As it has been all week, there was little if any cloud cover, and temperatures were approaching the upper 80’s at the start of the 8:45 practice.BUCS INJURIES
• Guard/T Jamon Meredith limped off very late in Thursday’s practice, but the injury didn’t appear to be serious.
• WR Tiquan Underwood (hamstring), fullback Erik Lorig (calf), defensive lineman Ernest Owusu, defensive end Adrian Clayborn (groin) and tight end Luke Stoker (calf) were all held out of practice on Thursday. The players worked on the exercise bikes and did other rehab drills while the rest of the team was practicing.
• Cornerback Darrelle Revis and guard Davin Joseph continued to sit out team drills as they rehab their respective knee injuries. Revis received a little more individual work on Thursday early in practice.
• Stocker’s injury has been dragging on longer than expected. Head coach Greg Schiano touched on Stocker’s situation after Thursday’s practice.
“It’s going a little slower than we initially thought,” said Schiano. “Calves are a weird thing, you know, because you don’t take a step without using it, yet you want to use it, you don’t want to take all the weight off of it so it sometimes takes a little longer to heal, but I really cant tell you when that’s going to be. I don’t know if its going to be weeks, but I really don’t know if it’s going to be days either.”TAMPA BAY’S ROSTER MOVES
• Tampa Bay didn’t make any roster moves on Thursday.
• On Wednesday the Bucs also signed guards Roger Allen and Howard Barbieri as well as linebacker Dom DeCicco. The team waived cornerback Mason Robinson, offensive tackles Brice Schwab and Jason Weaver.
Allen (6-3, 325) returns to the Bucs after having spent last season with the team, playing in four contests. Barbieri (6-5, 300) spent the 2012 offseason in Baltimore and played college for head coach Greg Schiano at Rutgers. Barbieri entered the NFL with Houston as an undrafted free agent in 2011. DeCicco spent the last two seasons in Chicago, playing in 20 games, recording 12 tackles and 17 special teams stops. He entered the league with the Bears in 2011 out of the University of Pittsburgh.
DEPTH CHART MOVES
• Cornerback Rashaan Melvin was getting some work with the first team defense on Thursday. The former Illinois State star has started slowly but has flashed as of late. Melvin lined up opposite Johnthan Banks during the first 11-on-11 period.
Schiano touched on Melvin during his post-practice press conference.
“He’s a good player,” Schiano stated. “He’s got physical tools. He works very hard at his preparation mentally. I think he’s got a good temperament, and I think he’s got a chance to be a good player. Now, that’s a lot of pressure on an undrafted rookie, but hey, everyday he goes out there and practices he does a good job. If he can keep stacking those on top of them, he’s got a chance.”
• Rookie running back Mike James was also getting some second-team looks at running back. James has steadily been seeing his touches increase in camp after a slow unremarkable offseason.
Schiano said James brings some special skills to the table.
“Well, like we talked about, he’s the guy that can keep you out of a negative play,” said Schiano. “He’s got good jump cut, one-cut quickness. I don’t think he’s going to run the entire defense, that’s not his game, but he can make a guy miss in a small area and turn a negative play into a plus one or two, which doesn’t sound real sexy but that keeps you out of trouble. When it is blocked up for four (yards) he’s going to get more than it’s blocked up for because he can make somebody miss at the point of attack.
“Special teams I anticipate he’s going to be a good player. Now, until we do it live in a game I can’t say definitely, but all signs point that way, which he needs to be and we need to have that. I’ve talked about that. Your back up running backs have to be able to help you on special teams that the athletic build that should and at times we didn’t have that last year, which really hurt your 46-man roster and put to much of a burden on other guys.” THE BIG NEWS AT ONE BUC PLACE
• Defensive end Adrian Clayborn was hobbled by a groin injury on Wednesday, frustrating the third-year player from Iowa, and causing the front office some real concern. On Thursday the news on Clayborn was much better.
“Adrian is going to be a few days but it wasn’t as bad as I initially thought, which is good,” Schiano said.
While talking about Clayborn’s rehab and fairly quick recovery, Schiano also praised the Buccaneers training staff.
“Everybody is different and you kind of group them into categories, ACL, MCLs, patella’s, all those things,” Schiano said. “But in that there are different degrees, there are different things that have to be done, and it could be a primary thing and a secondary thing, so I think it’s dangerous to group people in their recovery times in the same groupings.
“Certainly there have been, Adrian Peterson. Everybody compares it to that, and that’s not fair certainly, but then within that there’s an even closer group. It’s just that everyone is different and we’re blessed that we have great doctors and I think the best trainer in the league in Todd Toriscelli. That helps us a ton.”
• Quarterback Josh Freeman may have had his best training camp practice to date. Freeman’s throws were crisp and accurate for the most part on Thursday, and he appears to have more of a command in the huddle, especially in the two-minute scenario periods. On Thursday Freeman threw a perfect strike to Vincent Jackson who was unable to haul in the 40-yard pass in the left corner of the end zone that would have secured the period as a win for the offense. Instead Tampa Bay was forced to attempt a 47-yard field goal by Lawrence Tynes that was no good.PLAYS OF THE DAY
• Josh Freeman made the play of the day when he made a spectacular throw between two defenders to Vincent Jackson in the back of the end zone. It looked very similar to the throw he made to Jackson in the Carolina game last season. Freeman had several other sharp throws during Thursday’s three-hour practice.
• On the defensive side, Gerald McCoy continued having a monster training camp, when during 11-on-11 drills, immediately broke through the offensive line on two consecutive plays. If he were allowed to tackle, both plays would have resulted in sacks. McCoy appeared to be going up against right guard Ted Larsen in the series.QUOTE OF THE DAY
• That’s (versatility) very important in any circumstance, to be first anywhere on the field, be able to play special teams, and you know, being able to play anywhere on the field is definitely helpful. You know the thing you want to add being a back up is being able to help the team any way possible so you know, that’s all I’m trying to do, just trying to find my place, find a puzzle piece, be my puzzle piece and help the team.” – RB Mike James on being a versatile playerTAMPA BAY’S NEXT PRACTICE
The Buccaneers will be back on the practice field on Friday, starting at 8:45 a.m.
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