We try not to dwell too much on what's happening in practices this time of year because, well, it's May for crying out loud. But for what it's worth, we did get a rare chance to sit on Thursday's workout at Raymond James Stadium and picked up a few tidbits.
For starters, things will be interesting along the offensive line.
The right side seems to be pretty much set, with Jeremy Trueblood at right tackle and Davin Joseph at right guard. But the rest of the line is a tossup. Luke Petitgout seems to have the inside track at left tackle, but Jon Gruden insists Anthony Davis isn't out of the picture. Left guard will be a position to watch, too. Davis lined up there for most of Thursday's workout, but rookie Arron Sears will be a factor there. Meanwhile, doing his daily rehab on the sidelines was Dan Buenning, who is recovering from a season-ending knee injury from last Thanksgiving. At center, in the absence of injured John Wade, was Matt Lehr, acquired in free agency from the Falcons. Seems he could wind up at center permanently, though it's premature to say whether he has a chance to start.
Elsewhere, the Bucs have some options at receiver, where there appears to be some legitimate competition. They seem determined to take advantage of Maurice Stovall's size, as they continue to work with him in goal-line situations, often throwing to the corner of the end zone. And David Boston, as he did last season, looks good -- at least in practice. He never really made much impact in preseason games in 2006. Joey Galloway still looks fast, and Michael Clayton didn't look half bad, either.
One final offensive note: Bruce Gradkowski seems to currently have a grip on the No. 3 quarterback spot behind Chris Simms and Jeff Garcia. Luke McCown and rookie free agent Zac Taylor appear to be on the outside looking in at this point.
On defense, with Derrick Brooks out of town with his grieving family, the Bucs gave Cato June some snaps at weak-side linebacker. Could that be a forshadowing of things to come in the future? Probably. Also, in the secondary, the first-team safeties, for now, are still Jermaine Phillips (SS) and Will Allen (FS). But there will be a change at nickel back after Juran Bolden's release. Right now, it seems Phillip Buchanon has the inside track and is probably more accomplished than any of the other options. He got most of the nickel back snaps Thursday, but he'll have to fend off competitors like Torrie Cox.
There will be more open practices in the weeks to come, though the Bucs will take all of next week off because of Memorial Day.