Tiquan Underwood’s Big Impact

August 16th, 2012

Virtually all the news about Bucs receivers in the offseason was based on two players: the addition of stud receiver Vincent Jackson and the jettison of Kellen Winslow, Jr., who didn’t believe in toes on the line.

But easily forgotten is the addition of Kid ‘n Play-styling Tiquan Underwood.

Largely seen as nearly a favor to a journeyman who played for Greg Schiano at Rutgers, Underwood is perhaps the surprise of the just-concluded training camp. Day in and day out, Underwood has made play after play.

It’s one thing to make plays in practice and in underwear. Quite another to do the same in the heat of battled against guys with different colored jerseys, and Underwood has done just that. In the preseason opener at Miami last week, Underwood hauled in a 44-yard pass while sandwiched in traffic and should have been picked off if not for Underwood’s solid play.

Joe’s of the mind that Underwood, with the injury to Arrelious Benn, could very well be the Bucs No. 3 receiver.

It seems that Patrick Southern of CBSSports.com isn’t as sold. He breaks down the battle for the 53-man roster position by position with the Bucs and he believes Underwood just makes the team.

The top end of the depth chart looks far better than it did in 2011, with free agent Jackson providing an anchor and a deep threat. If Underwood continues to impress as he did during training camp, he should be on the right side of the cut line.

Right side of the cut line? Unless Underwood falls totally flat on his face in the next two weeks or is injured, he’s a lock for the roster and again, is making a serious run at the No. 3 position.

If Joe were Preston Parker or Sammie Stroughter, he’d be very concerned the way Underwood is playing.

21 Responses to “Tiquan Underwood’s Big Impact”

  1. stevek Says:

    Tiquan Underwood is going to be a Buc, he is better than Rejus.

  2. Nick2 Says:

    Underwood is obviously making the team. Just another quote by someone who probably doesn’t watch any Bucs games. Underwood has been outplaying Stroughter and Parker AND he is faster than both of them on a team that sorely needs team speed. With that being said its a no brainer that Underwood is our 3 receiver but Arrelious Benn might still win that with his past season performances. I think Underwood beats out Benn for that 3rd spot.

  3. Macabee Says:

    I want to believe this is a miraculous turnaround. Why success is tampa bay and not making the grade in Jacksonville and New england?

    Honestly, I like what I see and want to believe, but curious! How could Belichick not see or bring out this talent?

  4. SilenceTheCritics Says:

    So far he has done nothing but make 2 catches in a meaningless game. What if he doesnt make the team? Everybody seems to be writing Benn off for some odd reason but Benn has done much more than this kid has so far. I wouldnt be so quick to write him off.

  5. SilenceTheCritics Says:

    Infact so has the other guys named in this article. It’s one thing to look good in practice but its totally different to look good in an actual game. The 44 yard catch was deceiving as it was a bad play by the safety rather than just a good catch. We’ll see how it all plays out.

  6. BigMacAttack Says:

    Parker and Stroughter need to concern themselves with their own play and not Underwood’s, which they have no control over. But I get your point.

  7. Bobby Says:

    Underwood has looked better than anyone not named Williams or Jackson. I’m sure he’ll be on the team.

  8. aj Says:

    Well, I haven’t seen Underwood playing the slot receiver yet, so I will assume that is Parker’s job until I at least see Underwood lining up there. Besides that, one is a split and the other is a flanker, so they are both #2 at their position.

    Benn is more of an athlete than a wide receiver, so missing camp is rough on him, as he hasn’t been able to find a role in the new offense. Especially with the new regime’s focus on fundamentals, both Parker and Underwood are way ahead of Benn when it comes to the basics of route running, finding the holes in the zone etc.

    I don’t know I’ve heard enough about any of the other receivers stepping up in camp to make a run at the five slot, so it is looking to be Stroughter vs. Benn. The thing is, from the games I’ve watched, Stroughter knows how to get open and Been does not. Yeah, Benn is great after the catch, but if you can’t get separation or find a hole in the zone, you don’t get many opportunities to catch the ball.

  9. Brain Says:

    I don’t understand why Preston Parker is still around. He got kicked out of FSU for being an idiot and he gets dumb penalties all the time playing for us. He’s small and slow and gets no yards after the catch as a slot. He’s one of the worst returners in the league. Am I missing something? It’s not hard to find a decent slot, so why is Dominik so indebted to Parker?

  10. Angelo Says:

    @Macabee

    Could be a combination of things. It takes receivers some time to develop, especially if they’re raw, late round prospects. He could be motivated by being cut before the Superbowl. Maybe PJ Fleck is a great WR coach.

  11. Bobby Says:

    @Angelo….funny you mention Fleck. I saw EVERYONE catching balls in that first game. I don’t think I’ve ever seen that many receivers making plays before. I would have to credit Fleck with a lot of that.

  12. Brandon Says:

    THe guy making the list obviously has little clue about the Bucs. He has DaQuan Bowers on the opening day roster… he CAN’T be on the roster, he’ll be on the PUP list for no less than 6 weeks.

  13. SteveK Says:

    Underwood can ball.

    We will see, next week in practice with the Pats, if Underwood can ball.

    I think being cut the day before the Super Bowl, and a chance to play for Schiano again, have lit a fire under Underwood’s ass. He got cut before the big one. He is going to be a monster.

  14. Nolleriff Says:

    Underwood is a solid receiver, and fast and tall enough to fill in at X or Z receiver….that’s what makes him more valuable than Stroughter or Parker. I’m an FSU alum and loved Parker when he played there, but he is too inconsistent. I do see his value as a guy who isn’t afraid to go over the middle. I see the Bucs interest in Jeff Demps as wanting to take a look at him as THE return man….that doesn’t bode well for Parker and Stroughter. If Demps comes here and lights up the return game, one of those two is gone. Benn isn’t going anywhere this year…2nd rounder with too much potential, size and YAC…he wasn’t used correctly by Greg Olsen and the injury didn’t help….I still think he gets a pass this year..

  15. Pete 422 Says:

    This could also be a comfort level thing with the coach as well as the system. I like the fact he is a legit deep threat in addition to Jackson.

  16. Fritz50 Says:

    The guy seems to have the right attitude & has, obviously shined in training camp (and at the Ditch Carp game), but we’ve seen training camp wonders before, so I remain cautiously optimistic about him making the team. More power to him, if he does, we need all the ‘ballers’ we can get.

  17. BigMacAttack Says:

    I personally don’t think Demps is that great. Maybe that will change in the NFL, and maybe Wilson Phillips will start up a Metal band.

  18. Big Picture Guy Says:

    LOL @ CBSSports for really gettin’ in there and researching a topic before they put out copy on blast. Another classic example of clueless national media coverage….

    Sick ‘em Joe!!

  19. Chris@Apple Roof Cleaning Says:

    @MACABEE, have you ever considered that Belichik in New England has better receivers then Underwood, and that’s why he let Underwood go ?
    I have mixed feelings about Underwood. I really like what I see, but if he could not make the roster of 2 NFL Teams, and can make it here in Tampa, what does that say about our receivers ?
    Let’s just hope that the 2 NFL Teams he played on were blind!

  20. Mike J Says:

    Brain, Parker had 40 catches and converted 25 first downs, which is a very nice percentage;getting firsts is arguably a slot guy’s most important job.He also averaged a yard per reception more than Wes Welker.
    Preston really faded down the stretch, though, other than the finale (4-74).

  21. Mike J Says:

    BigMacAttack, I tend to agree about Demps. I was just reading today that the Steelers beat writer thinks that Chris Rainey can’t be a feature back and will be ”locked into a ‘hybrid’ role;” you get these guys and spend a lot of time trying to figure out what to do with them.

 
 

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