TAMPA — Bucs WR Arrelious Benn's biggest battle this season has been an internal one.
Keeping his emotions — impatience, anxiety, etc. — in check has been difficult after he missed training camp, the preseason and Week 1 because of a right knee sprain.
Benn vows to make his 2012 debut Sunday at MetLife Stadium in New Jersey against the Giants. Coach Greg Schiano said depending on how Benn feels physically, he hopes to have a role for him as a receiver and on special teams.
"I've learned not to be too high or too low," said the 2010 second-round pick out of Illinois. "Just go into things with an open mind. Don't expect too much. Don't put pressure on yourself. Just do my job."
The specifics of that job remain to be seen. The team added Vincent Jackson to be its No. 1 receiver, which has knocked Benn out of the starting lineup. In keeping with his vow to remain even-keeled, Benn is willing to wait to see how things play out.
"He's going to play in the pass game and roll in during two-receiver sets," Schiano said. "I think Regis is a really good special teams player. We need his speed, size and athleticism, so I hope there's a lot of ways you're going to see him on the field."
Benn said he'll still be primarily a flanker, but under offensive coordinator Mike Sullivan, the roles of the split end and flanker are different. And, as with all the receivers, Benn is being required to learn all the various positions.
"I think (my role) will develop over time," he said. "They know what I can do. I'm sure they'll use me the right way, the way they're supposed to use me. I believe in my coaches."
TRUEBLOOD UPDATE: RT Jeremy Trueblood was limited in practice again Friday and his status for Sunday's game likely will be a game-time decision.
Meanwhile, All-Pro LG Carl Nicks participated and is expected to play, despite his toe injury.
The Bucs took steps Friday to shore up their offensive line against the stout Giants defensive front. They re-signed backup G/T Derek Hardman after releasing him last week. To make room, they released DL Wallace Gilberry.
"Whether these guys will be playing or not, they'll be playing in pain," Schiano said. "(It's) just to build a little depth."
If anything, the roster move is further evidence the Bucs don't expect Trueblood to play. The last thing they'd want is to be caught short-handed along the offensive line, especially given this week's opponent.
LAST WORD: Schiano, the head coach at Rutgers for 11 seasons before taking the Bucs job, was happy about his former team's 23-13 win over USF on Thursday night at Raymond James: "That was a good win. Old fashioned, grind-it-out, win it in the fourth quarter. That was good stuff."
Stephen F. Holder can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org. Rick Stroud can be reached at email@example.com.