Breaking Tampa Bay, Florida and national news and weather from Tampa Bay Online and The Tampa Tribune | TBO.com
  • Home

Larsen could be new face of the Bucs

Posted Feb 2, 2011 by Ira Kaufman

Updated Feb 2, 2011 at 01:36 PM

By IRA KAUFMAN

TAMPA—Move over Josh Freeman, the Buccaneers may have a new face of the franchise.

At the conclusion of a stunning 10-6 season, general manager Mark Dominik was asked to pick out one player who best represented the 2010 Buccaneers.

“The guy that personifies the team, really, in a weird way is Ted Larsen,’’ Dominik said of his rookie left guard, who started the final 11 games. “No one ever talks about him and that’s kind of how we felt we were in the National Football League. No one really knows who the Tampa Bay Buccaneers are, outside of this area.’‘

Larsen, 23, was a sixth-round draft pick by the Patriots, who waived him on their final roster cutdown with hopes of signing the former Palm Harbor University standout to the practice squad. Tampa Bay swooped in and signed Larsen, who played well in the final three months after replacing veteran Keydrick Vincent as a starter.

Pro Bowl left tackle Donald Penn admitted he was initially wary of Larsen, who won Penn and his other teammates over with consistent play as the Bucs improved by a franchise-record seven games.

“Nationally, no one knew what was going on in Tampa until we won nine or 10 games,’’ Dominik said. “And no one except the people in this building realized Ted Larsen went in there and played great for this organization.’‘