2014 DRAFT GUIDE
Smith leads Buccaneers' voluntary minicamp

By FRED GOODALL - AP Sports Writer
    2014-04-22 18:55

TAMPA, Fla. (AP) - Football coaches can only learn so much watching players on film, so Lovie Smith is excited about finally having an opportunity to evaluate the Tampa Bay Buccaneers on the field.

The Bucs began a three-day voluntary minicamp Tuesday, giving the team's new coaching staff what amounts to a head start on preparing for next season.

Smith and incoming general manager Jason Licht have spent much of the past three months overhauling the roster, including signing quarterback Josh McCown, defensive end Michael Johnson, cornerback Alterraun Verner, tight end Brandon Myers, defensive tackle Clifton McDonald and offensive linemen Evan Dietrich-Smith and Anthony Collins.

The Bucs began their offseason program two weeks ago. Smith is not surprised the start of minicamp drew 100 percent attendance, even though the practices are not mandatory.

''Everyone has been here all offseason, and that's what you expect. It's voluntary work. But if you want to get better, why would you pass up an opportunity?'' said Smith, who replaced Greg Schiano on Jan. 2, four days after the Bucs finished 4-12.

''I appreciate that from the team,'' the former coach of the Chicago Bears added. ''All you can do at this time in April is show up and try to get better each day, and they've done that.''

Among the players attending, but not yet participating in on-the-field workouts is guard Carl Nicks, who missed most of last season because of an MRSA infection. He expects to be ready for training camp.

Smith said it's good to have Nicks back around the entire team, stressing that everyone will benefit this season from getting their initial exposure to the offensive and defensive systems being installed by coordinators Jeff Tedford and Leslie Frazier.

The coach also noted he's impressed with the progress of McCown and second-year quarterback Mike Glennon, who started 13 games as a rookie in 2013.

McCown, a career backup coming off the best season of his career in Chicago, signed a two-year, $10 million contract in free agency and was immediately penciled in as the starter.

Glennon threw for 2,608 yards, 12 touchdowns and nine interceptions while compiling a 4-9 record last year.

''He's been a pro about everything. We've asked him to take a step back and let Josh take the lead position. He's done that,'' Smith said. ''He's just trying to get better. That's what we're asking all our guys to do. Come in, improve your game. You're competing against you as much as anything. And he's done that.''

In addition to giving the new coaching staff an opportunity to assess the talent already on the roster, the voluntary minicamp figures be helpful in preparing for next month's NFL draft.

The Bucs have the seventh overall pick.

''Of course we want to see our roster. But, too, with the draft coming up, to see exactly what we need,'' Smith said. ''Maybe we're not as strong, or maybe we're a little stronger at some of the positions. That's what they'll tell us during these next two days, also.''

There were plenty of mistakes during Tuesday's workout, which gave players a sense of Smith's practice routine.

The new boss was hardly discouraged, though.

''There are growing pains you have to go through. ... We understand that,'' Smith said.

''The guys haven't complained about anything we've asked them to do,'' the coach added. ''They're anxious to prove where they belong on the depth chart. We're anxious to see where everyone belongs on the depth chart.''

Fantasy Football Player Notes RSS FeedPLAYER NOTES

Deone BucannonJul 24 11:32a

Arizona Cardinals S Deone Bucannon was not dropped into the starting lineup during offseason workouts, as the team has faith in FS Tony Jefferson and FS Rashad Johnson. He [ More ]

Ray RiceJul 24 11:31a

Baltimore Ravens RB Ray Rice will be suspended for the first two games of the season, according to sources. The announcement is expected Thursday, July 24.

Blake BortlesJul 24 11:22a

Jacksonville Jaguars QB Blake Bortles' lower-body mechanics likely will be revised. Bortles' flaw has been over-reliance on his right arm when throwing; he doesn't use his legs enough. A [ More ]

Mikel LeshoureJul 24 11:14a

Detroit Lions RB Mikel Leshoure is currently believed to be the fourth tailback on the club behind RBs Reggie Bush, Joique Bell and Theo Riddick heading into training camp [ More ]

Justin BlackmonJul 24 10:53a

Jacksonville Jaguars WR Justin Blackmon was arrested for possession of marijuana Wednesday, July 23, in Oklahoma.

Jordan PalmerJul 24 10:52a

Chicago Bears QB Jordan Palmer still has the first shot at winning the backup quarterback job, according to head coach Marc Trestman.

R. Griffin IIIJul 24 10:22a

Washington Redskins QB Robert Griffin III's designed running plays might be 'few and far between,' according to head coach Jay Gruden. He still has the green light to scramble [ More ]

Daniel FellsJul 24 09:42a

New York Giants TE Daniel Fells has received the first snap in 11-on-11 drills during the team's two days in training camp. Kellen Davis and Adrien Robinson have [ More ]

Ahmad BradshawJul 24 08:33a

Indianapolis Colts RB Ahmad Bradshaw (neck) has been cleared to practice. Bradshaw is an RB4, but he could be worth more if Trent Richardson fails to produce again.

Roddy WhiteJul 24 08:33a

Atlanta Falcons WR Roddy White signed a four-year extension with the team that will keep him under team control for the next five years, according to sources.

Donald ThomasJul 24 08:33a

Indianapolis Colts TE Dwayne Allen (hip) and OG Donald Thomas (quadriceps, biceps) have been cleared to practice.

Josh GordonJul 24 08:23a

Cleveland Browns WR Josh Gordon will have his appeal hearing for his one-year suspension Aug. 1.

Greg OlsenJul 24 01:43a

Carolina Panthers TE Greg Olsen said he is tired of hearing criticism about Carolina's new receiving corps, which is largely made up of journeymen and unproven commodities. Olsen added [ More ]

Aldon SmithJul 24 01:13a

San Francisco 49ers LB Aldon Smith is expected to meet with NFL commissioner Roger Goodell in the near future, which likely would lead to a decision on any discipline for Smith.

Anthony BarrJul 23 11:23p

Minnesota Vikings LB Anthony Barr was with the team for just a few days during offseason workouts due to NFL rules. Head coach Mike Zimmer is eager to see [ More ]

Sharrif FloydJul 23 11:23p

Minnesota Vikings DT Sharrif Floyd had a good offseason, but head coach Mike Zimmer thinks the defensive tackle is trying to be too fine. 'Sharrif has a lot of [ More ]

C. PattersonJul 23 11:23p

Minnesota Vikings WR Cordarrelle Patterson will remain on kickoff returns despite an expanded role in the offense this season. 'We want our best players to get their hands on [ More ]

Montell OwensJul 23 11:23p

Detroit Lions FB Montell Owens has company, as the team will employ a more traditional fullback in the offense. They signed FB Jed Collins for the role. Owens is [ More ]

Harrison SmithJul 23 11:23p

Minnesota Vikings safeties Jamarca Sanford and Andrew Sendejo will be battling during training camp and the preseason for the starting job opposite FS Harrison Smith. 'That will be interesting, [ More ]

Matt CasselJul 23 11:23p

Minnesota Vikings QBs Teddy Bridgewater and Matt Cassel saw a majority of the snaps during spring workouts, but QB Christian Ponder has a chance to start, and head coach [ More ]

Chad GreenwayJul 23 11:23p

Minnesota Vikings LB Chad Greenway could be used as the starting middle linebacker, according to head coach Mike Zimmer. 'It's a possibility. We keep working him in there. We're [ More ]

Troy NiklasJul 23 10:23p

Arizona Cardinals TE Troy Niklas (hand) has been cleared to participate in training camp, and was working Wednesday, July 23.

Dan WilliamsJul 23 10:23p

Arizona Cardinals NT Dan Williams will open training camp as the team's starting nose tackle with NT Alameda Ta'amu (knee) on the Physically-Unable-to-Perform (PUP) list.

Johnny ManzielJul 23 10:23p

Cleveland Browns head coach Mike Pettine thinks QB Johnny Manziel needs to increase dedication to earn the starting job. 'I think he knows that in order to compete well, [ More ]

Theo RiddickJul 23 10:23p

Detroit Lions RB Theo Riddick has the chance to break into the rotation at tailback, and he has drawn considerable praise from his teammates and coaches for his development [ More ]

Joique BellJul 23 10:23p

Detroit Lions RB Joique Bell (nee) missed most of the offseason due to a knee injury, although he has said his condition is minor and he expects to be [ More ]

Jed CollinsJul 23 10:23p

The Detroit Lions are re-incorporating the traditional fullback into their new offensive scheme this season, and that's why they went out and signed FB Jed Collins.

Cheta OzougwuJul 23 07:23p

New Orleans Saints DE Cheta Ozougwu (undisclosed) cleared waivers and was transferred to the Saints' Reserve/Injured list Wednesday, July 23.

Billy WinnJul 23 06:53p

The Cleveland Browns placed OL Chris Faulk (undisclosed), DE Billy Winn (undisclosed) and LB Tank Carder (undisclosed) on the non-football injury list Wednesday, July 23.

Kyle OrtonJul 23 06:33p

Free-agent QB Kyle Orton (Cowboys) does not want to retire and wants to play in 2014, according to Dallas Cowboys owner Jerry Jones.

Conner VernonJul 23 06:23p

The Cleveland Browns placed CB Royce Adams, LB Brandon Magee and WR Conner Vernon on the no-recall waivers list Wednesday, July 23.

Terrance WestJul 23 06:23p

Updating a previous report, Cleveland Browns RB Terrance West (undisclosed) said on his Twitter page that he passed his conditioning test and people need to 'stop making up your [ More ]

RSS Feeds

NFL News:
 
Player Notes:
 
Forum Posts:
 

© 2014 RealTime Fantasy Sports, Inc.
Email Us  ·  Call Us 636.447.1170  ·  Lost Password
Advertising represented by USA Today Sports Media Group