Keith Tandy came into the Tampa Bay Buccaneers three-day minicamp on Friday as a cornerback. After today's morning workout, the sixth-round draft pick from West Virginia could be playing safety.
OK, that timetable is probably a little aggressive. But coach Greg Schiano made it clear Saturday that Tandy has the versatility to work either spot and suggested strongly the Bucs will take advantage.
"Some guys are just man-to-man guys,'' Schiano said. "They're like, 'I got that guy,' and other than that they struggle. Keith's not like that. He's a complete defensive back.
"He has zone skills, man skills, press skills, off skills, so we just need to see where he fits best right now. He does have the kind of versatility that's going to (allow us) to mix and match where he's needed.''
Tandy didn't play safety at WVU, where he ranked first and third in the Big East in interceptions as a junior and senior, respectively, but he believes he could make an easy transition.
"I think one of my main things is reading the quarterback and playing off in zone and then being real physical with the receivers," Tandy said, "because I'm more of a bigger cornerback and I try to use that to my advantage."
No matter where he plays, the 2011 All-Big East corner has some natural skills that cause problems for quarterbacks, Schiano said.
"Some guys are just like that,'' Schiano said. "They have a skill, a knack, whatever you want to call it, and I have, unfortunately, seen it up close and personal too many times (while at Rutgers). He's a very instinctual player.''
None of this weekend's minicamp workouts are being conducted in pads, so it's hard for the coaches to evaluate certain prospects, particularly defensive linemen. Still, that group has impressed Schiano.
"It is going to be hard to decide which D-linemen we go with here because there are some that have done a nice job and that show promise,'' Schiano said.
The inability to see players hit makes the evaluation process difficult, but not impossible, said Schiano, who will turn to some old-school evaluation tools to decide which linemen stick around beyond the minicamp.
"You just try to evaluate their suddenness, their explosion into a (blocking) sled,'' said Schiano, who will do the same to evaluate offensive linemen and fullbacks.
"There is an old saying among coaches: You have to learn to beat a sled first before you can beat a man. If the sled hits you back, you've got a problem. So, there is a lot you can see out here."
The NFL recently expanded the size of offseason rosters by 10 players to 90 total through the third week of the preseason, including unsigned draft picks. Whether the Bucs will take advantage of that rule had yet to be decided on Saturday.
"I don't know what that number will be, because (building the roster) is a continual process,'' Schiano said. "You continue to bring guys in all the time, and that will be something we keep doing.''
Feeling the heat
On field temperatures at One Buc Place soared into the high 80s for the second straight day of minicamp, which proved to be a little too much for some of the campers.
"Some of them aren't ready for the heat, that's for sure and it's not really even that hot,'' Schiano said. "It jumped on a few of them.''