Buc Mag Mini-Camp Diary: TE Tracey Wistrom

April 27 - For the last two years, Buccaneer Magazine has followed one of Tampa Bay's rookie draft picks through mini-camp and training camp. This year, Buccaneer Magazine will follow Tampa Bay tight end Tracey Wistrom through his rookie mini-camp and training camp. Wistrom was Tampa Bay's second of four seventh-round 2002 draft picks. Find out how Wistrom's first mini-camp as a Buc has been treating him in this addition of Buc Mag Mini-Camp Diary.

Tampa Bay selected Nebraska tight end Tracey Wistrom in the seventh round of last weekend's NFL Draft. Wistrom was the second of four rookies drafted by the Bucs in the seventh round.

Buccaneer Magazine will follow Wistrom through his entire rookie offseason and will inquire about his attempt to secure a roster on Tampa Bay's 53-man roster.

NAME: Tracey Wistrom

NUMBER 49

COLLEGE Nebraska

AGE 23

SIZE 6-foot-4, 245-pounds

HOMETOWN Webb City, MO

HAS YOUR FIRST MINI-CAMP AS A BUC BEEN LIKE A CULTURE SHOCK?
"Yeah, this is (a culture shock). They kind of just throw everything at you. This is an offense that I have no idea -- I've never run an offense like this before. I come from Nebraska and it's just a completely different lingo. It's been really difficult trying to memorize everything. I can't wait to get to the point where I'm not thinking all of the time and I can just react a little more. When you think, you're slower. I've just been studying the playbook constantly. I love it. The players have been great. You always hear horror stories about rookies and things like that. That might happen later, I don't know. All the rookies seem pretty welcomed here. I'm having a good time playing with guys like Keyshawn (Johnson), Warren Sapp, Mike Alstott and those guys. I've watched Ken Dilger for the past few years, and I now I have the opportunity to play with him."

HOW MUCH HAVE MARCO BATTAGLIA AND KEN DILGER BEEN ABLE TO HELP YOU?
"The tight ends have been great. They've been helping me out when I need some help. It's new to them, but they've had a lot more experience to it than any of the other rookies here have. Any time I have any questions, they are more than willing to help out."

HAS YOUR BROTHER, GRANT, GIVEN YOU ANY ADVICE?
"Not anymore. We play each other now. Hopefully I get to opportunity to play against him on Monday Night Football. But things have to happen before I get to play on Monday night. Right now, I'm just focusing on making the squad here."

HOW ARE YOU COMING ALONG IN TERMS OF YOUR LONG SNAPPING ABILITY?
"I've never really been coached how to do it( long snap). I've done it my whole life ever since I played Pee-Wee Football. My dad always installed in my head that I could make a pretty good living being a long snapper. It's been something I've always done, but I don't know any technique about it. Now, I get here where the coach can teach me some technique and things. He's changing a lot of stuff, so my balls are going everywhere right now. For the most part, my snaps were getting there, but they're kind of wabbly and things like that. So, I'm just working on that and trying to get a good spiral. When you get to this level, you have to do whatever you can to make the football team. I think any long snapper would tell you that this is not the best job in the world on the football field, but if you're going to make the roster, you have to do it, and you're happy to do it. I don't care if they have me run up and down the field covering kickoffs or handing Coach Gruden water. I'll do whatever it takes to stay on this club."

HOW ARE YOU DOING IN THE FLORIDA HEAT COMPARED TO THE NEBRASKA CLIMATE?
"From what I understand it (the heat) gets a lot worse. I'm just trying to stay hydrated. As soon as you step foot out here, you're sweating to death. Hopefully I can come down here this summer before the start of the next camp and try to get acclimated a little bit more. It's just humid. It would get hot in Nebraska also, but not like the humidity that you have down here (Tampa). So, it'll take some getting used to."

WE"VE HEARD THAT YOU"LL DO WHATEVER IT TAKES TO MAKE THIS TEAM. IS THAT TRUE?
"Whatever it takes. There's so many good athletes here, so you have to separate yourself. Everybody is great now. It's not like college where some guys are not quite the caliber of other guys. You have to find a way to separate yourself, and if long snapping does that for me, then that's what I'll do."

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