Guard Gilkey eager for second chance with Bucs
TAMPA -- Having been cut by the Browns the day before, offensive lineman Garrett Gilkey woke up Sunday morning preparing to register for full-time classes toward a Master's degree in counseling psychology.
Then the Bucs called, claiming him off waivers and adding him to their 53-man roster, with his first game now six days away.
"You never know in the NFL," said Gilkey, a seventh-round pick by Cleveland last year, playing in six games and starting the final game of the year at guard. "I found a lot of success with the Browns throughout OTAs and the beginning of fall camp, so I thought it was going to be an extended career there. Obviously, they had different desires, but I have the opportunity here and I'm super excited."
Gilkey's offensive line coach in Cleveland was George Warhop, who is now the Bucs' line coach, and he said the terminology in run blocking is much the same of what he learned last year with the Browns. There are other adjustments to make, but he'll work hard to prepare himself for Sunday's opener -- he played left tackle in college but has worked at guard in the NFL. He has cross-trained at center for some versatility, though he's never snapped in a game.
"It's going out there and performing. That's what it comes down to," said Gilkey, 24. "It's learning this system as quick as I can and trusting my technique. Once I get the terminology down, it'll be an easy transition."
Gilkey knows the Tampa area well, with relatives in north Tampa and Land O'Lakes -- he has also trained at IMG Academy in Bradenton.