Tampa Bay Buccaneers
Bucs' Minicamp Offers First Glance Into New Look
TAMPA - In its never-ending quest for parity, the NFL has even devised a way in which to diminish the edge a team that doesn't change coaches has over a team that does. The solution, the league decided, lies in an extra three-day minicamp for the team with a new coach. For the Tampa Bay Buccaneers and new coach Raheem Morris, that extra three-day minicamp starts today. The camp runs through Thursday morning and will be consist of five workouts, including two each today and Wednesday. With so many changes on the field as well as within the coaching staff, this is a camp that bears watching. Here then is a look at five things we'll be monitoring closely as the Bucs hit the field for the first time since Morris took over for Jon Gruden as the Bucs head coach.The Bucs may draft someone to fill this spot, but Greg White and Jimmy Wilkerson are getting an opportunity to prove they can handle it first. If one of those two pass-rush specialists can emerge as a starting-caliber player, the need to draft a player or re-sign Kevin Carter will be greatly reduced. Keep in mind that White got a shot at winning this job last year but wound up back at right end. The loss of free agent Jovan Haye to the Titans means the Bucs will have a new starter at this spot as well. The Bucs could solve the problem on draft day, but they're giving two recent draftees - Greg Peterson and Dre' Moore - first crack at the job. Both have the size that new defensive coordinator Jim Bates wants in an under tackle. The question is, do they have the pass-rush and run-stopping skills? No position has been shaken up more than this one. Derrick Brooks and Cato June are gone and in their place, at least for now, are Jermaine Phillips and Angelo Crowell. But can Phillips really make the switch from safety to linebacker? And how are Crowell's knees? He missed all of last year because of knee problems that required surgery. The Bucs are eager to get Quincy Black on the field. If Phillips or Crowell struggle, will Black get his shot? The Bucs still want to bring in another quarterback to push McCown for the starter's job, but McCown can help determine what kind of player that is with a good camp. If he shows good command of the offense and the huddle and displays some playmaking ability, McCown could eliminate the need to bring in another potential starter and leave the Bucs looking for someone they can develop over time. The Bucs gave up two draft picks, including a second-rounder this year, for Winslow. It seems like a lot for a tight end, even for one of the best in the league. The Bucs, though, have plans to use Winslow in places few tight ends ever tread. In addition to working at tight end, Winslow will also split out wide like a receiver on some plays and work from the slot on others. That will increase his value and it will be interesting to see how he's deployed this week.
Reporter Roy Cummings can be reached at (813) 259-7979.
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