TAMPA - For Buccaneers coach Greg Schiano, the highlight of Saturday night's practice that drew an estimated 33,000 fans through the gates of Raymond James Stadium was the play of QBs Josh Freeman and Mike Glennon.
Freeman orchestrated a game-winning touchdown drive and Glennon moved the offense into position for a game-tying field goal during a pair of mock 2-minute drills that capped the evening's entertainment.
"I think both quarterbacks did a good job of moving the club,'' Schiano said. "The balls were popping off their hands. There were some good seam routes where the ball got there in a hurry and there's no substitute for that.''
The Bucs mixed work with play for more than two hours during the evening, offering fans a combination of entertaining kicking and throwing competitions with typical football drill work.
"It wasn't crisp but it was fun,'' Schiano said. "It was a little bit of cart before the horse maybe, but we'll go back and use this tape to evaluate and make some points and then go back to fundamentals.''
Among the highlights was a 34-yard touchdown run around left end by RB Brian Leonard on a second-and-10 play to cap off the Freeman-led 2-minute drill against the first-team defense.
Among the disappointing moments for both the fans and the coaching staff was K Lawrence Tynes' miss of a 42-yard field goal attempt that came after Glennon moved the Bucs into position for the score.
"Like I said, there is some good teaching tape there,'' Schiano said. "We'll get a lot out of this.''
Take it easy
In an effort to avoid physical setbacks, Schiano has laid out a plan for all the players coming off season-ending injuries that calls for each to be eased back into playing shape on an individual basis.
The plan means that players such as Pro Bowl RG Davin Joseph (knee) and Pro Bowl LG Carl Nicks (toe) will not get as many practice reps as the other linemen, and Pro Bowl LT Donald Penn is a big supporter of it.
"I tell those guys every day, 'Don't push it, it's still early, we need you (for the) first game,' because as an offensive lineman, you don't need as much preseason work as maybe a receiver or a cornerback,'' Penn said.
Joseph and Nicks aren't the only players being eased back into football shape. CB Darrelle Revis (knee) and RDE Adrian Clayborn (knee) are getting the same treatment, but Schiano believes it's critical that linemen are treated differently.
"At that position you're hitting sleds and you're leaning on each other and you're torquing (your body), and it's just different than running and making cuts,'' Schiano said.
"This is darn near Sumo wrestling in there with those guys, so we just (have) got to make sure that we take it step by step, because when you skip a step there, you're talking about 700 pounds of men just wrestling around. That can get dangerous.''
The Bucs shuffled the bottom of their roster a bit by signing three newcomers, including former Broncos and Patriots FB Spencer Larsen.
The 6-foot-2, 245-pound Larsen is a five-year veteran who has played in 50 career games (15 starts) and may be best known for starting at least one game on both offense (fullback) and defense (linebacker).
The Bucs also signed 6-4, 300-pound guard Jeff Olson, a rookie out Texas Christian, 5-10, 185-pound cornerback Mason Robinson, a rookie out of Rutgers, and 6-foot, 195-pound receiver Bobby Sewall, a two-year Arena Football League veteran.
Sewall, who attended Brown, spent the past two years playing for Jacksonville in the AFL. Olson and Robinson both attended this year's Bucs rookie minicamp.
To make room, the Bucs waived G Jeremy Lewis and DB Nick Saenz, and placed WR Jerry Johnson on the reserve/left squad list.
The Bucs now have the league maximum of 90 players on their camp roster.
S Ahmad Black went down with what appeared to be a lower leg injury but Schiano was not immediately sure of the cause.