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Tampa Bay Buccaneers rookie defensive tackle Roy Miller has biggest preseason buzz

TAMPA — Roy Miller hasn't been around long enough to become a familiar name in the Bucs' defensive scheme, but the rookie tackle from Texas is doing his best to make his name known this preseason.

The third-round draft pick impressed coaches with aggressive play Saturday in Tennessee and has performed well enough to work into the three-man tackle rotation, joining veterans Chris Hovan and Ryan Sims.

"He has been the buzz the whole camp," coach Raheem Morris said this week. "We have been talking about it. You guys were getting nervous talking about our defensive line. You're talking about shorts and padded practices. Who's going to tell what this guy can do? We're not tackling yet, and then he goes out (against the Titans) and tackles, and now everyone wants to talk about him.

"He's going to be one of those clear-cut guys who will be in the three-man rotation that we'll have at tackle. There are still guys pushing him. Dre Moore isn't bad. He can go fight for that three-man rotation as well. But Roy Miller has been standing up since he's been here."

Miller is taking it in stride as he prepares for Saturday night's exhibition in Jacksonville. "I feel good, but I just want to keep getting better," he said. "I know I have a lot of work to do to be the person I want to be to this team. And I just have to keep working. That's my focus."

INJURY UPDATE: S Will Allen (shoulder) likely won't play at Jacksonville. "Just being cautious," Morris said. TB Earnest Graham dinged an ankle and was limited in practice, but Morris expected him to play. C Jeff Faine (groin) and WR Dexter Jackson (ankle) are questionable, WR Kelly Campbell (hamstring) is doubtful, and DE Gaines Adams (ankle) is probable.

MORT BUS AT BUCS: ESPN veteran pro football reporter Chris Mortensen arrived in style Thursday morning at One Buc Place — aboard his 44-foot-long black ESPN bus, complete with a gigantic caricature of himself embossed on each side, along with the words "Mort Goes To Camp." The tour covers 21 camps in 24 days, taking Mortensen more than 7,000 miles zigzagging from camp to camp.

Between filing reports and doing interviews Thursday, he talked about a range of topics, including what team he especially likes (the Eagles), the Bucs' quarterback situation (in his opinion, a difficult first seven games favors veteran Byron Leftwich, "who has some swagger to him") and new coach Morris ("What I like about him a lot is that he's had some interesting mentors: Tony Dungy, Monte Kiffin, Rod Marinelli, Herm Edwards, Mike Tomlin. Mike's his easiest resource. He's a very close friend, and (Morris) can talk to Mike about anything at any time.")

MISCELLANY: The Bucs practiced red-zone and two-minute drills in preparation for Jacksonville. "The guys came out lively," Morris said. … What will Morris be looking for Saturday from Leftwich, who'll start against his former team? "I'm looking for Byron to come out and be a leader. I'm looking for Byron to come out and be his best self, go out there and play football and address everything we need to get done. His opportunity to step up is coming this Saturday."

Tampa Bay Buccaneers rookie defensive tackle Roy Miller has biggest preseason buzz 08/20/09 [Last modified: Friday, August 21, 2009 8:34am]
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