Don’t Sleep On David GettisJuly 10th, 2014
A lot has been made of the “Dunkaneers,” the tall guys on offense who are expected to go up and snatch the ball. Receivers Vincent Jackson and Mike Evans along with tight end Austin Seferian-Jenkins could be a front line for a top-notch college basketball team the way they can sky and fight.
But from the keyword of Buccaneers.com multimedia maven Scott Smith, a guy the Bucs signed late last month shouldn’t fly under the radar.
Former Panthers wide receiver David Gettis has largely had an injury-plagued season. If healthy, Smith believes Gettis could “surprise” and make the final 53-man roster and give quarterback Josh McCown yet another big target.
One suspects that Gettis is using this off time before training camp to mainline the team’s offensive playbook, because if he can start camp on an equal footing he should have a very real chance to stick around. There’s no real reason to get overly excited about the 26-year-old wideout, but at the same time there’s no real reason to dismiss his chances. After presumptive starters Vincent Jackson and Mike Evans, the Bucs’ receiving corps is wide open. Like, Grand Canyon-wide open. The Bucs will likely keep five receivers, maybe six, and if you think you can name those five (or six) with near certainty, you’re a better fan than me.
I personally think that Robert Herron is the strongest remaining bet after Jackson and Evans, and I know that Chris Owusu and Louis Murphy have had strong offseasons. In fact, that could be your five right there, but then you’re saying no to Lavelle Hawkins, Eric Page, Skye Dawson, Russell Shepard and others. With all of that, where does Gettis fit in?
Well… I don’t know. But he’s big (6-3, 220) and apparently healthy after years of struggling with injuries, and he had a really nice rookie season with Carolina in 2010. I know that there are stories like that in every training camp, and they don’t guarantee anything, but I can’t help thinking that if nobody really blows the doors off this thing, Gettis will have a chance to sneak in. Remember, we’re talking “surprises” here, not likelihoods.
The key here is staying healthy. For reasons no one knows, some guys are just simply injury-prone. It’s really difficult to improve your game and gel with a team off the practice field and in the trainer’s room.
There are a lot of really, really talented players who didn’t do squat in the NFL because they couldn’t stay healthy. Currently, Gettis is among them. He actually started 13 games in 2010, averaging 13.7 yards a catch. Not too shabby. (Some guy named Benn had similar size, numbers and injuries but was drafted four rounds higher that year.)
If Gettis can survive training camp without having to visit a doctor, perhaps he could be an overlooked member of the “Dunkaneers.”