TAMPA, FL - MAY 4: Safety Mark Barron #24 of the Tampa Bay Buccaneers runs upfield during a rookie practice at the Buccaneers practice facility May 4, 2012 in Tampa, Florida. (Photo by Al Messerschmidt/Getty Images)
The Tampa Bay Buccaneers' mandatory mini-camp got under way today, and we have lots of notes and quotes from the practice. Let's go through the most significant ones:
- Defensive tackle Amobi Okoye was absent from practice today. Okoye recently had his knee scoped, but the Bucs expect him to be ready for training camp, according to Rick Brown of the Lakeland Ledger.
- DT Brian Price was also absent from this mini-camp, but this has nothing to do with injury. While the team did not reveal the reason for Price's absence, he's presumably still working out in California. The team has excused him for the week.
- Cornerback Eric Wright was back at practice after missing several OTAs, which was due to a medical issue affecting his energy levels, according to Pewter Report. They also note Wright did some work with the first-team defense, but sat out the last two periods. Eric Wright is behind the ball in learning the defense because of those missed practices, per the Tampa Bay Times.
- It was not Josh Freeman's best day, according to JoeBucsFan, as the quarterback missed on a number of throws.
- Lavonte David, Mason Foster and Quincy Black were again the starting linebackers, with Dekoda Watson playing as a pass-rush specialist at times, according to Stephen Holder of the Tampa Bay Times. Rick Brown notes that Mason Foster thinks he would have been better had he had OTAs last year.
- Preston Parker got some positive remarks from Greg Schiano, as noted by the Tampa Bay Times. He appears to be the leading candidate for the team's slot receiver position and is in the mix as a returner.
- JoeBucsFan notes that Arrelious Benn was used on kickoff returns, while Mike Williams was returning punts.
- Ahmad Black and Mark Barron lined up at safety in dime packages, according to Pewter Report. Anthony Gaitor and Ronde Barber will likely be the slot cornerbacks in those packages, with Aqib Talib and either Wright or Biggers probably lining up on the outside.
- Anthony Gaitor has been the team's primary slot cornerback throughout the offseason, and that continued today per Pewter Report.