Tampa Bay Buccaneers

Hargreaves Debuts with First-Team Defense

Rookie CB Vernon Hargreaves worked with the first-team defense on Wednesday, marking the first time he's played with the starters since arriving in Tampa Bay.

Rookie cornerback Vernon Hargreaves played the nickel position for the first-team defense on Wednesday. Just before Tuesday's off day, Head Coach Dirk Koetter had revealed that the first-round pick would be joining the "ones" after the break.

"You know that's what I came here to do," said Hargreaves after the two-hour workout. "I want to be with the first team, I expect to be with the first team and I've got to go produce. At the end of the day that's all it comes down to."

Koetter reiterated on Wednesday that Hargreaves would be given work both in the slot and on the outside, but not necessarily too much of both on any given day. The Bucs want to make sure they don't overwork their prized rookie before they get to the games that count. Hargreaves will get first-team reps on the outside, but for now the coaching staff is focusing on teaching him the nickel job, which is new to him.

"There's new techniques playing the nickel position, that's a little bit different than corner, little bit more responsibility," said Hargreaves. "You've got run fits that you've got to know, things of that nature. But at the end of the day it's football and if you can make plays you'll be alright.

"We have some great vets - Brent Grimes, Alterraun Verner - I mean [those] guys, they're textbook in everything that they do, they're real professional and they're always helping me out with new techniques. I'm always picking their brains, so you know we've got a great group of guys."

Pictures of fans at the Buccaneers' training camp practice on Wednesday.

For the time being, Hargreaves is not worrying about whether he ends up inside, outside or in some sort of combination role. While his coaches may not want to wear him out, he'll happily take as much practice time as he can get at both positions, whether it's with the first or second team.

"At this point it doesn't matter," said Hargreaves. "I need as many reps as I can get, no matter which group I can get them with. I need to see more looks, I need to see more route concepts and at the end of the day it'll all work out how it works out."

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