Tampa Bay Buccaneers: 5 Things We Learned from the Bucs' OTAs
From concerns at the guard position that continue to grow to a potential quarterback controversy, there are plenty of intriguing notes that have popped up over these two voluntary team workouts.
Here are a few newsworthy takeaways from the Bucs' OTAs.
Mike Glennon Might Have a Shot at the Starting QB Job
When Josh McCown was signed during free agency, head coach Lovie Smith quickly made it clear that he was brought in to be the starter. However, it sounds like Mike Glennon might actually have an outside shot at wrestling away the top job.
According to the Tampa Tribune's Roy Cummings, Glennon has been taking a decent number of the first-team reps:
I'd say they're probably kind of sharing the reps right now. Josh McCown's working with the first group more than Mike Glennon, but Mike Glennon's getting a lot of work and he's got a good opportunity here to steal that job away.
Having McCown sign a two-year contract worth $10 million only to lose the starting gig to Glennon right out of the gate would seem like a huge disappointment. It's still a long shot, but an interesting situation to keep an eye on.
Carl Nicks Was a No-Show
Carl Nicks' future with the Bucs has already been a bit cloudy due to a chronic toe injury that will likely cause him severe pain for the rest of his life.
But the former Pro Bowl guard has added perhaps another layer to the story, as he has been absent from the team's OTAs. Per Greg Auman of the Tampa Bay Times, head coach Lovie Smith gave a rather short response when asked about Nicks not being present: "No update. He's not here. He's not here for voluntary work."
OTAs are indeed voluntary, but it's still concerning that Nicks was a no-show. The former New Orleans Saint has played in just nine games over two seasons since signing a lucrative free-agent contract to join the Bucs. The guard position looks to be a huge concern on paper for Tampa Bay, and Nicks' absence doesn't make things look any better.
Vincent Jackson and Mike Evans Need to Stretch out Those Hamstrings
Bucs fans have to be excited about the potential threat the "Two Towers" should bring to their passing game in 2014, but both Vincent Jackson and Mike Evans have been nursing hamstring injuries, keeping them off the field.
Though their absence has given the rest of the receiver corps the opportunity to step up, missing both of your projected starters at receiver takes away valuable reps that could be used to build much-needed chemistry. Especially considering that one of these missing targets is a rookie and the Bucs are also breaking in a new starting quarterback, every rep counts.
These injuries shouldn't amount to anything too alarming, but it's definitely not the greatest situation for a Buccaneers offense that needs as much time to jell as possible.
Charles Sims Doesn't Look Like a Head-Scratcher of a Draft Pick
When the Bucs took West Virginia RB Charles Sims in the third round of the NFL draft last month, many fans were left rather puzzled. With plenty of pressing needs yet to be addressed, why would the team spend a Day 2 pick to add to one of the deepest positions on the roster?
However, the early returns look promising on the former Houston transfer. The new regime spoke highly of his skills as a receiver out of the backfield, which he put on display during OTAs. PewterReport.com reported two plays in particular where Sims showed his explosiveness and savvy as a pass-catching back:
Another standout play occurred when West Virginia third-round pick Charles Sims blew past linebacker Lavonte David on an angle route early on in the session. Sims also left linebacker Dane Fletcher in the dust after running an out route. It was just his first practice as an NFL player, but Sims looked like a veteran.
Despite a fairly loaded backfield, it looks like new offensive coordinator Jeff Tedford plans to get Sims involved early and often in a variety of ways.
Chris Owusu Continues to Impress Lovie Smith
With Vincent Jackson and Mike Evans both out with hamstring injuries, younger receivers have been forced to step up. Asserting himself among that group during OTAs has been Chris Owusu.
Despite having more experienced pass-catchers on the depth chart like Louis Murphy and Lavelle Hawkins, Owusu seems to have caught the eye of head coach Lovie Smith, per the Tampa Bay Times' Greg Auman.
He has good size, excellent speed and I've been impressed with how he has caught the football. I don't know a lot nor had any preconceived notions about the players, but he's a guy that you do notice. I did see on his chart before we went on the field a 4.36 (40-yard dash time) that will get your attention a little bit. He's running good routes, he's caught the ball well and he's done some good things. There's an opportunity, if I'm a receiver I would be just really doing everything I could to show the coaches exactly what I have. This is a great chance to do that.
Hearing those words from the new sheriff in town definitely means you're doing the right things if you're Owusu. If he can keep this up, he should be a lock to make the team, especially if he can contribute significantly on special teams.
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