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Rick Stroud, Greg Auman and Matt Baker

J.R. Sweezy already building reputation on Bucs' line

J.R. Sweezy missed all of last season recovering from back surgery but is already establishing himself with a physical reputation on the Bucs' offensive line this spring.

LOREN ELLIOTT | TIMES

J.R. Sweezy missed all of last season recovering from back surgery but is already establishing himself with a physical reputation on the Bucs' offensive line this spring.

J.R. Sweezy has yet to have the first practice in pads with the Bucs, but in advance of next week's start of OTAs, he's already building a reputation as bringing some nastiness to Tampa Bay's offensive line.

It started last month, when Ali Marpet said Sweezy has "a little bit of a mean streak" -- he went so far as to call him a "jerk," later settling on "gritty" as the adjective of choice. Offensive line coach George Warhop continued that sentiment Thursday, saying that Sweezy -- who missed all of last season recovering from back surgery -- brings the same toughness that Pro Bowl guard Logan Mankins brought in 2014-15.

"He's got a little bit of Logan to him, which I thought we missed last year," Warhop said of the guard Sweezy was signed to replace. "I don't even know how to describe it, but that beat-the-dog-crap-out-of-you edge. ... He's doing a nice job for us out there. He works his tail off. He brings an edge. I'm excited to see him when we get in pads and it's for real."

How does someone establish a physical tone in non-contact drills where other linemen can't even hold the pads they're going up against? Warhop said he can attest to Sweezy's physicality from personal experience.

"Players aren't allowed to hold the bags. Me and (assistant) Butch (Barry), we get to hold the bags," Warhop said. "I get to feel him every day. That's how I know he's got it."

[Last modified: Thursday, May 18, 2017 3:14pm]

    

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