One of the most compelling aspects of Bucs training camp each is that the team brings 90 players to One Buccaneer Place and only 53 end up making the final roster. Nearly half of the players that report to Tampa Bay in August will be gone by early September when the final roster cuts come.
Rookie wide receiver Kenny Bell was a fifth-round draft pick this year but is not guaranteed a roster spot, despite a solid career at the University of Nebraska. The player with the best hair in the NFL since Tiquan Underwood, knows he will have to impress the Bucs coaching staff, not just to earn playing time, but to make the 53-man roster.
Bell, who totaled 2,698 yards receiving and 21 touchdowns as a receiver, also excelled on special teams (25.0 yard avg. on kickoff returns) for the Cornhuskers, something making him attractive to the Buccaneers. The always upbeat and smiling Bell is one of the nicest guys in the Bucs camp and will endear himself to all Bucs fans who have the chance to meet him.
With multiple entries over the next four weeks, Bell will be sharing his training camp story exclusively with PewterReport.com readers in his Training Camp Diary. Follow along as Bell lives life on the bubble and works to earn a roster spot and remain a Tampa Bay Buccaneer in 2015.
ONE WEEK IN THE BOOKS AND ONE WEEK BEFORE FIRST GAME
By Kenny Bell as told to Mark Cook
It’s been a week but we had Wednesday off. We have gone six days now, and it’s a grind obviously, but we’re starting to hit that groove of things and become routine a little bit. Especially with the weather and the wetness. We’re not pushing stuff back. Obviously we got pushed back today, but that kind of stuff is adjustable. Other than that I think everyone is feeling pretty good. It’s been a long week. I think guys are tired, but we’re going to come out and get another good day of work tomorrow (Sunday), and Monday(off day) will be huge for us to get our legs back and get rested up going into Minnesota next weekend.
What I try to accomplish every day is just get a little bit better. If you watch the film I’m doing the things that I need to be doing. I’m executing the way I need to be executing, for the most part. Obviously I still have mental errors just like everyone else. I have drops and make mistakes there is no question about that. If I can limit those mistakes and limit those repeat errors, that’s what I’m trying to do and I think I’m doing a pretty good job of it.
For me it’s huge rooming with Jameis because I get coached up by wide receiving coaches and other wide receivers, but then I get back to the room after long days of meetings and practice and we pull up the film or go over the next day’s script. We draw up the plays and go over stuff that allows me to see the way Jameis thinks or the way he sees everything. It makes a huge difference for a wide receiver. The chemistry that it’s building is phenomenal. It’s better than any chemistry I’ve had with any prior teammate.
Today (Saturday) on my touchdown catch, Jameis made a good call and good check and put the ball up where only I could catch it. That wasn’t really on me. Jameis made a good throw and allowed me to go get it. I try and be… I think anyone in our receivers room has certain things that make them special. I am never going to be VJax and I’m never going to be Mike Evans; those are completely different body types, playing style and completely different receivers. It is not better, or worse, it is just the nature of the beast when it comes to playing football. I just know what strengths I can play with and what weaknesses I have.
Honest to God I’m so excited and grateful to come out here every day. Just to come out here to practice NFL football and be around these group of men and coaching staff and the entire facility staff. I get so excited about that that I haven’t honestly reflected that I’m preparing to play in a game on Saturday. I need to start to hone in and appreciate that this is all great, but it’s time to go play football now. I’m going to start turning that page as we head into this next week.
Bucs fans can follow Kenny Bell on Twitter @AFRO_THUNDER80
Mark Cook currently is the director of editorial content and Bucs beat writer and has written for PewterReport.com since 2011. Cook has followed the Buccaneers since 1977 when he first began watching football with his Dad and is fond of the 1979 Bucs team that came within 10 points of going to a Super Bowl. His favorite Bucs game is still the 1979 divisional playoff win 24-17 over the Eagles. In his spare time Cook enjoys playing guitar, fishing, surfing and family time at the beach. In addition, Cook can be found in front of a television or in Doak Campbell any time the FSU Seminoles are playing. Cook is a native of Pinecrest in Eastern Hillsborough County and has written for numerous publications including the Tampa Tribune, In the Field and Ya'll Magazine. Cook can be reached at email@example.com
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From all reports, Kenny is making people take notice. I love his passion, and you can tell he comes to play everyday.
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