KELLY HELD OUT OF PRACTICE Buccaneers cornerback Brian Kelly, who participated in Tuesday afternoon’s practice at One Buccaneer Place, was held out of Wednesday’s workout with a bruised leg.
Kelly spent part of Wednesday at One Buccaneer Place, where he received treatment for the injury.
“We held Brian Kelly out today,” said Bucs head coach Jon Gruden. ‘He’s okay. He’s just getting some extra treatment. He had a good day yesterday. We’ll see where he is tomorrow.”
In addition to Kelly, defensive tackles Kevin Carter and Darrell Campbell, tight ends T.J. Williams and Keith Heinrich, guard Arron Sears and defensive end Simeon Rice were held out Wednesday’s practice.
Center Dan Buenning (knee) was limited. He is expected to be 100 percent by the time training camp starts.
Quarterback Jake Plummer, who has said on several occasions that he’s retired from the NFL, did not report to the mandatory mini-camp for the second straight day.
BUCS PRACTICE AT RAY-JAY Tampa Bay held its third mandatory mini-camp practice scheduled for this week at Raymond James Stadium on Wednesday morning.
After holding two practices at One Buccaneer Place on Tuesday, the Bucs had a lighter workload on Wednesday, conducting just one two-hour practice.
The Bucs even had the scoreboard and pirate ship working for the Wednesday morning practice. After watching his offense score just 20 touchdowns in 2006, head coach Jon Gruden wants to hear the pirate ship’s cannons more often in 2007.
“We got them going a couple of times,” Gruden said of the cannons. “We have to score points. We have to get the ball in better field position and we have to create some turnovers. We’ve got to get the ball back quicker. We’ve got to do something with the football and we have to make the cannons fire. That goes without saying.”
With three mandatory mini-camp workouts out of the way, the Bucs will hold their fourth and final practice at One Buc Place on Thursday morning.
After Thursday’s practice, the next time the Buccaneers will take the field as a team will be when they hold their first training camp practice on the morning of July 27.
So far, Gruden has been pleased with what he’s seen from his team.
“I think we’ve done some good things out here,” said Gruden. “We’ve got a good defensive team that has at times made things difficult for the offense. And I think at times the offense has done a good job of making some plays. They’ve been some guys who have stepped up and there have been guys that have a long way to go. I am pleased with the most part.”
BUCS GO BOWLING After holding a two-hour practice on Wednesday morning, Bucs head coach Jon Gruden took his entire team bowling as part of a team-building exercise.
Gruden typically takes his team to the movies or bowling one time during the offseason and then again during training camp.
With bowling out of the way, perhaps the Bucs will take a trip to the movies during training camp in August.
JOSEPH, TRUEBLOOD SHOWING IMPROVEMENT Bucs head coach Jon Gruden has been pleased with the progress of some of his younger players, including second-year offensive linemen Davin Joseph and Jeremy Trueblood, who play right guard and right tackle, respectively.
Gruden said he has noticed a big difference in both players compared to this time last year.
“It’s not even close,” said Gruden. “Those guys were rookies last year. Davin obviously got hurt and missed the first four or five games of the regular season. Jeremy Trueblood was a career left tackle at Boston College and has made the transition to a new position. These two guys are going to be very good Buccaneers. We want to build an offensive line around them. Hopefully Arron Sears and Luke Petitgout can anchor the left side, and we’ll have real good competition inside. I can guarantee you that.”
JUST FOR KICKS Tampa Bay has several players auditioning for the punt and kickoff return jobs.
The Bucs have never returned a kickoff for a touchdown in a regular season game during their 31-year history. Players like running back Cadillac Williams and wide receivers David Boston, Mark Jones and Chad Owens will be given the opportunity to end that dreadful streak if they can win the starting kickoff return job in training camp and preseason.
“I wouldn’t say anybody, but we do have some candidates,” said Bucs head coach Jon Gruden. “You saw some of them today. We’re going to try to get somebody back there that can do something with the ball and make a big play.”
QUOTE OF THE DAY Bucs head coach Jon Gruden when asked if likes having a quarterback like Jeff Garcia that gets mad and frustrated when he makes a bad throw:
“He was probably mad because somebody ran a bad route. Or maybe he was mad at me because it was a bad play call. I like having a guy like that, a ‘Type-A’ guy at that position. Every down is a matter of life and death. You don’t get second chance in this game. I think Jeff brings a lot of that to our team.”
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