Yardbarker Horiz

Wednesday, August 24, 2011

Second Draft Just Two Games Away

The Second Draft is one week from Saturday.  It feels like 10 days until Christmas.

Tampa Bay's leadership group of GM Mark Dominik, Scouting Director Dennis Hickey, and Pro Personnel Director Shelton Quarles have given Buccaneers fans a second draft day each of the past two seasons.  When the other teams drop their roster count to 53 men, Dominik leads a feeding frenzy at One Buccaneer place, reeling in players like RB LeGarrette Blout and WR Desmon Briscoe.  Or OG Ted Larson and RB Kregg Lumpkin.  You get the picture.

Apparently nothing gets past One Buc place, or at least no player.  The rest of the NFL has taken notice as well.  The Buccaneers know for every good player which makes a roster, or every veteran who keeps his roster position, another player has to be let go.  

Tampa Bay keeps detailed notes on each NFL player.  Did they target them for the draft?  Was it a player who was graded to have the intangibles as well as the tangibles?  And they will move quickly on September 3rd to sweep up players not only for their practice squad (Ryan Purvis, Briscoe last year) but players for their regular season roster as well (Blount, Lumpkin, and Larson; all last year as well).

Will there be a similar haul this season?  Cetainly there will be talent out there, and Tampa Bay is certainly building a reputation for giving practice squad players playing time.  It was the quality on the practice squad which helped the team get to the end of the season with 10 wins while injuries piled up by the roadside.  Now those players are rising through the depth chart.  Wouldn't you call Tampa if you had a big, fat you-will-regret-cutting-me chip on your shoulder?

So, enjoy the last two preseason games.  And don't forget there is one more Buccaneer holiday before the season begins!

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