Smith: Nicks "excited" about coming season, rehab going well
Bucs coach Lovie Smith has been logging long hours at One Buc Place in his first month on the job, living in a nearby hotel while his family is still in Chicago.
"There's no 9-to-5," he quipped.
But having completed his staff, and found a general manager in Jason Licht, Smith said he's moved "full speed" ahead in evaluating his current roster. That includes meeting with his new players.
And while most players are away this offseason, Smith said that left guard Carl Nicks has been at the facility almost daily rehabbing from a foot injury that forced him to miss almost all of last season. Nicks, who had surgery in October to treat a MRSA staph infection suffered in the preseason, has made some progress, according to Smith.
"I have had a chance to talk with Carl, he's excited about the upcoming season," Smith said. "His rehab is going well. He's one of the guys that’s through here by daily, is working out getting ready to go. Carl has been a dominant football player in the league for a while and we’ve got to get him back out on the football field and that's what we're trying to do."
When asked if it's known whether Nicks will be ready to start when offseason practices begin April 7, Smith said they haven't gotten that far yet. But considering Nicks wasn't even around One Buc much at all the second half of the year, and there were reports from Mike Garafolo of Fox Sports that he may never play again, just having the former Pro Bowler around is a promising sign for Tampa Bay.