With the departure of long time Tampa Bay cornerback Brian Kelly, the Buccaneers front office felt the need to address the depth at cornerback this offseason.
Former New England Patriot Eugene Wilson was the choice of the Buccaneers' front office. Tampa Bay conducted its first organized team activity of the year on Tuesday, and Wilson, who participated in the voluntary workout, spoke about his first practice with his new team.
"Oh man it felt good, you know it was really up tempo. We got a lot done today and it's a start," said Wilson.
Wilson, 27, was excited about his new coaching staff. In speaking about his defensive backs coach, Raheem Morris, Wilson said, "Oh man he's intense. He knows his stuff. Just being here for the little time I have I've learned a lot, and I'm loving playing under him right now."
Bucs head coach Jon Gruden also was praised. The 5-foot-10, 195-pound Wilson remarked on why he chose to sign a one-year contract with Tampa Bay.
"I really like Coach Gruden. He actually called me personally a couple of times," said Wilson. "You know I felt really comfortable here. I felt that I'd be able to come in here and contribute to this scheme. They've had a good defense in the past and I just want to come here and help as much as I can."
Gruden has also made it clear to Wilson what he expects to see from him in Tampa Bay.
"[Gruden] wants to see me play corner," Wilson said. "I had a real good career at Illinois playing corner and he was reflecting back on that and he wants to see it again."
Wilson did not leave out his new defensive coordinator, whom he is quite fond of.
"He was there for the first meeting," Wilson said of Kiffin. "He's a really intense guy also. You know everyone's intense here and they're going to keep you going."
In New England Wilson played safety and he had a lot to say about the transition back to his college position of corner.
"Its different, its different, you know it's going to take a little time to get my feet back under me, but I'm just looking to try and do some good things," said Wilson. "I'd say it's just a matter of getting the movements back. Being at safety you move different from when you're a corner and at corner I just have to get those movements back."
Not only will Wilson fall back on his experience at corner but he will draw on his experience in the Cover 2 defensive scheme from college at Illinois.
"We played a lot of man [coverage], we started out my freshman and sophomore year playing Cover 2. So I'm really comfortable playing corner in Cover 2. Its not a lot different it's mostly just verbiage and getting the communication down. Of course there's going to be differences but you know I have a real good coach in Raheem and he works with you. If you need he'll explain it to you and that helps getting it down pretty good."
Wilson is currently working behind Bucs cornerback Ronde Barber. He sees a bright future for Tampa Bay and the traits of winning that he saw during his tenure in New England.
"Most definitely [the Bucs] made it to the playoffs last year and they've had good defenses," said Wilson. "The offense is doing well. I'm just looking forward to coming here and helping as much as possible.
Want the inside scoop on the Tampa Bay Buccaneers' 2008 offseason plans? Want to find out who the Bucs are targeting in free agency and the NFL Draft this year? Subscribe to PewterReport.com's Pewter Insider by clicking here.
LISTEN to Pewter Report's Jim Flynn each Monday morning at 8:30 a.m. on the Pewter Pulse with Dan Sileo on WDAE 620 AM The Sports Animal, and catch Pewter Report's Scott Reynolds each Wednesday afternoon at 5:00 p.m. on the PewterReport.com Buccaneer Blitz with Steve Duemig on WDAE 620 AM The Sports Animal.