Random thoughts as Bucs camp opens

Some random thoughts as the Tampa Bay Buccaneers get ready for their first training camp practice this afternoon.

I want to believe the company line when it comes to guard Carl Nicks. But it’s hard not to be a little skeptical. Nicks didn’t report to camp Thursday due to what the team said was a personal reason. Given Nicks’ injury history, there’s a part of me that wonders if he’s contemplating retirement or getting a second opinion. Maybe Nicks simply had something to take care of and he’ll show up today. But I won’t believe his health is fine until he’s in the starting lineup on opening day.

A lot of people automatically assumed Clinton McDonald would be the starter at nose tackle when he signed as a free agent. That could turn out to be true. But general manager Jason Licht said McDonald will be competing with Akeem Spence, who started as a rookie last year. This competition could be one of the best of training camp.

The Bucs seem enchanted with the speed of running back Jeff Demps. You can’t blame them for that. The former Olympic sprinter might be the fastest player in the NFL. But the Bucs are very deep at running back. They’re going to have to be creative and come up with a package of plays for Demps, if he makes the team. Of course, Demps can help his chances of sticking by winning the kickoff return job.