Wednesday, November 22, 2017
Tampa Bay Buccaneers

Bucs defense makes it tough on offense with multiple disguises

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TAMPA — One of the extra perks of having a more multiple defense is it gives the Bucs offense more looks to practice against, and coach Dirk Koetter was impressed Saturday by the level of misdirection coming from his old friend, defensive coordinator Mike Smith.

"They were doing some crazy disguises," Koetter said. "They were doing a lot with their front so the quarterback's first job … the quarterback and the center are trying to get the protection straight, and they were giving us some walk-around looks (Saturday). … Those are always a challenge. It's really good work for us. It's not the easiest thing.

"Trust me, they're not just standing in their Cover 2 and Cover 3."

Smith said he has worked with Koetter to challenge both sides of the ball, rather than present vanilla looks in practice that opponents aren't likely to offer up in the regular season.

"We've spent a whole lot of time orchestrating these practices and trying to make it where both sides are getting all the looks they need," Smith said. "We've been put in a lot of stressful situations, just like they have, and I think that's the fun part of camp is keeping these guys on high alert.

"We don't want them to get comfortable. We're competing, and we don't want them to be comfortable."

DEPTH CHART: The team released its first unofficial depth chart with a few new wrinkles.

WR Kenny Bell is listed as the top option on kickoff returns and, as expected, Cameron Brate is ahead of Austin Seferian-Jenkins at tight end.

Two jobs are close enough to be listed with co-starters: center, between Joe Hawley and Evan Smith, and punter, between Jacob Schum and Bryan Anger.

YOU PICK TWO: S Chris Conte had two interceptions of Jameis Winston in Saturday's practice. Conte jumped in front of a deep ball intended for WR Mike Evans, then toe-tapped in the back of the end zone to catch a deflected pass. But he will motivate himself thinking about another that got away.

"With me, I don't want to say I focus on the negative, but I had things I didn't do well and have to improve," Conte said. "I'm going to focus on those things and try to improve. I like to be hard on myself. There's a lot I need to work on, but it was nice to have a few plays where I got my hands on the ball."

THIS AND THAT: The team waived G Caylin Hauptmann, who had been signed earlier this week to add depth on the offensive line. According to the league's transactions release, Hauptmann left the team. No corresponding move was announced. … Seferian-Jenkins had a nice touchdown catch from backup Mike Glennon in two-minute work, and he and Brate both had a good day in 11-on-11 work.

Contact Greg Auman at [email protected]tampabay.com and (813) 310-2690. Follow @gregauman.

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