Bruce Arians chides Bucs offense for uninspiring practice

The coach questions the offense’s effort in the team’s first practice following a strong showing in Friday’s scrimmage.
Bucs coach Bruce Arians wears a protective face mask as he watches his team during training camp on Aug. 24, 2020, in Tampa.
Bucs coach Bruce Arians wears a protective face mask as he watches his team during training camp on Aug. 24, 2020, in Tampa. [ CHRIS O'MEARA | AP ]
Published Aug. 30, 2020|Updated Aug. 30, 2020

TAMPA — Bucs coach Bruce Arians was displeased with his offense’s performance and effort in Sunday’s morning practice, saying players on that side of the ball “might have been reading their press clippings that they’re so good, because they didn’t show up.”

“The defense made the plays all day,” Arians said. “I don’t know if the offense made any plays.”

The offense played well in Friday’s scrimmage, especially the first-team unit in quarterback Tom Brady’s first game simulation at Raymond James Stadium. But on Sunday’s soggy fields at the AdventHealth Training Center, the offense wilted in the morning session.

“It hasn’t been a problem until today,” Arians said. “The red shirts (defense) had so much more energy in that practice than the white shirts. I think the white shirts thought they were something good after (the scrimmage) Friday, and they just didn’t show up today.”

The offense struggled throughout 11-on-11 and 7-on-7 sessions, dropping passes, struggling to run the ball, throwing interceptions and committing penalties in the unit’s most sloppy day of practice overall in training camp.

“Today wasn’t our best as an offense,” receiver Scotty Miller said. “We’ve just got to come out with better energy, wanting to compete. We have such high expectations for ourselves this season, so days like today aren’t acceptable for us. … If we want to get to where we say we want to go, we’ve got to come out and play harder.”

Cornerback Jamel Dean intercepted two passes, including one against Brady in the back of the end zone in the red-zone sessions. Dean also intercepted backup Blaine Gabbert down the sideline.

Safety Jordan Whitehead intercepted a Brady pass in the end zone during the red-zone session, but Brady might have been sacked on the play.

The defense tightened up in red-zone drills, where safety D’cota Dixon and linebacker Chapelle Russell made key pass breakups.

At one point, Arians even removed starting right guard Alex Cappa during a drill for a false start on a hard count.

“That was the dumbest one of all because we just stood there and said, ‘We’re going to use a hard count,’” Arians said. “That just showed where their minds were on offense, because Capp’s usually very dependable.”

Injury update

Running back Ronald Jones returned to practice after he had a left-foot injury in Friday’s scrimmage, but he was limited. Veteran LeSean McCoy took most of the first-team reps during 11-on-11 drills.

Cornerback Carlton Davis, who left Friday’s scrimmage and had his right shoulder wrapped, did not practice Sunday ― limited to light work on a side field early in the session. Arians said Davis will “be fine.”

Starting left guard Ali Marpet received a veteran’s day off, and safety Andrew Adams also did not practice.

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Contact Eduardo A. Encina at Follow @EddieInTheYard.