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Rick Stroud, Greg Auman and Matt Baker

Brent Grimes wants Bucs testing him early in practice



Pro Bowl cornerback Brent Grimes, among the Bucs' biggest free-agent additions in the offseason, has interceptions off Jameis Winston in each of the last two days of practice, and says he hopes Tampa Bay's offense will continue to challenge him in training camp.

"They're running a lot of double moves," Grimes said after Friday's workout. "It's good. It keeps you honest, gets your footwork right. That's what training camp and practice is for -- you have to go out there and try things and see. If you just play it safe in training camp, that's not good."

On Friday, Grimes went up high to come down with a deep ball underthrown by Winston after a pump fake on a route by Donteea Dye. On Saturday, Winston's throw to Kenny Bell was tipped, and Grimes came down with the interception again.

"That was a nice play by Brent," coach Dirk Koetter said. "That wasn't a great decision by Jameis unfortunately. That was actually probably Jameis' first bad decision in two days, but we've been getting after Grimes with some double moves, but he got us on that one."

Grimes said he's been impressed by the talent level of his Bucs teammates in offseason workouts and now in training camp, as well as the coaches he's working with.

"It's a great team. Bunch of great guys, great coaches. It's a very positive environment," Grimes said. "This is a talented team. I like the coaching staff, like how they coach the players. I like the system we're playing in. Everybody has talent though, so we'll see when the real games start."

The secondary -- bolstered not only with Grimes but also first-round pick Vernon Hargreaves -- has a chance to be one of the Bucs' most improved areas, after allowing opponents to complete 70 percent of passes last season, giving up 31 touchdown passes with only 11 interceptions.

A big part of Grimes' choosing the Bucs was his relationship with defensive coordinator Mike Smith, who was his head coach in Atlanta from 2008-12. Grimes had a career-best six interceptions in 2009 and five in 2010.

"When you bring a coach like Coach Smith in, and (secondary) Coach (Jon) Hoke and (defensive backs coach Brett) Maxie, you've got a bunch of good guys and you have players who can play the game," Grimes said. "I know Coach Smith and he's a great coach and he's going to have everybody where they're supposed to be. He's going to coach you hard and it's going to pay off in the long run."

[Last modified: Saturday, July 30, 2016 8:18pm]


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