Rookie Report

As training camp wraps up week one, let's take a look at how four of the Buccaneer rookies are performing so far: CB Torrie Cox, RB Earnest Graham, OT Lance Nimmo and DE Dewayne White.

Torrie Cox has really been playing well. The 5-9, 181 pound cornerback from Pitt does not look like a rookie. His anticipation and break to the football is explosive. It also seems, although there isn't full contact tackling on kickoff returns, that he can contribute to special teams. Although it's early, if he sustains his play, he might be seeing the field the few times the Bucs go into the nickel package. He has big play potential written all over him!

Running back Earnest Graham has also looked impressive in his limited opportunities. Remember not only do the Bucs have Graham, but they have also added Thomas Jones and veteran Terry Kirby, not to mention Aaron Stecker. This will be a big decision for coach Gruden. Graham had flashes of brilliance playing big-time football at the University of Florida. Honestly, I don't look for Graham to make the team. There are simply not enough snaps to go around. He will have to show up big in the pre-season if he expects to make the team.

Offensive tackle Lance Nimmo, "Captain Nimmo" as he is referred to by coach Gruden, is coming into his own. He will be a solid backup on the offensive line. He is a 300-pound, 6-5 monster. One aspect that I noticed in drills against the defensive line was his footwork. He had a few snaps where he was unbalanced and looked slow. But then again, he was going against Simeon Rice and Greg Spires, so it's hard to tell.

Defensive end Dewayne White has impressed me. Although undersized by NFL standards (6-2, 273 pounds), he is fast. He has a quick first step and uses his hands very well. However I must say in one particular drill, one-on-one blocking, he seemed to struggle. He must learn how to use the quick hands he uses to get around lineman to fight off blocks. This defense is built on speed. Seeing as though he is an end and not a tackle, he seems like a good fit in this system.

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