Ex-NFL Playcaller Picks Clear Standout Star Of Bucs Practice

August 8th, 2022

Late-round fantasy pick?

One of Tom Brady’s good buddy’s soaked in every minute of Saturday’s Bucs practice and talked to various key figures at One Buc Palace.

Joe’s referring to Brady’s early playcaller/mentor in New England, retired NFL offensive coordinator Charlie Weis.

(Before the Weis bashers emerge, keep in mind Weis guided Vinny Testaverde (Jets) and Matt Cassel (Chiefs) to Pro Bowl seasons, in addition to Brady.)

Weis spoke about his experience in Tampa on SiriusXM NFL Radio and named the Buccaneer who caught his trained eye on Saturday. The often cranky Weis was dead serious and filled with rare enthusiasm.

“The one guy that stood out to me over and over again in this practice was Giovani Bernard. He looks so much faster than everybody else. I mean, everything he did, it was with so much quickness,” Weis said.

“A healthy Giovani Bernard is going to catch a lot of balls. A lot. He caught a lot in this practice. I mean, he looked quick. He was the guy who stood out to me in the entire practice.”

Joe’s not surprised. Bernard has looked smooth and healthy this summer, and look for him to win the returner job. More important, Bernard caught three touchdown passes last season in limited work (23 catches).

If he can stay healthy, in what’s now his second season in the Bucs offense, Bernard getting plenty of third-down work and ending up with 50 receptions and 5 touchdowns in his pocket wouldn’t stun Joe at all.

The rookie love for Rachaad White is exciting and nice and fun for reporters, but Joe wouldn’t bet against Brady having more trust in Bernard. And Brady’s trust is everything.

45 Responses to “Ex-NFL Playcaller Picks Clear Standout Star Of Bucs Practice”

  1. DoooshLaRue Says:

    That’s good to hear because he hasn’t done much since he got here.
    TB needs to get him the ball more out of the backfield.

  2. Maniac Buc Says:

    Bernard will not be returning kicks. In an emergency, possibly. As the full time guy, absolutely not!

  3. HomerSimpsonRocks Says:

    If the 3 new interior offensive lineman can keep pressure off Brady, the Bucs should have a really dangerous offense this year.

  4. PassingThru Says:

    Gio really needs to work on his blocking.

  5. Chris Tucker@Apple Roof Cleaning Tampa Says:

    Whoever wins the job, be it White or Bernard, it is important to us.
    IMHO, it will be very important to us beating the Saints.
    They already matched up well against us, and they are vastly improved too.
    But their secondary will have their hands full downfield, covering our receivers.
    This is why they are going to be very vulnerable to a back catching a pass out of the backfield.
    Honestly, I am pulling for White vs Bernard, because he has more sheer speed.

  6. Allbuccedup Says:

    If hes faster than everyone else we must have a very slow team 4.53 40 and 33 inch vertical.

  7. Goatfarmer Says:

    Gio wins the job, he’s already won the job. Ask Brady.

    White may nudge Vaughn for the “spell Lenny” role but I seriously doubt it. Rookie RBs generally don’t know what they’re doing play in and play out.

  8. Casual Observer Says:

    I hope Bernard does return kicks. If he can do a good job. We have been pathetic in that area in recent years; especially last year.

  9. SB~LV Says:

    Rookie WR Devin Henderson has his head screwed on and despite his small size he is a FOOTBALL player. I can’t wait to see what he does in the next 3 games, I think he will flash

  10. Goatfarmer Says:

    Say goodbye to Dardung.

  11. Tampabaybucfan Says:

    Who is Devin Henderson?

    Gio looks good when he gets the ball but he doesn’t get it much……

  12. Steven007 Says:

    Chris, I would argue that the saints are not vastly improved. Their quarterback is coming off an ACL. They lost their pro bowl left tackle. I haven’t heard it announced yet, but their primary running back should be suspended for at least a quarter of the season at some point. They lost the leader of their secondary and their other starting safety so they’ll be two new guys back there. And Thomas hasn’t caught a meaningful football in nearly two years. And adding to that fact, Winston is a much much different quarterback than Brees was. With Thomas it’s all about timing. So while I still think they’ll be a thorn in our side. I’m not sure where you get vastly improved from.

  13. Maniac Buc Says:


    1) I have really good insight that Darden is almost a lock to make this team. I’m sure Joe does also. That is why he angling because he literally hates the thought of Scotty being gone.

    2) Even if Darden doesn’t make the team, it won’t be Bernard returning kicks. He not even being considered honestly.

    3) Any grown man who calls another grown man out of his name has to be as immature as they come. That’s the difference between you and I. I keep it football, y’all make it personal about Darden because y’all crush so hard on Miller.

    4) Even if Darden is cut, Miller won’t make the team. Darden could be cut if they decide not to keep 7. Miller will be gone even if they do keep 7.

  14. geno711 Says:

    I think Weiss overall had a good offensive mind. I think for an NFL guy has ranking of talented players a little under the average of most. That became quite apparent with his stint as a head coach.

  15. Bucs Win Says:

    Dardung???? lol that’s outstanding!!

  16. Dooley Says:


    You forgot they also signed “Dirty” Dan Sorenson who’s kind of like Sabby Piscetelli reincarnate

  17. TBChucky Says:

    “Dardung” is killing it in camp and playing much quicker with more experience in the offense. He’ll make the team.

  18. Matt in St. Pete Says:

    Gio is a great receiving back. I was shocked he didn’t get more action last year, I guess he was battling nagging injuries all year? Joe? He looks like a receiver out there when he plucks the ball out of the air. White just has such grace and patience and blocks pretty well so I just don’t know how he gets on the field that much.

    My standout, just like I said when we signed him is Russell Gage JR. I don’t know how we got him for so little money, he’s like Isaac Bruce 2.0 but faster with effortless speed (4.42). When I saw the signing I was pumped but didn’t even believe it at first. He absolutely embarrassed us pretty much every time he played us. It wasn’t as bad as what he did to the 49ers, go watch those highlight reel catches lol. The real highlight play I remember was when CJ HEnderson jammed him really hard and aggressive on the release, he got all up in his chest but Russell had the strength to run a nasty route, get open and catch the ball off rhythm. You can’t ask CJ Henderson to do a better job and yet Russell still got a catch.

    Has it sunk in yet that Julio Jones is our 4th WR?

  19. Tony Says:

    They just haven’t used Bernard as much as they should. He can catch & he can run & he was very.good in Cincinnati. They should use him more now. Especially if Fournette is still looking like a TE or a DE. Maybe they could just move Fournette to TE or DE & let him stay at the weight he’s at.

  20. Tony Says:

    Would love to know what the Brady/Julio conversations are like.

    Brady: “Hey remember when we won that Super Bowl against you guys?”

    Julio: “You know Tom we were starting off just fine until you started being up all this.”

  21. Bird Says:

    Its interesting. This site has done a great job with camp notes. There is another site as well (but not as good as joes)

    And yes bernard’s name has come up a bunch. White and lenny as well. Havent seen vaughns name really at all. Wondering if vaughn will be odd man out this year. Maybe vaughn got some more looks being a arians/ licht draft pick. Bowles has no allegiance to him. Running backs being able to catch could push vaughn into 4 spot. Maybe i am wrong but being a possible return guy as well helps out bernard in the end . Cause do they keep 4 rbs/ do they keep 4 tightends? When they really want to keep 7 receivers

  22. Hodad Says:

    White, and Vaughn will get to show what they got real soon. Preseason Lenny we won’t see much. I’m thinking second preseason games starters get a quarter than put in bubble wrap till opener. Good receiver battles, and who sticks as returner. Of course all eyes will be on the Trasker. Hope he can beat out Griffin!

  23. Bird Says:


  24. Bird Says:


  25. Goatfarmer Says:

    All eyes on The Trasker! Indeed. I wonder what the over/under is on his preseason interception total?

  26. Bird Says:

    Its interesting cause your site does a great job with camp notes. There is another site doing the same as well.

    Bernards name comes up a bunch. White and lenny too. You know whose name does not? Vaughn. I wonder if he is the odd man out this year. Vaughn was a arians / licht pick and therefore, bowles has zero allegiance to him. In this offense which could struggle to run ball with 3 new players at the interior, rbs better be able to catch and run. Especially in 3 or 4 receiver sets. That may put vaughn in the 4 spot. I could be wrong but with bernard being another return option, he could be safe. Cause do bucs carry 4 rbs / 4 tightends with no gronk / when they really want to carry 7 receivers. Could be interesting.

  27. SB~LV Says:

    Find the Trask interview on the Bucs YouTube channel, it was post this year’s draft. His confidence and speaking manner was less than inspiring, maybe it was just my read but he didn’t sound confident to mean

  28. ocala Says:

    He was phenomenal returner in college

  29. Joshua porter Says:

    Hey Joe’s ira got a shout out on pft this morning about gruden.

  30. Eddie Marz Says:

    Bernadi stinks and so goes Charlie Weiss. Give me a break.

  31. Defense Rules Says:

    It’s all about who does Tom Brady trust the most, and IMO that’s Lenny followed by Gio. Both are seasoned vets who know what it takes to excel game-in & game-out.

    Both come through in the clutch. Lenny caught 69 of the 84 passes thrown to him last year (82.1%) for 2 TDs & 30 first downs. Gio did almost as well proportionally with fewer targets, catching 23 of the 29 passes thrown to him last year (79.3%) for 3 TDs & 8 first downs.

    Personally wish the Bucs would used more ‘Thunder & Lightning’ backfields (hey I still miss Alstott & Dunn), using Lenny & Gio in those roles. Not sure how effective they’d be in today’s game, but they sure were fun to watch.

  32. GOB Says:

    I think Charlie Weiss is way off on this one. Many here were saying the same thing last year. Gio is 30, with a rookie on his heels. I think that explains his showing through one week of camp. Joe is delusional to believe he could have 50 grabs. Even if he makes the team, and stays healthy, there just aren’t enough balls to go around.

  33. SB~LV Says:

    I am giving Darden a break for his rookie year, Geesh he played at a tiny school against tiny competition. I saw improvement last year and he is having a good camp. I think Devin will gran Dardens roster spot this year. Just a better player

  34. PassingThru Says:

    Again, pass protection. The O Line will likely be inconsistent, at least at the start of the season. Bernard is a passing-down RB, and that entails a responsibility to block when required. He wasn’t very good last season at that dimension last season, and that’s something he needs to improve upon.

  35. captivajim Says:

    Bernard hasn’t done much since he’s been here at all ?? last yr -he hardly played many snaps ?

    So , he can catch–but so can Lenny who can run thru people. And , everything I read about White (who was a receiver) can also catch & reportedly is pretty fast …

  36. SOEbuc Says:

    “The rookie love for Rachael White is exciting and nice and fun for the reporter’s. “

    Are you excluding yourself, Joe? I’ve heard plenty of huge rave from JBF before PS game one. I haven’t read of any big plays from White in camp, but hopefully he is looking well and developing.

  37. SOEbuc Says:

    *Rachad White

  38. Duane Says:

    He has a role to play, but it is small unless Lenny goes down or needs a breather. You dont pull a 3 down back off the field. Bernard is a good change of pace player, but most defenses will recognize what his assignment is when he comes in on third down. He may have good hands, but I dont hear any mention of his ability to pick up the blitz.

  39. D-Rok Says:

    To paraphrase the great Oneil, YA’LL should be grateful to have the steady veteran presence of Gio on this team. Everybody knows the Bucs can’t develop RB talent, so it’s a good thing Gio already came with a skill-set. Don’t sleep on this guy – he’s a good RB in reserve. Not the RB he once was, but he’s a great backup. Whether he can “breakout” this year is to be seen, but despite the horrible Bucs coaches, the guy can still play. Child, please.

    Impersonation over. I like Gio and glad we have him as a reserve.

  40. JeffreyLane77 Says:

    In years past a “Brady style” 3rd down offense would use the running back to pick up a blitz, chip block and or be the short yardage outlet to possibly catch and run for the first down. I am of the mind Fornette isn’t that back. But last year Fornette was catching passes 10+yds deep and carrying the offense for entire drives. Bernard was specifically brought in to be the 3rd down back. But I would love too see two back sets on 1st or 2nd down. A backfield with Fornette and Bernard opens up play action opportunities on 1st and 2nd down. Add a tightend to either block or catch and all of a sudden we have a multifaceted offense on 1st and 2nd down. No more running into the back of the offensive line for little to no gain. A two back set we can play action pass out of, will keep defenses guessing. It will also improve our running game. Imagine a two back set that Brady can use audibles to change the play at the line after reading the defense. They can change up the audibles each game to account for different teams defensive looks and players. It’s pretty damn exciting. That’s why teams value three down backs. It just opens up the playbook to all sorts of possibilities. I personally don’t wanna see Brady throwing as much as he had to last year. At least in the regular season. Last year opposing defenses knew what we were doing by our running back personnel. For example 1st down with Rojo in the game guarantee run play. We certainly had running back by committee but each back had tbier weaknesses which would telegraph what our offense was trying to do. Fornette was the closest thing we have had to an every down back for awhile.

  41. Orlando Kevin Says:

    I was at camp on Sunday morning and Giovanni looked good. But on one play with only 1 guy to beat on a long run, he got caught by the rookie Zyon.

  42. Chris Tucker@Apple Roof Cleaning Tampa Says:

    Rasheed White ran a 4.4 40 Yard Dash https://www.nfl.com/videos/rachaad-white-runs-official-4-48-second-40-yard-dash-at-2022-combine

  43. Michael Says:

    Ive been telling everyone that Gio is gonna surprise a lot of people this year . He now grasps the offense and hes healthy . Were talking about a guy that has been top 5 out of the backfield his entire career.
    He will be #1 this year .

  44. Goatfarmer Says:

    Y’all gonna be shocked when Trashk and Dardung hookup and win starting positions. Y’all never gave a young player a chance because all y’all care about is winning games instead of developing losing players that y’all know they know how to lose, to lose harder!

  45. Wild Bill Says:

    Hmm seems to me Giovanni goes down too easy. Good hands, average speed, not all that shifty, no power. So about all he has is good hands? Correct me if I am wrong.