KANSAS CITY, Mo. — Bucs receivers coach Eric Yarber was asked this week about Dezmon Briscoe, the second-year receiver who has played in all of two regular-season games.
Given Briscoe's inexperience, Yarber's choice of words was odd.
"He's such a polished receiver, even though this is only his second year," Yarber said.
That's because, less than an hour's drive from Arrowhead Stadium, Briscoe was a three-year starter at Kansas, where he had 3,240 yards in three seasons.
"He started three years, and he's caught over 200 balls," Yarber said. "So the game is not too big for him. He's seen a lot at an early age."
More evidence of this came Friday night.
Briscoe led the Bucs in receiving with four catches for 60 yards in their preseason-opening 25-0 win against the Chiefs, including a 21-yard strike down the center of the field from Josh Freeman.
With Arrelious Benn (knee) sitting out as a precaution, Briscoe got the start. It continued his rise from practice-squad player for most of 2010 to a receiver who likely will have a clearly defined role this season.
In training camp, Briscoe has made impressive plays, showing his speed and agility. Though his performance Friday didn't dazzle, Briscoe reinforced that he is a precise route runner with sure hands for whom the Bucs will have to find room among their growing list of playmakers.
"I came into training camp to make sure I made the team," Briscoe said. "I think I've established that already. Wherever they put me at, I'm willing to take that role.
"I'm not a selfish guy. I just want to come in and contribute to this team."
Briscoe said he believes the Bucs can accommodate him while also allowing Benn, Mike Williams and others to thrive.
"We're not selfish at all around here," he said. "We all just want to win."
The more Briscoe plays, the deeper his relationship with Freeman becomes. A trust is being built between them that stems from Briscoe's reliability in practice. It has even helped them overcome their playful rivalry that began when they played for hated foes Kansas and Kansas State (Freeman).
"When I first came in, we had a little controversy with the Kansas-Kansas State thing," Briscoe joked about Freeman. "But we're pretty good friends now. I think he looks for me a little more now."