Bucs to have full-squad practice for the first time
Today is another milestone in this frantic post-lockout period in the NFL.
It's the first day of the new league year, and as such, veterans who signed exclusive rights, restricted free agent or unrestricted free agent contracts since the end of the lockout finally will be able to suit up and practice. The prohibition on such players participating in practice actually was lifted Thursday afternoon, but the Bucs had only a special-teams practice that involved only some of the affected players.
Today, the Bucs will get players like Davin Joseph, Jeremy Trueblood and Quincy Black on the field with the full team, allowing coaches to see their actual lineups. The offensive line, for example, has been one of the most impacted units, with Joseph, Trueblood and James Lee all key components. Trueblood and Lee are expected to battle for the starting job at right tackle, but that battle hasn't begun as a result of the practice limitations.
Also among the players allowed on the field today: Punter-kicker Mike Koenen, who made a brief appearance in Thursday's special teams workout. Several other players were affected, including receiver Micheal Spurlock, safety Corey Lynch, linebacker Adam Hayward and defensive tackle Frank Okam.