Yardbarker Horiz

Friday, November 12, 2010

Dominik Reloads Practice Squad

With the recent promotions of TE Ryan Purvis and T Will Barker from the practice squad to supplement changes to the 53-man roster, the Tampa Bay Buccaneers were left with two open positions on the practice squad.

Not any more.

General Manager Mark Dominik and Pro Scout Shelton Quarles have been pressed into several hectic weeks shuffling players to the active roster to keep the young Tampa Bay Buccaneers at full strength through a rugged series of injuries, suspensions, and cuts.  Most recently, they have placed two new players on the practice squad.

Pittsburgh Plunder

On the day after the Buccaneers placed rookie defensive tackle Brian Price on injured reserve, the Buccaneers signed DT Al Woods away from the Pittsburgh Steelers practice squad to their regular roster (about one week ago).  While Woods joined the team and recorded his first NFL tackle in the same week last week, another move by Dominik went mostly unnoticed.  Dominik signed defensive tackle Doug Worthington (6'5", 292 lbs) to the practice squad.  Worthington was a 7th round pick out of Ohio State by the Pittsburgh Steelers in the 2010 NFL Draft -- yet another player chosen in the 2010 draft by another team who is now on the Tampa Bay roster. Worthington was not with the Steelers, but in essence, the Buccaneers have possibly stolen the future of the Steelers defensive line.  Worthington is a possibility at defensive end as well as inside.

This Week

This week, the Buccaneers signed Tyrone McKenzie (6'2", 245 lbs), an outside linebacker (he also played in the middle for part of his college career) who was drafted in the 3rd round in 2009 by the New England Patriots.  This season, McKenzie asked for the Patriots to release him to pursue opportunities with other teams.  McKenzie played high school football in Sarasota, Florida before leaving for Iowa State University.  While there, he was the second leading tackler in the Big XII (#8 nationally) as a sophomore.  McKenzie then transferred to South Florida and played outside linebacker for the Bulls.  Obviously McKenzie likes being in central Florida -- perhaps it's his motivation for asking out of New England?  You like players who want to be with you, so perhaps this is a perfect match.

Last weekend, the Buccaneers emerged from a showdown for the NFC South lead in better health than recent weeks, so there do not appear to be any impending practice squad moves this week.  These men are, however, in a great position to compete for a roster spot during the coming offseason.

If these picks turn out like other young players the Buccaneers have found recently, they could be playing meaningful NFL minutes sooner than later.

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