Lovie Endorses Luke StockerAugust 19th, 2014
A sect of Bucs fans cannot wait to run certain players from the team. Yes, Joe joined these folks when it came to the likes of Sabby the Goat and Myron Lewis, to name a couple. It seems this season, these fans have aimed their ire at tight end Luke Stocker.
In his fourth season, Stocker’s days have been injury-riddled and forgettable, largely because it is hard to remember him being on the field. When he played, he didn’t always have reliable hands.
With Tim Wright already on board and the Bucs going out and getting Brandon Myers in free agency, and then surprising the NFL world by selecting Austin Seferian-Jenkins, it seemed like Stocker was on the endangered species list.
Even Stocker admitted he knew he was on the bubble as he openly hoped for Lovie to keep four tight ends.
“That’s definetly my mindset and that’s my job is to make them keep me,” Stocker said. “That’s my goal right now.”
It seems he may have done that. Lovie shocked all onlookers Saturday night when it was Stocker who started with the first team offense against Miami. Yesterday, Lovie fueled the fire that Stocker may keep his gig in Tampa Bay.
“He has performed well,” Lovie said of Stocker. “As I came in, outside information and inside information, he looked the part. That’s how you draw up a tight end. But he has been hurt throughout. He really had a plan to show up and stay — no one plans to get hurt. He has shown up and has had a good camp, simple as that. As for numbers on a tight end, you can count four, easily. I think we have four on our roster now that will play in the league somewhere. Hopefully here.
“Luke has played well. And he is a good football player.”
Now Lovie isn’t the type of guy to engage in mindgames. Joe has never sensed that and never got that feedback from any player. Lovie has already called out Wright, who until that episode seemed like a virtual lock for the 53-man roster.
Joe could easily understand if Lovie’s praise of Stocker is a way to get Wright out of his doghouse. But that doesn’t seem to be Lovie’s style. Notice, Lovie stopped just short of saying Stocker will make his 53-man roster?
Coaches like guys all the time who don’t make a final-53. Guys who have good training camps don’t always make the team. Only the next 11 days will tell if Stocker played his way onto the roster.