TAMPA — Don’t expect the Bucs to reveal many clues about their new offense Friday night in Jacksonville.
Offensive coordinator Jeff Tedford plans to keep things under wraps for a while longer, at least until the third preseason game at Buffalo.
“People don’t really know what we’re going to do,” head coach Lovie Smith said Monday. “They have an idea. Jeff has a history of what he’s done in the past, but that’s not who we are. We want there to be a little bit of suspense, but at the same time, we have to keep getting better.”
Smith indicated his starters will play approximately one quarter against the Jaguars, who are led by former Bucs linebackers coach Gus Bradley.
Tampa Bay’s defense won the majority of the battles Monday and Tedford said it’s time to take on a fresh opponent.
“It was very evident today that our guys have seen our stuff a lot,” Tedford said. “We’ve had a really good camp, very efficient, but the defense got the better of it today, so you’re right, they have seen our stuff over and over again. It will be nice to just go in and hit new bodies and execute against different people.”
Pro Bowl CB Alterraun Verner continues to miss practice time with a tender hamstring, but Smith said the free agent from Tennessee is making progress. DE Da’Quan Bowers and TE Luke Stocker also were held out of Monday’s practice.
A new contender
With no one taking firm hold in the competition at slot receiver, the Bucs are now tinkering with the idea of using TE Tim Wright there.
“Tim can play tight end, but he can also play in the slot,” Tedford said. “He can do a lot of things as a receiver and he’s done a nice job in the slot. That one’s still up in the air.”
Smith is cautious not to form too many opinions in the early days of training camp, but it’s becoming obvious that rookie RB Charles Sims has made a strong impression on the coaching staff.
The third-round draft pick out of West Virginia has displayed the versatility that attracted Tampa Bay’s interest, but not every facet of the job has come easy.
“He hasn’t played a game, but you can see enough in him (Sims) to like his future with us,’’ Smith said. “He can carry the ball, he can catch the ball. But protection — for any young back, that’s the No. 1 thing they’ll have the most trouble with early on.’’
Making a move
The Bucs signed S Mark Joyce and waived WR David Gettis with an injury.
Joyce (5-10, 190) is a college free agent from the University of South Florida. In 47 games with the Bulls, including 22 starts, Joyce intercepted three passes and forced two fumbles.
Ira Kaufman, Roy Cummings