By Tom Krasniqi
Gabe Carimi went from being a 1st round pick of the Chicago Bears just two years ago to trying to jumpstart his career in Tampa Bay. Carimi was acquired from the Bears yesterday for a 6th round pick in 2014. The trade became official on Monday after he passed his physical.
Carimi was on the practice field Tuesday wearing #72 as the Buccaneers began their 3-day mini-camp at One Buc Place. “I’m glad to be here, reunited with my old coach [Bucs offensive line coach Bob Bostad]”, said Carimi after practice. “Just looking forward to playing with the Bucs”. Bostad was Carimi’s line coach at Wisconsin. Carimi dislocated his right knee during his rookie season and says it still bothered him last season with the Bears. The injury required multiple surgeries. Carimi says the knee “feels good”.
Bucs head coach Greg Schiano said Carimi made a favorable impression when he met him for the first time yesterday. Schiano says Carimi also impressed during his first practice. “Watched him practice a little bit today. I liked the way he worked. He’s a big, physically imposing guy. He fits what we do”, said Schiano after practice. Carimi is known as a good run blocker but he struggled mightily in pass protection last season.
Schiano says Carimi is competing at right tackle behind Demar Dotson right now but does bring “position flexibility”. Carimi did see some action at right guard last season with the Bears. The Bucs believe he can still be a good player if he’s recovered from the knee injury.
News & Notes:
- The Bucs hosted NASCAR’s Kasey Kahne at practice today. Kahne is in town to promote the upcoming Coke Zero 400 on July 6th at Daytona. Kahne played catch with QB Josh Freeman.
- Special teams coach Dave Wannstedt said on Monday that the kick and punt return positions are wide open. WR Eric Page and RB Michael Smith are getting long looks. The Bucs tried to sign Page last season before he went to the Broncos. Schiano says Smith will get some looks at running back during the preseason behind Doug Martin.
- With Carl Nicks (toe) and Davin Joseph (knee) still on the mend, Jamon Meredith lined up at LG and Ted Larsen was at RG.
- Schiano says new CB Darrelle Revis is progressing well and is working overtime to get back. “Late afternoons, weekends…I mean this guy, that’s all he’s doing”, says Schiano.
- One of the highlights of practice: Freeman hit WR Vincent Jackson on a deep post for a touchdown. VJax was in midseason form on his celebration as he used the football as a prop like a cell phone to make a call. I’m pretty sure he would get penalized for that but still very creative.
- Former Bucs tight end Kellen Winslow is trying out for the Jets this week at their mini-camp.