TAMPA, FL - SEPTEMBER 25: Cornerback Ronde Barber #20 of the Tampa Bay Buccaneers breaks up a pass to tight end Tony Gonzalez #88 of the Atlanta Falcons September 25, 2011 at Raymond James Stadium in Tampa, Florida. (Photo by Al Messerschmidt/Getty Images)
The first (voluntary) Organized Team Activities or OTAs started for the Tampa Bay Buccaneers today, and that means we've got some notes and quotes for you. Let's go through the main happenings at practice today.
- Ronde Barber is working as the starting free safety, per Rick Stroud. It seems the Bucs are intent on going into the season with Barber and Barron as the starting safeties. Schiano did note that 'live play' would determine whether Barber would stay there, per Pewter Report. According to Stephen Holder, Ronde Barber will continue to be a slot cornerback in passing situations.
- TE Kellen Winslow was a no-show, according to Rick Stroud. Winslow usually spends the offseason working with his own trainer, as his knee requires quite a bit of maintenance.
- Connor Barth was present and watching practice per the team's twitter page, despite not officially being under contract yet.
- Mark Dominik is hopeful that Da'Quan Bowers can return from Achilles surgery this season, per the Bucs' twitter page.
- RB Doug Martin suffered a slight hamstring strain, while Preston Parker 'tweaked his knee' and appears to be okay, per Rick Stroud. Minor injuries like that will happen throughout any training camp.
- Rick Stroud noted that Vincent Jackson and Josh Freeman looked to be in synch. According to Greg Schiano, he's already a leader on the (practice?) field.
- Greg Schiano made it known that Blount, Martin and the other running backs will earn their carries through offseason work.
- UPDATE: According to Rick Stroud, both Dezmon Briscoe and Brian Price were missing from OTAs.
- UPDATE 2: According to Pewter Report, Michael Bennett was slowed with a minor injury.
- E.J. Bigges started at right cornerback, with Eric Wright working with the second team. Lavonte David worked with the second team. Mason Foster started exclusively at middle linebacker, while Najee Goode was the third-string middle linebacker. Ahmad Black had two INTs off tipped passes. All of this per Pewter Report's twitter page.