- 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 most intriguing player in Tampa Bay's camp is running back Jeff Demps. The Bucs clearly are enchanted by the speed possessed by the former Olympic sprinter. There have been a few moments when Demps has looked like he could turn out to be a very special player. But there also have been some moments where his hands haven't looked as good as his feet. I saw Demps drop two passes and a kickoff return in Monday's practice. If Demps is going to make the roster, he has to show he can catch the ball consistently.
Speaking of kickoff returns, it looked like the Bucs were auditioning half their roster Monday. When the Bucs worked on that area, eight different players took turns lining up as return men. In addition to Demps, Eric Page, Chris Owusu, Charles Sims, Solomon Patton, Skye Dawson, Robert Herron and Lavelle Hawkins took turns returning kicks. Page held the job last year, but the Bucs clearly are looking at all alternatives.
The play of the day came from unexpected territory. On a fake field goal, punter Michael Koenen threw a touchdown pass to offensive tackle Demar Dotson. "If a lineman gets to cross the goal line, it's a big thing," coach Lovie Smith said.” Demar will tell you he's an athlete."
The runner-up for play of the day was a leaping interception of a Mike Glennon pass by linebacker Danny Lansanah. He's a guy that shouldn't be overlooked. He has a chance to make the roster as a fifth or sixth linebacker.
After opening camp with Jamon Meredith at left guard and Oniel Cousins at right guard, the Bucs switched things up Monday. Those two ran with the second team while rookie Kadeem Edwards worked at left guard and Patrick Omameh at right guard. Look for the Bucs to continue to rotate their guards. There is an open competition for both starting jobs.
A lot of people seem to think free-agent pickup Clinton McDonald is a shoe-in to start at defensive tackle. But Smith keeps talking up Akeem Spence, who started last year as a rookie. I think you could see a rotation where both players get to play to their strengths. Spence is strong against the run and McDonald has some talent as a pass-rusher.
Cornerback Alterraun Verner sat out with a hamstring injury. Verner said he was "nicked" up, but that the injury was nothing serious.
The Bucs made a few roster moves Monday. They signed cornerback Anthony Gator and defensive tackle Jibreel Black. Running back Brendan Bigelow and wide receiver Quintin Payton were released to make room for the new players.
The Bucs get their first day off of training camp on Tuesday. But Smith and his assistants still will work a full day.