- Pat Yasinskas, ESPN Staff Writer
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TAMPA, Fla. -- A daily review of the hot topics coming out of Tampa Bay Buccaneers training camp:
The Buccaneers had their first pads practice of camp Sunday afternoon and it wasn’t very pretty for the offense. There were balls on the ground and the rush broke through on several occasions. But coach Lovie Smith said it’s not time to worry. “I would say it’s normal that the defense does have that advantage just as you start for some reason,’’ Smith said. “Offense is a lot on timing and things like that. We’ve had a couple balls on the ground the last couple days. Of course, we can’t do that. We’re a work in progress still.’’
There was one highlight for the offense. It came on a deep pass from backup quarterback Mike Glennon to running back Jeff Demps. “That’s a pretty good situation to get in,’’ Smith said. “Most times, third and short, as a defense, you have to play some form of man. To get a Mike linebacker on the fastest guy in the NFL, I’d throw it to him too.’’ Smith continued to praise Glennon, who started 13 games as a rookie but has been replaced by Josh McCown. “He’s had a good offseason in general,’’ Smith said. “He can make all of the throws. I’ve asked him to move into a different role. He’s embraced that. If Mike ends up having to play for us this year we would win a lot of football games. He’s a good football player. Again, this is his second year and there’s still a ways to go but we’re getting there.’’
Defensive end Da'Quan Bowers hasn’t been able to carve much of a role for himself in his first three NFL seasons. But the Bucs might be letting him try something new. Bowers has been getting some work at defensive tackle. “He can play inside,’’ Smith said. “On game day, we’re going to dress seven defensive linemen so we need at least one player that can play both inside and outside. Body type-wise, he’s right in that area. I think he could possibly rush third down situations inside and also be able to play more of a six technique on running downs outside.’’
Jamon Meredith and Oneil Cousins lined up as the starting guards, but that’s a very fluid situation. Patrick Omameh and rookie Kadeem Edwards also could be under consideration for starting roles. Smith brought up a good point when he said all four guards will get a good test against Tampa Bay’s defensive tackles. “They’re all getting reps right now,’’ Smith said. “We get great evaluations based on what’s on the other side of our guards. You have a player like Gerald McCoy, Clinton McDonald, Akeem Spence, we get a good reading on how good those players really are.’’
Strong safety Mark Barron revealed he had offseason surgery on his right knee. Although he’s practicing, Barron said he’s not 100 percent healthy yet, but is headed in that direction.