The final practice of Tampa Bay Buccaneers mini-camp officially came to a close on Wednesday without any major problems or injuries, which is the best thing a head coach could ask for. Outside of a minor injury to Gaines Adams’ foot, the team appears to be pretty healthy.
On Thursday the team will hold a private team outing which is closed to the media. The players and staff are expected to play paintball together as a team-building activity. From there, players are not required to return to the team until July 31 for training camp.
The majority of the afternoon practice was spent preparing for game-time situations. The two-minute offense was the highlight of day and included everything from the special teams unit sprinting onto the field for a last-second field goal try to the quarterback trying to score with no time left.
PKs Mike Nugent and Matt Bryant shared the field goal duties and were both perfect for the day. Only one penalty was thrown throughout the two-minute drill, courtesy of a false start penalty.
On offense, Luke McCown and Byron Leftwich both worked from under center as well as in the shotgun formation. WR Brian Clark made a few really nice receptions and even earned some praise from offensive coordinator Jeff Jagodzinski during his press conference.
McCown seemed to stand out during the competition by throwing for a few scores while the clock was running down. He threw a perfect touch pass to Dexter Jackson, who made a good looking catch while crossing the field at the 1-yard line.
RB Derrick Ward showed throughout the practice why the team invested so much in him this offseason. Ward used quick cuts and foot speed to run around some defenders while keeping his knees high to try and gain additional yardage.
RB Clifton Smith shared carries with Ward during the practice and continued to impress the coaches, who still refer to the player by the nickname “Peanut.”
Defensively, LB Niko Koutouvides had a good day and made a lasting impression by constantly batting down any ball that was thrown his way. He had one perfect deflection to break up what looked to be a touchdown thrown across the middle of the field.
Tyler Frazier covers the Buccaneers for Bucsblitz.com.