TAMPA, Fla. - Jace Daniels of Escanaba took snaps with the first team offense, Monday in Tampa Bay Buccaneers training camp.
After a 16-10 preseason loss to Jacksonville, in which the Bucs' offensive line performed poorly, Daniels, a second-year offensive lineman out of Northern Michigan University began taking reps at right guard with the first-team offense, replacing Jamon Meredith.
Buccaneers head coach Lovie Smith was quoted by Bill Kemp of Ledger Media Group saying "Jamon didn't play as well as he needed to. So we realized he could play guard and tackle, so we are going to let him concentrate a little bit more at the tackle position and give that group of guards an opportunity. Jace is the next guy."
Tampa Bay Buccaneers tackle Jace Daniels (64) hands a signed towel to Alijah Rocha during the autograph session at Raymond James Stadium, Friday in Tampa, Fla.
Smith went on to say that Daniels has not automatically earned a starting nod for the Buccaneers' second preseason game, Saturday. Daniels is still listed on the depth chart as the second-string center.
"For Jace, he has gotten himself into that position," Smith told Kemp.
"In order to eventually get to the first team you have to play with the first team. You have to do some good things in practice. Jace has been doing that throughout whether it be center or guard."
For now, Daniels is relishing the opportunity to learn from the best. In practice Monday, he went up against Bucs' defensive tackle Gerald McCoy.
"Going against Gerald is always going to help me out versus anybody I go against," Daniels was quoted by Kemp.
"He's the best (DT) out there. We had one of the best defenses last year, and it's just going to help me out in my career.
"No doubt about it, it's a big opportunity for me, and I need to step up. I think I did decent today, and tomorrow I just got to have that much better of a day."