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Breshad Perriman could add to the Bucs collection of red zone targets

The Bucs were 15th last season in red zone efficiency, scoring touchdowns on 60 percent of their trips inside the 20-yard line
Tampa Bay Buccaneers wide receiver Breshad Perriman (19) is known as a deep threat but could add to the red zone arsenal. MONICA HERNDON | Times
Published Aug. 4

TAMPA — Receiver Breshad Perriman is one of the Bucs’ real deep threats because of his speed.

But don’t be too fast to rule out the Browns free agent as another weapon added to the team’s rich collection of red zone targets.

At 6-foot-3, 209 pounds, Perriman has the size to body up defenders along with Mike Evans, Chris Godwin, O.J. Howard, Cameron Brate and even second-year player Justin Watson.

MORE BUCS: Justin Watson looks to emulate idol in Arians’ offense

Perriman made two contested catches in traffic for touchdowns Friday night during a red zone period in which quarterback Jameis Winston was nearly perfect.us

Perriman made two contested catches in traffic for touchdowns Friday night during a red zone period in which quarterback Jameis Winston was nearly perfect.

Tampa Bay Buccaneers wide receiver Chris Godwin (12) catches passes during training camp at the AdventHealth Training Center on August 2, 2019 in Tampa, Florida. MONICA HERNDON | Times

The performance came one day after coach Bruce Arians blasted his receivers, running backs and tight ends for too many dropped passes.

“It’s still a work in progress,’’ Perriman said. “We’ve still got a long way to go but I feel like it was a great day for the red zone. (Thursday) was pretty bad, so we all had the mindset of coming out and just focusing on getting better and putting that day behind us.’’

Evans remains the Bucs’ primary red zone target. But both Brate and Howard had six touchdown receptions last season. Godwin had seven. Now you can add Perriman.

The Bucs were 15th in the NFL in red zone efficiency last season, converting 60 percent of their trips inside the opponent’s 20-yard line into touchdowns.

“We’re going to throw to the open guy,’’ Arians said. “We don’t target one guy. So Jameis is doing a good job of spreading the ball around.’’

Best battle

If kickers Cairo Santos and Matt Gay continue to be as efficient in field goal tries, both could land jobs in the NFL this year.

Santos doesn’t want to waste much time looking over his shoulder at Gay, the rookie from Utah, who wants to take his job.

Santos converted seven of his eight field goal attempts in kicking drills on Friday, making from 51 and 55 yards out. His lone miss came from 59 yards, his longest attempt of the day.

MORE BUCS: Santos embraces competition with Gay

Gay, Tampa Bay’s fifth round draft pick out of the University of Utah, is showing off a strong leg in training camp. On Thursday, he hit six of his eight field goal attempts, converting two kicks from 53 yards out before missing from 57 and 56. Last week, Gay converted from as far as 57 yards.

“I hope we both do well and make the decision hard for management,” Santos said. “My job is still to make every kick, with him here or not.’’

Bouncing back

Tampa Bay Buccaneers running back Andre Ellington (32) dodges Tampa Bay Buccaneers linebacker Kevin Minter (51) after catching a pass during training camp at the AdventHealth Training Center on August 2, 2019 in Tampa, Florida. MONICA HERNDON | Times

Bucs players have a day off Sunday, their second of training camp. Arians is anxious to see if they handle it better than the last one.

The Bucs had their worst practice Thursday following a day off after five consecutive workouts.

There were dropped passes, and more damning, way too many mental errors, Arians said.

MORE BUCS: Could rookie become Tampa Bay’s ‘Honey Badger?’

“They said it themselves. I really didn’t have to say much in the meeting,’’ Arians said. "Put the sheet up and there were 64 mental errors. We’ve never had more than 32. Lot of penalties, a lot of grabbing. So it’s just not being ready to go after that day off and change of schedule and we learned from it.

“I’m really anxious to see 8 o’clock in the morning (Monday) after a day off to see if we’ve learned our lesson.’’

During the season, Arians said he won’t tolerate many mental mistakes.

“Maybe one. If you’re on the (board) five times, it’s time to find someone else,’’ Arians said. “As a team? During the week of a game, if there’s four up there, I’m (ticked)."

Times Staff Writers Eduardo Encina and Ryan Kolakowski contributed to this report.


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