By Jeff Berlinicke
It was only a three-day rookie mini-camp, but the first glimpse at the 2005 Buccaneers had coach Jon Gruden in an upbeat mood.
Not only were all of the top draft picks in the camp, but Gruden also got to take a look at 20 players who were on the field strictly on a tryout basis.
"There are four or five guys here who we'll find a way to get on our roster,'' Gruden said. "This was a strong cast of players.''
Gruden also said his rookie crop was the best he's had since he came to Tampa Bay in 2002.
Running back Cadillac Williams, tight end Alex Smith, linebacker Barrett Ruud, and offensive linemen Chris Colmer and Dan Buenning all came into camp looking in shape although none has signed a contract yet.
The Bucs waited a day and signed four of the tryout players – running back Derek Watson, cornerbacks Carlos Campbell and James Patrick, and offensive lineman Kevin Fischer. Watson is especially intriguing. He rushed for 2,374 yards at South Carolina and South Carolina State. He was dropped from South Carolina for disciplinary reasons, but would have likely been a high draft pick if not for the incident.
After the last practice, Gruden had former Bucs quarterback Doug Williams address the team. In his second year in the team's personnel department, Williams is another example of Gruden bringing back former Bucs to talk to the team and help build tradition.
Rookies Shine in Mini-Camp
Bucs Blitz Top Stories
2017 NFL Free Agency: Fantasy ReactionsFantasy-slanted reactions from Editor-in-Chief Matt De Lima and Senior Fantasy Experts Adam Ronis & Dr. Roto to all the big 2017 NFL free agency moves!
Moneyball Quarterbacks and the DraftBrowns coaching and analytics drive the quarterback choice for the 2017 NFL Draft
CLE4MeTuesday at 11:51 AM
Bears Stat Pack: The 2017 scheduleWe break down some interesting facts about each opponent on the Chicago Bears 2017 schedule.
Bear ReportFriday at 12:30 PM
Can The Broncos Afford A QB Controversy?The Broncos are staring down the barrel at yet another season replete with quarterback controversy. But what can they do to avoid it? Adam Uribes breaks it down.
Mile High Huddle04/17/2017
D'Onta Foreman's Busy Week of NFL Workouts2016 Doak Walker Award running back D'Onta Foreman has been a man on the go, working out for several teams interested in him as a prospect in the 2017 NFL Player Draft.