After he was waived by the Buccaneers in the final roster cuts before the regular season, WR Tiquan Underwood had one tryout with the Oakland Raiders. Otherwise, Underwood has been working out with a trainer and another current NFL free agent looking for a job, lifting weights, running football drills and staying in playing shape.
And, of course, waiting for the phone to ring.
When the specific call Underwood was hoping for – one from the Buccaneers – finally came, it wasn’t at the most opportune time. He happened to be in a movie theater, taking in the smash Batman film, “The Dark Knight Rises.” Yes, he took the call. (Horrified moviephiles take note: The phone was on buzz, he went outside to answer and he had already seen the move twice before.)
“I saw Coach Schiano calling and I was pretty excited about it,” said Underwood, smiling broadly as he often does. “Absolutely, I had to take that one.”
Underwood obviously would have taken the job had the Raiders offered (he tried out with Jabar Gaffney and Derek Hagan, with Hagan getting the spot). However, he knew the best situation for him was in Tampa.
“That feeling of going to a team where you don’t know the playbook, it would have been different. But to come back here, where I know the coaches and I’m familiar with the plays, it’s just a better situation overall. I got here in and got right back into the rotation like I had never left.”