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Rick Stroud, Greg Auman and Matt Baker

Bucs preparing to hit the field next week in minicamp



Bucs players have had two weeks to show what they can do in the classroom, now they get to prove their worth on the field.

Coach Greg Schiano and his staff will conduct a voluntary veteran minicamp for three days next week. Although a workout schedule has not been released, it’s expected to begin either Tuesday or Wednesday.

The workouts are closed to the public, but competition will be open at nearly every position.

It will be the first on-field look of the new systems under offensive coordinator Mike Sullivan and defensive coordinator Bill Sheridan.

"For our players, what you have to remember, everything is new.’’ general manager Mark Dominik said. “Whether you're Carl Nicks or Davin Joseph, everything you walk into is a new regime, a new thing. So does that make it better or worse for E.J. Biggers? I don't know. But at least it levels the playing field for Myron Lewis and E.J. Biggers and says, ‘let's find out what these guys can really do. And if they can't do it, it is what it is.’’

Expect there to be a lot of eyeballs on middle linebacker Mason Foster, who struggled in that role a year ago. Foster, a third-round pick from Washington, had no benefit of an off-season as a rookie because of the NFL lockout.

Sheridan and others have hinted that Foster might be suited to play another linebacker position. But it’s important for Schiano’s staff to evaluate players in the new system before drawing any conclusions prior to the NFL draft. The extra minicamp is a benefit afforded teams with a first-year coaching staff.

Offensively, quarterback Josh Freeman will begin his third system in four seasons. He has a new weapon to get used to in Chargers free agent receiver Vincent Jackson. As Schiano has said, every player has a clean slate. Although the minicamp is voluntary, players will be focused on making a good first impression.


[Last modified: Thursday, April 12, 2012 3:43pm]


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