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Allen To Pursue Free Agents

Posted Jan 10, 2008 by Anwar S. Richardson

Updated Jan 10, 2008 at 03:11 PM

Bucs GM Bruce Allen said his team was around $23 million under the salary cap and intended to pursue “Tiger Woods-like” free agents that would make Tampa Bay better in 2008.

Allen spoke with the media around noon on Thursday and believed this season was successful enough for coach Jon Gruden to at least finish off the final year of his contract in Tampa Bay. He also did say Tampa Bay has resigned assistant coaches Bill Muir (offensive coordinator/offensive line), Richard Bisaccia (special teams coordinator) and Richard Mann (wide receivers)

Here are some of the subjects Allen addressed on Thursday:

On resigning defensive coordinator Monte Kiffin
“Monte is probably the mayor of — I don’t know where Redington Beach is. Is that St. Pete or Clearwater? He really is a fixture and an important part of the Buccaneers and he has said he wants to come back. Coach (Jon Gruden) has said he wants him to come back. So we’ll let him work on his timetable.”

On a Gruden extension helping to lure free agents
“I think our coaches are very confident of the plan we have in place here. Actually free agents aren’t supposed to be calling us until March 1, even though our phone number is published so they can find it. I don’t see that as an obstacle whatsoever, but at the right time we’ll deal with it. The team is really excited about where we are right now and there’s players that got some valuable experience this year from games one through 16 and are excited about the chance to come back. The players and young guys on this team know what is expected of team in an offseason program. They know what’s expected of them in the classroom. The best way we can improve our team is to get those 14 guys from the injured reserved list healthy again. Because that would be the greatest increase in talent. We finished the season with 53 men on our roster but we also had the 14 injured reserve players who we’re looking at as a new group of free agents. We got to get them back into they system, healthy again competing for starting playing time and special teams playing time in order to improve this team. If you add that type of quality to a 53-man roster, that’s a great leg up on free agency.”

On chasing higher priced free agents
“We got the opportunity to go after anybody that is available. We look at things a little bit differently. There are values we put on someone and some other teams could put a different value on that player. The amount of money you receive doesn’t make you a better player, and circumstances sometimes dictate that if you line up next to someone you can be a better player in that system. I think Cato June could have received more money to go somewhere else. The fact that he wanted to come here and play alongside the linebackers we have in our system made him the perfect fit for us. There’s no limit to who we can go after, which is a nice feeling entering into free agency.”

On Mike Alstott’s future
“Mike is contemplating his situation. We get together at this time each year. We’ll discus it. I don’t think there’s any hurry in making a decision. After Mike and I get together I’m sure we’ll let you know what we decide.”

On the quarterback situation
“Jeff as you all saw is a tremendous competitor, which is what we ere looking for when we brought him in and he delivered. Once again Luke McCown, I really believe showed some special skills that show promise for the future. Chris Simms we’re hoping is healthy and can play this year and compete. There’s someone in a Montana or is Idaho mountain right now that we hope he honors his contract. And Bruce Gradkowski gives us more competition and depth at the quarterback position. As of right now we feel good and as you looked around the league this year that is the story. I don’t think you’ve seen as many backup quarterbacks forced into playing football this year in a starting role, and teams that really went through four quarterbacks has to be near an NFL record. And the play of some quarterback in this league really hurt some franchises badly this year.”

On ever getting Jake Plummer
“I’m a really hopeful guy. That I am. He got to see what we were doing this year and he has a contact and we expect him to honor it.”

On giving RB Earnest Graham a new deal (he has one year remaining on his contract)
“We have several players who would be in the last year, someone mentioned Jeff Garcia, and Earnest is one and I’ve already had a conversation with his representative and we’ll set up a meeting later on to talk about it.”

On having a playmaker at wide receiver or needing to sign somebody?
“I think Joey Galloway has been one of the most dominant receivers in the NFL with the Buccaneers. Talk about somebody who changes all of the formulas of how you’re supposed to evaluate players when you put consideration into age. He is the fastest player on our team. I have a feeling he’s going to be the fastest player on the Buccaneers four or five years from now because we didn’t play anybody faster or more explosive than Joey Galloway the entire year. Can we help out and add to our receiving core? Absolutely we can, but when you talk about dominate player, Joey Galloway’s numbers are dominant in this league. Now, we don’t throw the ball 45 times a game. At least we don’t want to go into the game throwing the ball 45 times a game. If you put him in some of these other offensive that do throw the ball 50 times a game, Joey Galloway could be a 2,000 yard receiver. We’re proud of what we have and what Joey’s accomplished. Can we add to every position? Absolutely, including receiver.

On why Michael Clayton had not gotten back to his rookie year?
“When you look at his rookie year and then he got banged around for a couple of years. Michael Clayton did come back for us this year in a very strong way. I’m actually very proud of the comeback that he did. He was an important part of the special teams and an important part of our offense. He sets a tone that you don’t see in a lot of wide receivers in the NFL. I think the playoff, he made some nice grabs in the playoff game. I don’t look at it so much as like he had, whatever he had, 30 catches and Ike had 50 catches and Stovall had 20 catches. Those are all Buccaneer receptions. If you can work within our mix and be a good teammate and not give a darn if you caught the ball or your teammate caught the ball, but you can free up an extra reception yard … that is the type of guys we want. I think Michael made a good comeback from his injuries and I think his future is still in front of him.”

Reader Comments

Por (Eric Guenette) on January 10, 2008 (Suggest removal)

Hopefully, they focus on resigning the young talent we have now for the long term and then worry about who is available out there… We’ve let go of too much young talent in recent years and have instead thrown money at apparent quick fixes… and let’s get Monte nailed down!
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Por (RICHARD T KINDER) on January 10, 2008 (Suggest removal)

BRUCE ALLEN HIRED BILL MUIR AGAIN.CAN’T BELIEVE IT! THE MAN HAS BEEN HERE SIX YEARS AND WE STILL DON’T HAVE A OFFENSIVE LINE.WHAT ARE THEY LOOKING AT WHEN THEY WATCH THE TAPES OF THE GAMES.DON’T THEY SEE CHRIS SIMMS , JEFF GARCIA RUNNING FOR THEIR LIFE !!. YES! WE NEED ANOTHER WR THAT CAN TAKE SOME OF THE DOUBLE COVERAGE OFF GALLOWAY, CAN’T SEE THAT EITHER ?

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Por (James R. Kinzer) on January 10, 2008 (Suggest removal)

One good year, three bad years and he still can’t catch and is fumble prone, when do you give up on Clayton and admit that he was and is a BUST?????????????  I don’t know of any other team that would have him around!!!!

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Por (Mike) on January 10, 2008 (Suggest removal)

They need another receiver to compliment Joey Galloway and eventually take over his spot.

CHAD JOHNSON YOU NEED TO HAVE YOUR AGENT CALL BRUCE ALLEN_ $$$$$$

LOVE YA BUCS!!

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Por (Mike Smith) on January 10, 2008 (Suggest removal)

Bruce Allen is notorius for skirting the issues and being evasive. He just needs to go out in the free agent market and find the best players for the money and Gruden needs to ensure the best men play. Sure you are looking for receivers, d-linemen, d-backs, an O-lineman and definitely a Quarterback.

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Por (TRAVIS KAMANN) on January 10, 2008 (Suggest removal)

KIFFIN ENOUGH SAID!!!!!

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Por (Cody Ubben) on January 10, 2008 (Suggest removal)

I wanna see us go after D.J. Hackett WR from Seatle. I think he runs great routes and fits Gruden’s system better than alot of the other free agent WR’s. Think we should take Kentwan Balmer 6’5” 295 lbs. DT from UNC with our first pick then take the best corner available with our second pick.

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Por (charles stone) on January 10, 2008 (Suggest removal)

When will the owners sons step up and make those in charge pay for having a worst offense then when Les Steckle was Dungy’s OC? Enought is enought Glazers!!

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Por (Jason) on January 10, 2008 (Suggest removal)

I think we have alot of young talent on defense now. Other than picking up depth and maybe a young talented CB, I think we are pretty set on D. Young guys like Tanard Jackson, Barrett Ruud, Jovan Hayes, Gaines Adams and Greg White stepping up this year is what we realiy needed.

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Por (Jason) on January 10, 2008 (Suggest removal)

I think we need to get some big name O-lineman and wide recievers. If any of the top 5 tight ends are available this year, it would be a great pick up for Gruden’s offense too.

As far as QB, i say stick with Garcia for now. There is noone great on our roster, and noone great in the draft worth trading up for. Derek Anderson will most likely be available from the browns, but one good year doesn’t make you great. I say we wait for a great QB in the draft and go for it next year or the year after. Eventually we need to pay big bucks to a QB in the top m5 of the draft. Otherwise Tampa will never have a Peyton Manning or John Elway.
In order I think we need:

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Por (Jason) on January 10, 2008 (Suggest removal)

1. Top 5 TightEnd (I think Alge   Crumpler is available this year)
2. Big name O-lineman
3. Big Time Wide Reciever (Chad Johnson?)
4. Shutdown Speed CB (Just not Pacman Jones or the punk from Atlanta)
5. Dominant defensive end to go with Gaines Adams.

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Por (Duane Davis) on January 10, 2008 (Suggest removal)

I smell sumthing about next year. First off, Richard Mann hasn’t helped develop any receivers so why keep him and ditto Bill Muir.
Secondly. not that I was a fan of his, but I believe Les Steckel’s offense was the highest ranked the Bucs have had in the last ten years.
We need no TE’s or DE’s, we have plenty of both. A good defensive tackle to replace an aging and average Chris Hovan is needed much more. Chad Johnson? R u kidding? Here is a guy who showboats when his team is 4-9 and has a bigger ego than MeShawn. DT, WR, and C are the biggest needs on this team. Get those in FA and we’ll be fine. Then add to your depth throught the draft. Forget drafting a QB, this town doesn’t have the patience for one to develop.

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Por ((Slow Joe) Joe Simmons) on January 11, 2008 (Suggest removal)

1.We have an immediate need for a better pass rush from up the middle. Too bad Glenn Dorsey won’t be around when we draft. We need to address undertackle, whether it’s Haye improving or us finding a more talented UT. Hovan is doing fine as the NT.

2.CBs are a need for the draft, but a “shutdown” CB is wasted in our defense since we run so much zone.  We need to find young smart CBs that play well in space.

3.I love the potential of our OL.  Three young studs! But we need to address the left tackle position. Luke Petigout was playing excellent before he got hurt. Hopefully he comes back healthy, but we need to find another potential stud to compete with him.

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Por ((Slow Joe) Joe Simmons) on January 11, 2008 (Suggest removal)

4.The wide receivers are actually in good shape, but we HAVE to find a speed merchant as Galloway won’t play forever.

5.I love the idea of a Cadillac/Graham running back-by-committee approach. We would then get Graham’s toughness and Cadillac’s explosiveness without exposing Caddy as much, since he appears to be easily injured.

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Por (Michael Harris) on January 11, 2008 (Suggest removal)

Hey Duane Davis, don’t understand your comment about Muir. He’s done a great job “developing” this young OL. I agree with you about Mann; but he hasn’t had much to work with. If one looks at the type of players that Gruden prefers at WR, they are the more physical type posession receivers ala Hillyard, Stovall and Clayton.  He doesn’t seem to like the burners and feels one burner is enough. Galloway is long in the tooth like Petitgout. I think their needs are the following: 1. Offensive Left Tackle 2. DF Under Tackle 3. WR Speedster. 4. PASS RUSH. If they do those 4 things, they’ll be better.

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Por (Chuck King) on January 11, 2008 (Suggest removal)

We need to pull the swimmies off of Clayton’s arms as he has been given ample opportunity to swim in our pool & continually sinks to the bottom. Who needs a reciever that can’t catch? I understand Allen’s double talk; a GM needs to do just what he is doing. You can’t talk to much about any given player/position other than - oh yeah, were looking at upgrading this spot because - the position that you are upgrading may not have a player available better than the one you already have & you may need to resign him. So as a GM you need to be careful what you say. We must remember these guys think of themselves as athletes (even though we might not agree)& they are a tempermental bunch. But pls. let Clayton GO and make Monte stay!

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Por (Scott) on January 11, 2008 (Suggest removal)

Needs:

—Big Time Reciever in Free agency- Moss or Chad Johnon or someone of that caliber…if we win they will be happy, look at T.O. and Moss this year.
—Tight End in Free Agency who makes big plays.
—Cornerback in Free Agency
—Tenacious Linebacker in Free Agendy who can rush the passer.
—I would say veteren QB in free agency, but there is not much out there this year.
—1st Round draft pick on a Pass Rushing Defensive end or Tackle
—2nd Round draft pick on a Reciever
—Then Get all of your depth through the healing of current injured players.

I think that this team can definately improve. Just a little more fire power (big play / sack ability on defense) and big play making ability in the passing game on offense. 11-5 next year!!

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Por (Greg M) on January 11, 2008 (Suggest removal)

This is easy - immediate needs:

1. wide receiver
2. defensive tackle

the bucs are fine at tight end and are already loaded at defensive end.

the bucs also need to draft for depth at cornerback, linebacker, and a left tackle would be nice.

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Por (Cody Ubben) on January 11, 2008 (Suggest removal)

Please no Randy Moss. Chad Johnson, maybe, if the price tag isn’t too high. Gruden doesn’t like these premaddona type receivers. #1. Our biggest need is a 3-tech that can collapse the pocket. Jovan Haye did a nice job of hustling aroung this year and with that he found himself in good position to capitalize on a few plays here and there but we need a beast in there at under tackle. Maybe Haye can come in at nose on passing downs but I just can’t see him being the best guy out there that we can get for a 3-tech. #2. Then of course a speedy possesion receiver that runs good routes. Most of the time it’s not the fastest guys that get the most open, it’s the guy’s that can run really well timed routes that can.

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Por (Kendall Thompson) on January 11, 2008 (Suggest removal)

How about a new receivers coach?  The Bucs haven’t been able to develop hardly any of the receivers they’ve drafted in years.  Goes back past Jacques Green

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Por (Gregory Donoghue) on January 11, 2008 (Suggest removal)

Sign Michael Bennet Mr. Allen. Draft big, fast wide receiver(s) and big fast defensive tackles, the run defense stinks. If you can get Chas. Daniels, grab him. Quick release and perfect fit for Bucs system. Other than that, replace Gruden with Tony Dungee should Tony return to Tampa. Tampa lost a lot of class when they let Tony go.

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Por (mkurbo) on January 12, 2008 (Suggest removal)

Actions taken during the off-season:

1.  Just like Garcia – and without hesitation – a few ticks after midnight when FA begins, sign Albert Haynesworth, DT, Titans, and Justin Smith, DE, Bengals (or Marques Douglas, DE, 49ers), to deals that unfortunately will be expensive, but will ensure superiority of pass rush on the DL…

2.  Sign FA Bryant Johnson, WR, Cards (young w/ tons of upside having played behind Fitzgerald & Boldin).

3.  Sign FA Jeff Faine, OC, Saints (upgrades offensive line at center, hurts division opponent).

More below…

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Por (mkurbo) on January 12, 2008 (Suggest removal)

Actions con’t:

4.  Draft;  1st Pk– WR DeSean Jackson, Mario Manningham or Adarius Bowman (playmakers),  2nd Pk- OC Steve Justice or Cody Wallace,  3rd Pk- ILB Philip Wheeler, Jerod mayo, or maybe Taveres Gooden,  4th Pk- DT Andre Fluellen, Trevor Laws, or Carlton Powell,  5th Pk- QB Matthew Flynn, 6th Pk-  FB Jacob Hester, Jed Collins or Peyton Hillis.

5.  Depending on draft (Jackson/Manningham), possibly fall back to sign FA Devery Henderson, WR, Saints (youth and speed for depth in the receiving core, hurts division opponent).

6.  Post draft I may seek free agents to strengthen special teams coverage, kick returning and potentially ILB or FB if we don’t succeed adding value at those positions in the draft.

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Por (Roland C. Woltman) on January 12, 2008 (Suggest removal)

On resigning defensive coordinator Monte Kiffin…
We were among the worst in the league on getting teams off the field on 3rd and 4th down not due to personnel, but due to poor technique IMO. Look at tape of the Giants game and you’ll c veteran corners giving 4-5yd cushions when they have safety help over the top. We did that a lot this year.
It’s time for a change on that side of the ball.
Just look at how poorly we blitz. It’s not that we don’t do it enough. It’s that we don’t do it correctly. Our d-line doesn’t tie up the blocker so that the LB or Ronde has a gap to get through. Watching us attempt a blitz is just sad. Not as sad as me saying it’s time for Monte to move on. But it’s sad.

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Por (Cody Ubben) on January 12, 2008 (Suggest removal)

If we do something crazy in the draft I hope it isn’t crazy stupid by drafting a receiver that doesn’t belong in the 1st round(Manningham and Bowman). There’ll be plenty of value at that possition in the 2nd round. If DT Sedrick Ellis falls to around the 10th pick I hope we make a play at trying to trade up for him. Address receiver and o-lineman either in free agency or trading for one.

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