The Buccaneers worked out a handful of players today, including veteran running back Jacquizz Rodgers, according to Jenna Laine and Field Yates of ESPN.com. Tampa Bay also worked former collegiate QB Blake Sims (as a running back) and running back Antone Smith, per the ESPN scribes. Katherine Terrell of ESPN.com (Twitter link) reports that the Bucs looked at former Bengals linebacker P.J. Dawson, while Greg Auman of the Tampa Bay Times (Twitter links) says Tampa auditioned receivers DeAndrew White and Mekale McKay.
Rodgers, 26, is typically regarded as a strong pass protector (and therefore a solid third down back), and could provide some depth behind Doug Martin and Charles Sims, and act as an upgrade on Mike James. Fellow running back Smith could also help in that regard, but he’s four years older than Rodgers. Both, however, offer familiarity with Tampa head coach Dirk Koetter, as each played in Koetter’s Falcons offense.
Dawson, a third-round pick in the 2015 draft, was surprisingly waived by Cincinnati over the weekend, and recent reports have indicated that Bengals coaches found him to be unreliable on the field. Still, he offers talent, and like the two running backs, Dawson has ties to the Buccaneers’ coaching staff. New Tampa Bay defensive line coach Jay Hayes coached the same position group in Cincinnati, and though he didn’t directly oversee Dawson, Hayes can likely vouch for TCU alum’s ability.
The trio of McKay, Sims, and White, meanwhile, has never taken a snap in the NFL. White originally signed with the 49ers as an undrafted free agent earlier this year, but was waived over the weekend.
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