The Bucs Training Camp Diaries are an annual training camp feature on PewterReport.com and we are fortunate to have two really good players to profile in veteran linebacker Kevin Minter, who will offer up his perspective of Todd Bowles’ defense, and wide receiver Scotty Miller, the Bucs’ sixth-round pick, who will take PewterReport.com readers through the trials and tribulations of rookie life in Bruce Arians’ first training camp in Tampa Bay. Look for Miller’s and Minter’s Bucs Training Camp Diaries twice a week throughout training camp and the preseason.
Miller is battling for a roster spot at wide receiver behind established veterans like Pro Bowler Mike Evans, Chris Godwin and Breshad Perriman. The Bucs drafted the 5-foot-11, 174-pound Miller for his blazing 4.4 speed and production as a deep threat at Bowling Green where he caught 215 passes for 2,867 yards (13.3 avg.) and 23 touchdowns. Miller had a huge senior campaign for the Falcons where he caught 71 passes for a career-high 1,148 yards (16.2 avg.) and nine touchdowns.
Outside of Bobo Wilson and Justin Watson, Tampa Bay’s fifth-round pick from a year ago, there isn’t much established competition on the roster. The Bucs have six other receivers in the mix for the final two or three roster spots behind Evans, Godwin and Perriman that are either rookies or first-year players. Miller has a chance to shine in training camp and the preseason, but must be a factor on special teams if he is going to make the final 53-man roster in Tampa Bay. That means either winning the punt or kick return duties, and being willing and able to cover kicks and punts, too.
I Have To Prove I’m Ready
By Scotty Miller as told to Mark Cook
It’s been tough, really tough these past two weeks sitting out with the hamstring injury. Missing the first two games … I was looking forward to playing. I worked really hard to get to that point, then to come down with the injury, it was frustrating. But I have been back out here practicing this week, and I am feeling really good, and looking forward to getting out there and making some plays again.
When you are injured and can’t practice, you just have to stay involved mentally and learn. That’s all you can do. That, and work with the trainers and try and get back on the field while taking a lot of mental reps in my head, watching these guys running around. And I learned a lot. And absolutely I wanted to get back out there even before I was ready.
A couple days after the injury, I was like, “Let me get back out there.” But at the end of the day, it is more important to make sure the hamstring is 100 percent healthy so it isn’t a reoccurring issue. I trusted and worked with the trainers, and they came up with a plan. And so far it has worked out really well.
I think the receiver position roster spots are still wide open after our top three (Mike Evans, Chris Godwin and Breshad Perriman). We have a lot of really good players here. I think we have like 12 or 13 guys, and really everyone is talented. You aren’t going to be here if you aren’t. I think the competition is wide open. but I don’t worry about numbers. I try not to think about that and just come out here and get better and prove that I am one of those top guys.
On Friday night (against Cleveland) I have to prove I’m ready. I know the playbook, I understand the offense. I now have to prove I am ready mentally and that I can perform on the field as well. So if I can do those things, I think I can put myself in a pretty good spot. I think I was doing well in the spring and before the injury in camp. I was doing well. I think I was getting better. But I can’t worry about that. It won’t do me any good now.
Our defense has really improve a lot since the opening of camp. I think the one think I have noticed the most is they are communicating. They are always talking. The DBs are always talking. You hear Devin White in there talking, telling everyone what to do. They’ve done a really good job. You keep you eyes out for Devin. He is big dude, he’s fast and strong and I think around 230 pounds. So I don’t want to be taking a hit from him. If I can stay away from him, I will.
Hopefully Bucs fans will just see us making plays this Friday – and on Sundays once the season starts. We have out so much work in – all the players – but also our position group. We have a lot of really good talent. Hopefully you will see me out there on Sundays. We are excited for the year and hopefully we show some flashes and give the fans the wins that they deserve.
Previous Miller’s Bucs Camp Diary Entries
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