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Tampa Bay Buccaneers

Smith: Minicamp offers no true evaluation tool for Bucs

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Published:   |   Updated: April 28, 2014 at 01:31 PM

— Whenever a team takes the field for the first time, as the Bucs did last week during their first minicamp, fans naturally want to know which players are shining and which are struggling.

Reporters want to know the same, and while the Bucs’ media corps was allowed to watch all three workouts in their entirety, it was hard to tell if any players made a really good impression on the coaching staff.

Even Bucs coach Lovie Smith admitted it’s hard for coaches to evaluate players at this time of year, saying on more than one occasion that the early offseason environment simply isn’t conducive to such goals.

“I don’t think anybody can distinguish themselves running around in their underwear,’’ Smith said. “You just can’t do that. We had a chance to see some of the ability and we knew that.’’

What the Bucs are doing now is installing offensive and defensive schemes to determine how quickly players take what they learn in the classroom and apply it to the field. That means the true evaluation will come later.

“We have all these guys on video, but it’s hard to kind of tell,’’ Smith said in response to question specifically about his tight ends. “We want to be able to see them once we get in pads, then we’ll see what they can do.”

rcummings@tampatrib.com

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