Saturday, February 24, 2018
Tampa Bay Buccaneers

Officiating crew helps Bucs get a regular-season taste at practice

TAMPA — Yellow flags flew during Thursday's practice and will continue to do so through Saturday, courtesy of NFL referee Gene Steratore and several members of his officiating crew.

"We're making a big emphasis on the penalty thing," Bucs coach Dirk Koetter said. "We had plenty of penalties (Thursday)."

The Bucs committed 143 penalties last season — tied with the Bills for most in the NFL — for 1,195 yards.

It's a standard practice for officials to visit camps during the preseason to go over new rules with coaches and players. Players use the relaxed atmosphere to quiz officials on what they can and cannot do during games.

"It's important because we get to communicate with them off the field," G Ali Marpet said. "We get to ask them questions, see what they're looking for. That's important to have, to have an open dialogue with the refs. … They're pretty open with us."

JOHNSON LEAVES WITH INJURY: Defensive end George Johnson was helped to the locker room during practice with what looked like a right knee injury. The team did not provide an update.

Johnson played in 11 games last season for the Bucs, making five starts. He had 23 tackles.

DADDY GLENNON: QB Mike Glennon was not at practice, but it was not because he was traded to the Cowboys, who happen to be in need of a backup quarterback.

Glennon's wife, Jessica, gave birth to a boy at 6:20 p.m. Wednesday. The baby's name? Brady.

GET YOUR MOTOR RUNNING: Koetter praised the effort of DT Gerald McCoy through the first week of camp, saying McCoy is setting the pace at practice.

"That guy is dominating in practice every day," Koetter said. "When your best players are also your best practice players, it sets a great example for your team."

Marpet, who faces McCoy during 11-on-11 on blocking drills, agreed.

"He's so freaking fast," Marpet said. "He's messing up a lot of things that we're doing. It's only making us better, which is awesome. He's going to give a lot of people problems this year."

LB Lavonte David said he is amazed at how quickly McCoy reacts when the ball is snapped.

"His motor is amazing," David said. "He's disrupting plays in the backfield. That's the way it's supposed to be. We expect Gerald to make plays. It's not gone unnoticed. Everyone sees it."

THIS AND THAT: S Elijah Shumate (right wrist/hand) was activated off the nonfootball injury list and practiced for the first time this camp. … The team installed its two-minute offense and high-red zone offense Thursday. "You can see it was the first time we were doing two-minute (drills)," Marpet said. "We were a little … we were very sloppy."

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