GRUDEN SERVES AS A MOVIE CONSULTANT: Tampa Bay head coach Jon Gruden served as a movie consultant for the remake of The Longest Yard last summer, drawing up a few offensive plays for the movie’s producer per his request.
“I thought it was a prank phone call,” Gruden said of the phone call he got from the Hollywood producer. “But he said he was serious, so I said, ‘Shoot yes, I’ll do it.’ They sent me the script and asked me to read it, and being one that doesn’t sleep much it wasn’t a problem for me. I just met with them for a couple of hours and gave them the feedback I thought they were looking for.”
Although he isn’t actually in the movie, Gruden will watch some of his plays get executed on the big screen next week, which is when he and some other members of the Bucs organization plan to attend a Tampa screening of the movie.
“I can’t say I spent a great amount of time, they didn’t need much help,” Gruden said. “I grew up at the time when The Longest Yard came out, and I thought it was a great movie. They just wanted to use me in anyway they thought I could help them out, a couple of plays maybe.
“I was kind of hoping I could meet Adam Sandler and Chris Rock, I’m big fans of theirs,” said Gruden. “It was fun to be behind the scenes and do whatever they asked me to do.”
The Longest Yard opens nationally on May 27.
BRACKINS MAKING SOME SPLASH PLAYS IN OTA: Bucs fifth-round pick, wide receiver Larry Brackins, is still making the adjustment from Pearl City Community College to the NFL, but he’s apparently showing head coach Jon Gruden some of the big-play ability that convinced the team to draft him last month.
“Everyone is going to keep asking about Larry because of his background, and let’s be honest — that’s going to be a factor to a degree because he simply doesn’t have as much to draw from,” said Gruden. “I like Larry, though. He’s taking a lot of coaching. I’ll tell you what, the big fella got up there today and made one helluva catch. He’s a freak. Yesterday, he made a big splash play down the field. That’s what he does. He’s a wild horse, that’s kind of what I refer to him as. But if we can train the wild horse, we might have a stallion there. He’s a guy who can do a lot of great things. He has a long way to go, but he is a big man who can run and jump, and he’s tough. He wants to be good.”
Gruden also stressed Thursday that he needs younger receivers like Brackins, Paris Warren and J.R. Russell and Edell Shepherd to step up on special teams this season.
GARNER SIDELINED UNTIL TRAINING CAMP?: Tampa Bay running back Charlie Garner is working his way back onto the football field, but he’s still got a ways to go.
Bucs head coach Jon Gruden said Thursday that Garner, who suffered a torn patella in his right knee in Week 3 against Oakland last year, probably won’t practice at full speed until training camp starts in late July.
“I think training camp is his target date,” Gruden said of Garner. “He’s doing quite well. He’s been to the meetings and been around here working. He’s getting close to being full strength, but he won’t compete until training camp.”
There’s still a chance that Garner could become a salary cap casualty after June 1 due to Tampa Bay’s need to free up money to sign their 12 draft picks.
BUCS’ OFFENSIVE LINE TAKING SHAPE?: The Bucs aren’t prepared to announce any starters on their offensive line yet, and although it’s still extremely early, the team has been quite pleased with their two drafts picks — left tackle Chris Colmer and left guard Dan Buenning.
“We’re not going to discriminate against any of them,” Bucs head coach Jon Gruden said of the offensive linemen competing for starting jobs. “We just want to get the five best guys playing. I’ll say this — Buenning looks good. He’s a square guy and he’s tough as hell. He’s all business all the time. Colmer is having peeks and valleys at times like most left tackles do. When you say hello to Simeon Rice every morning and they’re blitzing all over the place and we’re putting the offense in and it’s hot out, that’s a tough day at the office. But Colmer is going to be a good football player, and what’s inside is what makes him outstanding — he’s got a tremendous amount of pride.”
Anthony Davis has been playing at right guard in OTAs, competing with second-year G Jeb Terry. He’s also seen some action at right tackle due to the fact that Kenyatta Walker is nursing a knee that he recently had scoped. Walker is expected to return to action within the next couple of weeks.
The Bucs have eight OTAs remaining this offseason, and they’ll host a three-day mandatory mini-camp in late June.
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