Notebook: Day Two of Buccaneers Mandatory Minicamp

Observations and notes from the second day of Tampa Bay's 2021 mandatory minicamp.
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Photo: Buccaneers quarterbacks; Credit: Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports

Day two of the Tampa Bay Buccaneers' 2021 mandatory minicamp is officially in the books. 

The Bucs spent a large portion of the practice conducting team drills, both in 7 vs. 7 and 11 vs. 11 with redzone and two-minute drills incorporated. Quarterback Tom Brady and his three backups - Blaine Gabbert, Ryan Griffin, and Kyle Trask - each logged over 20 throws throughout the day.

You can find AllBucs' observations from the practice viewing below.

Quarterbacks were, for the most part, on point

On his second day of team activities since an offseason knee surgery, Brady and the Buccaneers' offense went up-tempo and mimicked some in-game situations. 

By AllBucs’ count, Brady finished his general 11 vs. 11 reps by completing 11-of-14 passes, and went 11-of-19 in redzone-specific drills with 10 of those passes caught in the endzone for clear-cut touchdowns. Brady connected with Cameron Brate on four of those ten scores, Rob Gronkowski twice, and Mike Evans, Chris Godwin, and Leonard Fournette once, along with one additional unconfirmed pass-catcher.

Although Brady had his way a lot of the time, Antoine Winfield Jr. and Carlton Davis III notably came up with pass breakups against the Bucs' starting quarterback. Head coach Bruce Arians credited the Bucs defense with intercepting Brady in 7 vs. 7s, although AllBucs may have missed those reps as plays were live on two separate fields.

Gabbert took the most snaps in 11 vs. 11 drills, completing 16-of-23 passes, but didn't throw a pass during the redzone portion of camp. Griffin, who has been consistently accurate in practices open to the media, went 10-of-12 in 11 vs. 11 with an interception and 7-of-8 in the redzone with three scores. Trask was 10-of-12 with an interception to Raven Greene off of the hands of a receiver in 11 vs. 11, and went 6-of-8 with four scores inside the 20-yard line.

Joe Tryon 'got around the quarterback pretty good'

Joe Tryon has undoubtedly impressed those around him through two days of camp since he was cleared to take the field after a minor knee scope, even though pads aren’t on yet. 

The Bucs' first-round pick accumulated two "would-be" sacks during team drills on Wednesday, a day after head coach Bruce Arians mentioned that Tryon was up to full speed in practice. Tryon quickly beat right tackle Josh Wells off the left side of the defense for his first sack, and had a clear path to the quarterback as a free rusher for his second.

Of course, defenders can't do much more than tap the side of the quarterback in any practice, much less in sessions without pads. But in both cases, Tryon's edge rush would have turned into sacks in real game situations.

"He's everything that we thought he would be," Arians said of Tryon on Wednesday.

Darden takes the field in individual drills

On the road to a quick recovery, rookie wide receiver Jaelon Darden wore a helmet and took part in individual drills at the beginning of practice on Wednesday. Tampa Bay's fourth-round selection did not practice on Tuesday as he has been nursing a minor hamstring tweak, according to Arians.

Darden remained off to the side when the Buccaneers got into team drills, but it marked a step forward in the rookie's journey back to the field. Arians shared on Tuesday that Darden had never dealt with a hamstring injury before and that the team would take preventative measures to ensure no further injury.

At his current pace, Arians suggested that Darden will "hopefully" fully participate on Thursday.

Oh, memories...

On Brady's final throw of the two-minute drills, he connected with wide receiver Scotty Miller on a beautiful pass deep and to the left for a touchdown that went about half the length of the field.

Sound familiar? It should.

What Bruce Arians said

“We always talk about stacking really good practices together and you become a better football team. I think [these] two days really [have] shown me where we’re at and I really like where we’re at – mentally, physically, execution, everything – both sides of the ball, and special teams. It all looks like it’s progressing in the right direction.”

On Tom Brady’s deep pass to Scotty Miller

“Yeah, that was a little déjà vu.

On if the quarterback competition has lit a fire under Ryan Griffin

“He’s always got a fire. ‘Griff’ sees himself as a starter. That’s what I want him to see himself as. He’s always as consistent as anybody we have.”

On running backs catching passes in camp

“The running backs are all catching the ball well. ‘RoJo’ [Ronald Jones II] had some really good ones. It’s more fun to play when you’ve got all your fingers when trying to catch a ball. They’ve taken that challenge and have worked really hard in the offseason.”