2015 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

Jake BequetteAug 28 08:52a

New England Patriots TE/DE Jake Bequette (undisclosed) was waived/injured Thursday, Aug. 27.

Miles AustinAug 28 08:32a

Philadelphia Eagles WR Miles Austin hasn't stood out, or received many chances to stand out, thus in training camp. His role is undetermined as he could start on the [ More ]

Nelson AgholorAug 27 10:22p

Philadelphia Eagles WR Nelson Agholor should be the 'second-most productive receiver on the team when the season ends,' according to Jeff McLane of the Philadelphia Inquirer.

Ryan MallettAug 27 07:52p

Updating a previous report, Houston Texans QB Ryan Mallett missed practice Thursday, Aug. 27, because he overslept. Mallett was present for meetings later on, however. He will also be at practice Friday, Aug. 28.

Josh JohnsonAug 27 07:42p

Free-agent QB Josh Johnson (Bengals) signed with the New York Jets Thursday, Aug. 29. QB Jake Heaps was subsequently waived.

R. Griffin IIIAug 27 07:12p

Washington Redskins QB Robert Griffin III (concussion) has been cleared to play Saturday, Aug. 29, against the Baltimore Ravens.

Earl ThomasAug 27 06:22p

Seattle Seahawks FS Earl Thomas (shoulder) is on track to be ready for the start of the regular season, according to head coach Pete Carroll.

Markus WheatonAug 27 05:42p

Pittsburgh Steelers WR Markus Wheaton could be primed for a breakout season, in the opinion of ESPN.com's Jeremy Fowler.

Letroy GuionAug 27 04:52p

Green Bay Packers DE Letroy Guion will be suspended for the first three games of the regular season after his appeal was apparently denied.

Martavis BryantAug 27 03:02p

Pittsburgh Steelers WR Martavis Bryant has been suspended four games for violating the league's Substance Abuse Policy, according to league sources. He has filed an appeal.

Arian FosterAug 27 02:22p

Houston Texans RB Arian Foster (groin) has been working out in Houston, and he's expected to return to the field in some facet by Week 2 to Week 4, [ More ]

Pat DevlinAug 27 10:32a

Free-agent QB Pat Devlin (Dolphins) signed with the Cleveland Browns Thursday, Aug. 27. OL Ryan Seymour was waived.

Connor BarthAug 26 08:53p

Free-agent PK Connor Barth (Broncos) agreed to terms with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers Wednesday, Aug. 26, on a two-year deal. Financial terms were not disclosed.

DeVante ParkerAug 26 04:23p

Miami Dolphins rookie WR DeVante Parker (foot) isn't sure if he'll be healthy enough in time for Week 1. He and the Dolphins don't want to have rushed return [ More ]

Brandon McManusAug 26 10:33a

Denver Broncos PK Brandon McManus won the kicking job as PK Connor Barth was released Wednesday, Aug. 26.

Connor BarthAug 26 10:33a

Denver Broncos PK Brandon McManus won the kicking job as PK Connor Barth was released Wednesday, Aug. 26.

Evan RoysterAug 26 10:13a

Atlanta Falcons RB Evan Royster (undisclosed) was waived/injured Wednesday, Aug. 26.

Rex GrossmanAug 26 09:23a

Free-agent QB Rex Grossman (Redskins) was signed by the Atlanta Falcons to a one-year, $1 million deal Wednesday, Aug. 26.

Taylor MaysAug 26 12:43a

The Oakland Raiders signed free-agent SS Taylor Mays (Bengals) Tuesday, Aug. 25.

Orlando ScandrickAug 26 12:43a

Updating a previous report, Dallas Cowboys CB Orlando Scandrick (knee) suffered a torn anterior cruciate ligament in his knee Tuesday, Aug. 25. An MRI confirmed the injury.

Michael VickAug 25 07:42p

Updating a previous report, free-agent QB Michael Vick (Jets) signed a one-year deal with the Pittsburgh Steelers Tuesday, Aug. 25. Financial terms were not disclosed. QB Bruce Gradkowski (finger) [ More ]

Evan MathisAug 25 06:13p

Free-agent OG Evan Mathis (Eagles) agreed to a one-year deal with the Denver Broncos Tuesday, Aug. 25.

Jameis WinstonAug 25 04:33p

Updating a previous report, Tampa Bay Buccaneers rookie QB Jameis Winston (ankle) suffered a sprained ankle Monday, Aug. 24, against the Cincinnati Bengals. Head coach Lovie Smith still expects [ More ]

Josh JohnsonAug 25 02:53p

Cincinnati Bengals QB Josh Johnson was released Tuesday, Aug. 25.

Victor CruzAug 25 02:42p

Updating a previous report, New York Giants WR Victor Cruz (calf) doesn't know when he'll be able to return to practice as he continues to deal with inflammation in [ More ]

Zach MettenbergerAug 25 01:23p

Tennessee Titans backup QB Zach Mettenberger has performed at a high level in training camp and the preseason, and head coach Ken Whisenhunt laughed off a suggestion that the [ More ]

Bruce GradkowskiAug 25 12:53p

Pittsburgh Steelers backup QB Bruce Gradkowski (finger) suffered a dislocated finger on his left hand during the team's preseason game against the Green Bay Packers last weekend, according to [ More ]

Andre WilliamsAug 25 12:22p

New York Giants RB Andre Williams could overtake RB Rashad Jennings as the lead back sometime this season, maybe even to open the season. Williams has worked on his [ More ]

Mike EvansAug 25 09:13a

Updating a previous report, Tampa Bay Buccaneers WR Mike Evans (hamstring) isn't believed to have a serious hamstring injury. 'I talked to him and he didn't feel like it [ More ]

Jameis WinstonAug 24 11:32p

Tampa Bay Buccaneers QB Jameis Winston completed eight of his 13 pass attempts for 90 yards, no touchdowns and no interceptions in the preseason game Monday, Aug. 24, against [ More ]

Doug MartinAug 24 11:32p

Tampa Bay Buccaneers RB Doug Martin rushed six times for 59 yards in the preseason game Monday, Aug. 24, against the Cincinnati Bengals.

Mike EvansAug 24 09:12p

Tampa Bay Buccaneers WR Mike Evans (hamstring) left the preseason game against the Cincinnati Bengals Monday, Aug. 24, due to a strained hamstring.

RSS Feeds

NFL News:
 
Player Notes:
 
Forum Posts:
 

© 2015 RealTime Fantasy Sports, Inc.
Email Us  ·  Call Us 636.447.1170  ·  Lost Password
Advertising represented by USA Today Sports Media Group