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Tampa Bay Buccaneers quarterback Josh Freeman observes new weapons

Quarterback Josh Freeman likes what he sees in rookie receiver Mike Williams, the Bucs’ fourth-round pick.

CHRIS ZUPPA | Times

Quarterback Josh Freeman likes what he sees in rookie receiver Mike Williams, the Bucs’ fourth-round pick.

TAMPA — Josh Freeman, wearing a Kansas City Royals cap, spent Sunday morning at the Bucs' rookie minicamp checking out his two new receivers, second-round pick Arrelious Benn from Illinois and fourth-round pick Mike Williams from Syracuse.

Freeman said he wasn't disappointed.

"They're two explosive guys with great hands," he said.

"I like what we had to begin with, but we're always adding, always changing, always trying to better ourselves as a program. I'm interested to see how these guys are going to blend in because we have Mo Stovall, Mike Clayton and Sammie (Stroughter). I can see a pretty good competition going on this offseason in camp."

The second-year quarterback said it didn't bother him that the team used its first two draft picks on defensive tackles, Gerald McCoy (third overall) and Brian Price (35th). Freeman played against McCoy when he was at Kansas State and McCoy was at Oklahoma.

"It all starts up front on the defensive side. I liked what they did with the next two picks — getting the receivers — better," said Freeman, who is from Kansas City, Mo., which explains his hat. "But Gerald is a great competitor, and it's exciting to have a few new targets."

Raheem Morris said he wasn't surprised to see Freeman.

"You can't get him out of the building right now," the Bucs coach said. "This is his team. He's letting everybody know he wants to come and see Mike Williams. He wants to see these guys run around and catch balls. He wants to see the defensive line and how they're going to grow and get the ball back.

"Him showing interest in his team is what you love and you've got to feel great about. Nobody called him and said, 'Hey, come in the building and check on these guys.' He was here the last two days, and that was great."

INJURIES NOT A CONCERN: For the second straight day, three draft picks watched practice: Price (hamstring), a second-rounder; CB Myron Lewis (abdominal strain), a third-rounder; and LB Dakota Watson hamstring), a seventh-rounder out of Florida State.

DE Erik Lorig, a seventh-rounder, is recovering from a torn pectoral muscle and did not practice this weekend.

All but Lorig are expected to be ready when organized workouts begin in a few weeks.

"The minor injuries are more precautionary by me," Morris said. "I just blame the (NFL) combine. These guys have all been training for those short-space movements. You're not in football shape. Those things happen … all around the league."

BIG IMPRESSIONS: Morris said the team likely will sign 3-4 tryout players from the minicamp.

It has had success signing players from the camp, including KR Clifton Smith. The Bucs can bring 80 players to training camp.

"Some of these guys get put in the hopper when you need things and you need people," Morris said. "These camps have been really good to us for years.

"Your draft picks don't count (toward the 80 players) until they sign. That's always helpful. You can get extra bodies. Some of them stick. Some of them go all the way until the end. Some of them go to training camp with you. We've got a couple guys we've got in mind that did a pretty good job all camp."

One player the team worked with after practice Sunday was Wake Forest DT Boo Robinson.

For example: Another player who made an impression is former Florida State WR Preston Parker.

Parker led the Seminoles with 62 catches in 2007 (for 791 yards and three touchdowns) and 40 in 2008 (for 372 yards and two touchdowns). But he was dismissed from the team in early 2009 after a DUI arrest and finished his career at Division II North Alabama.

"I … gave my best effort and learned all the plays," he said. "Everything's going smoothly. I just have to wait and see.''

Said Morris: "He showed some nice things. He made a nice grab (Sunday). He ran a couple of good routes. He's been a professional since he's been in our building, and he's one of those guys you might want to get a more in-depth look at.''

Times staff writer Brian Landman contributed to this report.

Tampa Bay Buccaneers quarterback Josh Freeman observes new weapons 05/02/10 [Last modified: Sunday, May 2, 2010 9:55pm]
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