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Bucs training camp

By Times staff writer

© St. Petersburg Times,
published August 8, 2001


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One of the traditions of training camp is sharing a room with a teammate. Each day, one Buccaneer is asked to describe his roommate in terms of a popular movie, television or cartoon character. Veteran tight end Dave Moore describes Mike Alstott as Flintstones cartoon character Bamm Bamm Rubble.

"He's short and squat and strong just like him," Moore said. "Once you get to know him, you realize he's nothing but a real big kid."

Fresh faces

NAME: Dwight Smith

HT./WT.: 5-10/201.

COLLEGE: Akron.

POSITION: Cornerback.

NFL EXPERIENCE: Rookie.

HOMETOWN: Detroit

BACK IN THE DAY: Smith's fondest memory is still fresh in his mind: his senior season at Akron, when he tied for the most interceptions in the nation with 10 -- two he returned for touchdowns -- to earn the Mid American Conference's Defensive Player of the Year award. "It's something that the whole country got to see," he said.

BRUSH WITH GREATNESS: Again, Smith thinks back to ... last month, when he was featured on a two-page spread in ESPN The Magazine getting his groove on in a night club, attired in a bright lavender single-breasted suit. "That's Detroit for you, that's how we dress up there," he said. "I'm liable to frame it."

TO MAKE THE TEAM: The Bucs' third-round pick is a virtual lock to make the final roster, but what will his role be? Perhaps nickel back. Smith is a physical corner with a knack for getting his hands on the ball.

WHAT'S HIS TAKE: When he isn't playing football, it's important to Smith that he be home in Detroit with his son, Dwight Smith Jr., age 2, and his brothers, 9-year-old Dante' and 8-year-old Diamond, who like their older brother are being raised by their grandparents. "I didn't have a man in my life, so I want them to have somebody to look up to," Smith said. -- JAMAL THALJI

Quotable

"God bless him if he gets the record. ... I would never wish (Rikers Island on him. I'd rather he get my record than him wind up in Rikers Island." -- MARK GASTINEAU, former Jets defensive end released from Rikers Island prison two weeks ago, responding to Warren Sapp's blasts that the NFL single-season sack record should not belong to a "convicted felon." Gastineau had 22 sacks in 1984.

Practice schedule

TODAY: 8:30-10:30 a.m. and 7:30-9:30 p.m. (last night practice of training camp).

FIRST PRESEASON GAME: Monday, vs. Dolphins, 8 p.m., RJS.

* Practices are free and open to public.

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