Friday, November 17, 2017
Tampa Bay Buccaneers

Undrafted rookie Melvin in position to make Bucs' roster

RECOMMENDED READING


TAMPA — CB Rashaan Melvin arrived at Northern Illinois as a walk-on, merely hoping to earn a scholarship.

He left having started 27 games, and his school-record 17 pass breakups as a senior helped the Mid-American Conference champion Huskies play in the Orange Bowl.

So you can see why it was not a deal-breaker for Melvin when no team selected him in the NFL draft in April. All he has done is have a solid training camp for the Bucs that has him in position to make the roster.

"Everybody wants to get drafted, but in reality, everybody doesn't," Melvin, 23, said. "For me, it was an opportunity to keep working and keep grinding and keep a chip on my shoulder; showing that drafted or undrafted, you still have to come out and play ball no matter what."

The Bucs said they aren't surprised by Melvin's play. Plenty of teams wanted him, but the Bucs made him their top target and offered the largest signing bonus.

"He's got physical tools," Bucs coach Greg Schiano said of the 6-foot-2, 193-pounder. "He works very hard at his preparation mentally. He's got a good temperament. I think he's got a chance to be a good player. Now that's a lot of pressure on an undrafted player. But every day he goes out there and practices and does a good job, if you keep stacking those on top of each other, he's got a chance."

Coaches say Melvin has earned an increasing number of practice reps, and he has maximized them, showing consistent playmaking. In many cases, those plays are coming against first- and second-teamers with the cornerback lineup shuffled a bit as Darrelle Revis (recovering from a torn left ACL) sits out full-speed drills.

"It's a better opportunity for me to showcase my talents," Melvin said of the opportunity.

Clayborn recovering: Schiano said that starting DE Adrian Clayborn's strained groin, sustained Wednesday, shouldn't keep him out long.

"It's going to be a few days, but it's not as bad as I originally thought," Schiano said.

Clayborn, who tore his right ACL last season, was further along than other players coming off 2012 injuries, including Revis, LG Carl Nicks (toe) and RG Davin Joseph (knee).

"He was hardly limited at all," Schiano said of Clayborn. "He was probably working at about 80 percent of the reps with the first-team guys."

Revis update: The team continue to be encouraged by Revis' progress. His workload was ramped up Thursday for the second straight day, and trainers are eager to see how his knee responds.

Pickup ball: While practice is usually heavily scripted, the Bucs played a little pickup Thursday, letting the offense and defense square off in a game-like situation aimed at preparing for next week's preseason opener.

"Put the ball on the 25-yard line and go play," Schiano said. "If you make a first down, you keep going. If you get stopped, you're off. We'll do a lot more of that, with coaches off the field, just to get prepared. Not so much for the older guys, but some of the younger kids. (They'll have) some of the position coaches telling them, 'Move out! Move in!' "

Stephen F. Holder can be reached at [email protected]

Comments
Uber called Jameis Winston about ‘you or someone in the vehicle with you’

Uber called Jameis Winston about ‘you or someone in the vehicle with you’

Tampa Bay Times has listened to a voicemail Jameis Winston received from Uber relating to the March 2016 incident in Arizona.The NFL is investigating the allegations that Winston grabbed a female Uber driver's crotch in 2016.In the call, someone...
Updated: 27 minutes ago
Jameis Winston accused of groping Uber driver

Jameis Winston accused of groping Uber driver

TAMPA —- The NFL is investigating an allegation that Bucs quarterback Jameis Winston groped a female Uber driver in Arizona in March 2016.Winston called the allegations "false" and contested the unnamed female driver’s assertion that he was her only ...
Updated: 1 hour ago

Jameis Winston says groping allegations are ‘false’

Bucs quarterback Jameis Winston denied allegations by an Arizona Uber driver that he groped her in 2016. The NFL confirmed it is investigating the incident.Winston released a statement on his Twitter account saying the driver was 'confused,' by the n...
Updated: 2 hours ago
Bucs’ linemen ready for challenge of containing Dolphins’ Suh

Bucs’ linemen ready for challenge of containing Dolphins’ Suh

Asked if Miami's Ndamukong Suh is the toughest defensive tackle he's gone against, Bucs center Ali Marpet stops short of an answer."I'll let you know after the game," said Marpet, preparing for Sunday's game against the Dolphins as the Bucs seek thei...
Updated: 4 hours ago
Bucs-Dolphins: Tampa Bay Times staff predictions for Sunday’s 1 p.m. game

Bucs-Dolphins: Tampa Bay Times staff predictions for Sunday’s 1 p.m. game

Here’s the Times’ Bucs coverage team’s predictions for Tampa Bay’s 1 p.m. game Sunday at Miami:LET’S GO STREAKINGRick Stroud, @NFLStroud: It’s been 11 months since the Bucs had a winning streak. That was when they posted five W’s in a row with a win ...
Updated: 7 hours ago
Rick and Tom podcast: Will the Bucs make it two wins in a row?

Rick and Tom podcast: Will the Bucs make it two wins in a row?

In their latest podcast, Rick Stroud and Tom Jones actually agree on their prediction for the Bucs-Dolphins game that will see Ryan Fitzpatrick make his second straight start in place of the injured Jameis Winston. They’ll give you the keys to the ga...
Updated: 9 hours ago
NFL Week 11: Tampa Bay Times staff predictions

NFL Week 11: Tampa Bay Times staff predictions

Below are the Times staff picks for week 11 of the NFL season:GameTime/DayErnest Hooper, @hoop4youTom Jones, @tomwjonesMartin Fennelly, @mjfennellyThomas Bassinger, @tometricsGreg Auman, @gregaumanRick Stroud, @NFLStroudAgainst the spread (last week)...
Updated: 6 hours ago
Lavonte David is the Bucs’ quiet force

Lavonte David is the Bucs’ quiet force

TAMPA — Lavonte David is a private, almost shy man whose goal each week until game day is apparently to remain invisible by NFL standards.Off the field, the Bucs linebacker doesn’t often raise his voice. But when he was called to do so by coach Dirk ...
Published: 11/16/17
Bucs journal: Ryan Fitzpatrick confident in Bucs, self

Bucs journal: Ryan Fitzpatrick confident in Bucs, self

TAMPA — Bucs QB Ryan Fitzpatrick will try to make it two wins in a row against AFC East teams when he faces the Dolphins on Sunday.Fitzpatrick said he didn’t play as well as he can in a 15-10 win over the Jets last weekend. But with WR Mike Evans ret...
Published: 11/16/17
Quarterback Ryan Fitzpatrick says Bucs are talented enough put together a win streak

Quarterback Ryan Fitzpatrick says Bucs are talented enough put together a win streak

Bucs quarterback Ryan Fitzpatrick will try to make it two wins in a row against AFC East teams when he faces the Miami Dolphins Sunday.Fitzpatrick says he didn't play as well as he can in a 15-10 win over the New York Jets last Sunday. But with recei...
Published: 11/16/17