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
(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.”
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 firstname.lastname@example.org
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