“I Got Benched”December 5th, 2013
Eight games into his triumphant return from his couch, wide receiver Tiquan Underwood has opened a few eyes with his play of late after a rough start. He’s now got 16 catches for a whopping 325 yards and three touchdowns.
Joe talked to the soon-to-be free agent yesterday about taking over for Mike Williams and surviving an ugly 2013 debut. No hair questions, though Joe does think the Buccaneers need to sell an Underwood bobblehead.
JoeBucsFan.com: You’re trained to play all the receiver positions but you’re playing more of Mike Williams’ role this year on the outside. Do you like that. Are you more suited to that?
Tiquan Underwood: To be honest, it doesn’t matter to me, man. I just want to play. I had my best season (last year) primarily in the slot. And this year, I’ve been playing more outside and it’s been working out for me. I don’t have any favorite either way. I just enjoy playing and competing. The more versatile you can be the better. So if somebody gets hurt, in this instance, you could fill-in. It gives your offensive coordinator more flexibility, an ability to move guys around, which he’s done a lot. He’s moved Vincent Jackson inside. When Mike was healthy, he would move inside-outside. It gives you more variety.
Joe: You had some bad games when you first came back to the team. In reality, you were asked to dive in off your couch. How long did it take you to get back your feel for the NFL? And how did that go for you?
Underwood: Yeah, I didn’t play well my first game back versus Philly. I got kind of thrown into the fire, five targets zero catches. And the next game against Atlanta I actually got benched, didn’t play the first three quarters and got thrown in there in the fourth quarter when Chris Owusu went down. Then I got a little bit of a groove, caught a fourth-down pass, caught a touchdown that got called back. And then the following week, that third week, is when it really started clicking for me. Since then, it’s just taken off. And I’m trying to be a consistent player out there for Mike Glennon and the coaches.
Joe: When you came back, did the offense feel a little different without Josh Freeman?
Underwood: No. Not at all. Some new plays, little subtleties and stuff like that, but the meat and potatoes of it were the same.