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)

New Bucs lineman Carimi feels good

Offensive lineman Gabe Carimi, whom the Bucs acquired from the Bears on Sunday, says his right knee feels good.

Getty Images (2012)

Offensive lineman Gabe Carimi, whom the Bucs acquired from the Bears on Sunday, says his right knee feels good.

TAMPA — Gabe Carimi said Tuesday he will be a vastly better player now that he's further removed from the major right knee injury sustained in 2011.

That wasn't the case last season, Carimi, 24, admits.

In his first day with the Bucs after Sunday's trade, Carimi said he skipped offseason workouts with the Bears in order to strengthen his knee in private workouts.

"I think it just set me back last year," said Carimi, who partially dislocated his right kneecap against the Saints and had multiple surgeries. "I wasn't at full strength. I'm just looking forward to this year. I was just trying to get my knee right, trying to be the best I could be. It feels good."

Carimi lined up as a backup right tackle on the first day of a three-day mandatory minicamp. (Demar Dotson remains the starter.) Carimi's ability to play guard is also attractive, but he makes the line better regardless of where or how much he plays, Bucs coach Greg Schiano said.

"With the offensive line, the goal is let's get the best five football players on the field," Schiano said. "Sometimes, the fifth-best player might not have the skill set (to play multiple positions). That's when you don't have your best five players out there. But Carimi can. So now it's a matter of finding out what the best combination is."

WIDE OPEN: Two position battles that will extend into training camp are kick and punt returner. Last season, the Bucs ranked 30th in kickoffs (averaging 20.3 yards) and 19th in punts (9.0).

One candidate is WR Eric Page, a standout return man and receiver at Toledo. Page, whom Denver signed as an undrafted free agent last year but released after he tore his ACL, is getting many of the punt return opportunities during practice.

Kick return duties might go to RB Michael Smith. Smith and rookie RB Mike James are competing to back up Doug Martin. Brian Leonard is the presumptive third-down back.

TWO-SPORT STAR?: NASCAR driver Kasey Kahne and Daytona International Speedway president and Tampa native Joie Chitwood were guests Tuesday. Kahne who drives the No. 5 car, played catch after practice with the Bucs' No. 5, QB Josh Freeman.

"I've been to plenty of football games over the years," said Kahne, a Seahawks season-ticket holder. "But I've never done anything like this."

Kahne and Freeman exchanged honorary uniforms after practice, and Chitwood gave Schiano a racing helmet emblazoned with the Bucs logo and autograph of every Sprint Cup driver.

Miscellaneous: Invited to practice on a tryout basis were: CB Michael Adams, CB William Middleton, WR Seyi Ajirotutu, WR Derek Hagan and C Ivory Wade.

Times staff writer Matt Baker contributed to this report.

New Bucs lineman Carimi feels good 06/11/13 [Last modified: Tuesday, June 11, 2013 9:54pm]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

© 2017 Tampa Bay Times


Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

  1. Lightning opens day two of draft by taking Russian wing


    Lightning GM Steve Yzerman said one area of need in the system was a right winger.

  2. Kids still playing for all the marbles — literally

    Human Interest

    In this world of pompous athletes, overbearing coaches, money-grubbing owners and a win-at-all-costs mindset, it's easy to become jaded.

    Eli Murphy, right, leans in to give Sierra Ricci the traditional king and queen kiss at the National Marbles Championship in Wildwood, N.J. Both of Allegheny County Pa., they won the girls and boys championship of the 94th annual National Marbles Tournament. [Associated Press]
  3. Lightning takes defenseman Cal Foote with top pick in draft

    Lightning Strikes

    CHICAGO — Former Avalanche defenseman Adam Foote said his son Cal lived in the locker room.

    Cal Foote, second from left, is welcomed to the Lightning by GM Steve Yzerman, far left.
  4. It's Rays' turn to pound Orioles pitching (w/video)

    The Heater

    ST. PETERSBURG - Ah, the fantastic four.

    The Rays smashed the reeling Orioles 15-5 on Friday, scoring a season-high in runs, to climb four games above .500 for the first time since July 1, 2015.

    Rays third baseman Evan Longoria scores on a triple by Logan Morrison during the first inning against the Orioles.
  5. Lightning journal: Plans set for 25th anniversary season

    Lightning Strikes

    CHICAGO — The Lightning revealed some of its plans for its 25th anniversary season Friday, including a ceremony to honor the 2004 Stanley Cup team.

    fit test: Top draft pick Cal Foote puts on his Lightning jersey.