Nuggets From Bucs OTA Practice

May 15th, 2012

The New Schiano Order was quickly established at One Buc Palace this morning for the Bucs’ first OTA practice after the draft. It was a stark, stunning contrast from practices of the past few years.

Rigid. Detailed. No wasted time. Players moved with a sense of urgency. Fundamentals were not just stressed, but demanded and polished in drills.

  • “Avoid contact. Be smart. Do it the right way. To be the best you have to be your best right now,” Schiano bellowed. Joe’s guessing Ric Flair is smiling somewhere.
  • It was very much like a college atmosphere. Lot of clapping from all the players during drills. Lot of yelling too, almost like a boot camp. Lot of enthusiasm.
  • “Attitude, attitude!” Schiano yells as practice drills begin. Then, a player Joe couldn’t make out felt the wrath of the New Schiano Order for not completing a drill to its fullest extent.
  • It’s not just the players who are expected to sprint between drills and stations. So too is Schiano. He watches practice at one field, then bolts to another field for a better view.
  • What appeared to be the first team defense in a scrimmage of sorts against the first team offense, first round pick Mark Barron was out there, to no one’s surprise. Aqib Talib and Ronde Barber were the corners and Ahmad Black as the remaining safety.
  • How much of a stickler to fundaments is Schiano? He had his players go through a tackling drill that Joe performed (daily) in high school. Four dummies were spread out in a line to represent holes a running back would run through. A ballcarrier would run paralell to the dummies as would a defender. The runner would go through each hole and the defender, with shoulders squared to the line of scrimmage, would wrap-hit the runner properly, wrapping his arms round the runner like Joe would Rachel Watson in a sweaty, heavy-breathing intimate moment. Then the two would disengage and run to the next hole and repeat the tackle/wrap-up. The way the Bucs horribly whiffed on tackling last year, this drill is sorely needed.
  • Defenders weren’t the only ones who had to endure a high school fundamental drill. Offensive linemen had to run drills through a cage of an apparatus that kept the linemen low to the ground. If they raised up too quick, they got a rude if not jarring awakening.
  • Running backs were not immune to the fundamental drills. Catching passes from quarterbacks, they too had to square their shoulders to the ball, then take off, biting the football.
  • Joe’s not sure what wide receiver Sammie Stroughter did wrong in one pass play but Joe’s pretty sure the priests at nearby Jesuit High School could hear Schiano yelling from their classrooms, “Use your arm, Sammie!”
  • Joe still is shaken at the sight of LeGarrette Blount catching so many passes. Why, Greg Olson had so many convinced Blount had the hands of a Helen Keller. Oh, and Blount was biting the football.
  • Seventh round pick, running back Michael Smith, got some reps in with the first team and, man, the dude has some quick feet.
  • There’s the Bucs version of the Packers sweep and Moises Madu scoots for a nice gain to the left.
  • George Johnson was getting a lot of work at left defensive end.
  • In one offensive line drill, pass blocking dummies were placed between each lineman’s feet so that on his first three or four steps backpedaling, he couldn’t step on a dummy. This was to improve footwork.
  • Remember the touchdown catch Mike Williams made in his first NFL game against the Browns at home in the 2010 opener? He duplicated that same circus catch this morning for a touchdown.

[Clarification: Just to be clear, in Joe’s description of the tackling drill above, at no point is the runner put on the ground. Once the defender wraps up properly, the two combatants disengage. It’s almost like a walk-through exercise.]

66 Responses to “Nuggets From Bucs OTA Practice”

  1. Eric Says:

    Yeah but can we beat Plant?

  2. Macabee Says:

    Those aren’t nuggets, that’s solid gold!

  3. Kelso Says:

    Plant sucks. Good stuff Joe.

  4. Eric Says:

    Anybody know who Free is bringing to the Prom? Open question since his wife was jettisoned.

    How is the toe line Joe?

    Plenty of water?

  5. Derek 'OldSchool' Fournier Says:

    Great update!

  6. Big Picture Guy Says:

    Someone tell Thomas that Blount was catching passes! He might be driven to an early drink this afternoon! I thought there was no physically possible way he could do it!?!

  7. The Dutcher Journal (Pete Dutcher) Says:

    Joe, articles like this remind me why I tolerate the spam filters here…very good work!

    “…shaken at the sight of LeGarrette Blount catching so many passes. Why, Greg Olson had so many convinced Blount had the hands of a Helen Keller. Oh, and Blount was biting the football.”

    I knew Blount would turn things around. Like I said all along…he has never been coached in the off season. He had nothing to draw from when he had to correct his issues. My prediction is that the Bucs will have an amazing running game this year.

    And, Joe, what do you mean by “biting the ball?”

  8. Big Picture Guy Says:

    I heard on 1010 with Justin that Ronde was taking most of his reps at safety as well, and the reporter’s quote regarding his permanent move to safety was “looks like that is happening.”

  9. The Dutcher Journal (Pete Dutcher) Says:

    Big Picture Guy
    Joe should mention that GMC is lining up at MLB…just to mess with Thomas 😉

  10. bucfanjeff Says:

    “And, Joe, what do you mean by “biting the ball?””

    High and tight…think Tiki Barber.

  11. Joe Says:


    Biting the football.

  12. HFXBUC Says:

    Thanks Joe… wicked update, keep ’em coming.

  13. The Dutcher Journal (Pete Dutcher) Says:

    Thanks, Joe 🙂

    High and tight…lol…I thought you literally meant he was trying to eat the football! rofl!

    I was like” talk about showing the football who is boss!”

  14. Dew Says:

    Awesome stuff Joe and love the humor. Helen Keller? LMAO. Hey we need to find out why Brian Price and Desmon Briscoe were no shows. Briscoe played well last year so I would hate to see him cut. And I’m very surprised Brian Price wasn’t there. He showed up hurt last year for those players only workouts. We need both those guys in camp.

  15. Lion Says:

    Where’s Eric Wright?

  16. NJBucsFan Says:

    I’d like to see the continued development of Briscoe. Best wishes to his personal issuses and hope he can get past it and focus on being a Buc

  17. SensibleBuc Says:

    As an ardent Blount Basher (I prefer being called a Blount Realist) this makes me happy to see that he’s showing his receiving skills.

    I’ve always said that his hands are fine…but his route running, pass protection, and ability to be an actual weapon in the passing game (he’s not exactly a quick twitch guy) had to be questioned. Hopefully he can answer some of those questions this year!

  18. Kryq Says:

    Ahmad Black was with the first team ? Read in another article he had two interceptions in practice today.

  19. musclehampster22 Says:

    Sounds excited, can’t wait for the season to start!

  20. Pirate Phil Says:

    How did v jax look?

  21. Dew Says:

    Defensive tackle Brian Price was held out of practice because of dehydration and a high fever, but is expected to be back at work Wednesday, his agent said.

  22. Scotty in Fat Antonio Says:

    Joe…are you and the media there for just 30 minutes or for the full OTAs?

  23. big007hed Says:

    Why was Eric Wright with the 2nd team?I thought it would be him and Talib with Barber in slot when he is not playing safety

  24. Buddhaboy Says:

    Joe, _ love u some rachel watson’

  25. JonBuc Says:

    Nice work, Joe….appreciate the update.

  26. thegregwitul Says:

    Great reporting, Joe. ‘Nuggets’ like this is what has me checking the site multiple times per day, good job!

  27. Joe Says:


    Hey we need to find out why Brian Price and Desmon Briscoe were no shows. Briscoe played well last year so I would hate to see him cut.

    Joe’s of the opinion Briscoe is as good as gone. He’s blown off a Schiano-led practice twice now. Schiano does not impress Joe as a guy very tolerant of that, especially with all the drama Briscoe has off the field.

  28. Joe Says:


    Ahmad Black was with the first team ? Read in another article he had two interceptions in practice today.

    He did.

  29. Joe Says:

    Pirate Phil:

    How did v jax look?

    About 6-5. Remember, they were in shorts and it’s May.

  30. Joe Says:


    are you and the media there for just 30 minutes or for the full OTAs?

    Today, we were there for the full practice, the only one we can watch this week.

  31. Joe Says:


    Thanks for all the compliments. Joe will have more stories later today and tomorrow from the OTA

  32. Joe Says:


    Why was Eric Wright with the 2nd team?I thought it would be him and Talib with Barber in slot when he is not playing safety

    Relax man. Players rotate in and out all the time. There were like eight different stations on three fields going on at the same time that Joe was trying to watch. Joe’s sure Wright was with the first team for a considerable amount of plays.

  33. Kryq Says:

    Where you able to take photos?

  34. Big Picture Guy Says:

    Joe, how did practice smell and taste today? Pungent? Delectable?

  35. Joe Says:


    Didn’t shoot photos today. Schiano keeps the team on the far sides of the fields, too far for Joe’s lens. Besides, Joe wanted to concentrate on the practice, which allowed Joe to have the notes above.

  36. Joe Says:

    Big Picture:

    Joe, how did practice smell and taste today? Pungent? Delectable?

    Smelled like Dez Briscoe is on some serious razor-thin ice.

  37. espo Says:

    Great stuff Joe. Everyone is encouraged again. I’m looking into freezing myself until the season starts.

  38. BigMacAttack Says:

    Check Bucs on facebook. They usually post a good amount of pictures after every practice. Like them on facebook, and the pics will show up for you. All pics are close ups and good quality. They will most likely post this evening or tomorrow morning.

    Good job Joe. I feel like we have an inside guy with you there, that won’t give us BS spin like many of the local beat riders. Just my opinion.

  39. BigMacAttack Says:

    Hey Joe, you needs a helper? I can hold the clipboard for you. Camera? Water bottle?

    I can get you Rachel’s phone number.

  40. Dew Says:

    You are probably right Joe about Briscoe. But we didn’t think Price showed up either until his agent said otherwise. Hopefully he had an excused absense for today. Like High School. LOL

  41. Lion Says:

    With V-Jax here now, we really do not need Briscoe around here. Though I do believe he has some talent and I would rather see him traded than straight up released. He is nothing more than depth to us really.

  42. k1ngAdroc Says:

    Joe, thanks for the in depth post. You gave us a real feel for what its like put there… perfect!

  43. Miguel Grande Says:

    Helen Keller had great hands, she just couldn’t see or hear the audibles.

  44. Joe Says:


    Two big differences, maybe three.

    1) Price’s job (this year) is pretty secure; Briscoe is on the bubble at best

    2) Price is still trying to recover from a major and freak injury that doctors have never seen an NFL player have; Briscoe has no such injury.

    3) Price is not involved in some very public, very tawdry triangle; Briscoe is, and such off field nonsense can be somewhat ignored provided it is not taking away from his football which it appears it very much is.

    Bubble guys on a terrible 4-12 team don’t normally have such a luxury. Throw in the fact Briscoe has not shown up at One Buc Palace for the first two practice sessions of the offseason, that’s just not smart.

    Given the fact Schiano is a no-nonsense kind of guy probably looking to clean house (hello, Tanard), Joe can’t imagine Briscoe being back. Briscoe seems to be begging Schiano to cut him loose.

  45. Joe Says:


    I can get you Rachel’s phone number.

    Don’t tease Joe!

  46. Big Picture Guy Says:

    LOL, Joe, thanks for playing along…

  47. CaliBucFan Says:

    Joe, thanks for the great article.

    For the plays you did see Wright in, how did he look?

  48. BigMacAttack Says:

    The Bucs just posted 35 pictures from OTA today on Facebook.

    Yeah Joe, I just need to see our team here real soon. I am Jonesing bad right now. I needs me’s some foosballllll. I think we are going for tour at 1 Buc on Thursday or Friday. I’ll have to check the calender.

  49. OAR Says:

    Glad your nuggets are tasty with real chunks of Bucs and not some processed/pressed and formed nuggets of crap! Thanks and keep up the great work!

  50. Joe Says:


    For the plays you did see Wright in, how did he look?

    Joe didn’t see Wright. That doesn’t mean he didn’t practice.

    It’s hard to describe for fans who haven’t been to training camp what the set up looks like. They are scattered all over creation.

    There are three fields and 85 or so players at roughly eight different stations, most at the far ends of the fields from where media is allowed (unlike fans at training camp, media can’t just go where they want).

    So unless the team is scrimmaging on a field close to One Buc Palace, it’s hard to tell who is doing what.

    Think of a big high school track meet where there is something going on all over the place, only with the Bucs it is spread out over three football fields.

    The team didn’t scrimmage all the time, maybe 30=40 minutes or so.

  51. Northend Says:

    Johnson at left end.nice..if he goes balls deep this pre season like last year he has the potential to be a handful for opposing o’s.that may just be our surprise diamond on this years squad.i think big things are ahead for that young man.

  52. funkymunkey Says:

    I love it…our guys will be in great shape by the time the season starts and that will translate in great measures to the field. I love to hear the emphasis being put on keeping your shoulders square and moving forward the right way! Obviously Ra never did drills like this. Hearing this makes me so ready for September. Our guys will be in great shape and have the fundamentals imbedded into their brains by that point!! And to hear Schiano is sprinting as well shows the players his commitment as well. Thank you Joe for these “nuggets”. I took it more for a gold mine rather than just nuggets. GO BUCS!!!!!

  53. SilenceTheCritics Says:

    I LOVE the thought of Black and Barron as our starting safetys. Yes, I’m a huge Gators fan and Black doesnt have the measureables but the guy is a game changer. Really hope he gets a chance this year!

  54. RichinNC Says:

    I bet those tackles took forever for the guys returning. I mean wrapping up, what the hell is that?

  55. CaliBucFan Says:


    Thanks for the clarification.

  56. Theodore Says:

    OMG, Joe! Please tell me you didn’t post this while practice was in progress?!

    Don’t want you to get Coach Schiano’s wrath. He checks everyone’s social media posts after practice.

  57. Macabee Says:

    Get used to walk-throughs. Padded practices are all but a thing of the past under the new CBA. One of the big changes is the removal of two-a-days. Teams are no longer allowed to conduct multiple padded practices in a single day. Instead they can have one padded practice limited to three hours with any second practice up to a four hour limit being a walk through.

    During the 17 game regular season, they can have a total of 14 padded practices. More specifically, teams can have 11 padded practices during the first 11 weeks of the season, with two padded practices permitted in a given week only once. Then, for the final six weeks of the season, a total of three padded practices may be conducted.

    During the post-season they are allowed one padded practice per week.

  58. passthebuc Says:

    That was one of the best looking women you have ever featured on your cover.

  59. 1976Buc Says:

    Did I hear Martin did not participate today because of a hamstring injury? Hmmmm.

  60. srqrr Says:

    we may miss Briscoe’s production, this gives Ed Gant a chance to show up, do we know what Tiquan can do?

  61. Stevek Says:

    Peace out Briscoe,

    Don’t need the drama. He and Dwight Coward can have more time to argue about who knocked up who.

  62. Buc4Life Says:

    I’m not a blount fan,but any improvement by any member of the team only helps the team. I’m glad to hear that about blount ,thx.

  63. 941-Bucs Says:

    Awesome post.

    I like the sound of how aggressive they are drilling disciplined football again.

    I am happy to hear about Blount stepping it up this year. Having him have his 1000 yard season with Martin potentially being able to do the same. Other teams are going to have nightmares on trying to stop this onslaught!

    My surprise is Amhad Black! I loved the pick up when he was drafted and had high hopes for him (he was a play maker in college) . I really hope he can keep stepping up and take that other safety spot. It would help 2 folds, 1. Keeping Rhonde at the CB spot allowing it to stay strong (with or with out Talib) 2. Putting 2 very talented young safeties to play the back end.

  64. 941-Bucs Says:

    Well Looks like things aren’t looking any better for Briscoe!

    That’s okay, I like Sammie Stroughter much better anyways!

  65. Joe Says:


    Don’t get too excited about Ahmad Black at safety and Ronde back at corner. Schiano was trying all sorts of different combos and packages. This is just what Joe saw for a couple of plays. Way too premature to lock that in as the defense that will take the field in September.

  66. 941-Bucs Says:

    Oh i know Joe~

    I was just giddy about Black finally showing up on the practice field.