Training Camp Takeaways: Day 8

Training Camp Takeaways: Day 8

Two-Pick Day for Defense

The defense had a strong outing on Friday, punctuated by two interceptions. Rookie Don Gardner registered the first in the back of the end zone and Jamel Dean punched the second. Despite the achievement, the defense did not meet its own lofty standard of play.

“It was a great day for the defense, but we still didn’t meet our standards,” Dean said. “We’re supposed to get five turnovers a practice – I think we got two. So, we didn’t meet the standards today, but it was still overall a good practice for us communication-wise and just working our techniques.”

Todd Bowles has repeatedly praised the defense for “being on the same page” as practice days stack up, which has resulted in takeaways. Forced turnovers often come in bunches and the Bucs want more of them in 2022, so the coaching staff has placed an emphasis on ball drills. There were several would-be interceptions that were dropped in 2021, and in 2022 the focus has shifted to optimize growth. From JUGS machines to ball-tracking, the priority is clear on the practice field. With an understanding of where the help is on the back end, takeaways often come as a result. For Dean, going up against Julio Jones – a do-it-all phenom with the ability to win over the top and on intermediate routes – will only accelerate his development during camp. Facing Jones’ arsenal of moves at the line of scrimmage will likely elevate Dean’s play.

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