Mini-camp morning wrapup
Here's where we are after one practice.
The Bucs are in meetings right now, getting ready to take the field for their second practice at 2:50 p.m. During their first session, they did some minimal installation on offense and defense so as to not overwhelm guys on Day 1. QB Luke McCown remarked about the size of his new playbook (three inches) compared to Jon Gruden's (six). Many of the concepts are similar to some employed by Gruden, but they'll be used in different doses and out of different formations. These three days are important because they will set the foundation for the rest of the offseason from a learning standpoint with new systems on both sides of the ball.
On defense, we spoke with coordinator Jim Bates who said the team put in just one coverage scheme this morning. But they're learning some things about their players. Jimmy Wilkerson is spending a lot of time at left defensive end, where he looks to be in the mix. Ryan Sims and Chris Hovan likely would start at the DT spots if the season started today. And Bates concedes the depth of the DT position in the draft isn't great. It's a premium position most years anyway. The lack of depth among the top prospects is only going to make it more difficult to land a difference-maker.
Another thing I asked Bates was to characterize how CB Ronde Barber -- a classic zone cornerback -- would make the transition to this new style of press coverage.
'He's played this style before," Bates said. "He'll be going through the offseason, the OTAs, mini-camps, training camp and we'll see where he's at. And we can adjust a little bit to a player's need, too. But, right now, he's going to be a bump corner like all our corners will be and we'll see how it develops over the next few months."
One last note: new LB Angelo Crowell isn't out on the field yet. Probably won't see him until May when he will be completely recovered from last season's knee surgery.