Wide Receiver Jobs Not So Wide OpenJuly 6th, 2012
Yeah, the Bucs have legitimate talent wide receiver. And with the addition of Vincent Jackson, it seems his presence as a top-flight No. 1 receiver puts everyone else where they belong within a hopefully great offense.
Tampa Bay Times beat writer Stephen Holder penned a piece today talking about how wide open competition is in the Bucs’ receiving corps. But Joe doesn’t buy into that premise.
Jackson and Mike Williams are the clear Nos. 1 & 2. Joe realizes some fans are down on Williams, but he has elite skills and he’s caught 65 balls in each of his first two seasons.
Arrelious Benn was the 39th overall pick in what widely was considered the deepest NFL Draft in history (2010). Rockstar general manager Mark Dominik was calling for Benn to get the ball more last season — a very telling statement, on the Buccaneers Radio Network of all places — but Greg Olson and Raheem Morris wouldn’t listen. Benn is fully recovered from his knee issues and Joe has no doubt Benn will be maximized under the New Schiano Order.
Preston Parker got a new contract and was an offseason standout, per Greg Schiano. He’ll fill his role nicely.
And if Sammie Stroughter can remain completely healthy through the preseason, he’s a lock for the No. 5 receiver slot, in Joe’s opinion. Stroughter plays special teams, is an above average returner, and he’s got the work ethic and runs solid routes. The Bucs would be nuts to dump him, assuming he’s healthy, and considering Parker’s past ball-security issues on returns.
Joe thinks it’s a big “if” whether the Bucs will carry six receivers. Given that the New Schiano Order wants to pound the ball like the 1972 Dolphins and will need more than typical depth on the defensive line and in the secondary, Joe would be somewhat surprised to see the Bucs with six receivers on opening day.
Joe’s got nothing against Dezmon Briscoe, but one would think he’s lost his “Buccaneer Man” card with his offseason absences, and he’s not as valuable with Jackson on the roster. Tiquan Underwood and Ed Gant, Joe considers them huge longshots. Briscoe, Underwood and Gant all likely need banged up teammates in the receiving corps to make it to opening day.