Line Up The Doctors

July 25th, 2011

Injuries punched the Bucs in the gut last season, but overcoming that was a big plus in their near-miracle season — so many rookies and newcomers stepped up into key roles.

Most Bucs fan take it for granted that guys like Arrelious Benn, Cody Grimm, Gerald McCoy, Aqib Talib. Jeff Faine, Davin Joseph, Earnest Graham and others will be back ready and raring to go when training camp hopefully opens next week.

But Mark Dominik surely can’t take that for granted. The Bucs’ medical staff hasn’t poked and prodded these guys since March. Are they really ready?

Talking about post-lockout priorities last night on the real man channel, NFL Network, former NFL executive turned talking head Mike Lombardi emphatically made the point that teams will need to bring in extra doctors to immediately evaluate all players. Given that free agency no doubt will begin only a few heartbeats following the end of the lockout, teams, especially ones like the Bucs with numerous players returning from injury, must know who’s healthy and who’s not within a matter of hours so they can make intelligent decisions in free agency.

It’s a smart point by Lombardi and possibly a huge X factor for the Bucs.

What if the Bucs doctors take one look at Benn’s surgically repaired knee and decide they want him to spend another eight weeks on the shelf? Surely that could have Dominik bidding for a top free agent receiver. What if Graham’s neck isn’t where they want it to be? That might alter the Bucs’ approach to Cadillac Williams, as well as the fullback position.

It’s going to be wild few days when the asinine lockout waves good-bye.

15 Responses to “Line Up The Doctors”

  1. Chris FWC :) Says:

    I want to know how healthy Bowers’s knee is too.

  2. Mike Says:

    Players were allowed to meet with team medical staff during the lockout, so this article is pointless.

    Players reportedly have been allowed to meet with team doctors outside of team facilities, HOWEVER, the team couldn’t require them to do so or contact them to do it. Big difference. NFL would have gotten into a legal mess denying a player all access to a physician, but that doesn’t mean it was happening in the way you might assume. –Joe

  3. K2theSoldier Says:

    Benns knee is fine, its been good for 2 months.

  4. admin Says:

    Joe here,

    @Mike — See Joe’s comment in your post.
    @K2theSoldier — Really? He wasn’t even fully participating four weeks ago with Freeman and friends.

  5. Mike Says:

    Not to start a debate with you, but I think it was quite the opposite. I think there was more worm-hole digging than you may imagine. Trainers had access to the medial doctors and coaches had access to the trainers. All of that information was relayed. I think you would have been hard pressed to find an athlete with an injury from last season that he was spending his own money on doctors. Teams probably catered to the players schedule and had these MD’s meet them wherever they were available.

  6. Apple Roof Cleaning Says:

    I just wonder when and if Price will ever play for Tampa ?

  7. Mike Says:

    And who truly believe there was no contact between teams and players?

  8. admin Says:

    Joe here,

    @Mike — Happy to debate the topic. Maybe for some players, but that’s hardly the impression Joe was getting from players in person and from many reports. Regardless, it’s a big difference having a conference with Aqib Talib’s doctor and trainer about his progress versus supervising and constantly evaluating Talib in person. Besides, some guys surely were pleased to not be under that kind of medical scrutiny, especially if they’re looking to keep a job, ala Earnest Graham and Faine. And the free agents like Joseph weren’t even under contract, so they didn’t apply to any team oversight. …Lots of layers here.

  9. Mike Says:

    Fair point about medical scrutiny and job security. I’m sure it played into some guys favors. I just think overall, teams have a pretty good ballpark of where their guys rehabs are.

  10. K2theSoldier Says:

    Safety precaution, ive read a few things saying he rehabbed incredibly quick and will be ready to go.

  11. admin Says:

    Joe here,

    @Mike — Don’t think ballpark is good enough to make sound personnel decisions, which was Mike Lombardi’s point.

  12. admin Says:

    Joe here,

    @K2TheSoldier — Sure. Benn says he’s ready and Dominik said Benn was way ahead of schedule. But what young hungry player doesn’t say he can go?

  13. K2theSoldier Says:

    Brian Price

  14. Capt.Tim Says:

    Brian Price is gonna be one blessed young man if he plays again. I hope he does.

    But my guess is, we are drafting a Nose tackle next draft

  15. Patrick Says:

    Injuries have been killing the Bucs for the past decade