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Gosder Cherilus excited about chance to play with Bucs, and on grass

Gosder Cherilus has played only for indoor teams.
Gosder Cherilus has played only for indoor teams.
Published Aug. 19, 2015

TAMPA — New Bucs T Gosder Cherilus is excited about the team he's joining and the talent the Bucs have, but after seven seasons of playing his home games indoors on turf, he's also excited about playing on natural grass at Raymond James Stadium.

"Today's turfs, some of them, you play a game on Sunday and Wednesday practice, you're still feeling sore in a way," said the 31-year-old, signed to a two-year deal to step in at right tackle. "It's fake grass. If you ever have a chance to go with the real thing, sure, that's what we'd all do. … It's my first chance … to play on grass the whole year. Hey, find a way to get it done."

The Bucs will be without RT Demar Dotson to start the season; he'll likely miss 6-8 weeks recovering from a sprained MCL in his left knee suffered in Saturday's preseason opener at Minnesota. Cherilus has 29 starts in the past two years with the Colts, and while he finished last year on injured reserve, he said Tuesday that he was healthy.

"I was out there today, felt pretty good except for the heat a little bit," Cherilus said. "It was a rude awakening, but hopefully I'll feel better tomorrow."

Much like DT Tony McDaniel, signed last week after being cut from Seattle, Cherilus comes from a playoff team and hopes to get Tampa Bay a little closer to the postseason this season.

"It's a young team, a great team, an up-and-coming team, you can tell, hard workers and great coaches," he said. "I'm excited to be a part of this."

Real pressure: Rookie QB Jameis Winston said what helped him most in Saturday's loss was the real experience of getting pressure from an NFL defense.

"The main thing was being able to feel a true rush," Winston said. "Defensive ends actually being able to sack you, other than these guys saying they got a sack when it probably wasn't really a sack. You got to feel the real rush, and that was important. We're playing real football."

Roster move: To make room for Cherilus, the team waived FB Evan Rodriguez, who played one game last season but played only on special teams Saturday. His departure leaves two fullbacks on the roster, returning starter Jorvorskie Lane and rookie Joey Iosefa, a seventh-round pick out of Hawaii.

This and that: Several players remained out of practice — DE Jacquies Smith (shoulder), T Kevin Pamphile (tricep), S Chris Conte (hamstring) and DE T.J. Fatinikun (leg) were sidelined for the second day in a row. That left unproven Reid Fragel as the first-team right tackle again in drills. … Former Bears LB Khaseem Greene was getting a look as the No. 2 middle linebacker. … Tuesday's practice went into lightning delay after 90 minutes, and heavy rains kept the team from getting back out and finishing drills. … Today is the final practice open to the public, with drills starting at 9 a.m. at One Buc Place — it was moved from 2:30 p.m. because rain is forecast in the afternoon. Admission and parking are free.

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Contact Greg Auman at gauman@tampabay.com or (813) 226-3346. Follow @GregAuman.