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Rick Stroud, Greg Auman and Matt Baker

Training camp: random thoughts



It's good to be back in Tampa Bay, sleeping in our own beds. After three weeks of camp, we're all sunburned and exhausted -- mentally and physically. True, the players are doing the hardest work, but at least they don't have to write three stories a day!

Anyway, with camp officially in the books as of this morning, I wanted to share a few random thoughts based on dozens of hours of observation.

*I'm starting to think Gaines Adams will be fine, but don't expect immediate miracles. And, just like the rumors I'd heard about him, the man is not a practice player. But then again, neither is Allen Iverson.

*From where I sit, seems the starting offensive line is already set. Looks like Luke Petitgout (LT), Arron Sears (LG), John Wade (C), Davin Joseph (RG) and Jeremy Trueblood (RT). And if I'm Jon Gruden, I'm feeling a lot better about my depth there than in the past.

Jackson_2 *I think Tanard Jackson has a bright future. The safety picked in the fourth round is proving to be a quick study by simultaneously learning both strong and free safety as well as nickel back.

*Speaking of rookies, has anyone seen Greg Peterson? No one seems to even acknowledge the defensive tackle drafted in the fifth round out of North Carolina Central. Right now, he's not a factor.

Hilliard_3 *Ike Hilliard is a lock to make the roster. For all the talk about David Boston and others, this guy is the most consistent receiver on the team -- Joey Galloway included.

*Barring a miracle turnaround, I think Chris Simms is going to be released. And then it is quite possible he could file an injury grievance in an attempt to recoup his salary if he later claims to be injured. Given the way he's throwing the ball, he clearly has physical issues. Either way, the Chris Simms I've watched the past three weeks isn't going to play for this team this season.

Ruud_2*Regarding Barrett Ruud and his readiness to assume the starting job at MLB, I think I'm gonna buy into it until I have reason to think otherwise. If he stays within the system, he should be fine. If he's not up the task, it'll be obvious.

*Lastly, this was a little bit softer training camp than in the past. Lots of days off for vets, and several practices were cut short. Plus, the Bucs got a break from the overbearing heat for the first week or so. Personally, I think that will pay dividends later in the season when players who have overexerted themselves for months typically begin to break down. Remember, this is a big year. The Bucs need every edge they can get.

Did I neglect to mention anything? If so, let us know.

(Pictured: Tanard Jackson, above right, Times photo - Brian Cassella; Ike Hilliard, above left, Times photo - Joseph Garnett, Jr.; Barrett Ruud, below right, Times photo - Carrie Pratt. Click to enlarge.)

[Last modified: Wednesday, May 26, 2010 2:48pm]


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