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Position battles come into focus in first padded practice at Buccaneers training camp

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The Tampa Bay Buccaneers held their first padded practice today, which means they could finally go through full-contact drills. And that means we'll get a good view of most of the team's position battles for the first time.

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The Tampa Bay Buccaneers have gone through the motions at practices this year, but with no contact allowed, most of it was simply drilling scheme. Real competitions can't happen until the pads come on -- and some would say they can't happen until preseason games are played. Today we finally got a glimpse at the team's first padded practice.

Injuries

Lovie Smith yesterday noted that there were no major injuries in training camp, but second-year cornerback Rashaan Melvin was in a walking boot today, according to Rick Brown. That usually (though not always) means a high-ankle sprain, which tend to last a few weeks.

No serious injuries seemed to pop up during practice, although Jamon Meredith did head off the field with a trainer, per Rick Stroud. That was probably just dehydration, though.

Position battles

Jamon Meredith was once again starting at left guard, with Oniel Cousins taking up the right guard spot, per Greg Auman. That should change with time. I hope. Either that or Cousins is much better now than he was then.

Da'Quan Bowers was playing at defensive tackle with the second-team defensive line, according to Rick Stroud. I didn't think he looked very good at that position during the past few seasons, but if he can help there he should have a better chance of sticking on the roster. Greg Auman notes that he also played defensive end, while Euclid Cummings and Matthew Masifilo rotated in at defensive tackle.

Meanwhile, Adrian Clayborn beat Demar Dotson in one-on-ones three times in a row, per JoeBucsFan. That's pretty good news for the pass rush. Or bad news for the offensive line. Steven Means also got a few mentions from various media members.

For those concerned about fullback, for whatever reason, it seems Jorvorskie Lane is winning, per Roy Cummings. Finally, I saw lots of mentions of 6'5" receiver Tommy Streeter. The fact that he hasn't been able to even stick on a roster for three straight years signals a need for some caution there, though.

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