It’s Underwear Football

May 25th, 2023

Bucs coach Todd Bowles.

Joe has spoken to a few Bucs fans who wanted to know all about OTAs.

Joe could sense their frustration because either they didn’t like the answer Joe gave, or they thought Joe was dodging their question.

(Joe was asked about an offensive lineman. It is quite literally impossible to glean anything substantial from a lineman when they are not allowed to hit.)

Take wide receivers. It’s looking promising for rookie Trey Palmer and second-year guy Deven Thompkins because they are getting a lot of work with the ones thanks to Russell Gage getting hurt, again.

Yesterday when asked about young receivers, Bucs coach Todd Bowles had to temper any enthusiasm. It’s underwear football, you must remember. Bowles wants to see them in pads before making any declaration.

(For those unaware, underwear football is when players practice without any pads with the exception of their helmets. There is no hitting of any sort. Think flag football without the flags.)

“They all have a lot of speed and they have a lot of effort,” Bowles said of the young receivers. “We’re going to see once the pads come on, once you put it all together.

“We’ve got talent there. You’d rather make a hard decision than an easy one. We’ve got a lot of depth at that position so it’s going to be a very good preseason.”

So far — it’s only been two underwear practices and one open to media — knowing how much new offensive coordinator Dave Canales likes Thompkins and seeing the touches he had on Tuesday, it seems Thompkins will be involved this summer. He was a forgotten man with SpongeBob last year.

And Palmer has looked like he belongs.

Then Joe remembers the two best receivers Joe ever saw with the Bucs in underwear football, Tommy Streeter and Kenny Bell.

Now you know why Joe can’t get real fired up for underwear football.

10 Responses to “It’s Underwear Football”

  1. LakelandSteve Says:

    If I remember correctly, the infamous Dexter Carter (not the Super Bowl MVP safety, but the so called receiver from App. state) looked great in underwear football too. Then when real hitting started especially the actual games he would trip over a blade of grass whenever a defender got close to him. He didn’t like the smoke as they say.

  2. Rand Says:

    At this point, although too early to predict our stable of young receivers look very promising. Is Gage’s contract guaranteed a roster spot because I would hate to see us leave a young receiver off the 53 because of him.

  3. Duane Says:


    If Bucs fans are frustrated, it’s in not knowing how the team will perform this season, long before this season starts. Get ahold of yerselves, ya whiners! No, “we aren’t there yet”, and “it’s not Chrismas yet” and all the other things that little tykes whine about, but adult humans are supposed to be long done with.

    We won’t know how good the Bucs will be til the second half of the season, at least. Sometimes teams don’t really become their true selves until the last month of the season. It was only a couple of years ago after the Rams had a miserable late October-November, that fans and media were writing them off as a bust … then suddenly the Rams got hot in December and stayed hot through the playoffs and won the Super Bowl.

    “Patience, Grasshopper” was the admonition from the old Master to the young student in that 70s TV show, “Kung Fu”.

  4. Hodad Says:

    Our young receivers always look promising. Under Arains, and Leftwich they would never see the field. With those two, and Brady they would rather have a broken down vet than give a young player a shot. Hopefully that changes with Canales.

  5. Steven007 Says:

    Joe writes ” underwear football” like He’s a paid sponsor of fruit of the loom. I think it’s a fetish for him at this point.

  6. Bucs Lives Matter Says:

    Kenny Bell was a legend, in underwear.

  7. Dooley Says:

    I mean, there’s still things like fundamentals, techniques, and athletic fluidity you can gauge watching football players move w/o hitting each other. That’s the phase we’re in, guys are still learning and working on bettering themselves relative to their projected job responsibilities so when the pads come on there’s no half-stepping.

  8. Mike Says:

    Honestly, wide receivers are one of the easier positions to diagnose during underwear football, since the route running, speed, cutting, catching, etc are all similar, with the exception of no pads.

  9. Joe Says:

    Joe writes ” underwear football” like He’s a paid sponsor of fruit of the loom.

    Wish that was the case!

  10. Crickett Baker Says:

    There is a great article on Pewter Report about Devin Tompkins showing athleticism. He did parkour when he was 15 and is still into flips and stuff. It really impressed me. He is only 5’7″ tall (our shortest Buc) but he jumps over 38″ high!