Sunday, June 24, 2018
Tampa Bay Buccaneers

Sluggish day for Bucs offense in joint practice

TAMPA — As was the case in last week's first joint practice with the Jaguars, Bucs coach Dirk Koetter was less than pleased by his offense's work Tuesday in the first of two joint practices with the Browns at One Buc Place.

"No juice. No juice," Koetter said. "No one wanted to practice. … We had balls tipped, we had poor throws and we had bad protection. Bad combination. … Overall, a bad day on offense. I wasn't on the defensive field and Coach (Mike) Smith said we did fine over there."

The Browns had a handful of interceptions — Jameis Winston had a pass picked off by CB Joe Haden, and Mike Glennon had a pass tipped off the hands of WR Kenny Bell and to CB Jamar Taylor. Koetter said the Bucs also struggled blocking against the Browns' 3-4 defensive front, giving Tampa Bay a look it will see in Week 2 against Arizona.

"Today's a good example of why we want to work against a 3-4," Koetter said. "I would hate for that to be a game and be our first exposure to a 3-4."

Longer look: Fans at Friday night's home game against the Browns at Raymond James Stadium have good news: Koetter expects his starters to play into the third quarter. The third preseason game is typically when starters play the longest so they can get work in before often taking the fourth game off entirely.

Welcome back: Browns QB Josh McCown's lone season with the Bucs didn't go as planned, with a 1-10 record in 2014, but he said it was good to see familiar faces again.

"It's good to be back. It's fun to come down here and see some of the guys, and first and foremost, to get good work in," the 37-year-old said after practice. "It's been good for us. Good day, a lot of good work and always fun to see some familiar faces. It makes me appreciate the journey."

So much has changed since McCown's time with the Bucs — a new head coach, new quarterback in Winston and only one starting offensive lineman — Demar Dotson — from the five that blocked for him in 2014.

"It's crazy, but that's the NFL," McCown said. "The main thing is that for the guys that are here, they embrace the change and get behind it. It seems like Coach Koetter and their coaching staff have done a good job, and the guys seem really excited and energized. I wish them the best."

This and that: WR Evan Spencer remains sidelined after injuring his knee in Saturday's game. Rookie G Caleb Benenoch was back at practice after missing three weeks with an ankle injury, but didn't know if he could play Friday. … Rookie CB Vernon Hargreaves worked with the first-team defense, at nickel and at outside corner.

Times staff writer Rick Stroud contributed to this report. Contact Greg Auman at [email protected] and (813) 310-2690. Follow @gregauman.

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