Bearing somewhat of a resemblance to former Bucs guard Carl Nicks – and also wearing his No. 77 jersey – Bucs rookie offensive lineman Caleb Benenoch stood in front of the local media on Saturday and answered a number of questions about his first taste of the NFL during the weekend rookie mini-camp.

Below is a transcript of the interview.

(On camp so far)
“It’s going great. Having a lot of fun. Met a lot of cool people, getting close to the guys, offensive line is jelling. It’s a lot of fun.”

(On playing guard in this camp)
“(Coach George)Warhop wanted to start me off at guard. I’ll probably move back outside at some point, but I’m a versatile guy and that’s what he wanted when they picked me up so I’ll do anything he needs me to do.”

Caleb Benenoch – Photo: Mark Cook/PR

Caleb Benenoch – Photo: Mark Cook/PR

(On coming out early)
“I’m a competitor and I wanted to compete at this level and that’s basically what was behind my decision to come out. I see all my friends coming (out), I see everybody I competed against compete at this level an I feel like I have the ability and the tools to do so, so I wanted to take that leap.”

(On if he felt there was anything left to show at the college level)
“No, it wasn’t that because you can always get better as a football player. It was just me as a competitor wanting to play against the best in the world. That’s kind of what it was. I watch everybody on Sundays and I was like, I want to do that and I go the opportunity so I took it.”

 (On getting his degree)
“I was on course at UCLA to graduate in three years and a quarter. And if I stayed four years I would have graduated earlier than most, like January, 2017 so I have about 10 classes left in my poli-sci major, so I’ll be done pretty soon.”

(On what he wanted to show this week)
“My athleticism, my movement, being able to play different positions. I didn’t take a lot of in-game guard snaps up until this season. And coming in here and doing it every rep, every play, just showing I can bring a lot of versatility to this team.”

(On practicing outside your comfort zone right away)
“Yeah, I’m a football player and I love the challenge. That’s why I came out, so I can compete and get coached by the best. Coach Warhop is a great coach and I’m looking forward to learning a lot from him.”

 (On what you want to accomplish here)
“Technique for an offensive lineman is the biggest thing. That’s what determines who wins and loses every play, so technique for me and getting bigger and stronger in the weight room and soaking up all the knowledge I can.”

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About the Author: Mark Cook

Mark Cook currently is the director of editorial content and Bucs beat writer and has written for PewterReport.com since 2011. Cook has followed the Buccaneers since 1977 when he first began watching football with his Dad and is fond of the 1979 Bucs team that came within 10 points of going to a Super Bowl. His favorite Bucs game is still the 1979 divisional playoff win 24-17 over the Eagles. In his spare time Cook enjoys playing guitar, fishing, the beach and family time.Cook is a native of Pinecrest in Eastern Hillsborough County and has written for numerous publications including the Tampa Tribune, In the Field and Ya'll Magazine. Cook can be reached at mark@pewterreport.com
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drdneast
drdneast
5 years ago

Coach Warhop’s stock has sure changed in direction in one year after our hapless OC Mark Arroyo was let go and Dirk Koetter was hired.
To be fair with Arroyo, he should never have been given that job or put in that position to begin with.
Fans were busy throwing Warhop under the bus for the teams muddled performance and now he is getting high praise from coaches and players alike.

macabee
macabee
5 years ago

I’ve been looking up backgrounds and watching Youtube highlights of all the Buc draft picks. As it turns out, Caleb Benenoch may turn out to be a real steal in round 5. Caleb got a round 3 grade from the NFL as recorded on NFLDraftScout and was trending up at the time of the draft. – http://www.nfldraftscout.com/ratings/players.php?genpos=OT&draftyear=2016&sortorder=tsxpos&order=ASC – He’s got combine numbers right up there with highly sought after OTs like Jack Conklin and Jason Spriggs. Now why did this guy fall to the 5th round? I scoured the internet and can find no off field concerns and he has… Read more »

makski
makski
Reply to  macabee
5 years ago

Hey macabee, I have herd a lot of the same stuff. I never really herd of Benenoch until we drafted him. Then, the other day, forgot where, but I herd some info on him and got more excited that we drafted him. He came out a year early and was supposed to be a 3-5 round pick according to this report. They said he maybe should have stayed in college for 1 more year and gotten more experience. They then went on to say that if he stayed in college and improved like projected, that he would easily become a… Read more »

scubog
scubog
5 years ago

Might having Benenoch focus on the guard position be a hint that at some point Marpet moves to center?

toofamiliar17
toofamiliar17
Reply to  scubog
5 years ago

Not necessarily. In general, I think teams understand that once they get to the 4th, 5th, 6th round area, they’re likely drafting depth as much as anything, with the hope that maybe eventually they just might become good starters. Marpet certainly could play center and play it extremely well, I think. Maybe if Benenoch really excels, then they do move Marpet over to up the quality of the line overall. It’s possible. But if the likely result plays out and Benenoch isn’t good enough to start, then no.

Morgan
Morgan
5 years ago

the same hype we see season after season…

cgmaster27
cgmaster27
Reply to  Morgan
5 years ago

As always Morgan your positive energy is so infectious.

surferdudes
surferdudes
5 years ago

I was thinking the same thing Scu. Mark, have you heard any chatter about Marpet as center? This kid’s a giant, I thought they’d start him out at right tackle where we have two aging vets on short contracts.

GoldsonAges
GoldsonAges
5 years ago

They are probably just trying to figure out where the kid can play. He has started at tackle and guard in college. I believe he played RG and RT at UCLA. Pamphile will be the swing tackle and Cherilus could be finished. Would love to see Marpet get reps at OC.

toofamiliar17
toofamiliar17
Reply to  GoldsonAges
5 years ago

I’m pretty happy with our offensive coaching staff the way it is right now. Would rather Marpet focus on playing the game.

Horse
Horse
5 years ago

Doesn’t look like Nicks to me. Glad to know that the kid just wants to play no matter the position.

drdneast
drdneast
5 years ago

Why do some of your guys always want to try and reinvent the wheel.
Marpet did fine at RG last year and Joe Haley is more than a capable center with a mean streak in him. With another year at RG, Marpet will only continue to improve playing the same position in the same scheme.
So what is the logical conclusion to all of this by some of you budding GM’s?
Move Marpet to center.
Don’t quit your day jobs, guys.

scubog
scubog
Reply to  drdneast
5 years ago

Because the idea of Marpet possibly moving to center had been mentioned before. I didn’t “invent the wheel”. Just asked the question if this is something that the real GM and staff might consider. I’m sure they’ll abandon the thought since you don’t think it’s feasible.

toofamiliar17
toofamiliar17
Reply to  drdneast
5 years ago

While I don’t like the idea of moving Marpet to center, the answer to your question is that Hawley is a crappy player. Mean streak or not, he’s a poor blocker and showed that last year. You clearly disagree, but film doesn’t lie. We could use a major talent infusion at the position.

Again, I’d prefer Marpet stay at RG, but it is rational to think about moving him to a position where we are pretty badly short on talent and ability right now.

drdneast
drdneast
5 years ago

I doubt if they were even considering it since they deal in reality and not fantasy football.