Secondary steals show in Bucs practice
Bucs safety Dashon Goldson said he spoke to the team Friday, saying the secondary has to "set the tone," getting the ball back for QB Josh Freeman.
They did just that in Friday's practice, with rookie CB Johnthan Banks and CB Michael Adams each racking up interceptions in a workout in which the defense came out on top. Banks, the athletic 6-foot-2, 185-pounder, showed great anticipation in coming off his man in zone coverage to make a leaping pick of Freeman during a 7-on-7 period.
Banks raced over the middle to pick off rookie QB Mike Glennon.
"As a secondary, we want to get our hands on as many balls as possible," Goldson said. "I think today was a good showing of what we can do. We've still got a long way coming, but a lot of guys stepped up big-time today, made plays when they needed to."
As Goldson, the former 49ers All Pro, says, the Bucs have their hands full in week in the NFC South, facing QBs like Drew Brees and Matt Ryan. Tampa Bay may lean on a rookie in Banks, who is competing for the opposite corner to Darrelle Revis, and he's impressed so far.
"Johnthan Banks is doing a good job, on and off the field," Goldson said. "In the team room and meeting orom he's paying attention, understanding the game of football and he's putting himself in position to make plays."
Coach Greg Schiano said he was "encouraged" by the plays the secondary made Friday, but points out, since it's their own offense they're going against, he likes it to be pretty even throughout camp, which it has been in the first few days.
But the Bucs are starting to see some good signs in the secondary.
"It feels good that you have an extra .5 or 1 second to get to the QB," DE Da'Quan Bowers said. "It makes a big difference."
Other notes from today's practice:
*CB Darrelle Revis continued to take on more activities, including participating in 7-on-7 drills for the first time. Though a lot of the drills were at walk-thru speed, Revis looked good, making contact at the line, going 1-on-1 with WR Vincent Jackson a few times.
*Pro Bowl guards Davin Joseph and Carl Nicks were both back at practice, which is a good sign, but somewhat limited, as the team tries to be cautious as they come back from season-ending injuries.
*Rookie DT Akeem Spence worked out with the first team, a role Gary Gibson had yesterday. The two are competing for that nose tackle spot.
*LB Dakoda Watson got first team reps, with his chief competition, LB Jonathan Casillas, walking off the field early due to an undisclosed injury (likely cramps).
*Schiano said LT Donald Penn is in the best shape he's ever seen him, and has been impressed with his work ethic and how he's looking. Penn admits he's got a chip on his shoulder, even though he's a former Pro Bowler.