By Leo Haggerty

The Pewter Pirates, after a much needed day off, got back into the swing of things on Thursday with their first night training camp practice.  Sadly, the practice took place at the indoor facility due to some extremely volatile weather near One Buc.

For the most part, it was not a sharp practice on both side of the ball.  There were very few plays where both the offense and the defense executed efficiently.  The majority of the time, either the guys in white trying to score or the guys in red defending the goal line won and won big. The plays where both sides of the football accomplished what they had planned on that specific play were few and far between.

It did make for some exciting viewing by the fans, who were mostly female attending the Buccaneers Women of Red promotion.  Most likely, after viewing the practice tape, the coaching staff had much consternation over a majority of the performances by the Bucs players as well.

So far, shaping up as the biggest battle in training camp is the special teams one for kicker.   Both Cairo Santos, who finished last season as the Buccaneers placekicker, and Matt Gay, the 5th round draft pick of the franchise this year, are neck and neck after the first week of training camp.  Gay, from Utah, has the stronger leg when it comes to long range field goals but both have shown uncanny accuracy from inside 50 yards.  I’ll keep an eye on that one for the rest of training camp.

I’m starting to feel more comfortable asking HC Bruce Arians questions at the post practice interview session.  For that reason, you’ll see at least three, but probably at least five queries of the Buccaneers head honcho.

Remember, for the readers that have come “late to the party” when it comes to the responses from the King of the Kangol.  They’re, for the most part , brief and to the point as you will see below.

LH : It didn’t look like the quarterbacks were able able to get into a rhythm today?

BA : You can’t when everybody drops the ball. We dropped more passes, the tight ends and receivers, today than we have all year.

LH : What do you think Gay’s range is?

BA : In here? Probably 70. Cairo hit one outside with the wind 57 the other day, but that was a 30-mile-an-hour wind at his back. In here, it’s been around 50.

LH : Is it harder to get a pre-snap read against a 3-4 defense?

BA : Totally.  You’d never know which four of those guys is coming. In a four-down line, you know who’s coming and it’s pretty easy.

LH : You do a lot of splitting out the tight ends.  Doesn’t that put a lot more pressure on the tackles to protect the quarterback?

BA : Yeah, it’s either four wides or putting a tight end out there. We’re not going to have them in there blocking. That’s not their forte. They may chip. We’ll help our tackles with chips, but people know how to take that away. Your tackles have to block.

LH : Do you plan on utilizing a rotation on the defensive line due to the heat in Tampa?

BA : Yeah, we want to create that anyway and we’ll even do it in the dome. We want to have fresh guys in there all the time.

All pictures were provided by photo journalist Trace Crisp.  Enjoy!