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No time to rest for newest Bucs players

Published April 26, 2004

TAMPA - Now that the draft is over, the football begins.

Tampa Bay's eight draft picks, including first-rounder Michael Clayton, are scheduled to be in town for a three-day rookie minicamp that starts Friday. Any undrafted free agents also could attend.

"We're going to try to sign some guys and have a bit of a tryout camp and stage some things to get guys ... acclimated to our system and go outside and get some reps," coach Jon Gruden said. "We've got to get to work now this weekend."

According to league rules, only players with no NFL experience may participate. That means Gruden, a former quarterback, might find himself throwing passes. Practices are closed to the public.

THE TRADE: The Bucs traded the first of three seventh-round picks at No.216 and fullback Darian Barnes to Dallas for the 206th pick, which they used to select Tennessee receiver/punt returner Mark Jones.

It was the team's only trade.

"Obviously, we wanted to get the rights to Mark Jones, a player we targeted in the later part of the draft," Gruden said. "It was an opportunity to move up and get a guy we feel like we need here, a punt returner. We feel like we must try to create some playmaking in that aspect of our football team."

ON THE LINE: After drafting North Carolina guard Jeb Terry in the fifth round, the Bucs have 18 offensive linemen on the roster, eight guards.

"I am just going to go in there with an open mind and with no opinions on anything and just play, just do my best," said Terry, who has added value as a long snapper. "I expect the best of myself. I want to go in and prove to the coaches I was worthy of this pick."

STILL WORKING: The Bucs made it through eight picks without drafting a defensive lineman. General manager Bruce Allen, who has a penchant for rushing linemen, promised position coach Rod Marinelli the team would bring in the free agent of his choice.

"Rod Marinelli is still working in there," Allen said. "His draft is not over."

GRADING OUT: Allen, who joined the Bucs in January, gave high marks to the scouting staff, including college scouting director Ruston Webster, whose contract expires June1.

"It doesn't need to be said but it's been difficult having a new person come in with new thoughts and new ideas, but they've been terrific to work with and very professional," Allen said. "I thought they did a good job."

WAITING GAME: Will Allen, the Bucs' fourth-round pick, was a little surprised still to be available on Sunday. The defensive back from Ohio State hoped to go in the first three rounds, but was happy to go to Tampa Bay.

"(Saturday) was a little crazy for me," Allen said. "But everything happens for a reason and this seems like the perfect and right situation for me. It's hard trying to understand that when you're seeing other guys go and you're wondering when your turn will come. But when it does, it's a great feeling."

[Last modified April 26, 2004, 01:05:23]

Today's lineup

  • Bucs hope for something special
  • Banking on a versatile Buckeye
  • No time to rest for newest Bucs players
  • Tampa Bay adds a pair of Ivy Leaguers to mix

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  • Despite loss, team gains in rotation

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  • Vinny strikes twice
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  • Souray stands up, shoulders blame
  • Game summary
  • So that's why they watch video
  • Take two: Vinny steals show again

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  • NL: Clement points way for Cubs

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  • Golf
  • An erratic Irwin pulls out a win at the end

  • In brief
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  • Motorsports
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  • Champ's record remains perfect
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  • NHL
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  • Triathlon
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  • Back to Top

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