J.R. Sweezy adds nastiness to Bucs offensive line

Guard J.R. Sweezy, middle, running through a drill, impresses teammate Demar Dotson with a mean streak.
Guard J.R. Sweezy, middle, running through a drill, impresses teammate Demar Dotson with a mean streak.
Published Aug. 3, 2017

TAMPA — Bucs G J.R. Sweezy, who missed last season recovering from back surgery, is making a quick impression on teammate Demar Dotson after only two days of full-pad practices in training camp.

"Once he gets his hands on you, you can just call it a night," said Dotson, who lines up next to Sweezy at right tackle. "It almost reminds me of Davin Joseph. … When Davin got his hands on you, you might as well shut it down and go to the next rush. That's the kind of strength that he brings, and he brings a tenacity and a meanness to this offensive line, which I know Dirk (Koetter) wants and Hop (offensive line coach George Warhop) wants."

Dotson said the mean streak he sees in Sweezy is something the lined has lacked since the retirement of Logan Mankins after 2015.

"You need multiple guys that have that nasty streak," Dotson said. "That's something we kind of missed last year. He kind of brings it. He's willing to do the dirty work, whatever it takes, stick his head in there and grind it out. We all have to pick up that mentality and step it up … I'm glad to play next to him. … I have a finesse game, but I can get nasty when I've got to now. That guy's nasty every play. I love it."

Next man up

One week into training camp, the Bucs have already lost two undrafted rookie receivers to injuries, but they're hoping for better luck with Shaq Hill, who put up gaudy numbers last year at Eastern Washington and signed Wednesday.

The Bucs got only one practice from WR Thomas Sperbeck, who was waived with an injury settlement last week. His replacement, Jhajuan Seales, injured his hamstring early on in his first practice Monday, and he too was waived-injured, setting up the signing of Hill.

Neither Sperbeck nor Seales had much luck wearing the No. 83 worn the last five years by Vincent Jackson, so Hill is wearing No. 89.

Hill is 5 feet 10 and 180 pounds, ran a 4.48 40 at his pro day and had signed with the Texans after the draft but was cut Friday. He had 77 catches for 1,157 yards and 17 touchdowns at EWU last year.

This and that

Roberto Aguayo appeared to go 3-for-3 on field goals in a two-minute drill early in practice, including a strong kick on a 55-yarder. Nick Folk, competing with him for the kicking job, went 2-for-3 on the same kicks. … Today's practice is open exclusively to season-ticket holders. Friday morning's practice, starting at 8:45, is open to the general public. … Second-year OLs Caleb Benenoch and Leonard Wester are competing for the top backup tackle spot — usually only three dress on Sundays. Benenoch got work Wednesday as the second-team left tackle, rotating in where Wester has played.

Contact Greg Auman at and (813) 310-2690. Follow @gregauman.