Titans-Bucs Practice News, Notes & Nuggets

August 16th, 2018

So what did you really miss at Bucs-Titans practice yesterday in Nashville, the only one in which the teams will be in full pads and really hitting each other?

Joe was out there patrolling. But Joe must caution you about any report you read anywhere. Two things (minimum) always were happening at once, as the teams worked on two fields simultaneously and sometimes three.

Regardless, here are plenty of nuggets from Joe’s old school note pad.

*The Titans have an indoor weight room alongside their practice fields with an open garage-style door so players can watch the action and train. Vita Vea and Vernon Hargreaves spent a lot of time on the stationary bicycle. Vea had no support apparatus on his calf/ankle and he looks like he’s dropped a few pounds, hard to tell, of course. But he looked that way as well back at the team hotel. Right tackle Leonard Wester is also seen on the bikes.

*Before practice kicks in, linebackers coach Mark Duffner is barking to the entire defense, “Snap after snap! Snap after snap! Snap after snap!”

*Davante Bond still on floppy hat patrol with Kendell Beckwith. The Bucs’ linebacker depth is a question mark.

*Quick 11-on-11 tempo work in warm-up (Bucs on Bucs), often done by Koetter to get the juices flowing and it’s a way of practicing substitution. Joe was right in the Bucs’ bench area. So odd to see America’s Quarterback, Jameis Winston, screaming “2s” and holding fingers up to get his unit on the field.

*The dancing feet of Charles Sims twice failed him in very basic drills. Not good, though Sims did put a 2015/2016 flashback during a read-the-cut drill done at nearly full speed.

*Todd Monken is lecturing about tempo, being dialed in to what it’s supposed to be.

*Air conditioned benches on the Bucs sideline for about 20 players. Man, those felt cool on this muggy day. Joe didn’t see any Bucs using them, though.

*Nearly all bleacher seating for fans surrounding about two-thirds of the field areas. Some are covered with cushioned seats (must be for the expensive-seat holders) and others are open. Strict rules for fans on taking photos/video in limited windows. And it is enforced! Hats off to about 40 Bucs fans wearing their colors proudly. That’s more than Joe has seen in Jacksonville the last two years for joint practices.

*Titans linebackers are winning too often with Bucs running backs in 1-on-1, blitz-pickup work. Sims gets blown up. The rookies struggle but aren’t too bad. Jacquizz Rodgers appears to be the top Bucs dog.

*Coaches seem to be on Alex Cappa and Caleb Benenoch on this day. Benenoch doesn’t seem to be the same guy since whatever his injury was 10 days ago.

*1-on-1 receiver/cornerback work is a bit goofy. There’s a gargantuan edge to the offense. So Joe can’t go all oooh-and-ahh because Mike Evans worked over Logan Ryan and drew a flag on Ryan, or because DeSean Jackson caught a comeback route and looked sharp doing it. Sorry. Now Chris Godwin flat outmuscling rookie DB Dane Crulkshank on a 50-50 ball, that was very impressive.  The Bucs were sharp in this overall. It took a while for the first incompletion, Ryan Fitzpatrick to Chris Godwin.

*11-on-11 kicks up and look on the home page for the Ali Marpet back-to-back infractions. (See video) Fitzpatrack comes back with two short throws to Mike Evans, the latter a slant for a first down.

*Jameis fumbles the exchange with Evan Smith in second-team duty.

*Ronald Jones runs for no gain, followed by a screen to the right side for Jones that goes for about eight yards. No tackling to the ground allowed in practice.

*Joe moves to the other field and sees DE Will Clarke shining with the Bucs’ third-team defense. There’s also a little confusion in some plays for the Bucs. Mike Smith is screaming for recognition from his defense based on the Titans’ offense.

*The first-team defense returns and Adarius Taylor makes a play. With Kendell Beckwith yet to practice and Bond injured, Taylor looks like a lock to start at strongside linebacker.

*Jason Pierre-Paul is slow on the get-off and is no factor off the edge. Deep pass complete by Marcus Mariota and it was a one-hand grab. Joe didn’t see who hauled it in for the Titans.

*Noah Spence with a coverage sack that draws a lot of celebration from the Bucs bench.

*Bucs special teams coordinator Nate Kaczor heard screaming, “Ron, get your friggin’ pads down!” Joe is assuming he was directing that at Ronald Jones, a frequent target of Kaczor’s coaching.

*Read all about the Bucs’ offensive line squaring off in 1-on-1 drills against the Titans D-line. (full story on the JoeBucsFan home page).

*Brent Grimes is walking slowly with his head down coming off the field. Mariota completed a slant in front of Grimes to big receiver Corey Davis, their 2017 first-round pick.

*Kwon Alexander, Gerald McCoy and JPP are having a heated Xs and Os-looking conversation on the sidelines. You can’t say these guys don’t care. … And the defense was sparked after that.

*Kwon knifes in on Derrick Henry in the backfield.

*SACK! Kwon up the gut on a blitz. Full collapse of the pocket around Mariota, too.

*JPP is jawing hard with tackle Taylor Lewan. Titans head coach Mike Vrabel himself comes over to get Lewan away. Joe learned later that JPP had embarrassed Lewan in 1-on-1 work before that play and dropped a ton of smack on him, including comments that he should be humiliated because JPP is missing fingers. (Joe’s cleaning up a lot of language).

*Mike Evans and Fitzpatrick continue to display an ease and a chemistry. Jameis showing more zip on his passes.

*The Buccaneers’ first-team defense and Justin Evans is in nickel with Jordan Whitehead at safety with Keith Tandy. Lots of communication issues and Evans is getting barked at on where to line up. That work just didn’t look great. And part of that includes the Bucs getting looks for new cornerback De’Vante Harris, who just arrived from the Saints’ waiver wire.

*Chandler Catanzaro does not miss a kick!

*Dion Lewis has some success running wide on the Bucs. Kwon and Ryan Smith finally team up to shut down a wide run. JPP and Kwon rack up another sack each and plenty of trash talk points.

*O.J. Howard draws a holding call on safety Kenny Vaccaro with the offense. Who can really cover that guy?

*Fitzpatrick and DeSean Jackson make a rare appearance with the third-team. Jackson goes in motion and the two connect for roughly a six-yard gain. Dirk Koetter spent his share of time yelling out third-down situations to work on, so that felt like a first down.

*Most Bucs bailed quickly after practice and got on the first bus headed to the team hotel. Jameis spent at least 25 minutes after practice working on throwing. And then he did a news conference. And then he headed off to greet the Bucs fans Joe referenced earlier for quite a long time.

*And there’s more from yesterday’s session on the home page.

21 Responses to “Titans-Bucs Practice News, Notes & Nuggets”

  1. Tampabaybucfan Says:

    It seems to me that we are dominant with our passing game and have multiple weapons and very, very deep.

    This should be a lesson for us…….use the pass to open up the run…..not vice-versa…..

    Strike early, strike often….and finish by striking some more.

  2. 813bucboi Says:

    *Joe moves to the other field and sees DE Will Clarke shining with the Bucs’ third-team defense. There’s also a little confusion in some plays for the Bucs.

    Lots of communication issues and Evans is getting barked at on where to line up. That work just didn’t look great.
    there’s that “communication” break again……a staple in smitty’s defense….


  3. D-Rome Says:

    Great stuff, Joe. Thanks!

  4. Harry in Costa Rica Says:

    Sacks!! I am trying really hard to not drink the Kool aid this year. But it appears we have legitimate reasons for hope!

  5. Godeep66 Says:

    Great reporting Joe!!!! Glad to see Spence and JPP doing well. Worried about the dbacks but hopefully the DLines ability to get to the QB will offset their deficiencies. JW fumbled, that’s not news as he does that all the time. I also checked other Titan sites regarding Marcus M play: he was nearly perfect. But of course you would not report that as it does no fit your agenda. That’s funny. And why insult Joe and make things up? The sacks here of Mariota are not fabricated. As for drill work, Joe explained that drills are not football and two or three things are happening at once during these practices on multiple football fields. Nobody can see everything. Joe spent most of the 11-on-11 time watching the Bucs defense. –Joe

  6. Doctor Stroud Says:

    “Vita Vea and Vernon Hargreaves spent a lot of time on the stationary bicycle…Davante Bond still on floppy hat patrol with Kendell Beckwith.”

    Doesn’t Licht look up to Bill Parcells and Bill Belichick as his mentors? If so, why are there injured players in practice? Taking “mental reps”? Has that really worked?

    @Joe: you mentioned the Jacksonville practices, so here is a little nugget. On the local sports radio station (AM 930) yesterday, the hosts commented that although the Bucs looked fresher compared to the “spent” Jags by the time that they played the pre-season game, the players were thankful for the tough camp because that set the tone for the season and for new players coming into the organization. The players wanted other teams to have to “come up to their level of intensity” during joint practices. I would like for other teams to feel that way about the Bucs and our coaching staff.

  7. Buccaneer Bonzai Says:

    813bucboi Says
    “there’s that “communication” break again……a staple in smitty’s defense….”

    Third team defense, buddy. It;s not like they are the real defense.

  8. Buccaneer Bonzai Says:

    If we had a better option, I don’t think Charles Sims would make the team this year. Give Rodgers a good run blocking line and he can do well.

    I’m not all that confident in the RBs at all this year. I’ve never seen any reason to think Barber can carry the load. Maybe he can, but I have not seen it yet. HE got good yards per run in limited action. That’s it.

    He does seem to have the right attitude though. He knows this is his one chance to prove himself, and he seems intent on doing so.

    Ron Jones? Well, he;s a rookie and this is his first preseason, so I’m going to cut him a tiny bit of slack, but…the RB coach should have him holding a football constantly, with people trying to smack it loose. Even off the field. That’s how fumbles are fixed.

  9. jmarkbuc Says:

    You’re right Bonzai

    Our stable of backs ain’t all that.. Miami’s group looked great next to ours last week and Gore didn’t play.

    Twinkle toes has got to go……Maybe Phins will cut Ballage. Yeah, No.

  10. Lord Cornelius Says:

    Thanks for feeding us Joe 🙂

  11. Pickgrin Says:

    Thanks for the joint practice observations Joe. Good stuff!

    BTW – I heard it told that Vernon Hargreaves was initially VERY disappointed he had to miss out on joint practice – but once he was informed that it was strictly football and no joints were actually passed – Vernon shrugged it off and went back to working his stationary bike…

  12. 813bucboi Says:


    *The Buccaneers’ first-team defense and Justin Evans is in nickel with Jordan Whitehead at safety with Keith Tandy. Lots of communication issues.
    might want to re read that buddy…..doesn’t matter if its 1st 2nd or 3rd team defense…..there are still “communication” issues in smitty’s 3rd year as DC…..is he teaching the defense in German?….is he teaching it in sign language?….does he have a mine teaching it?


  13. Owlykat Says:

    Appreciate the notes, Joe. Refreshing to hear that Rojo actually caught a screen pass! Jameis’ fumble was not of the kind his doubter’s are familiar with—it was an exchange with Center Evan Smith, so it is hard to say whether that was on Smith or Jameis. I am pleased with the job Evan Smith did last week at RG. I have more faith in him as a RG than I do as a C. With Benenoch still recovering from injury and Caleb hobbled by all the time he wasted learning to play Center at the orders from Warhop, instead of concentrating on learning RG, where he is needed this season (since Seaton has done well at RT) so this week we now need Evan Smith back at RG.

  14. AlabamaBucFan Says:

    Still concerned with our running game. Seems like the Bucs are doing fine on Pass blocking but not opening up holes for the running backs. Last year our one-dimensional offense killed us. Let’s hope they correct it this year.

  15. Bucsfanman Says:

    Thanks for the notes as usual Joe! Great work!

    Pickgrin- LMAO! “Allegedly!”

  16. AlabamaBucFan Says:

    According to TN writer Travis May, Ronald Jones has had 2 fumbles today. Yikes.

  17. AlabamaBucFan Says:

    Also from TN twitter, JP is constantly in the backfield. Evans is having another great day at WR. Chris Conte is having a good day with two missed INT. Jameis passes have been sailing balls high most of the day. Better day for the TN DBs.

  18. D1 Says:

    Redzone d got lit up. MM went 4-4 4 TD’ s.

  19. I’m a Tandyman Bucs Fan Says:

    Pickgrin that’s funny!!! Good one right there.

  20. SOEbuc Says:

    Sounds like Smitty is going to listen to the people and let Kwon and LVD blitz this year. Thank goodness.

  21. I'm a Tandyman Bucs Fan Says:

    Looks like Smitty is going to listen to me and put the best 4 Back End guys on the field together……Evans, Grimes Whitehead and Tandy!!!!!! Let’s Gooooooo!!!!