Saturday, February 24, 2018
Tampa Bay Buccaneers

Tampa Bay Buccaneers coach Greg Schiano treats first depth chart lightly

TAMPA — Don't place too much importance on the Bucs' first depth chart, coach Greg Schiano said Tuesday. Since they haven't played a preseason game, it's impossible to determine the pecking order for the Sept. 9 season opener against Carolina.

"We released a depth chart, strictly because it's league mandated, I guess, so we did it," Schiano said. "I wouldn't read too much into it right now. We haven't played anybody, we haven't been able to play one live snap, other than the young kids (Saturday). But just for us, we'll be spending a lot of time together these next couple months I think. The way that I've handled, and the way that I will handle the depth chart is, every move that we make is whatever gives us the best chance to win."

Among the most interesting items: LeGarrette Blount is the starting tailback over first-round pick Doug Martin. Two rookies are penciled in as starters on defense: S Mark Barron, a first-round pick from Alabama, and Lavonte David, a second-rounder from Nebraska, at weakside linebacker.

Roy Miller is the starter at nosetackle, ahead of Gary Gipson. Bears free agent Amobi Okoye is listed as the backup to Gerald McCoy. Anthony Gaitor is the backup to starting right CB Eric Wright. Myron Lewis, who has had a good training camp, is third at left cornerback behind starter Aqib Talib and rookie Leonard Johnson.

BOBBLE HANDS: Bucs receivers dropped a lot of passes in Tuesday's practice, a rarity that Schiano explained as tired legs, not bad hands.

"Usually, it's a fundamental flaw, you don't get your hands together, you don't get your hands up in time, you don't get your eyes around, those kinds of things," Schiano said. "That ball is coming now, and when you're tired, if you miss by a tenth of a second, it can lead to you not catching the football."

As the Bucs prepare for their first preseason game Friday at Miami, Schiano said he had no plans to let up on his players after nine straight days in pads.

"No. Not right now," Schiano said. "We will. I mean, I'm not trying to be a hard guy or anything. … We'll be feeling good and ready to play. Right now, we're building the foundation of our 2012 team and part of that foundation is built through suffering together.

"I thought they worked hard today. It's getting to that point where they're tired. Sore. They're fighting through it, and I know we have a game Friday, but right now, it's about the Buccaneers. It's about us. We got to get better. We're not ready to be preparing and getting ready for another football team yet. So that's what we did. Guys pushed through the pain, pushed through the discomfort."

WRIGHT STUFF: It has been a rocky first few months for Wright since he signed his five-year, $37 million contract in March. But he appears to be doing better, both physically and in his comfort level in the defense.

First, he was slowed by an undisclosed illness that kept him out of numerous offseason workouts. Wright says that issue, which remains undisclosed, is behind him. He also closed the book last month on a DUI charge in Los Angeles, with prosecutors deciding not to pursue it.

Now, after a sore back limited his effectiveness during the first week of camp, Wright is looking better than he has at any time since joining the Bucs.

"I'm extremely grateful for the opportunity, so I'm going to treat it as such," Wright said. "I'm going to go out here and work hard and work through injuries. That's the name of the game we play and love. That's a responsibility that I have to this team."

Times staff writer Stephen F. Holder contributed to this report.

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