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Bucs question: Carl Nicks' recovery

Our mailbag question of the day comes from Charles in San Francisco.

“After hearing some of the comments from Bucs players on (former coach Greg) Schiano, I wonder if Carl Nicks rehab is coming along a lot better with the new regime? If a person doesn't enjoy coming to work, they aren't going to put in the effort to get healthy, but with new management the slate is clean. Thoughts?"

New coach Lovie Smith said he has met with Nicks and is encouraged with the guard’s progress. Nicks is a pro, so I doubt he was lax in his rehab while Schiano still was the coach.

But Nicks also previously played for a very player-friendly coach in Sean Payton in New Orleans. There have been times in the past two years when I sensed that Nicks wasn’t totally buying into Schiano’s ways.

So, yes, I think the presence of Smith should help in Nicks’ effort to come back strong for next season. Overall, I think the Bucs will be a much looser, happier team under Smith.