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Rick Stroud, Greg Auman and Matt Baker

Bucs not close to final decision at nose tackle



The Bucs seem to have a good handle on who their defensive starters are going to be.

But at nose tackle, especially after last week’s trade of Brian Price, the Bucs seem noncommittal on who will play most of the snaps.
Veteran Roy Miller, who came off the bench in 2011, currently is taking the majority of the first-team snaps. But that is very much subject to change.

Gary Gibson, an offseason signing from the Rams, is in the mix. To a lesser extent, Amobi Okoye, who joined as a free agent from the Bears, also is a factor, though he is more likely to play on passing downs than early downs.

All the Bucs know for certain right now is they’re going to ride Gerald McCoy for all they can at under tackle. The process of figuring out who plays beside him is ongoing.

“I think Gerald, as I’ve said before, he’s got the ability to be an elite guy with get off and the motor he plays with,” coach Greg Schiano said. “Then we have to figure out how we’re going to deal with the other position and how we’re going to create depth at the three technique. As we work through it, Gary, Roy, Amobi and then whoever else we throw into that mix, it’s just going to be competition. Whoever performs the best will get the bigger chunk. Then next best will get a little bit smaller chunk and we’ll just roll it through.”

Gibson has already missed some practice time with an injury and Okoye missed today and will probably be out another day or so. That’s impacted the team’s ability to move closer to a decision. Regardless, that decision will probably wait until after the team evaluates these players in preseason games, which don’t start for another week.

[Last modified: Thursday, August 2, 2012 1:31pm]


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