Who has made an impression on me?

The Champions have added some new faces to the mix so who has caught my eye that could be a potential difference maker in the upcoming season? Running back Thomas Jones that's who.

But before I get into my early impressions of the former first round draft pick of the Arizona Cardinals let me say this of the Buccaneers backfield.

Much of the season last year I felt that Michael Pittman wasn't patient enough with his lineman. He simply didn't let things develop in front of him and was too anxious to turn up field. Often times he would bump into pulling lineman and not the get the most yardage out of the play. Not to mention his highly questionable off the field actions are enough reasons to say the acquisition of Jones was a solid move.

So what impressed me about Thomas Jones? Well for starters he made some very impressive cuts. Jones doesn't look like he weighs 205 pounds because he is so light on his feet and speaking of feet he showed some nifty footwork making his way through holes and up field. In addition his soft hands made for some impressive catches out of the backfield during passing drills

Jones was the University of Virginia's all-time leading rusher and came into the league with a huge upside as a first round draft pick should. Let's face it the Cardinals haven't exactly been a competitive team the last decade so maybe the environment had something to do with his unfulfilled expectations. He has too much talent not to thrive in this league and with a new atmosphere comes a new start for Jones. In my mind he will challenge Pittman for significant playing time.

Third round draft pick Chris Simms looks uneasy in his repetitions but that is to be expected. One thing I will say about Simms is that he throws a beautiful deep ball. The former Texas Longhorn star looked anything but comfortable but the Bucs know the adjustment to the next level is a process, especially for a quarterback.

Jacquez Green looks like a blur cutting on a dime and running precision routes. On a team with excellent depth at the receiver position, Green will have to make his presence felt in all phases of the offense including special teams. The Bucs want to get Green in the open field. Expect Green to challenge Karl Williams for the starting punt returning duties. Obviously it will take time to build the chemistry and timing with Brad Johnson. This time around with the Bucs he will have to earn his playing time but I am sure he has a newfound enthusiasm playing in the west coast offense with an excellent quarterback. All this translates into his best opportunity to flourish as a pro.

Bucs Blitz Top Stories