Tampa Bay BuccaneersTop highlights during Day Thirteen of training camp as the Buccaneers hit the field for another joint practice with the Miami DolphinsBrianna Dix
The Tampa Bay Buccaneers completed their second of two allotted joint practices with the Miami Dolphins, prior to Saturday's preseason clash between the two clubs. Several players shined on the grass as competition commenced. From Devin White's coverage ability to Tom Brady's excused absence, here are the top takeaways from Thursday's practice.
Devin White Dominated 7-on-7
'Consistency' has been a vocalized goal for Devin White and as he enters the 2022 season that theme materialized for No. 45 in 7-on-7 drills. In man coverage, White had two back-to-back pass breakups to begin the period. First, he blanketed running back Myles Gaskin and got his hand on the ball to knock it away. On the ensuing play, White matched tight end Hunter Long stride for stride which resulted in another PBU. His play set the tone early in practice to the delight of coaches spectating. White showcased his ability to sink in coverage carrying running backs and tight ends, along with productivity in crashing quick passes. As a cornerstone in the Buccaneers' defense, expectations are high. White has had a quietly impressive camp, with most of the headlines placed on new offseason acquisitions via free agency/the draft. Paired with Lavonte David, paroling the middle, they have the potential of becoming one of the most lethal tandems in the NFL.
Tom Brady Not in Attendance
Quarterback Tom Brady will be excused until after the preseason game in Tennessee on August 20 to attend to a personal matter. "This is something we talked about before training camp started," Head Coach Todd Bowles stated. "We allotted this time because he wanted to get in and chemistry with the guys and go through two weeks of training camp. Knowing he wasn't going to play the first two games he didn't want to take away reps from Blaine and Kyle, as well as Griff, as far as going into these next two games. It's something that he needs to handle. We trust him. We talked about it - it was scheduled way before training camp, and he will not be here until after Tennessee." Brady was not in attendance for the club's joint practice with the Dolphins on Thursday and will be absent for several weeks. The plan was set in motion prior to the start of training camp and the conversation between Bowles and Brady eliminated any concerns. In the meantime, Blaine Gabbert, Kyle Trask, and Ryan Griffin will receive extended reps during practices/preseason - the latter category of which Brady was never going to participate in.
Versatile Additions of Logan Ryan and Keanu Neal
The addition of veterans Logan Ryan and Keanu Neal have added new wrinkles to the Buccaneers' secondary with a variety of packages and disguises. Their arrival has prompted other shifts, including Antoine Winfield Jr.'s expanded role at nickel corner and Mike Edwards' work at free safety. Ryan has received reps at safety and in the slot. With his instinctual play in coverage and against the run, Ryan has been put in position to make plays. After playing linebacker in Dallas last season under Dan Quinn, Neal made the transition back to safety. He primarily played as a model cover three strong safety for the Atlanta Falcons, prior to his stint with the Cowboys. Bowles has made it clear that Neal will be utilized as more than a "box safety" in Tampa Bay, unleashing Neal's skills. As more and more teams gravitate towards using a quick passing game/perimeter-based attack to try and mitigate pass rush, Neal's size provides an upside in neutralizing backs/receivers out of the flat. Both Neal and Ryan's performances during camp have garnered praise from Bowles. "I think they've exceeded them (expectations)," Bowles remarked. "Logan has been unbelievable from a workout standpoint, an intelligence standpoint and learning everything so quickly. I haven't seen a guy learn our defense that fast, and not just the safety spot but the corner and the nickel spot. And not just learning it - that's not taking away from his play, because he knows how to play as well. He brings a lot to the table there. Keanu is nothing but a pro since he's come in. He's dropped his weight, going from linebacker in Dallas to coming in now [as a safety]. We know how he is in the run game. The great thing was he understands the passing game, he understands the angles and his drops have been very good. So, I've been very pleased with both." Ryan and Neal certainly deserve attention during the preseason in a live game setting.