MOBILE, Ala. — The Bucs will have three participants in the Pro Bowl when the NFL's all-star affair kicks off Sunday in Honolulu, and GM Mark Dominik hopes that's just the start of much more to come.
"For three players to go to the Pro Bowl (is great)," Dominik said. But, he added, "I can still remember when we had 10."
The Bucs actually sent a team-record nine players to the 2000 Pro Bowl, but Dominik's point was no less valid.
"That's where we're trying to head to," he said. "Because then you know you're making significant progress. But it's a great step, and it means we're having success in free agency and the draft. And that's important."
DT Gerald McCoy, an original selection, and WR Vincent Jackson and RB Doug Martin, both first alternates, are in Hawaii for the game.
"If you look at those three players and what they are on and off the football field, you're not surprised they're in the Pro Bowl," Dominik said.
ON HOLD: There has been no movement on the Ronde Barber front, Dominik said. Barber, the starting free safety who turns 38 in April and just completed his 16th season, is contemplating retirement but also has said he believes he can still play at a high level.
Don't expect talks between Barber and the team to happen until next month.
Meanwhile, Dominik has had very preliminary talks with agents who represent some of the team's unrestricted free agents. Players with expiring contracts include DE Michael Bennett, DT Roy Miller and CB E.J. Biggers.
Many of the league's powerful agents are in Mobile this week, allowing Dominik to have face time with them. He prefers to discuss contract matters in person, he said, which is why many of the more substantive conversations will wait until next month's scouting combine in Indianapolis.
PRACTICE NOTES: Defensive backs have been a focus of the Bucs this week. And they have had plenty to see from Washington CB Desmond Trufant, the most steady performer at his position. He has consistently been solid in man coverage and has created quite a buzz. … FIU's Jonathan Cyprien, a safety, also has had a good week both in coverage and as a physical player in tackling and run support. … Kansas State WR Chris Harper had an impressive day on Wednesday, beating cornerbacks for several deep balls and making a series of difficult catches. … Michigan WR Denard Robinson, a former quarterback, was cleared for contact after nursing an elbow injury early in the week. But he was inconsistent catching passes.