Day 3 of training camp was under the bright lights of Raymond James Stadium on Saturday night, as the Tampa Bay Buccaneers welcomed fans to experience all of the sights and sounds of an NFL practice, with the added bonus of having several players available to sign autographs beforehand, as well as a handful of other interactive activities to do.
Below are some of my news, notes, observations and takeaways.
Bucs shuffle the deck, make roster moves
As fans were still filing into the stadium late Saturday afternoon, the team announced several roster moves, including the signing of four players, the release of two others, and the placement of another on the reserve/left squad list.
The four players that were signed include fullback Spencer Larsen, guard Jeff Olson, receiver Bobby Sewell and cornerback Mason Robinson.
According to the press release:
- Larsen comes to Tampa Bay after one season with the New England Patriots. Before that, Larsen spent five seasons with the Denver Broncos.
- Olson is an undrafted free agent who attended Bucs rookie minicamp last season, as well as Jets rookie minicamp this season. He attended Texas Christian University.
- Sewell was formerly of the Jacksonville Sharks of the Arena Football League, where he spent the last two seasons.
- Robinson is an undrafted free agent from Rutgers University. He attended Bucs rookie minicamp this year and he also tried out for the New York Jets this offseason.
In addition, the team announced that guard Jeremy Lewis and defensive back Nick Saenz had been waived and receiver Jerry Johnson left the team for personal reasons and was placed on the reserve/left squad list.
Let the games begin
While practice dominated the south end of Raymond James, on the north end of the field the Bucs held various competitions between groups of opposing units (i.e., offensive line vs. defensive line, receivers vs. cornerbacks, etc.). Some of the highlights of the competitions include:
- Kicker Lawrence Tynes, a recent Bucs signing, won in the trick-shot game of "BUC", styled after the popular basketball game "HORSE." The participants attempted kicks from all angles and distances, with Tynes beating out challenger Derek Demke.
- Running back Doug Martin defeated fellow back Brian Leonard in a running back skills competition.
- Rookie Mike Glennon beat out fellow signal-callers Adam Weber, Dan Orlovsky and Josh Freeman in the quarterback skills competition, edging out Orlovsky in a tie-breaker.
Under center, under fire
With all of the questions and uncertainty surrounding the long-term fate of Freeman, who is entering his final year under his rookie deal, there is, understandably, a lot of attention being paid to him and his performance.
Admittedly, it's early on in the camp process, but Freeman has really struggled to find a rhythm thus far. He has under thrown numerous receivers on various routes, and, in general, has just looked out of sync with his receivers.
Conversely, Glennon, a third-round choice out of N.C. State, looked relatively sharp tonight, particularly during the two-minute drill at the very end of practice when he connected on several very precise throws.
Take it for what it's worth, but Glennon displayed poise, stood tall in the pocket and delivered a very nice-looking ball most of the evening.
But remember folks, it was just a scrimmage. Freeman is still the starter.
Hey you look familiar...
As is usually the case this time of year, several Buccaneers alumni dropped by to take in the practice. Among them, kicker (and fan favorite) Martin Gramatica, defensive linemen Anthony "Booger" McFarland and Chidi Ahonotu, quarterback Shaun King, and recently-retired cornerback Ronde Barber, among others.
J.J. is available by email at BRJJRodriguez@gmail.com