TAMPA - One of Tampa Bay's most valuable players is seldom if ever recognized publicly for the work he does. You can bet, though, that in private, Buccaneers coach Greg Schiano recognizes LB Adam Hayward regularly.
Entering his seventh year in the league, Hayward plays a valuable role on special teams and at linebacker and is the type of player teams need and count on to win big, Schiano said.
"Adam is certainly a consummate pro, but there are a lot of guys with his talent in this league - or more talent,'' Schiano said Wednesday. "So for Adam, being a consummate pro allows him to be a pro. It's going to take that for him to be in the National Football League. But so what? He plays linebacker, all three spots, and plays in the kicking game on all of the big four (units).
"Now, you need your Vincent Jacksons, consummate pros with oodles of talent, but you also need need guys that are role players, that are multiple-position backups and core special teams guys. That's how you put a team together.''
Hayward, 29, takes pride in his versatility.
"I try to be the guy who can do it all,'' he said. "All I can do is try to be a leader, play special teams and have fun.''
As one of 17 defensive backs on Tampa Bay's 90-man roster, third-year S Ahmad Black realizes the challenges he's facing in training camp.
Black was selected in the fifth round of the 2011 draft after starting 39 games at the University of Florida. He started the 2012 opener against Carolina and posted his first NFL interception, adding another pick at Oakland, where he also forced a fumble and made five tackles.
"If we didn't have competition, that would be scary,'' Black said. "We have a lot of guys back there who can get the job done - that raises everyone's game.''
Black shadows Pro Bowl CB Darrelle Revis, hoping to pick up some pointers.
"We sit next to each other in the meeting room, and I see how he goes about being a pro,'' Black said. "I'm still learning, trying to follow in his footsteps.''
Rookie CB Johnthan Banks continues to make an impression on Black.
"I've been playing against Banks since college,'' he said. "As a freshman, he picked off two (Tim Tebow) passes and took it to the house. I'm glad to have him on our team.''
Lean and mean
Pro Bowl DT Gerald McCoy reported to camp 10 pounds lighter than the team's recommended weight, a result of a rigorous offseason program.
"If anyone knew how hard this guy trained this summer, you'd understand why he is where he is,'' Schiano said. "When you train so hard that you gain a little weight a week into training camp, that's pretty serious stuff. He's setting the tempo for our defense, which is something we need.''
On the move
The Bucs moved P Michael Koenen to the active roster and signed three players. Koenen had been on the Active/Non-Football Injury list after suffering a cut on his foot while on vacation before camp opened.
The Bucs signed LB Dom DeCicco and guards Roger Allen and Howard Barbieri.
DeCicco spent the past two seasons with the Bears, registering 17 special teams tackles in 20 games. Signed as an undrafted free agent in 2011, DeCicco was a two-time all-Big East selection at Pittsburgh.
Allen returns after playing in four games with Tampa Bay in 2012. His only NFL start came in 2009 with the Rams, who originally signed Allen as a free agent out of Missouri Western.
Barbieri, who played for Tampa Bay coach Greg Schiano at Rutgers, spent the 2012 offseason with the Ravens. He entered the league with the Texans as a free agent in 2011.
The team waived CB Mason Robinson and tackles Brice Schwab and Jason Weaver.