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NFL Network report on Revis is revealing
Posted May 22, 2013 by Roy Cummings
Updated May 22, 2013 at 01:15 PM
BY ROY CUMMINGS
TAMPA - Most football players are four-gear athletes. That, at least, is how Todd Toriscelli, the Buccaneers director of sports medicine and performance, sees it.
Darrelle Revis is different.
Revis, Toriscelli says, is a five-gear athlete who is currently running in third gear as he works his way back from the celebrated torn left ACL injury that ruined his 2012 season.
That extra gear is one of the revelations that can be discovered while watching Andrea Kremer’s two-part report for the NFL Network on Revis, the cornerback whom the Bucs are now pinning a lot of their future hopes on.
Kremer was given exclusive inside access to Revis’ rehabilitation and workouts and also discovered during a chat with Bucs GM Mark Dominik that it was Week 3 of last season when Dominik first got the idea he could get Revis.
It wound up taking seven months, this year’s first-round draft pick and next year’s third-round selection to finalize the deal but Dominik says he knew the day Revis got hurt last year that he had a shot at landing him.
Follow these two links - http://goo.gl/k31JZ, http://goo.gl/I4nRl - to see Kremer’s two-part series on Revis.
Weeding out the misfits
Posted May 14, 2013 by Ira Kaufman
Updated May 14, 2013 at 02:01 PM
BY IRA KAUFMAN
TAMPA—Warren Sapp couldn’t believe his ears.
When Sapp joined the Buccaneers in 1995, the Hall of Fame defensive tackle knew he was coming to a perpetual NFL loser. But then Tony Dungy replaced Sam Wyche as head coach the following year and hired Rod Marinelli as defensive line coach.
That was bad news for defensive end Eric Curry, a former Alabama standout who was selected by Tampa Bay with the sixth pick in the 1993 draft.
“There was some bad football being played,’’ said Sapp, “but I go back to that third day with Rod (Marinelli) when Eric Curry looked at us and said, ‘Are we going to do this every day?’ I was like ‘Yes,’ I ain’t got to look at his butt anymore because he’s out of here. This was just regular work in the summer. You went 15 games without a sack and now you’re talking about are we going to pass rush every day? Really? I couldn’t understand it.’‘
Sure enough, Curry was gone by 1998 and he ended his 75-game NFL career with 12.5 sacks while Sapp went on to define the 3-technique position for a defense that reeled off a stellar 7-year run.
“We slowly went about the process of Tony and his coaching staff building something special,’’ Sapp said. “It didn’t matter that we were over in a little woodshed at One Buc Place. It was our woodshed and we had a great field to go play football on. That’s all that mattered to us. We were all growing together.’‘
Now under contract, Means is on the move
Posted May 14, 2013 by Roy Cummings
Updated May 14, 2013 at 12:26 PM
BY ROY CUMMINGS
TAMPA – The signing on Monday of fifth-round draft pick Steven Means left some Buccaneers fans wondering just where it is the Bucs plan to play Means now that he is officially under contract.
It’s a valid question, largely because a lot of scouts projected the 6-4, 250-pound Means as an outside linebacker, which is the role he usually played during his four years at University of New York at Buffalo, where the Bulls mostly worked out of a 3-4 alignment.
The Bucs, though, have every intention of working Means as a defensive end, and they have been saying so ever since they went off just about every draft-nick’s radar and made the All-MAC second teamer their own.
“He’s going to be a defensive end,” Bucs coach Greg Schiano said shortly after the conclusion of the draft. “And where he lines up, you’ll see, he’s going to have an opportunity to rush the passer.”
Rushing the passer is what Means is all about. He finished his career at Buffalo ranked fourth all0-time in school history with 18.5 sacks and that skill was clearly what caught the Bucs eye.
“We’re really excited about him being a developing pass rusher,’’ Bucs general manager Mark Dominik said of Means. “We think he’s got tremendous traits at that ability and that’s why we were excited to bring him in.
“Anytime you can draft a pass rusher you don’t want to pass him up. We spent a lot of time with him and (researching him) before the draft and we thought he was one of those guys for us and so we’re really excited about him.’’
Means is even more excited than the Bucs. He flew so far under the radar at Buffalo that he didn’t get an invitation to the scouting combine. He flashed across everyone’s radar as his pro day, though.
Means ran a 4.6 40 at his pro day and his solid build forced scouts to look back at his career, both on paper and on tape, and what they found was a player that had slipped through the cracks.
Now that his slide is complete, Means is anxious to prove himself worthy of the draft choice the Bucs spent on him and says he’s willing to play anywhere they want him to, even if it’s on the other side of the ball.
“I see myself being whatever [the Bucs] want me to be,” Means said. “If it’s standing up, if it’s down, even if it’s snapping the ball. Whatever I can do I want to contribute where I can.”
For now, and probably for the foreseeable future, he’ll be contributing at defensive end.
NFL players not the same
Posted May 13, 2013 by Ira Kaufman
Updated May 13, 2013 at 03:55 PM
BY IRA KAUFMAN
TAMPA—Ronde Barber has seen them come and go.
Between the time Barber broke in as a cornerback with the 1997 Buccaneers and his retirement from the NFL last week, he witnessed a change in attitude among his peers.
“The player has evolved over the years,’’ said Barber, a third-round draft pick out of Virginia who struggled as a rookie. “It starts early for these guys. They’re praised and recruited and labeled ‘can’t-miss’ at 15 or 16 years old. You know about guys in high school now. It’s just insane to me.’‘
Over his 16 seasons, Barber saw a new wave of players enter the league with a sense of entitlement.
“So they get here and they don’t have that fear of failure,’’ he said. “I used to say in my second or third year in the league that one of the things that drives me is I don’t want to fail at this. This isn’t given to me. You can see some of the opposite of that with the guys where they know they’re good and it’s a different mentality.’‘
Bucs, WR Williams set to continue contract talks Monday
Posted May 10, 2013 by Roy Cummings
Updated May 10, 2013 at 05:09 PM
BY ROY CUMMINGS
TAMPA – It may not be long now before Buccaneers wide receiver Mike Williams has a new contract.
Williams’ agent and Bucs general manager Mark Dominik are scheduled to begin a new round of face-to-face negotiations aimed at completing a new deal for Williams here in Tampa on Monday.
The two sides actually began this process a few months ago, but the whole project was shelved after a few weeks to allow the Bucs to concentrate first on free agency and then on the draft.
With both of those events now out of the way the Bucs will get back to the business of attempting to wrap up a new deal for one of their most consistent and perhaps underpaid offensive performers.
Williams, who is scheduled to make $1.4 million in 2013, averaged 64 receptions for 910 yards and eight touchdowns his first three years, and both sides agree he has outperformed his original contract.
But that was to be expected. A fourth-round draft pick who was considered by many scouts a first- or second-round talent, Williams initially signed a four-year, $2.328 million contract with the Bucs.
He immediately began outplaying that deal, though, catching 65 passes for 964 yards and 11 touchdowns as a rookie. Now he’s on the brink of cashing in and he could be in line for at least a $6 million-a-year pay raise.
That would make his take-home pay similar to that of several other receivers who have recently signed new contracts but have not necessarily produced at the same rate or with the same degree of consistency that Williams has.
Brian Hartline, for example, recently signed a five-year, $30.7 million deal with the Dolphins, but his 51 catch, 749-yard, 1 TD averages the last three years pale in comparison to Williams.
A better comparison to Williams’ likely value comes from Antonio Brown, who recently signed a six-year, $43 million deal with the Steelers. But Brown has only put together two Williams-like seasons.
After catching just 16 passes for 167 yards and no touchdowns as a rookie three years ago, Brown has averaged 69 receptions, 948 yards and four touchdowns the last two seasons.
With the exception of the touchdowns, those averages are right in line with Williams, so no one should be surprised if Williams new contract proves to to be right in line with Brown’s.