Listen, I'm as excited about training camp starting as anyone else, but I also try to be a bit realistic. As the Bucs started their training camp on Thursday, any Bucs fan who took just a glance at twitter would have seen that for the 2nd year in a row, Kenny Bell was "looking good" at receiver.
This shouldn't be news to anyone. Bell was known as a speed receiver coming out of Nebraska in 2015. Much like his first day of Bucs camp this year, his early days in Bucs camp as a rookie in 2015 were also showered in praise.
If the battle for the Tampa Bay Buccaneers' third-receiver job was just between Louis Murphy and Kenny Bell, then it wouldn't be much of a competition right now. Murphy started training camp on the active/non-football injury list after suffering an off-field ankle injury, while Bell has returned from an offseason hamstring tweak to look explosive during the first two days of camp.
This excerpt from Buccaneers.com was from LAST YEAR!!! Sound familiar?
Fast forward to this year, and Kenny Bell is at it again!
“He got off to a good start," Bucs coach Dirk Koetter said about Kenny Bell following the Bucs' first training camp practice. "Kenny definitely flashes, he came off spring and he picked up right where he left off.”
Both Kenny Bell and Alterraun Verner were the players receiving the most accolades following the Bucs' first practice in shorts and t-shirts. I'm happy to see both striving early, but this play must continue once the pads go on. If their play does not continue along this path, then what does this all matter? Once again, Bell was fantastic in the early parts of last year's training camp. Once the pads went on, he disappeared.
The Bucs need both Kenny Bell and Alterraun Verner to become big time role players in 2016 and beyond. Yes, it starts in shorts and t-shirts, but before we get caught up in how these guys look in shorts, let's hope they look even better in pads.