Still the one? Suh at the Combine...
Rick Stroud reports for the St. Pete Times that Ndamukong Suh outperforms Gerald McCoy at the combine. Of course the word better is a subjective one, so read up on how he came to his conclusion.
This should come as a surprise to no one; Suh is the overall better raw talent. It is doubtful the Buc will find themselves with a choice, so this probably does not matter, however either player would become an impact DT for the Bucs from game one right on up to retirement.
Ira Kaufman of the Tampa Tribune talks with Bears coach Lovie Smith about the critical need of Defensive Tackles for Tampa Two's success.
Booger McFarland, Chartric Darby, Ellis Wyms, Jovan Haye, all took a shot at replacing Warren Sapp, and could not succeed. The Tampa Two, or any defense for that matter, works by getting pressure from your front four linemen. The DT position is key in the T2 as the entire Defensive Front's lineup is set up around a 3 technique, explosive, penetrating DT. Until the Bucs get one of these again, the Defense can never be dominant like it was from 1997-2003 when it set the NFL record for consecutive games with a sack.
A couple videos from yesteryear; One of CB Brian Kelly picking off Troy AIkman in 2000, and the other from 1989 with Vinny Testeverde throwing a TD to TE Ron Hall.
Ron Hall was an extraordinary football player, very quick for a Tight End as 209 receptions in 7 years with the Bucs shows. He came out of Hawaii the same year Vinny Testeverde did, the talented Bucs QB who came out of QB U (Miami, FL) in 1987 fresh with the hopes and dreams of all Bucs fans. He never lived up to those expectations playing on Bucs teams usually devoid of surrounding talent. Brian Kelly may have been the more talented of the Bucs corners from the time he surpassed Donnie Abraham as the starter in 2001, but public perception has always been of his outstretched arms just short of deflecting away the TD pass to Ricky Proell in the 1999 NFC Championship game, where as Ronde Barber's image of running down the Vet with the Superbowl clinching Int TD return are forever embedded in our minds in the opposite way.
Roy Cummings says NFL Scouts are doing flips over USF's Pierre-Paul at the combine.
Pierre-Paul, much like every other player at the combine, is going to have a large portion of his draft status come from his efforts, or lack thereof, in Indianapolis. Any casual Bulls fan knows that his increased exposure this year helped George Selvie become even more effective too. As stated, he could turn out to be another Jevon Kearse. There are several other DL he could turn out to be, none of which are in the same class as "The Freak".
Anwar S Richardson says Tennessee Safety Eric Berry claims to know the Bucs defensive playbook.
Again, no one should be surprised if Berry becomes a Buccaneer on draft day. He has the recommendation of Bucs' Tampa Two co-creator Monte Kiffin, which is no small accolade. If he turns out to be another Ed Reed like so many speculate, even the high picking position of 3 would be worth it.
For some equal air time, the pessimistic view of Antonio Bryant's release from the Bucs by Chris Bruno, who writes part time for www.Bucpower.com.
I could have lived with Bryant being brought back in 2010, just as easy as I can live with the decision to let him go. Only the latter makes more sense to me. You have a 22 year old franchise QB and you want to line up wide receivers that are going to be with him for a decade, not just 3 or 4 years. I get the feeling the Bucs will have a Wide Receiver step up in 2010 as a quality starter; whether that is Stroughter, or a yet as unknown player. Good QBs tend to make good receivers, and vice versa. We know Randy Moss made Daunte Culppeper. We also Know Dan Marino made Clayton and Duper. Seeing how this plays out should be one of the better stories of the '10 season.
Great collection of photos from the combine on NFL.com....
Bucs news or not; It would seem Darren Sproles is being given the opportunity to test free agency.
One would suspect the Bucs have enough running backs on the roster, but if any of them are to be used as trade bait for moving up in the draft, Sproles would be a good candidate for looking at. Each Bucs backfield runner has a good quality trait going for them, but they all seem to have something working against their favor too. Graham doesn't really have the speed to break one, neither does Cadillac who still has the injury stigma tied to him at least for another season. Smith can't be trusted not to fumble, and Ward was unable to take over the position last year when given the chance. This could go any number of ways, but it would be prudent for the Bucs to invest in a possible star tailback.