By Leo Haggerty


The big news coming out of Buccaneers training camp for Week 3 was that the first pre season game will be this Saturday.  For the first time since the last regular season home game in 2019, the Pewter Pirates will play before a home crowd where fan capacity is not limited.

So, what happened in 2020 that the fans missed?  Let me enlighten you in case someone was stuck in a quarantine scenario without access to the outside world.

The addition of QB Tom Brady.  Tampa Bay returning to the playoffs.  The Bucs turned into road warriors by defeating Washington and New Orleans then Green Bay.  Finally, the Buccaneers became the first National Football League franchise to win the Super Bowl in the home stadium.

This was the first time team would take the field at home as the reigning possessor of the Lombardi Trophy.  Granted, the 19-14 Bengals victory wasn’t the result the home faithful wanted but it wasn’t a contest that counted.

Below are the postgame questions that I asked HC Bruce Arians and QBs Blaine Gabbert plus Kyle Trask along with LB Joe Jones and OLB Joe Tryon.  Enjoy.

LH : How do you think Ke’Shawn Vaughn played tonight?

BA : I thought he played lights out. He made a hell of a play as a gunner. He ran the ball well, blocked well. I thought he made a really nice step, especially his special team snaps. We know he can run and we know he can catch. Those plays on special teams were big for him.

LH : On the two point play, could you have taken a delay and then backed it up and kicked the extra point?

BA : You could have called a time out or you could have taken a delay of game. Or you just could have ran the damn fake. That’s what we wanted to do.

LH : Was it nice to finally go against someone in another colored jersey?

BG : Yeah it was. Just the monotony of training camp, it’s hard to, day after day after day, go against the same guys. So anytime you can break that up going against a defense, get different looks going against different guys, see how guys stack up one-on-one.  We got a lot of man coverage tonight so it’s going to be fun to watch the tape to see where we can improve on, but it’s fun just to change things up.

LH : Do you still get the butterflies before a game?

BG : Yeah, it’s football.  I had a youth football coach that said if you don’t get the butterflies before a game then you don’t care enough about it.  You get that adrenalin rush.  You get the tickles in the back of your neck.  It’s fun whether it’s a pre season game or a regular season game or an NFC Championship or a Super Bowl.  It’s because you care about what you do and how you perform.  You’re always going to want to do that.

LH : Is it hard to prepare for a game when you have absolutely no film on a opponent?

KT : It was a little tough.  We found some clips on their scheme.  We had a little bit of knowledge on their defense going in.  We’re just trying to go out there and everyone is trying to make their reps count.  We had a lot of guys playing and, I think, we had a good effort out there.  Some things just didn’t roll our way tonight.

LH : Your first NFL pass wasn’t an easy stop route but a 60 yard bomb down the field.  Was that the plan?

KT :  No necessarily but I have no problems launching it if they give it to us.  They did a good job of covering us up on the first few guys in our progression.  I saw Travis (Jonsen) got past their back safety and I thought I would air one out and give him a shot.

LH : When you were at Florida, you had a great group of receivers to work with.  Then, you come to Tampa and there’s another great group of receivers.  How did you time at Florida prepare you for this?

KT : Yeah, every receiver has their own kind of style.  I was fortunate enough to play with a ton of great talent at Florida.  Here, there’s a bunch more great talent.  They are kind of different in their style and they do a great job.  The whole team is super talented and I’m just happy to be in this building.

LH : Was it nice to finally hit someone in a different color jersey?

JJ : Man, it get’s tedious hitting your own guys.  You don’t want to hit on your own guys.  Now you get a chance to hit someone else.  Now, we get a week to hitting on Tennessee.  I know I’m looking forward to it and I think a lot of guys are looking forward to it.

LH : If you make that sack at Washington they’re probably putting a Husky decal on your helmet.  Now, in the NFL, it’s a penalty.  Is it hard to figure out what you did wrong?

JT : No.  You just have to keep your head up.  Like I said, I’ll probably go for the ball next time and cause a turnover.  It’s just adapting.

LH : If you watch Suh, he doesn’t try to tackle the quarterback.  He just shoves him down to make sure they don’t call him for roughing the passer.  You thinking of trying that?

JT : He told me that.  They were telling me that on the sidelines so you don’t land on him.  I’ll take note of that because you can’t practice it.  You don’t go live on the quarterback at practice.  I don’t know how to do it but you got to do it.

LH : Welcome to the  NFL, right?

JT : Yup, pretty much.

Below are some of the photos I took at training camp this week.  Hopefully, we’ll get one of our photo journalists in there this week.