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Bucs not giving up on WR Robert Herron

TAMPA, Fla. -- Wide receiver Robert Herron was a non-factor for the Buccaneers last season. But there is hope Herron can be a contributor this year.

Herron has looked better in the early stages of training camp. He has drawn praise from coach Lovie Smith.

“Robert has excellent speed and quickness, you notice that right away,’’ Smith said. “He’s had nagging injuries but he’s out there making plays. Yesterday, he had a couple great plays. He’s a good slot player. In the past maybe you’d like for him to hold on to a few more balls, but that’s what he’s doing. Again, second year anywhere, in the system -- whatever -- you should see marked improvement and we’re seeing that with Robert.”

Despite last year’s struggles, the Bucs aren’t ready to give up on Herron. He has a chance to make the roster. Vincent Jackson and Mike Evans are entrenched as the starters. Louis Murphy is getting challenged by rookie Kenny Bell for the third receiver spot. But Herron is competing with rookie Kaelin Clay and veteran Russell Shepard for the fifth and sixth receiver spots.