5 Takeaways from the Bucs' Rookie Mini-Camp

The best photos from the Buccaneers' 2016 rookie mini-camp.

1. The mental part of the game is usually the biggest adjustment.
For most of the players who participated in the Bucs’ rookie mini-camp, the on-field intangibles don’t change too much moving from college to the NFL. When asked, several players said that the mental side of the game required the biggest change. “Knowledge – that’s the big thing,” fourth-round pick Ryan Smith said. “Learning that playbook. It’s a lot different in college, especially at safety, so knowledge is the big thing.” Vernon Hargreaves added that the speed of the game was noticeably different from college during camp practices.

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The Buccaneers held their first rookie mini-camp practice at One Buc Place on Friday.

  1. Analyzing offensive linemen, in particular, has its challenges.**
    The Buccaneers’ rookies were in just helmets during rookie mini-camp, so naturally it’s hard to judge certain players without having the contact aspect of the game involved. This applies for all players, but especially offensive and defensive linemen. “It’s definitely harder for those guys,” Head Coach Dirk Koetter said. “That’s where – when they’re doing their individual drills with the coaches – you have to rely a lot on the experience of your line coaches and you know, we have to really good ones in [offensive line coach/ run game coordinator] George Warhop and [defensive line coach] Jay Hayes. Those guys have to lean on their experience of what they’ve seen throughout their career on how these guys compare to other guys.”

*3. Hargreaves could be an ideal slot corner. *
The Buccaneers have a handful of talented cornerbacks on their roster, including two former Pro Bowlers in Brent Grimes and Alterraun Verner. Hargreaves is expected to play a large role in the Bucs’ secondary, but that role has yet to be determined. There were just three mini-camp practices, but Koetter said that Hargreaves had been working in the slot and has all of the intangibles to be successful playing on the inside.

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Photos from day 2 of Rookie Mini-Camp.

  1. Roberto Aguayo isn’t fazed by the pressure of being a second-round pick.**
    Kickers, by nature, have ice water running through their veins. After being selected in the second-round of the draft, expectations are high for Roberto Aguayo, but he is prepared to face the challenge head-on. “I think I’ve always dealt with pressure,” he said. “Coming in at Florida State, the pressure was can I replace Dustin Hopkins? It’s been on me throughout my whole career. I think the pressure, I rise to the occasion. I love it. It motivates me and makes me work harder. I think there’s pressure, but I live off of it, so it’s exciting for me. It makes me get up and work hard every day.”

* 5. Defensive backs stood out.*
There were a handful of interceptions recorded by the Buccaneers’ defensive backs during camp, including this one by safety Elijah Shumate. Vernon Hargreaves also got his hands on a pass, recording what Koetter called a “beautiful” interception.

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