Camp Observations

August 19th, 2021

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That’s a wrap.

The defending Super Bowl champs finished up an uneventful fourth week of training camp Thursday with a feisty scrimmage against the Titans. After 20 days of work at One Buc Place, Tampa Bay is relatively healthy.

That’s why Jason Licht is smiling heading into the second preseason matchup. The way Licht sees it, any practice without injuries is a heck of a practice.

Safety Jordan Whitehead has been sidelined and some of Tampa Bay’s reserve offensive linemen are dinged up, but Bruce Arians isn’t tossing and turning at night because reserve guard Sadarius Hutcherson is out with a knee injury.

Staying healthy is the No. 1 concern for any team during training camp. Three weeks before the season opener against Dallas, Tampa Bay’s most impactful players — Tom Brady, Mike Evans, Chris Godwin, Rob Gronkowski, Donovan Smith, Tristan Wirfs, Vita Vea, Shaq Barrett, Jason Pierre-Paul, Devin White, Lavonte David and Carlton Davis – are ready to go.

What more could you ask for?

Arians, who has dropped 25 pounds since last season, loved the two scrimmages against the Titans. Tennessee is a quality team and the Bucs were able to work on designed situational football drills.

Brady wasn’t happy with Wednesday’s sloppy scrimmage. He can live with a few dropped balls, but mental errors burrow under his skin.

The Bucs bounced back Thursday with a sharper focus — led by their most impressive player in camp.

Since the opening practice on July 25, Mike Evans has looked sensational. Instead of resting on his laurels, Evans is wearing out defensive backs of every stripe. On a team stacked with targets, he’s the No. 1 receiver for a reason.

Here’s some other observations from Camp Buccaneer:

Ryan Succop

* If Ryan Succop was a rookie free agent kicker instead of a reliable veteran, he might very well be on the chopping block. It has not been a good three weeks for Succop, but he earned the confidence of Arians, Licht and Brady last season. And given Tampa Bay’s madcap 11-year search for someone to split the uprights on a regular basis, Succop will be given every chance to work out the kinks when the games count.

* Not a day goes by without a teammate lauding the skills of Joe Tryon. If Tryon’s the real deal and Vea remains healthy, this pass rush could lead the NFL in sacks. But let’s remember this rookie out of Washington has yet to play a regular-season game. Let’s see how he fares against Tyron Smith, the 7-time Pro Bowl left tackle of the Cowboys, before we crown Tryon the next Von Miller.

* There was an emotional moment just before the start of Wednesday’s practice as Licht and Titans GM Jon Robinson embraced on the sidelines. Robinson impressed Licht during their time together in New England’s scouting department and when Licht arrived as Bucs GM in 2014, he hired Robinson as director of player personnel. While Robinson congratulated Licht on Tampa Bay’s majestic 2020 season, Licht returned the favor, applauding Robinson for turning Tennessee into an AFC power.

The Titans were 5-27 in the two years before Robinson took over from former Bucs executive Ruston Webster. Tennessee is 47-33 with Robinson calling the shots in Nashville since 2016, reeling off five consecutive winning seasons.

* It was nice to see fans in the bleachers after a one-year absence, but the Bucs did their rank-and-file supporters a disservice by catering exclusively to season pass members. Nobody is asking the Bucs to ignore the patrons who put up the hard cash, but what about the die-hards? The fans who showed up at Raymond James Stadium through a lot of bad football deserved a chance to see Brady and company up close and personal, too. On many days, there were enough empty seats in the stands to accommodate hundreds of loyal supporters who can’t afford season tickets.

Brady can’t play forever and there’s no guarantee this championship window will be open for long. Let’s not forget the common folk who spun through the turnstiles on Sunday afternoons while this franchise was spinning its wheels.

21 Responses to “Camp Observations”

  1. Hodad Says:

    I watched B.A.s news conference. Where did he lose 25 lbs? Looks the same to me. Maybe he should walk a little more, and golf cart a little less.

  2. Chris@Apple Roof Cleaning Tampa Says:

    There is, and always has been Mad Love between Jason Licht and Jon Robinson. I would have love to have been there, as Licht and Titans GM Jon Robinson embraced on the sidelines.
    I also think it was a great idea to practice with the Titans.
    They are an excellent team, and not even in our division, much less our conference.
    They say Iron Sharpens Iron, and I think both teams will benefit from these practices.

  3. DavidBigBucsFan99 Says:

    The wealthy have very little or no memory of what it is like for the “little people” or what it’s like to be one, because they’ve never been, nor do they want to. At least the rich who might have worked to get there might remember. We’re all here to put more money in their pockets and that’s all they want from us. Fans are a dime a dozen and they’re working with a bank full of money. Especially today we all could become rich if we’re willing to work for it. Gotta love living in America and the American way. Go Bucs !!!

  4. Swampbuc Says:

    Yes Hodad — Ira wouldn’t know anything, I’m sure he’s just making stuff up.

  5. mg Says:

    You die hards deserve better.
    Owners print money. Krafty gets $60.00 for parking.

  6. b4l Says:

    No injuries and no team improvement.

  7. Bird Says:



    Who were you before. I have a few guesses.
    Pretty sure i know who you did like here

  8. D-Rome Says:

    Agreed on all points especially your last two paragraphs.

  9. Stanglassman Says:

    Thank you Ira for pointing out that the Bucs organization should have opened up the training camp to the general public. Many families that are life long thick and thin Bucs fans can only afford to take the kids to training camp, maybe a preseason game. Most of the season tickets holders I know run their tickets through their business as a tax write off and don’t really follow the Bucs unless they’re winning.

  10. Drunkinybor Says:

    Thank you for speaking up about only season ticket holders allowed to watch training camp. The more this wheel squeaks the front office will hear it. I get rewarding the people who have a large financial commitment but when there’s hundreds of empty seats its stupid. Ten to one I say if they had like a lottery system and fans who can’t afford season tickets signed up. They could see who didn’t show up pick Count they empty seats then drae random names and send messages saying come on in you got a spot. It would super cool. Or forget a lottery have a first come first serve list online starting at a certain time and

  11. Drunkinybor Says:

    And keep that as the order you will call text the people it’s thier turn

  12. mark2001 Says:

    Hey Hodad….guys like Arians can lose 25 in four months and then gain it back in two.

  13. mark2001 Says:

    b4I…is obviously no Buc fan, unless today is the first post. Off to a shaky start. if that is the case. This team has improved in ways. But when you are going for a second championship in a row, requires a different touch. Push the rookies and ensure you keep the best new talent, get the vets reps and rest for a long season, and keep grinding. You are thinking like a fan not having been in a SB for a while. Maybe that is what you are?

  14. Buczilla Says:

    Good stuff Ira. The Glazers are no different than the vast majority of owners who pay lip service to the fans, but could give a flying F about them. We’ve had far worse ownership and I’ll take these leprechaun looking dudes over culverhouse any day. It could be far worse too, just look at the bs that’s going on in Buffalo.

  15. Jerry R Jones Says:

    Unless season ticket holders plead a case for the common fan not being granted admittance, I don’t see anything changing.

  16. mark2001 Says:

    Ira…when you see what is going on in Vegas and New Orleans with even season ticket holders, who knows how the season will progress. Let’s all just hope for the best.

  17. unbelievable Says:

    Good stuff Ira!

  18. DavidBigBucsFan99 Says:

    Ooh what’s going on in Boofaloh??? I only follow the Bucs so don’t read much outside them

  19. BA4President Says:

    @Buczilla We’re going to need you to stop holding back and tell the G’s how you really feel… Talk about a mixed review Haha

  20. rriddler Says:

    It was pretty much ONLY the season ticket holders and the fans of the opponent “who showed up at Raymond James Stadium through a lot of bad football”

  21. TOM Says:

    As far as Succup is concerned, the Bucs better not try and hide the kicker they drafted from Miami on the PS, he’ll never last.