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Thursday, Sep 18, 2014
Tampa Bay Buccaneers

Hot Reads: Bucs have talent growth spurt


Published:

A Buc since 2006, RG Davin Joseph has seen the Bucs grow from a team short on top-level talent to one with a virtual abundance.

"It really has been interesting to see how much this team has grown," he said. "We went from not having anybody in the top 100 in the league to having (five) players in the 100 and from not having any Pro Bowlers to having several."

The 2013 Bucs have eight Pro Bowlers: Joseph, LG Carl Nicks, RB Doug Martin, WR Vincent Jackson, DT Gerald McCoy, S Dashon Goldson, CB Darrelle Revis and LT Donald Penn.

The players listed among NFL.com's Top 100 for 2013 were Jackson (No. 52), Martin (57), Revis (67), McCoy (92) and Goldson (96). Ronde Barber also made the original list but was removed after he retired.

Play of the day

QB Josh Freeman has confidence in his arm strength and ability to squeeze a difficult throw into a tight window. He displayed that knack Thursday during an 11-on-11 goal-line drill.

On a play similar to one he made at Carolina last year, Freeman drilled a pass through the hands of two converging safeties - Goldson and Ahmad Black - into Jackson's hands.

The throw to Jackson, who ran a crossing route along the back line of the end zone, completed a 12-yard play that left defenders shaking their heads.

End game

Regular attendees to workouts at One Buc Place might have noticed that each practice ends with one two-minute drill featuring first-team players and another featuring second-teamers.

It is no coincidence.

"We do it at the end on purpose because that's when it's going to happen in a game - when you're busted, tired,'' coach Greg Schiano said. "We want to know who can fight through the mental part of it and the physical part of it and go out and perform.''

Back(pack) to school

Bucs players and cheerleaders helped prepare area youth for their return to school by distributing 1,000 backpacks to representatives of 40 local community groups.

The backpacks were donated by the Glazer Family Foundation, which has provided more than 25,000 backpacks since launching its "Buc-Packs for Back to School" initiative 12 years ago.

Quote of the day

"I think you can see where he hit it a little bit. But I also think he came busting through it."

- Schiano, on S Mark Barron hitting the rookie wall in 2012

Camp schedule

A few remaining practices at One Buc Place are open to the public, no ticket required. Admission and parking are free. Fans can enjoy discounted concessions and autograph sessions. Practices open to the public (dates and times subject to change):

Today: 8:45-11:30 a.m.

Saturday: 8:45-11:30 a.m.

Tuesday: 8:45-11:30 a.m.

Aug. 10: 8:45-11:30 a.m.

Preseason schedule

Thursday: Baltimore, 7:30 p.m.

Aug. 16: at New England, 8 p.m.

Aug. 24: at Miami, 7:30 p.m.

Aug. 29: Washington, 7:30 p.m.

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