The talk of the town in Tampa Bay since the start of training camp has been surrounded by the one-year signing of former Atlanta Falcon wide receiver Julio Jones, but it appears that another former Falcon WR, Russell Gage is catching the eyes of the Buccaneers' coaching staff - especially Todd Bowles.
"The receivers are doing a good job," said Bowles after the Buccaneers' third camp practice on Friday. "Gage has really been the one to stand out. I don't think we've covered him [on a route] yet. He's been doing a good job the past couple of days. Again, we're out of pads, but he's a guy that flashes and shows quickness and fluidity and everything else that I've seen the past two days."
It is refreshing to hear this from Bowles on Gage after not hearing very much in OTAs and minicamp due to the wide receiver dealing with an unspecified injury. It appears he has since cleared that hurdle and is full speed ahead at getting accustomed to quarterback Tom Brady and the Bucs' offense.
The Buccaneers' wide receiver room is quite crowded - even more now with the addition of Julio Jones - but it appears Gage is holding down a top-4 WR spot on the offense even when Chris Godwin returns from his ACL injury that he suffered last year.
Gage also recently spoke on the offense and credits the coaching staff for putting himself into a position to be successful within it.
"It helps so much just being out there on offense, learning what Tom does, what he expects out of me and just kind of hitting the ground running," said Gage. "Playing and getting that experience with guys is always the best way to learn and to get ahead of the game, ahead of the system. That's been the biggest thing so far, I think."
"They do a good job of simplifying everything," he said. "I know what they want out of me. I know they want me to win, win on routes, win at the top of the route, win at the line of scrimmage. With it being that simple, for sure I can definitely transition over and do that."
Gage seems to really love being in Tampa along with the opportunity to play for a Super Bowl contending team. He is relishing the extra work he is getting in that will set him up for success this upcoming season. I expect big things from Gage this upcoming season even with the addition of Jones who may eat into a bit of Gage's touches.
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