By Leo Haggerty

Another indoor practice for the Buccaneers on Sunday afternoon caused by the weather.  Not the usual rain and lightning issues but a heat index that hovered around 106 degrees.  That’s a little bit too warm to be outside cooking in football gear.

Plus, it was a half-shell day which computes to helmets and shoulder pads only.  The indoor complex has definitely paid for itself just during the 2019 training camp.

Had a chance to catch up with HC Bruce Arians for the first time since the 30-28 exhibition season loss to the Steelers in Pittsburgh.  The Bucs head honcho was kind enough to answer the first two questions that I asked because I needed clarification on a couple of things that transpired Friday night at Heinz Field.

Check out those two responses especially if you had already thrown one specific defensive back under the bus for getting burnt on a long pass completion by the Black & Gold.  That, as you see below, wasn’t the case.

That leads me to reminding my readers of the one major postulate when watching the National Football League.  That happens to be “Never assume what you think is happening unless you know what should be happening” and the only way to find that out is to go to source.  Which I did and you can see that below.

LH : Was the opening  drive Friday night against Pittsburgh scripted or did Offensive Coordinator Leftwich go on his own?

BA : They were all scripted. He goes on and off the script.

LH : On the long pass completed by the Steelers early, was that a busted coverage?

BA : Yeah, the safety was supposed to be over the top.

LH : It was Cover 4?

BA : Yes, Cover 4.

LH : With all the talent here, will it be hard to get the roster down to 53 players?

BA : It always is. It is a good thing. We’re short some spots and we’re deep in others, so maybe we can flip some with other teams and get what we need.

LH : Are you looking forward to the upcoming joint practices with the Miami Dolphins?

BA : It’s a great thing. We get two full practices against somebody else, getting all of the situations covered against somebody else. And, we don’t have to play our guys as much in the game because we’ll get so much good work together.

LH : It looked like there was only one busted assignment from the offensive line in the first drive of Friday’s game.  Was that the case?

BA : Yeah, it was not a bust.  We just got beat but Jameis made a great play getting out of there.  He got a first down. It was a well-executed drive.

LH : You said before the game you were concerned with mental mistakes.  How did the players handled that on Friday night?

BA : Not very well for the young guys. For the starters and most of our second team, it was pretty solid. Our young receivers had a really bad night. We had 37 mental errors on offense and they had probably 21 of them.  They better pick their stuff up for this next game.

LH : Were you happy with the offensive tempo on Friday night?

BA : Yeah, when you have 95 snaps on offense in a preseason game, that’s hard to believe.  Our guys got up and hey got rolling.  We were in a two-minute situation so that kind of sped that clock up a little bit. We were in half and the whole fourth quarter.

LH : You talked about now being able to work the backs on pass blocking due to the concussion protocol.  How can you rectify that?

BA : It’s tough. We just keep doing it in practice.  Not one-on-one but in practice, we blitz enough so that they’re getting better and better.

Our photo-journalist Trace Crisp is the man with the glass again.  Enjoy.