Observations on the Buccaneers

TAMPA, Fla. -- The Buccaneers just finished their annual night practice at Raymond James Stadium, which also serves as sort of a fan festival. But there was plenty of football.

Let’s run through some observations.

  • Defensive tackle Gerald McCoy, who suffered a strained rotator cuff Friday, didn’t take part in the workout. But McCoy gave a fan a big thumbs-up when asked how he was feeling.

  • Cornerback E.J. Biggers made a spectacular leaping interception.

  • Cornerback Aqib Talib, who had some legal problems in the offseason, got a huge ovation when his name was announced to the crowd. Seconds later, he dropped what should have been an interception on a ball intended for Mike Williams that was thrown by Josh Freeman.

  • Former Bucs tight end Jimmie Giles was in the crowd and got a huge round of applause when he was shown on the scoreboard video screens.

  • Freeman looked sharp most of the night, particularly when throwing to tight end Kellen Winslow and Williams. But Freeman didn’t win the quarterback competition that was held at the end of the night. The quarterbacks all took turns throwing at targets on moving golf carts. The competition was won by third-stringer Rudy Carpenter.

  • He’s never been known as a speed back, but fullback Earnest Graham torched rookie linebacker in one-on-one coverage and caught a deep pass from Freeman.

  • I’ve been saying the Bucs need to add a solid veteran running back to play behind LeGarrette Blount. After watching Kregg Lumpkin, I think there’s at least a chance they might already have their backup.

  • Some excellent stuff from general manager Mark Dominik, who was interviewed during practice and the conversation was played on the video screens. Dominik had high praise for rookie defensive end Adrian Clayborn. Then he delivered the line of the night when asked how he feels about his team right now. “It’s a team I want our town to fall back in love with,’’ Dominik said.