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Minicamp report: Winston still working with Bucs’ backups

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The Sports Xchange

TAMPA — Tampa Bay Buccaneers quarterback Jameis Winston spent much of Tuesday’s mandatory minicamp throwing passes to undrafted rookie Adam Humphries, second-year pro Robert Herron and Russell Sheppard, who makes his living primarily covering kicks.

It was just another day of the No. 1 overall pick in the NFL draft taking reps with the Buccaneers’ No. 2s, 3s and 4s on offense.

When would Winston like to take over the huddle as the Bucs’ starting quarterback?

“As soon as I earn it,” Winston said. “With this camp being the last week (before the team reports for training camp in August), I feel like I’ve had great practices day in and day out and I’m just enjoying it. I haven’t earned it until I get it.”

Nor is he going against the Bucs’ No. 1 defense that includes defensive tackle Gerald McCoy and linebacker Lavonte David.

“I have a plan and a part of that plan is for Jameis to get a certain amount of reps with certain guys,” head coach Lovie Smith said. “He’s gone with the ones. He’s gone with the twos.

“At the same time, it’s not just about Jameis. We need to get our backup quarterback (Mike Glennon) ready, too.”

Winston said he is fine with the reps he’s gotten during the offseason.

“I’m not frustrated at all,” Winston said. “In this world, you’ve got to earn everything you can get and I’m so blessed to play this great game of football and be out here with these guys.

“This is my last week to enjoy this game for a long time.”

–Right tackle Demar Dotson, who was held out of OTAs because of a contract dispute, attended the Bucs’ mandatory minicamp.

“I didn’t want to lose any money,” said Dotson, who faced fines of at least $72,920 had he missed all three days of minicamp. “It’s like $100,000, and I got some good advice there.

“You don’t want to lose that money. I don’t have $100,000 to lose, so I wanted to keep my money. That was the only way to keep negotiations going throughout these six weeks going to training camp.”

Dotson is due to make $2.5 million this season as part of a three-year extension he signed in 2013, with the potential to escalate his 2016 salary from $1.75 million to $2.75 million with playing-time incentives.

That’s still below average for a player who has started 47 of 48 games in the last three seasons.

The Bucs were close to finalizing a new deal with a raise and extension before Dotson opted to stop attending voluntary workouts, and they pulled their offer, citing a team policy of not negotiating while players are absent from team activities.

–Ten months after he was traded to the Patriots as part of the deal for Pro-Bowl guard Logan Mankins, tight end Tim Wright was back in a Bucs uniform on Tuesday after being waived by New England.

“Some familiar faces, same facility, everything just flew back into what it was,” said Wright, wearing a No. 85 jersey, since his old No. 81 is taken. “I’m pretty happy about that transition and being able to step in and contribute right away.”

Wright is one of five tight ends on the roster and is likely competing for three or four spots this fall. On Tuesday, he made several catches as the Bucs opened their three-day mandatory minicamp.

Wright caught six touchdown passes for the Patriots last year, while Bucs tight ends collectively caught two, but said he understood the Patriots’ decision to cut him was part of life in the NFL.

“It’s a business; you can’t control that,” said Wright, who caught five touchdowns as a Bucs rookie in 2013. “Whatever opportunity you get, you just have to take advantage of it.”


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