Hoops, Defense And Learning

July 30th, 2017

Brent Grimes, left, and Freddie Martino fight for a pass Saturday. (Photo courtesy of Buccaneers.com.)

Just some scatter shooting from Bucs practice Saturday morning for your early Sunday/late Saturday reading pleasure.

Hoops Dreams

When the Bucs try to relax at One Buc Palace, a popular way to blow off steam is to play hoops. Per winning coach Dirk Koetter’s instructions, the Bucs have a basketball hoop. In the locker room, several players have basketball backgrounds but three stand out.

Mike Evans was a high school star hoops player in Galveston. Brent Grimes is so good at basketball that he toyed with the idea of retiring from the NFL and playing in the NBA developmental league.

But neither have the basketball resume of Demar Dotson. The right tackle for the Bucs was a two-time all-state basketball player in Louisiana and later played in 53 games for Southern Miss his junior and senior seasons. His role was an inside enforcer. And Dotson is not shy whatsoever in admitting that of all the players in the Bucs locker room, Dotson is the king of hoops.

Years ago, Dotson scoffed at Donald Penn’s perception he was a baller on the court. Now Dotson has competition for hoops skills,but still believes he rules the roost at One Buc Palace.

“Evans thinks he can beat me, period,” Dotson said. “I don’t know if he had a concussion or something to make him think that. But that is the mindset he has. He thinks he can beat anybody. He can’t beat me. He don’t want no part of this.”

Evans begrudgingly gave Dotson his due. He broke out laughing when Joe told him Dotson’s concussion line.

“He could probably knock me out,” Evans said. “But if he doesn’t foul me, I’m putting it in the rim.”

Dotson said flat out Grimes is too smart to try to challenge him.

“Brent knows better than to even come close to driving on me,” Doston said.

Frankly, Dotson said, he would rather not play Evans or Grimes in a game of hoops in the locker room until after the season.

“I don’t want to hurt them. We need those guys.”

Tired of underwear football.

Saturday was yet another day of underwear football. Per NFL rules, the first two practices of training camp must be underwear football. The third day can be “shells,” where teams wear shoulder pads and helmets only. The fourth practice? Pads!

As far as Lavonte David is concerned, let the hitting begin. Since OTAs started this spring, all the Bucs have done is practice underwear football. David has had his fill.

Underwear football is “very hard,” David said of trying to play defense without pads. “When you are out there on defense, you are just trying to impose your will. We go out there and try to play physical and, like I said, try to impose your will the very first play because that’s what we do. It’s hard right now, the way the league is being run right now, but we’ve got smart guys who go out there and play the same the right way and do it the way we want to do it.”

Quick learner.

Safety Justin Evans missed a good chuck of underwear football season this spring with an injury. In other words, he was on floppy hat patrol. So given he has been full-go for training camp, one could reason Evans is playing a lot of catch-up due to missed practices.

Evans doesn’t see it that way. He believes he has studied Mike Smith’s defense enough that he is about where he should be as a rookie finishing his second training camp practice.

Part of that is because he says he paid rapt attention while watching on the sidelines this spring.

“There really was no catching up because I was here,” Evans said. “I just wasn’t out participating. It was all mental, though. I was learning just like I was practicing. So there really is no catching up. It was just learning it in general. Just mental.”

8 Responses to “Hoops, Defense And Learning”

  1. Lamarcus Says:

    Glad to hear that our rookies are working the mental parts of the game in which most players fail. FootBall is football and its 99 percent part of the game.

  2. Louis Says:

    Glad to hear that Dot can defend the hoop…however I hope he has the same attitude defending our Jameis!

  3. Defense Rules Says:

    That photo of Brent Grimes defending against Freddie Martino is UNREAL Joe … incredible technique on Brent’s part & from behind he still got his hand in there. Your piece about Dots’ attitude about basketball had me LOL … can just see that 6’9″ giant saying “I don’t want to hurt them’.

    REALLY excited about our rookies this season. Expecting some great things out of that group. I’m convinced that OJ Howard will take the NFL by storm … he’s the total package. Justin Evans sounds like he’s making excellent progress now that he’s healthy & I’d predict that by mid-season he’ll be getting a lot of game-time. Chris Godwin is an unbelievable talent & will end up being the steal of the 2017 draft.

    Now that Kendell Beckwith is healthy I think he’s got an excellent chance to win the SAM spot & even if he doesn’t he’ll see a lot of playing time. Jeremy McNichols is still a question mark to me at this point because he’s still healing up from his injury but watching some film on him he sure does have the talent. And Stevie T is also a question mark at this point to me only because he & Siliga are so similar in what they bring to the table (convinced that the Bucs can only keep one of them on the roster). But if he can beat out Siliga, he’ll get his share of playing time too. Good times ahead.

  4. Pickgrin Says:

    DR – I wouldn’t be that surprised if all 6 of our drafted rookies make the final 53.

    And I agree about the photo. Awesome shot. Both players toes 3+ feet off the ground fighting for the ball. Love it! I’m gonna guess that Grimes won that battle and batted the ball away. Brent’s vertical skills at age 34 are amazing for a little dude who is only 5’9″. What an athlete.

  5. Nole on Sat- Bucc on Sun Says:

    Stupid hops..

  6. Buccaneer scotty Says:

    Nice 6ft over thow!

  7. stpetebucsfan Says:

    Agree Pickgrin and somebody gave it a great name…maybe you?

    Licht hit the “pick six”.

  8. SOEbuc Says:

    How large is this basketball hoop in the locker room? Is it regulation size or just one of those two hoop games like at the bar? I’m not quite sure how big an NFL locker room is.