Saturday, February 24, 2018
Tampa Bay Buccaneers

Aqib Talib sits out Tampa Bay Buccaneers practice

TAMPA — CB Aqib Talib missed Monday morning's practice at One Buc Place with what coach Greg Schiano called a hamstring tweak.

"I don't think it's bad," Schiano said, "but (as a precaution) we put him on the (exercise) bike."

The injury occurred in Saturday night's practice at Raymond James Stadium, Schiano said. Talib has a history of hamstring injuries, including one late last season that put him on injured reserve.

Schiano did not clarify which hamstring was affected and Talib was not available for comment.

Myron Lewis took Talib's first-team place. The Bucs are still missing veteran E.J. Biggers, their third cornerback during the past two seasons.

Elsewhere on the injury front, SS Mark Barron (toe) and FS Ronde Barber (undisclosed) were back. Barron did not appear to be 100 percent, but was more active than in recent days.

Starting DE Michael Bennett (undisclosed) continues to be limited. George Johnson is taking first-team snaps in his place.

Schiano offered an update on starting LT Donald Penn, who continues to rehab a calf strain that will sideline him a few weeks.

"Penn is coming along well," Schiano said. "It's not a little thing. It's going to take him some time to get back. He is doing well but he's not ready to go."

Penn has ramped up his rehab in the past 10 days, and Monday he ran while dragging weights on a sled.

OPENING UP: Schiano has said he considered other jobs over the years before finally leaving Rutgers after 11 seasons to coach the Bucs.

Asked by Peter King of Sports Illustrated why Tampa Bay's was the right job for him, Schiano said: "I knew I wanted it when I heard (Oregon's) Chip Kelly got it, and I was p---ed. I wanted this job. So when he decided to stay, I was really happy. Guys like Josh Freeman, Gerald McCoy, I knew about them, and I knew they wanted to be great, and those are the kind of players I want to coach."

SHORTHANDED: The Bucs' pass rush has struggled for several seasons, and Schiano said they have their hands full with their current lineup, too.

Monday, he said the depth on a defensive line besieged by injury is a serious concern.

"I feel good about our (starters)," he said. "I'm worried about depth. … Especially in a late-game situation. Once (the opponent) makes that first first down, it's a lot easier to protect the passer than it is to rush the passer. So, when those D linemen get gassed, you need to be able to roll fresh guys at them.

"If the dropoff is so severe between your first- and your second-team rush group, that doesn't (bode) well for us in the two-minute drill. So we're working on it like crazy to try to develop some depth behind the first-line guys."

Injuries cloud the picture. Bennett, Amobi Okoye (knee) and Gary Gibson (undisclosed) have missed time in this training camp. Da'Quan Bowers' return from a ruptured Achilles remains uncertain.

TRANSACTION: TE Chase Coffman was waived, making room for long snapper Andrew DePaola to be signed.

Stephen F. Holder can be reached at [email protected] or (813) 226-3377. View his blog at tampabay.com/blogs/bucs.

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