TAMPA — Placekicker Lawrence Tynes did not expect his career, like one of his field goals, to be up in the air for so long.
Having finished second in the league with 33 field goals last season as a Pro Bowl alternate with the Giants, Tynes had several opportunities to sign with other teams as a free agent during the offseason but couldn't find the right fit. As training camp approached, the Bucs were never on his radar until Connor Barth tore his right Achilles tendon in a charity basketball game July 12.
"A lot of it had to do with the coaching staff and the team they have here and the players," Tynes said Thursday, the first day of camp practices. "It's unfortunate for Connor what happened, but I jumped at the opportunity based on this is a solid, talented, young football team with great coaches. I know (offensive coordinator Mike) Sullivan, (defensive coordinator Bill) Sheridan from New York. The talent level on this team is through the roof; we've just got to put it together."
The Bucs felt fortunate Tynes was still available. Though he may lack Barth's range, he has made clutch kicks in playoff games and Super Bowls.
"It's gotten my name out there a little bit. Playing in the New York market does that," Tynes said. "But it's a team effort. I've just been fortunate to be on good teams, to be in that position and come through. But a lot of it is all team-oriented. I was on great football teams that played well. So fortunately for me, I was put in some big spots and people kind of recognized that."
ON THE MEND: Guards Carl Nicks (foot) and Davin Joseph (knee) were limited after offensive team drills. DE Adrian Clayborn participated in the entire practice on the first-team defense, with limited reps.
Coach Greg Schiano said he was focused on the tempo of practice and how players communicated and processed information in the second year of his offensive and defensive systems.
"This is the time where you get better. There's no other agenda," Schiano said. "You're here to play football, you're here to meet on football, you're here to walk through football plays, go to bed, wake up and do it again the next day. And everybody knows that — wives, kids, agents, everybody. And it's time to get better, that's for sure.
INJURIES: Tight ends Zach Miller and Danny Noble were carted off near the end of practice and may have been dehydrated. With TE Luke Stocker beginning training camp on the active physically unable to perform list with a calf strain, the Bucs were short-handed at the position. DE Markus White (foot) and P Michael Koenen (toe) did not practice.