The Buccaneers’ signing of an undrafted free agent earlier this week got unexpectedly wide attention on the web, mainly because folks were intrigued by RB Matt Brown’s story. Brown was only available to sign with the Bucs on Wednesday because, the day before, he had failed in his attempt to fly to Saskatchewan and sign with the CFL’s Roughriders because of an expired passport.
But you know that story already. As we head into the weekend separating the second week of OTAs at One Buccaneer Place from their third, here’s some Buc-related reading material that we’ve gathered together for your enjoyment:
1. Absence Makes the Heart Grow Fonder
In Tampa, Buccaneer trainers are helping CB Darrelle Revis progress through the later stages of his rehab from a knee injury suffered last September. Optimism is high that Revis will be ready for Week One of the 2013 season, but the team will obviously take the right approach to ensure his total recovery.
Back in New York, Revis’ former team is working just as hard to prepare for that Week One game, which happens to pit the Bucs against the Jets. Surely most of the Jets organization has moved on since the draft-week trade of Revis to Tampa Bay…but perhaps not all of it. As reported on NFL.com, it appears that some of Revis’ former teammates in New York are still not thrilled with that particular transaction.
2. Winning Back Their Hearts
In a recent NFC South Blog post on ESPN.com, Pat Yasinskas discusses the Bucs’ attempt to create another era of success and mutual enjoyment between the team and its fan base. Yasinskas, whose own professional roots include a stint as a Buccaneer beat writer in Tampa, believes that era could be close at hand.
“They’re far from a finished product, but I look at the Bucs and I see a lot of ingredients fans can fall in love with,” writes Yasinskas. “They can’t bring back [Tony] Dungy, Derrick Brooks, John Lynch, Warren Sapp and Mike Alstott, but maybe the Bucs already have some parts in place that soon will be embraced all around Tampa Bay.”
Yasinskas goes on to list the six players he sees as the prime candidates to create that relationship with the fans.
3. NFL-NCAA Draft Connections
This one isn’t necessarily timely or important, but it is pretty interesting. Have you ever wondered if certain NFL teams make a point of drafting players from particular colleges? After watching the Patriots draft three Rutgers players this past April, FootballPerspective.com decided to look into that very question.
Buc fans may already know which schools come up highest on their team’s list – Alabama, Tennessee and Miami. And perhaps it’s no surprise that the school that has produced the most draft picks for Pittsburgh is…Pittsburgh. But would you have paired the New York Giants up with Ole Miss, or figured the Colts to be so fond of Syracuse players?
It’s an interesting list; check it out.
4. O-Line Impact on Fantasy Football
We can’t provide a list of links without at least one taking you to fantasy football analysis, and this one might actually be helpful when you’re making your first-round decisions in a couple months. Senior Fantasy Writer Dave Richard on CBSSports.com has taken a look at the offensive lines for all 32 teams and come up with a grading and ranking system. Presumably, if you were choosing between two intriguing running backs, you might want to go with the one who plays behind the superior front line.
Richard has the Buccaneers’ line ranked 13th in the league. He also gives individual grades to all five starters for every team, and you may find you agree with some of his Buc assessments and disagree with others. Richard’s best grades go to left guard Carl Nicks and left tackle Donald Penn.
5. Checking In on the Bucpower 53
We’ve directed you to this particular link before, but it’s worth checking out again.
Bucpower.com is a ridiculously deep treasure trove of Buccaneer knowledge – it’s rather legitimate tagline is, “The Ultimate Buccaneer Resource Site.” Its current labor of love is to identify what site editors believe to be the all-time 53-man roster; that is, not necessarily the best 53 players in team history but the best possible 53-man roster to cover every position.
The team is being revealed one player at a time over the course of several months. So far, 31 of the 53 players have been named, including the offensive and defensive lines, the receivers and the special teamers. Check it out and see if you agree with the selections so far.