The Bucs took to the practice fields behind One Buc Place to conduct, their first team practice of training camp. The team was in good shape and showed off there conditioning in an upbeat – high tempo affair, as players were eager to get back to football. Donald Penn, was svelte looking as he walked on to the field, to the point it looked like he has lost 10-15 pounds from what he weighed last season.
Brian Price, who lost his rookie season to a pelvic injury, worked out, but was seen limping, before returning to the field to finish practice. New defensive line coach and pass rush specialist Keith Millard, stated Price needs to work through the soreness. Price did however, show that first step explosion and quickness that he displayed during the early portion of training last year.
Tyrone McKenzie lined up with the first team defense, at middle linebacker, but did relinquish some reps to third-round pick Mason Foster. During his post practice press conference head coach Raheem Morris stated “You’ve got to give [McKenzie] an opportunity. He’s been here longer…McKenzie’s a thumper. He’s a big individual that’s very good in the box.” McKenzie intercepted a Josh Johnson pass, off of a deflection by Sammie Stroughter.
Cody Grimm who also saw his rookie season cut short after suffering an ankle injury against the Ravens has picked up right where he left off when he intercepted a Josh Freeman pass.
Da’Quan Bowers, who plummeted on draft day from being in contention to be the first overall pick to the 51st overall selection, told media members in attendance, when asked if he has a chip on his shoulder? “Definitely. It is more like a log not a chip…I’m definitely hungry. 10 defensive ends went before me. 31 teams passed up on me, so I got 31 points to make.”
The starting first team defense line-up was as follows, minus Quincy Black, who is unable to practice with the team until August 4th.