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June 10, 2014 @ 3:25 pm
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Nicks Expects To Play In 2014

Written by Mark
Mark Cook


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The Buccaneers organization – and Tampa Bay fans – are hoping to see guard Carl Nicks back on the field soon, and on Tuesday Nicks told the media he expects to play in 2014 including participating in a modified training camp schedule.
The $47.5 million dollar question this spring has been the health of guard Carl Nicks, who has played in just nine games since signing as a free agent with the Buccaneers in 2012. Nicks suffered a toe injury during his first season in Tampa Bay, then last year, while still recovering, underwent a second surgery on the same foot to clean MRSA from a wound that reportedly started from a blister.

Nicks, who was absent from much of the voluntary workouts this spring, was present on the first day of mandatory mini-camp, and spoke to the media following Tuesday’s practice. The former Saints All-Pro said he believes he will see the football field again this year.

“I think I will be able to play (this year),” Nicks said. “But it just the waiting game with me trying to get back out here.

“I think I will have a modified schedule, but I think I will be able to play football and that is what I am trying to do. There is always going to be pain, it is just how much I can deal with it. I have high tolerance for pain so I think I will be able to deal.”

Head coach Lovie Smith talked about Nicks and his future with the Bucs following practice.

"As much as I know about it right now, Carl hasn’t been around as much as some of the other players, but he was here Monday when we had official physicals and he passed his physical," Smith said. "From there he has a long way to go. Like all of our players when they initially start working out with us. My expectations for Carl are the same as for everybody else. We’ll take it one day at a time. We’ll see where he is right now and we have a big break in between. No player has an injury that I’m really concerned about that is going to hinder them starting to work out when we come back. That includes Carl from what I know right now.

"And again, I haven’t had a chance to see Carl an awful lot out there. He’s here and he’s excited about being here with his teammates. That’s the thing about some of the rules we have in place. I’ll try not to get too upset about guys for those voluntary practices. You have grown men that make decisions but this week of course they don’t get a chance to make that decision and they’re all here."

The Bucs could use the former Pro Bowl guard, as many feel the weakest unit on the Bucs offense is the offensive line, particularly at the guard position.

Nicks talked about what he has been able to do thus far in his rehab this year.

“Right now just elliptical, stationary machines,” Nicks said. “I can do weight lifting, all the lifts. Here coming up pretty soon I am going to start doing some jogging, doing some cuts, so I am right on schedule.

“I am not really frustrated. Now if it were Week 1 and I was in the same position, then I would be frustrated. But training camp hasn’t even started.”

Nicks was asked if he could put a percentage on exactly where he is at this point.

“I cant really (put a percentage on it) personally,” Nicks said. “I haven’t been able to do football work. No cutting, no blocking, no drive-blocking, no pulling – nothing like that. So I wouldn’t be able to tell you, but just walking around I have to be at least 60 percent.”

PewterReport.com asked Nicks if the toe injury and surgery from it that ended his 2012 season or the MRSA was the biggest factor in slow recovery process.

“I think anytime you have several injuries on the same foot, you are going to kind of lose track of who is responsible for what,” Nicks said. “At this point I am just trying to play. But I couldn’t say it was more this or more that. Right now they are both screaming in my ear.”

In addition to talking about his injuries, Nicks was asked his thought on the Bucs offensive line and new line coach George Warhop who was hired by Lovie Smith to revamp a disappointing unit.

“I think it can be great, I am one of the oldest guys and I am in my 20’s,” Nicks said. “I love that everyone is so hungry. I have to prove some stuff, our left tackle – we all have a lot to prove.

“I honestly think he can be one of the best offensive line coaches I have ever had. No disrespect to the ones I've had before. He does a great job explaining and is down to earth and is relatable.”

While the majority of his teammates will take the next month and a half off and get away from football before the start of training camp, Nicks has other plans for his summer vacation.

Over the next six weeks I will be here training, rehabbing when everyone else is vacationing,” Nicks said. “I will be just trying to get all these mental reps and basically to try and get ready for the field. So I will be here.”
Last modified on Tuesday, 10 June 2014 15:37

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  • avatar

    Nothing new here, he said what you would expect him to say. Maybe there is a chance that he can come in midseason, but that seems unlikely to me. Just a terrible bit of bad luck for the Bucs overall, I thought they had made a great pick up and it just turned out wrong. Sad for all involved.
  • avatar

    Not sure how the rest of you feel but when i read between the lines from Mr. Nicks, I hear a guy who has mailed it in for this year. He's out there only when it's mandatory and he's trying desperately to keep the paychecks coming but there's no burning desire to get in great shape or rehab like crazy. I hope I'm wrong but he sounds like a guy with his head somewhere else. Another bad break for the Bucs. Too bad.
  • avatar

    "Can't run, can't jog, can't cut, can't block, can't drive block, can't pull? That about wraps up the function of an offensive lineman. Big dude can still eat though. The most encouraging thing I saw in his TV interviews was that he had shoes on both feet. And neither had a hole cut out for his "really big toe" as Ed Sullivan might say. His enormous talent makes it worth giving Nicks every chance possible to line up on Sundays (and Thursday). Perhaps even to the point of placing him on the Unable to Perform list that allows a player to return mid-season. I'm sure the organization is preparing itself to eventually trade Nicks to the Jets. Rumor has it that Rex "foot fetish" Ryan wants to take a gander at, and perhaps even touch, the biggest big toe in the league.
  • avatar

    Tough break for the big guy. Can't walk or play effectively if you can't use one foot.
  • avatar

    Nicks is done. Very Sad. He is such a great Guard but 9 games in two yrs ain't gonna cut it. My guess is that he is out of shape and probably needs 6 months of rigorous work outs to get back into playing shape. And that won't happen until he is cleared to play. The MRSA thing really hurt him. I sure hope they got that problem in the locker room fixed because it appears we have lost several players do to it. Bucs are going to eat it on his salary.
  • avatar

    No offense to Nicks and his struggle because it is nothing to be taken lightly... But he has gotten paid well and has had his share of "Time Off" so the least he can do is spend the next month and a half working his butt of to get back on the field... Not to sound unsympathetic but I would take a painful MRSA foot for $20 mill or however much he's made over the past 2 years... I don't feel bad for him in the least that he doesn't get the next 6 weeks off... Because while everyone else was workin their butts off in mini camps he was on the elliptical... It's time to kick it into gear and get your pro bowl self back on this field and make this offensive line 50% better all by yourself... I am a Firefighter and have 3 herniated disks from 2 on the job injuries so I know what it is like to live and work with the pain because I deal with it every day... I am not trying to elicit any sympathy and I know I wouldn't get it anyways... And I am not trying to be insensitive so please do not take that away from this comment... But I would give my entire left foot... Shoot my entire leg for that matter for the amount of money that he will make by the end of this sad situation... My point is that I don't feel bad for him having to put in the extra work and in fact that is the least that he could do for us... If there is any chance at all that he could play this year and despite his conditioning if he will be any sort of upgrade over our current options then he should be doing everything he can to get himself back on that field... He owes this team that much at least...
  • avatar

    I would say the same thing for 9.3 million dollars; why not? There has to be an insurance policy here somewhere and the Owners will one day cash in on it. I don't see Nicks doing anything this year; maybe next year.
  • avatar

    Carl Nicks is our Sgt. Hulka, he is our big toe. "An army without a leader is like of foot without a big toe." https://search.yahoo.com/search?p=sgt+hulka+big+toe&ei=UTF-8&fr=moz35
  • avatar

    Pretty sure Nicks will be ret to go in 2014. I just saw Carl's video presser and he has a big lightning bolt or some odd caricature carved into the left side of his head. That amulet has to mean that Carl is going to tear it up this year! Looks prophetic to me! Seriously, I think we're stressing over Carl's big toe way more than Carl is! lol.
  • avatar

    Seems to me the best plan for the Bucs is to NOT count on Nicks at all. Then if he is able to contribute, it'll be a bonus. He hasn't even started jogging yet...just jogging on a sore toe is very painful...forget about running & cutting on it...& his 300+ lb. weight won't help. I hope for him & the Bucs that he proves me wrong and contributes in a big way.
  • avatar

    Oh yeah, Carl Nicks I vaguely remember him he played a few games for us right?
  • avatar

    That is good news! A major hurdle passed. It is apparent that from this point forward Nicks is going to be a carefully managed resource for the Bucs. As I posted on another website, if you got a 90% Carl Nicks in rotation on running downs, you can go ahead and move the stakes. Lovie said that he’s confident there are no injuries that would keep players from going at the start of preseason camp next month. I assume that also includes Nicks. Things may not be as good as we want, but they may not be as bad as we thought either. Young Patrick Omameh is stepping up and saying it’s my turn now. Kadeem Edwards is taking first team reps today – young guns getting into the mix. I don't know the final saga for Nicks, but this post would have been a whole lot different if he had not passed his physical. Like Lovie said, it's a step at a time and Carl made one today! I can only hope for the best!
  • avatar

    Those were my thoughts exactly EEB. Those and how could he be asked to give an analysis on his new coach, scheme and teammates when he hasn't even been around? Sounds like coach Smith is up to his telling it like it is with this one as well. Saying Nicks is with the team now only because it's mandatory. He doesn't sound pleased that the veteran "grown man" wasn't around soaking things up when it was optional yes, but available for him. Smith will judge you on what you do, that's obvious. And as of now Nicks has done nothing to Garner any slack. I say there's no way Carl sticks around. I wish him luck but c'mon man! Sack up!
  • avatar

    Love that he is planning to stay in the facility and rehab/train for the next 6 weeks....however, how in the world does a guy who can't yet jog, walks in pain (that apparently only someone with a high tolerance can stand), and by his own admission is only at 60%, PASS THE PHYSICAL? How low is that bar...and didn't they say Bowers managed to still get under it (as reported, Bowers arrived "out of shape")....I don't even know what more to say about either of these guys...it's going to take some sort of miracle for either of them to be seen in pewter this year....
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