The Tampa Bay Buccaneers had some extra work to do in between their first two mandatory mini-camp practices at One Buc Place on Tuesday.
The Bucs worked out two free agent wide receivers – D.J. Hackett and Drew Bennett — on the far left practice field.
“Whenever you go to training camp you talk about receivers running a lot. Those are the guys you usually worry about. The receivers, the cornerbacks – those guys run a lot during camp. You get a little nervous about that so you’ve just got to bring in people to see where they are at health-wise and things of that nature.”
The 6-foot-2, 208-pound Hackett originally entered the NFL with the Seattle Seahawks in 2004. He spent four seasons in Seattle before signing with Carolina as a free agent in 2008.
Hackett, 27, has caught 118 career passes for 1,575 yards (13.3 avg.) and nine touchdowns. He is a player the Bucs expressed interest in signing last year before Hackett joined Carolina, where he caught 13 passes for 181 yards and no touchdowns.
Hackett’s best season came in 2006 when he passes in 45 catches for 610 yards and four touchdowns.
Bennett (6-5, 196) has hauled in 307 career passes for 4,412 yards (14.4 avg.) and 28 touchdowns while playing for Tennessee (2001-06) and St. Louis (2007-08).
His best season came in 2004 when he caught 80 passes for 1,247 yards and 11 touchdowns for the Titans.
After practice Hackett and Bennett caught passes from rookie quarterback Josh Freeman. Wide receivers coach Richard Mann ran the try-out. Also watching the workout was general manager Mark Dominik, and Bucs coordinator of pro scouting Doug Williams, among others.
Bucs head coach Raheem Morris suggested the team was just doing its homework on the two players should an injury occur in training camp or preseason.
“We work out guys every Monday or Tuesday during the season,” Morris said. “It’s no different here. You bring guys in to work them out, where they are, how they look and what they’re doing. You have to evaluate talent constantly.
The Bucs have reportedly been interested in signing former New York Giants free agent wide receiver Plaxico Burress, but Morris downplayed the team’s interest in signing Burress, who currently has some legal issues that could prevent him from playing football in 2009.
“He’s a great player, any time you have a chance to add a great player to your team you have to have some sort of interest,” said Morris. “But again, we’re talking about a ghost. Right now, we don’t know what’s going on with his legal problems. We don’t know what is going on with his suspension by the league. Until that stuff resolves, it’s not even worth talking about in my opinion.
“To be honest there was never really a discussion about bringing him in. He has close friends on our team and contacted those guys and said he’s interested himself. There is nothing wrong with that.”