TAMPA - Don't go penciling newly signed veteran kicker Lawrence Tynes into the Tampa Bay Buccaneers' lineup just yet. The Bucs signed undrafted Derek Dimke, a rookie out of Illinois, earlier in the offseason, and coach Greg Schiano plans to have Tynes and Dimke battle it out for the right to replace the injured Connor Barth. "We'll see how that plays out,'' Schiano said Thursday after putting the team's rookies through their first day of workouts before training camp starts next week at One Buc Place. Both kickers are new to the franchise, leaving the Bucs in a precarious situation as they prepare for a season without a key player.
"I thought Connor was a weapon in the longer field-goal range,'' Schiano said. "He was exceptional over 40 yards." Barth ruptured his right Achilles tendon playing in a charity basketball game Friday. He had surgery Monday and is out for the season. Tynes, a nine-year veteran who played the past six years with the New York Giants, was signed Wednesday. "It's a shame that we lost a very consistent performer, a guy that we thought was a big part of what we were doing," Schiano said. "We're fortunate that in the spring we acquired Derek Dimke, and we're very fortunate that a guy like Lawrence Tynes was available. "With the experience and the big-game kicks (Tynes) has made, those two guys will give us a chance to have a good competition and make the best of a bad situation, so that's where we stand there." Barth played in the charity basketball game with several other NFL players, but Schiano was vague when asked if Barth had permission to play. "Contracts have prohibitive language of what you are allowed to do and not allowed to do," Schiano said. "It's a fine line, right, because you want guys to do things, but you have to do it in a controlled manner. "It only comes up when something happens, right, but it's certainly in the contractual language. (But) I'm not going to get into all that. That's (for) ownership. That's not my field." Looking ahead With the exception of Barth, the Bucs expect all players who are recovering form 2012 season-ending or offseason injuries to be ready for participation when training camp begins. What it is uncertain what kind of schedule each player will be on. Workloads for DE Adrian Clayborn (knee), CB Darrelle Revis (knee) and Gs Carl Nicks (toe) and Davin Joseph (knee) will be made next week, Schiano said. Veterans are scheduled to report on Wednesday with the first practice on Thursday. "That could be determined as late as the night before we start camp," Schiano said. "Everybody will be on different schedules, but we fully expect them all to be out there and practicing." Promises, promises The Bucs opened their first camp under Schiano a year ago by running a conditioning test that called for players to run 16 110-yard sprints in a time designated for each position group. This year's camp will open with the same grueling test, Schiano says. "Yep, 16 110s,'' he said. "The fellas are excited about it, from what I hear.'' Roy Cummings