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Pro Football

Team goes on without Sears

arichardson@tampatrib.com
Published:   |   Updated: March 23, 2013 at 04:42 AM
TAMPA -

Bucs G Arron Sears not only failed to report to training camp Friday, but team officials also are unsure if he will join the team this season.

Sears was placed on the reserve/did-not-report list. Buccaneers general manager Mark Dominik said he spoke with Sears' agent, Sean Kineran, on Friday to inform him of the team's decision.

Sears does not count against the 80-man camp roster, and Tampa Bay will not fine him for missing camp. The Bucs have not divulged why Sears missed several voluntary workouts and a mandatory minicamp during the offseason, saying his absence is a "personal issue."

"There's not frustration," Dominik said. "For us, I'm not frustrated. I'm just looking out for Arron, and I hope everything comes together for him and that he reports. That's the best way to say that.

"We want to be there and support him, and that's the important thing for us right now."

Sears was a second-round selection (35th overall) by Tampa Bay in 2007. He started 16 games as a rookie and 15 last year.

Jeremy Zuttah is expected to start at left guard in place of Sears. Though Bucs coach Raheem Morris said Sears is welcome to rejoin the team at any time, the Bucs appear ready to move on.

"The sky is not falling because one man didn't show on this team," Morris said. "We're going to have injuries we're going to have to deal with. We're going to have all type of things we have to deal with.

"You can never get mentally weak enough and worry about that. You've got to keep going and keep marching ahead, because everybody wants to make it happen."

Cadillac out of shop

RB Cadillac Williams passed his physical Friday and was cleared to fully participate in training camp.

Williams tore the patellar tendon in his left knee in the season finale against Oakland and spent the offseason rehabilitating. Two seasons ago, Williams ruptured the patellar tendon in his right knee, an injury that required a lengthy rehabilitation after surgery.

"If the season starts tomorrow, I'm good," Williams said.

Williams will compete with Earnest Graham, Derrick Ward and Clifton Smith for playing time this season.

"It is a crowded backfield," Williams said. "For one, I just want to thank God. I'm happy to be here. I'm back; glad I'm back to play football. I'm just looking forward to going to camp and competing with these guys."

A shade cooler

Fans attending practices at One Buc Place will be able to sit in bleachers covered with awnings. Only one side of the field at Disney's Wide World of Sports had awnings, but the Bucs have provided more sun protection for fans. The seating capacity is about 4,000.

Morris said he planned to engage the fans, as coaches have done in previous years. But he was wary of trying to engage them by dancing like former defensive coordinator Monte Kiffin.

"We got Killeen Mullen director of special events and team operations, who you all know does a great job with the crowd. She'll have it looking like a basketball game out there," Morris said. "She'll probably be shooting stuff into the stands. I don't know. She might shoot herself into the stands. We're trying to involve the community. That's part of bringing it back to Tampa."

Anwar S. Richardson

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