Make us your home page

Get the quickest, smartest news, analysis and photos from the Bucs game emailed to you shortly after the final whistle.

(View our Privacy Policy)

Bucs' Nicks excused from reporting day for personal reasons

TAMPA — Bucs G Carl Nicks has not gone to work on a football field in about 10 months. He will have to wait at least another day.

Nicks did not report to training camp Thursday and was excused for personal reasons, coach Lovie Smith said. The absence, apparently, is not related to the toe injury or MRSA staph infection that limited him to nine games over the past two seasons. Smith said he was excused only for the day.

"It doesn't concern me," Smith said. "It's part of training camp, part of life. During the course of the year, you're going to have some guys where things come up and they can't be here."

Two players who missed offseason workouts due to undisclosed injuries, S Mark Barron and S Dashon Goldson, will be available when the team hits the field for the first time today.

"I think the rest of the guys should be good to go," Smith said. "It's a chance to see other guys. It's always about who's there and who's available to work out."

PAYING UP: The morning after his general manager challenged him to prove something during training camp, DE Da'Quan Bowers said he knows he must play better than his first three seasons.

"No question about it. I owe it to this organization, owe it to this team. I've been here long enough, and I haven't really been that player that I know I can be," he said. "I think it's time I really put forth that extra foot, to be that player that I know I'm capable of being."

Bowers totaled just seven tackles last season and underwent knee surgery for an undisclosed injury after being sidelined for the final two games.

Wednesday night, GM Jason Licht said he had to be "blunt" about Bowers showing his commitment to playing at the NFL level.

In three seasons, the 2011 second-round pick has 51/2 sacks but said he's physically in the best shape of his career.

"This is probably the best I've felt coming into camp over the past couple of years," he said. "It's been a consistent offseason for me. I've put in the work. I'm ready to finally reap the benefits."

PEP TALK: Smith isn't one for inspirational speeches to start training camp. In fact, he said his message is the same every year.

"I talk all season about the man in the mirror. I'm a big Michael Jackson fan, which says everybody take care of yourselves, spend all your time with you and improving yourself," Smith said, alluding to the 1997 song.

"It's just about having a career year. No matter how you've played so far, we need all of us to have the best year we've had, and it starts out there. It's not a magic pill. It's just hard work, going to work from today on, and that's what we plan on doing."

Bucs' Nicks excused from reporting day for personal reasons 07/24/14 [Last modified: Thursday, July 24, 2014 9:41pm]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

© 2017 Tampa Bay Times


Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

  1. Get the latest Tampa Bay Buccaneers news delivered daily to your email inbox


    They narrowly missed the playoffs by thismuch.

    Bucs wide receiver Mike Evans (13) celebrates with quarterback Jameis Winston (3) after they connected for a touchdown during a win over the Seattle Seahawks in November in Tampa. [LOREN ELLIOTT | Times]
  2. For starters: Rays at Yankees, in a pretty big series


    The Rays open a challenging road trip tonight in New York, the first of four games against the wild-card leading Yankees.

  3. Bucs' O.J. Howard says in NFL, 'it's an SEC game every day'


    Bucs rookie O.J. Howard hasn't played in an NFL game yet, but he already appreciates the grind of an NFL season -- every week can be a loss, perhaps more so than in college football, where Alabama went 12-0 in nonconference, non-bowl games in his three years there.

    Bucs rookie O.J. Howard, shown playing for Alabama in the national championship game in Tampa in January, says every game in the NFL is an SEC game, with no letdowns.
  4. Bucs' Mike Evans wants his 'A' game in 4th NFL season


    Bucs receiver Mike Evans has been in the NFL for three seasons, and in two of them, he's had 12 touchdown catches, setting and then matching his own team record. He made the Pro Bowl for the first time last season, but if you ask him to grade those three years, he doesn't see an "A" product just yet.

    Bucs receiver Mike Evans, shown during an OTA workout last month, said he wouldn't give himself an "A" for any of his first three NFL seasons, despite going to the Pro Bowl and twice catching 12 touchdown passes in a season.
  5. Where Tampa's national championship ranks among the greatest games ever


    If you needed any more convincing that Tampa's national championship at Raymond James Stadium was one of the best games in college football history, let me direct you to