TAMPA — Coach Lovie Smith has made no secret of his desire for the Bucs to be a faster team this year. He even went so far as to issue mandates to the players to reduce their body fat in the hopes that might make them a little faster.
DE Steven Means is among those who has heard the plea for speed.
The 6-foot-3, 260-pound 2013 fifth-round pick out of Buffalo said he believes he has the power and the shiftiness necessary to be an impact pass rusher, but he said the Bucs are focused almost entirely on improving his speed.
“They pretty much want me to use my speed more than anything,” Means said. “I’ve got a lot of shiftiness and power, but they want me to focus on my speed. So I’m working on that. I just have to put it on tape and show them.”
Play of the day
One day after he was lauded for improving his coverage skills after intercepting a pass from QB Josh McCown in the end zone during a red-zone drill, S Mark Barron was at it again Thursday.
This time, Barron sat back in his zone during another 11-on-11 drill, broke on a ball thrown across the middle of the field and hauled in his third interception of the week.
“He’s been out here and he’s been making plays,” cornerbacks coach Gill Byrd said of Barron. “It seems like every day he’s coming up with an interception, and that’s what this game is all about, taking the ball away.”
Run silent, run deep
RB Doug Martin will again be the primary ball carrier in the offense. Martin won’t get as many touches as he has in the past, though, and that’s all right with him.
“The fresher you can be, the better,” he said. “No one wants a rotten apple. I mean, it’s good for everybody’s future to be healthy, so I’m fine with the plan they have for the running backs.”
Quote of the day
“He’s getting better every day, but at first he was about like I was last year — like a deer in the headlights. But now the game is slowing down for him, he’s getting back to the comfort level he was at at (Texas) A&M.”
— CB Johnthan Banks, on the progress first-round draft pick WR Mike Evans is making in training camp
— Roy Cummings
Training camp schedule
The following practice sessions are open and free to the public, with all practices at One Buccaneer Place except tonight’s practice at Raymond James Stadium.
Today: 7:30-9:30 p.m.
Sunday: 4:30–7 p.m.
Monday: 4:30–7 p.m.
Tuesday: 4:30–7 p.m.
Sun., Aug. 10: 2–4:30 p.m.
Mon., Aug. 11: 4:30–7 p.m.
Tues., Aug. 12: 4:30–7 p.m.
Thurs., Aug. 14: 2–4:30 p.m.
NOTE: Dates and times subject to change.