Day one is in the books from Buccaneer training camp (at least day one of practice), and, although the pads did not come out today, the Bucs still put on a show for the scores of fans who showed up at One Buc Place this evening for the second of two workouts.
They went home with plenty to talk about.
Josh Freeman looked sharp, connecting with Kellen Winslow, Dezmon Briscoe, and Mike Williams on several deep balls. Williams displayed the crisp route running that fans came to love last season, even though it’s only the first day of training camp practice. Williams told me that offseason workouts with his quarterback helped him stay sharp.
“Our first workout together, alot of people kind of forgot half the playbook,” Williams said. “We were just out there thinking, ‘what do I have on this’? Having those workouts made us come out here and execute today.”
However, Buccaneer fans let out a deep gasp when Williams went down in pain at the end of practice, having to be carted off the field. The early word is that Williams was suffering from cramps and should be fine.
On the other side, Arrelious Benn returned to the practice field at One Buc Place for the first time since injuring his knee in the last month of the season. Benn told me that today’s practice was more spirited than the offseason work he’s done.
“More intense,” Benn said. “It felt good to be out here. It’s a big difference from last year being out here. I’m not a rookie. I know what to do.”
Benn also told me he’s not thinking about his knee when he’s cutting, but his coaches are.
“I’m not even thinking about it,” he said. “Coaches had to tell me to slow down. I’m just out here playing, having fun. Just out here and glad to be with the team and coaches.”
There were plenty of guys making early marks today. Kellen Winslow looked dynamic from the start of the morning session. Dezmon Briscoe quickly reminded fans of the good things he was doing late in the season, making a noteworthy catch on a pass thrown way behind him from Josh Johnson late in the evening session. 6’3″, 200 lbs WR Ed Gant from Northern Alabama had an intriguing day, snaring a high pass on a deep route near the end zone in the morning session and taking a short in route for a significant gain in the afternoon session. 5’6″, 180 lbs WR Jock Sanders from West Virginia flashed explosive speed and agility.