Bucs' Barron pumped for his debut Friday
The Bucs expected a lot out of rookie safety Mark Barron when they drafted him seventh overall this year, penciling him into a starting spot in the secondary.
But with a toe injury keeping Barron out of last week's exhibition opener, they haven't been able to fully see what the former Alabama star can do.
That will change Friday night, when Barron is expected to make his NFL debut against the Titans at Raymond James Stadium.
"I'm very excited," Barron said after today's practice. "I was looking forward to last week but unfortunately I wasn't able to play. Those same feelings are carrying into this game. I'm ready to get out there and get a feel for the game."
Barron doesn't know how many snaps he'll get Friday, but said the toe won't be the limiting factor. He said while he's missed some time due to the injury, he's been able to grasp the defensive scheme and "I didn't fall behind at all."
"At this point, I pretty much know everything," Barron said. "It's a thing where you just got to focus in on every play and make sure you're doing your assignment."
Barron pointed out that with the limited contact rules in camp, it's hard for a safety to stand out in a practice, and coach Greg Schiano is looking forward to evaluating him in a game setting.
"It's hard to say what kind of camp he's having because he hasn't participated enough to really draw a conclusion," Schiano said. "Mentally, I think he's grasping the defense, but how do you know until you're under pressure and have to perform. It's one thing to master the defense in the air conditioning, and it's another to do it when you've got your pads on and you've got to hit somebody. I think we'll see that more as he plays more. I'm confident he will, but like anything else, until you do it, it's talk."
-- JOE SMITH