. Just a thought.

  20. Javier n Wimauma Says:

    What about Price playing LDE? He could really blow up the RT and TE imo.

  21. DRB Says:

    Roy Miller will be our best DT this year. It’s a long season, he’s a second year player who won’t hit the rookie wall this year and probably will make the biggest leap as far as improvement goes.

    At Texas, he played in a one gap system like the bucs run now. I’m pretty sure he played as light as 290lbs, but was just over 300-305lbs his senior year.

    When he got drafted by the Bucs, They immediately told him to start gaining weight (he was listed at 310) for the Jim Bates system. By the end of last season he was up to 325+lbs. Switching to the Bates system also means learning how to control 2 gaps instead of 1, something he didn’t do in college.

    I think everyone can agree that Roy was a bit of a “bright spot” in an otherwise bad interior D line. He also outplayed many, if not all of the D Tackles drafted ahead of him. He did that while gaining 20+lbs, learning a completely new technique, playing through injuries, and hitting the “rookie wall” 3/4 of the way through the season.

    This year we are back to 1 gapping, and he is already down to 305-310lbs. Couple that with him being a second year player with “NFL legs” under him and I think he will ultimately outperform both rookies this year. I also think he will make the coach’s decision on playing time VERY DIFFICULT.

    Don’t expect Miller to take a back seat to these new guys. McCoy and Price are more naturally talented than Miller, but I would be SHOCKED if they want it more than him. They are going to have to outwork this guy and that isn’t going to be easy.

    As camp, pre season, and the regular season unfold, you will hear Roy Miller’s name getting mentioned more and more. If our defense is going to hold up to teams (like Carolina for instance) trying to run the ball right at our rookie D tackles- it will be because Roy Miller is controlling his gap against the center and right guard.

    Keep in mind that we have a young qb and young recievers, we probably wont be playing with a lead most of the time. Teams will try to get a lead on us and then just grind out the clock on the ground. Our offense will need as many possesions as possible, to do that you need 3 and outs. We have to keep teams in 3rd and medium/long situations to have a chance this year. Stopping the run on 1st and 2nd down is paramount in getting off the field in 3. In this area is where Roy Miller will be the most important man on that D line.

  22. McBuc Says:

    Thanks for the great write up Steve. This sure beats the twitter like camp articles on TBO and Tampabay. Maybe Price was not as up as he was the last two days, probably to be expected though. I am also happy to hear Miller is on it. Keep up the good work.

  23. JK Says:

    Nice job Steve! I think this is one of your best post on this site. I do have one question for you. You mentioned early on in your blog that the defensive line were going three quarter speed in a drill. You said it didn’t sit right with you. In your opinion, are the coaches trying to get the most from the players or is there some leadership issues?

  24. MOBucs Says:

    I wish Steve would have been around for more than one practice before writing this. You can’t take much from one TC practice. The things he saw could be trends but who knows!

  25. McBuc Says:

    MOBUCS…Steve does state that a couple of times in the article. It is much better than the “Bucs are practivcing in the rain” one liners the news paper guys are giving us.

  26. oar Says:

    Mr White, Great read, again! Keep on, keep’n on! You the Man!

    Pete, It is, what it is. And that is, good stuff!