The biggest question entering the Buccaneers mandatory three-day minicamp was whether the team's star middle linebacker would show up after skipping all of the team's voluntary workouts during May and June due to trying and negotiate a new contract.
The answer came quickly when Barrett Ruud took the field and worked with the first team. Ruud claimed the reason he came was because practice was mandatory, and that he had been working out on his own at Nebraska.
Neither QB Brian Griese nor OG Arron Sears showed up for the mandatory practices. Although many believed Sears was excused, head coach Raheem Morris claimed he was not and that both players would be dealt with.
With Sears gone, the starting left guard position appears to be available for Jeremy Zuttah to take after playing in that role during organized team activities and on Tuesday.
A few players who did show were not able to practice due to injuries. Rookie WR Sammie Stroughter missed the day with a hamstring injury while DE Stylez G. White sat out because he was still recovering from a recent motorcycle accident.
The only apparent injury that occurred on the field came courtesy of DE Gaines Adams, who limped off the field after apparently rolling his ankle. Morris said afterward that he wasn't aware of the injury.
Former Buccaneer WR Keenan McCardell was in attendance. Morris invited the former wide receiver to stop by after the two talked at Derrick Brooks' golf tournament recently. McCardell seemed genuinely excited to be back and spoke to the media afterward.
Also, the Bucs hosted free agent WRs D.J. Hackett and Drew Bennett for a workout, but it does not appear signing either is imminent.
Most of the opening practice was spent on the team working on individual technique.
The final drill at practice was 7 on 7 where DB Torrie Cox shined. Cox broke up three passes, including two consecutive, and would have intercepted a pass in the end zone if not for a nice defensive play made by WR Antonio Bryant. Cox also stripped WR Maurice Stovall of a ball after the receiver made a nice catch.
TE Kellen Winslow showed off his hands, making catch after catch in coverage, and took one reception over the middle straight down the middle of the field untouched.
As all the players left the field for the locker room, only rookie QB Josh Freeman stayed behind to continue to work with coaches on fundamentals.
Tuesday's afternoon practice was canceled after lightning forced every player, coach, and media member to run for cover. Morris decided to prepare for rain on Wednesday afternoon by moving the practice start time up to 8:15 a.m. The goal is to get two practices in before the showers comes in the late afternoon.
Tyler Frazier covers the Tampa Bay Buccaneers for Bucsblitz.com.