TAMPA — The Bucs are discussing a long-term contract to keep All-Pro DT Gerald McCoy as the centerpiece of the defense, but that doesn't mean McCoy is ready to talk about it yet.
McCoy said he doesn't know anything about the talks and he doesn't speak much with his agent. He seemed surprised to hear that coach Lovie Smith has called locking him up a "priority."
"That's cool," McCoy said after Tuesday's practice. "That sounds good, but I'm not worried about that right now."
McCoy has enough to worry about with Smith's new defense.
Smith has brought back the Tampa 2 that carried the Bucs to their only Super Bowl title. Hall of Famer Warren Sapp already has coached McCoy on some of the position's techniques.
"He told me straight up, it's not going to be easy to dominate that position," McCoy said. "It may seem like you have all the tools, which you do. However, to make those flourish, it's going to be really hard. I'm seeing what he means."
McCoy said one of the biggest challenges through a few days of practice is the amount of running involved.
INJURY UPDATES: Although many injured players were present for the workouts, G Carl Nicks (toe) was noticeably absent. And Smith was noticeably terse when asked about it.
"No update," Smith said. "He's not here. He's not here for voluntary work."
Nicks signed a $47.5 million deal in 2012 but has only played in nine games since because of foot surgery and MRSA. Smith said last month that Nicks could return by training camp.
WR Mike Evans, the first-round draft pick, didn't participate after injuring his hamstring in last week's workout. WR Vincent Jackson ran on the sideline but did not participate in drills. "We'll take our time with them," Smith said.
S Mark Barron was very limited in practice, and S Dashon Goldson did not participate.
YOUTUBE STAR QB: New QB Alex Tanney, signed last week, is perhaps best-known for a trick-shot video — showing him make a series of elaborate throws into a moving truck, in a basketball gym, etc. — that he made while at Monmouth College in 2011, which went viral and has nearly 4 million views on YouTube.
"Last year in Dallas, it didn't come up the first couple weeks, then somebody spotted it and it spreads through the team," Tanney said. "But my rookie year, my nickname was Trick Shot. It's something I'm used to. I haven't heard much about it here."
Smith said he was aware of Tanney's video celebrity but liked the conventional throws he has shown the ability to make as well.
"I'm told he's a YouTube sensation, or something like that," Smith said of his fourth-stringer. "I'm behind the times on a lot of that."
MISCELLANY: Smith said he's been impressed with WR Chris Owusu. … Oniel Cousins spent time at right guard on the first-team offense, with Patrick Omameh taking snaps at left guard. … Smith said he has no interest in scrimmaging against another team, as the Bucs have done against New England the past two years.
Times staff writer Greg Auman contributed to this report. Matt Baker can be reached at [email protected] or on Twitter @MBakerTBTimes.