TAMPA - As they pieced together the late June trade that sent a 2014 sixth-round draft pick to the Chicago Bears for right tackle Gabe Carimi, the Buccaneers felt as if they were dealing from a position of strength.
The 6-foot-7, 315-pound Carimi, who won the 2010 Outland Trophy while playing for current Bucs offensive line coach Bob Bostad at Wisconsin, was already a known quantity.
"We had insider information," Bucs coach Greg Schiano said. "(Bostad) was with him for four years, so that was the biggest reason we did it. The other reason is, we were able to get him for a sixth-round pick. ... We just figured the risk-reward was tremendous.''
Carimi was the Bears' 2011 first-round draft pick, but he fell out of favor in Chicago after just two years, in part because he chose not to participate in the 2013 offseason workout program.
A rookie season lost to a knee injury likely factored into the Bears' decision to move Carimi, as well.
The Bucs think the deal did nothing but strengthen their offensive line.
Though Carimi has worked exclusively at second-team right tackle, it probably won't be long before he also works at guard.
"We want him to get the feel in our system of what it's like to play tackle first,'' Schiano said of the third-year pro. "This is a guy who has played some, but who hasn't played a ton in the National Football League.
"It's not like you're getting a six-year veteran who you can plug in and play and then just move him over. ... But we are getting closer to where we'll start cross training him.''
Pleased with his new environment and the fact that he's back with his college line coach, Carimi is more than willing to move back to guard.
"I'm willing to play wherever they want me to play,'' Carimi said. "It doesn't matter to me. Whatever I can do to help us get better and help us win, I'm willing to do it.''
Linebacker Jonathan Casillas spent the first four years of his pro career playing for the New Orleans Saints, who won their first and only Super Bowl title during his rookie season in 2009.
Now with the Bucs, Casillas doesn't see a great deal of difference between the teams, except their training facilities.
"In New Orleans they have an indoor facility and here we don't,'' Casillas said. "That's about it as far as differences go, and all that means is that here, you have to be smarter about how you take care of your body.
"I cramped up the first couple days I was out here, but since then I've been fine.
"You just have to be real conscious of the humidity and the sweat and be sure to replenish everything that you lose.''
Rookie defensive end William Gholston missed a good portion of the first week of camp workouts nursing a hamstring injury, but made good use of his time.
"I took good advantage of the down time and really got into the playbook,'' the Michigan State product said. "A lot of the (defensive leaders) here made sure I stayed with it and now I feel like I've got that playbook down.''