Buccaneers' high draft picks report to camp
TAMPA, Fla. (AP)
Tampa Bay Buccaneers first-round draft pick Adrian Clayborn is ready to play catch-up at his first NFL training camp.
The defensive end arrived Thursday on the Bucs' reporting day, one day ahead of the team's first workout.
Tampa Bay signed Clayborn, defensive end Da'Quan Bowers (second round) and linebacker Mason Foster (third round) in advance of camp.
''The money and contract were important, but I just want to play,'' Clayborn said. ''It was important to be here on time and get ready for football.''
Clayborn said he is a couple months behind due to the lockout that ended this week and it will be important to learn the playbook.
''You can't play fast unless you know the playbook,'' Clayborn said. ''Things have changed from the last playbook that they gave me, so I've got to get after it.''
The former Iowa star is expected to contribute right away on a young defensive line that also features tackle Gerald McCoy, the No. 3 overall pick a year ago.
McCoy is coming off a left biceps injury and said he weighed in at 296 pounds this week, a drop of 14 pounds during the offseason. His main advice for the rookie linemen is simple: Eliminate stress.
''Half of my rookie season was just stress,'' McCoy said. ''Just have fun playing the game because you don't have it for long.''
Foster's quick agreement increased speculation that veteran middle linebacker Barrett Ruud has played his last game for the Bucs.
''I just want to come in and compete,'' Foster said. ''During the lockout, I was working as hard as possible getting ready for this day and now it's here. It's going to be tough, but I'm ready to learn.''
Ruud is an unrestricted free agent, and general manager Mark Dominik has said little to dispel the notion that the seventh-year pro no longer fits in the team's plans.
''I really hate to see a guy like Barrett leave,'' tight end Kellen Winslow said. ''He's a core guy in that locker room.''
''Those two guys are huge,'' Freeman said. ''Both leaders.''
The Bucs are coming off a turnaround 2010 season in which they went 10-6 and just missed making the playoffs.
''We're going to turn some heads this year,'' left tackle Donald Penn said.
The Buccaneers announced the signing Thursday night of three more 2011 draft picks. Reaching deals were tight end Luke Stocker (fourth round), safety Ahmad Black (fifth round) and cornerback Anthony Gaitor (seventh round).
Running back Allen Bradford, selected in the sixth round, is the team's only unsigned pick.
Three undrafted rookie free agents, Boston College guard Thomas Clayborne, Idaho running back Deonte Jackson and Washington linebacker Victor Aiyewa, were also signed by the Bucs.