It didn’t take long for former Auburn CB Jamel Dean to impress his new head coach.
The Tampa Bay Buccaneers held their first practice of rookie minicamp on Friday, and Dean scored a touchdown. Bucs coach Bruce Arians said Dean should have had two scores on the day.
“He should have had a pick-6 on a tip, and he kind of hesitated,” Arians told reporters. “The second one, he made a heck of an interception and took it back.”
Dean says adjusting to life in the pros has been made easier by a familiar face. His former Auburn teammate, Carlton Davis, was a second-round draft pick in 2018.
“It makes me feel more comfortable here knowing that I played with someone here,” Dean said, “and I know that we got a good relationship amongst each other.”
Dean and Davis stayed in touch during the 2018 season.
“I would talk to him to ask him what’s the difference between college and NFL and then just getting a couple of pointers about my decision on coming out or not,” Dean said. “… He said just make sure you come to compete because everybody out here is good. So he was like once you adjust, that’s when things start to be smoother for you.”
Knee injuries have sidelined Dean in the past, but he says that shouldn’t be an issue his rookie season.
“My knees don’t even give me any problems anymore,” Dean said. “The fact that that keeps coming up — one happened in high school and one happened almost three years ago, so it’s really not an issue anymore.”