He’s Bucs heart and soul, that smile that tells teammates it will all work out. When the smile shrinks, they know they need to do it another way, a better way. That’s Bucs right guard Davin Joseph.


He’s a leader. He’s also an optimist. Joseph tried to be one last August at Raymond James Stadium during a preseason game, even as he stared at his right knee, as doctors frowned and the cart arrived.


“Even lying there, not being able to move it, I kept thinking, ‘You know, maybe it’s not that bad,’” Joseph said.


Then there was Joseph on Tuesday, poised to pancake 2013 after losing all of 2012. The two-time Pro Bowler’s surgically repaired right patellar tendon is good, he said, no limitations. His rehab is done. There was physical pain from workouts, and mental pain from watching the suddenly potent Bucs offense from a stadium suite.


“I wanted a little piece of that action,” Joseph said.


The big man answered questions Tuesday. The answer he wants for teammates and fans?


“I just want them to get the right Davin Joseph, not an older version, not a guy not as good. I want the same Davin.”


The Bucs offense finished ninth in the NFL in Greg Schiano’s 7-9 rookie season. There was Vincent Jackson and sensational rookie Doug Martin and, on occasion, even Joseph’s friend Josh Freeman. But there was no Joseph. The Bucs lost their other All-Pro guard, Carl Nicks, during the season.


“Carl and I can maybe help add a new wrinkle,” Joseph said with a smile.