Versatility Could Be Key For Davis

Bucs grasping for answers on offensive line during mandatory mini-camp.

By Jeff Berlinicke

TAMPA – Officially, training camp doesn't start for another month, but for all intents and purposes, the Bucs' 2005 season is underway.

The team's final mini-camp opened on Tuesday, starting a three-day grueling test to allow coach Jon Gruden to evaluate his team coming off a 5-11 season.

There were 102 players that officially were on the roster as of Tuesday, but several players were missing. Mike Alstott was absent for personal reasons, and OT Todd Steussie was out for unexplained reasons. Gruden wasn't concerned and it is almost certain that Steussie won't be around when training camp officially opens.

One interesting point on Tuesday was Anthony Davis playing at right tackle in place of incumbent Kenyatta Walker. Walker was rehabbing an injury, but he has been criticized ever since being the Bucs' No. 1 pick in the 2001 draft. Walker has been plagued by holding calls and has been considered a bust and Davis raised some eyebrows during some impressive stints during last year's lost season.

There has also been talk of giving Davis a chance at guard as the Bucs have plenty of holes to fill.

"Anthony's working everywhere right now,'' Gruden said. "He might even be an assistant coach before it's all said and done. Kenyatta's out and if you want to compete against this defense, you have to have somebody who can go over there every day and compete against Greg Spires and Josh Savage.''

Davis was undrafted after his college career at Virginia Tech and went to training camp in 2003. He's a load at 6-4, 322, and has some mobility. He's an effective pass blocker and showed a great deal of versatility throughout college.

The Bucs usually suit up only seven offensive linemen for a regular season game, so Davis' versatility could be key in wrapping up a backup spot even if he doesn't move into the starting rotation.

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