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Better workouts lead to more snaps for Adams

Gaines Adams wants to be on the field. He wants to be in the midst of the action, where most fourth overall draft picks expect to be.

By STEPHEN F. HOLDER
Published November 1, 2007


TAMPA -Gaines Adams wants to be on the field. He wants to be in the midst of the action, where most fourth overall draft picks expect to be.

"Anybody playing a game they love, they want to be out there in the spotlight and to help their team be the best they can be," the rookie defensive end said.

Adams has told his coaches as much, and finally it appears he will get his chance with Greg Spires out for the foreseeable future with what the team is calling a calf injury, defensive coordinator Monte Kiffin said.

"There's nothing wrong with that," Kiffin said. "I've heard that. But I don't need to hear it. I need to see it. The heck with what he's said. But I've seen it in practice the last couple weeks. He's really worked hard, and I think he's tired of sitting on the bench. You have to do it in practice, and he really has."

That's what the knock has been on Adams: He isn't a practice player, even if he performed exceptionally in games while at Clemson. In the NFL, it isn't so easy to flip the switch on game day, which is why his coaches have demanded more. Now that Adams is providing a more sustained effort during the week, coaches are seeing it translate into performance on Sundays.

"His best 11 plays were last week" against Jacksonville, defensive line coach Larry Coyer said. "Doesn't sound like much, but in the nature of that game, he gave us 11 really fine plays."

The fact that he played just 11 plays shows why he has been frustrated with his lack of snaps. But coach Jon Gruden said this week that Adams will have an expanded role in the second half of the season. On Wednesday, his defensive coaches concurred.

"Spires is going to be out for a while," Kiffin said. "Gaines is going to play a lot. He's got to step up, and he will."

That doesn't mean there won't be growing pains. But the hope among coaches is that Adams can play through the ups and downs.

"It becomes a growing process," Coyer said.

In related news, Coyer said he expects end Patrick Chukwurah shoulder to return this week, which should help further fortify the position.

WILLIAMS WATCH? Everyone knows the Bucs love a reclamation project, and there's a potential one on their doorstep. Tampa native Mike Williams, the 2005 10th overall pick by the Lions, was waived by the Raiders on Tuesday and cleared waivers late Wednesday afternoon.

The Bucs had not contacted the agent of the former Plant High and USC standout as of then, but they have an open roster spot after several transactions Wednesday. And with Michael Clayton still recovering from an ankle injury and questionable for this week, it's possible the Bucs will at least offer Williams a workout.

Gruden wouldn't comment on the possibility, but said, "It hasn't worked out for him, but if he keeps working, he'll get another chance."

The Bucs added receiver Chas Gessner, a preseason darling, to the active roster for what Gruden said will be mostly special-teams duty. They released Chad Lucas, who was on the active roster for all of one week. Also, cornerback Darrell Hunter was signed to the practice squad in place of Derrick Hamilton, who was released from the eight-man unit.

INJURY REPORT: Clayton, cornerback Brian Kelly (groin), tight end Alex Smith (ankle), linebacker Quincy Black (hamstring) and running back Michael Pittman (ankle) participated on a limited basis in practice, though all remain questionable for Sunday.