Bucs Sign Running Back

October 18th, 2011

Joe’s not one to get excited about — or too interested in — practice squad signings. But since this one is a small, speedy running back, Joe will take note here.

In a Tampa Tribune story about what the Bucs are doing today in England — including Adrian Clayborn having a problem with the local food — beat writer Woody Cummings shares that the Bucs have signed former Northern Illinois running back Chad Spann, who was undrafted in 2011. 

Now you can all look the guy up on YouTube and pretend he’s the next Darren Sproles.

26 Responses to “Bucs Sign Running Back”

  1. flmike Says:

    Now you can all look the guy up on YouTube and pretend he’s the next Darren Sproles.

    Nope, more like the guy who used to play at NIU Michael Turner. 5-9, 200lbs.

  2. BamBamBuc Says:

    Sproles? Turner? Seriously??? Yeah, I think he’s most closely associated with either Derrick Watson or Earnest Graham in the sense that he’s a practice squad player, undrafted, is a long shot (at best) to make the active team roster, and we don’t know if he’s ever gonna get a shot (Derrick Watson, PS RB that never saw the team in 2005 and will fade into the nothingness that is the former NFL practice squad players) or will make the most of his opportunity and eventually make the team and actually have an impact (Earnest Graham).

    The best we have now is “highlight reels” of his college performances. Well, remember that those are actually “highlights”, they don’t show runs that got stuffed, they don’t show bad decisions. They show good plays, long runs, great catches, TDs, etc. We’d all love to get a guy that is a “highlight reel” every play, but there are very few (if any) of those in the NFL, and most of those weren’t undrafted players.

    So, WOOHOO, we signed a practice squad RB. Really? Don’t get too excited now.

  3. big007hed Says:

    @BamBam do you mean Derrick Ward? …. I agree no one should get overly excited about a practice squad player but it happens all the time , example Kareem Huggins…. Hope he pans out

  4. Dave Says:

    Don’t know the guy but the fact that they signed a speed guy is encouraging

  5. sensiblebuc Says:

    Hey anybody think we should go get Peyton Hills or Asante Samuel?

  6. sensiblebuc Says:

    …Hillis is surprisingly only 25. Forget Samuel. He’s too old (30), too small, and doesn’t tackle.

  7. Tye Says:

    Peyton Hillis would be a great addition…. Him and Blount would make a good duel threat!

  8. macabee Says:

    BamBam, I’m not lobbying for Spann, but he did not come from a PS. He was a UFA, but he competed and made the Colts active roster. He got a mild hamstring and the Colts needed a roster spot and wanted to put him on IR. When he balked, he was offered an injury settlement which he accepted making him a free agent. Enter Mark Dominik. He was highly sought after as a UFA, but chose to sign with the Colts because Indianapolis is his hometown.

  9. Joe Says:


    He was highly sought after as a UFA, but chose to sign with the Colts because Indianapolis is his hometown.

    A guy was “highly sought after” who wasn’t drafted???

    If GMs thought so much of him, why didn’t some team drop a seventh round pick on the guy?

    Look, Joe understands — a little bit — why some Bucs fans go ga-ga over an undrafted free agent. But there is usually a reason why a guy wasn’t drafted.

    That written, it seems to Joe — keyword “seems” — that undrafted running backs have a much higher success rate than any other position outside of kicker/punter.

    Suggesting a guy who wasn’t drafted was “highly sought after” appears to be a stretch.

  10. gatorsfan Says:

    well legarrette blount was undrafted as well so dont just dismiss this. lets see what he can do on the field before we judge

  11. macabee Says:

    Joe, I can’t answer your question as to why no team drafted him. But it is a documented fact that as a UFA, he was highly sought after as many UFAS are, some even being paid the maximum salary allowed under league rules which is rare. You may start your research at Rotoworld.com, a website you recommend yourself for contract info on players.

  12. macabee Says:

    Joe, to be clear, I don’t have a dog in this fight. I am not about to make any noise about any UFA. If anybody has followed my posts, I take a balanced view of some drafted players and a carefully-selected FA here and there. If anyone read my original post on this subject, I specifically referred to being highly sought after as a UFA meaning a competition for the “best of the rest”. That I stand by, but I don’t know Chad Spann from a house cat.

  13. FLBoyInDallas Says:

    Joe, look here…Kareem Huggins had only one suitor as an UFA: the Bucs. And that was because Raheem knew him from his alma mater Hofstra. Otherwise he would’ve likely had exactly zero suitors. Yet he was on the verge of having some impact on this team before his devastating knee injury.

    Spann reportedly had many teams trying to coax him onto their practice squads. It’s just like Mark Herzlich, who had reportedly over a dozen teams actively trying to persuade them to join their teams and who narrowed it down to the Giants, Ravens & Eagles before settling on the Giants.

    So yes, players can be undrafted and yet highly sought after. The two are not mutually exclusive.

  14. Gary Says:

    All I know is that many of the posters on this site and others have been calling this guys name. Now we have him, I hope he is good.

  15. upthegut Says:

    What happened to Moses madeu?

  16. BuccFanInHawkeyeCountry Says:

    Ive been preachin to my boys for Hillis for awhile now. Imagine that Blount comes out. Hillis comes in. I dunno how hurt Hillis is tho so I dunno if we’d trade for an injured RB when we already have.. an.. Injured… RB.. Love to see Alstott Jr tho ok in a Bucc uni haha. Wonder what number hed change to..

  17. Dave Says:

    He is small and quick and low to the ground but built like a bowling ball. Is elusive and hard to bring down but does not have break away speed.

    That is one report I read.

    Who knows……. RBs are a dime a dozen, it should not be hard to find a semi-capable 4th stringer

  18. Joe Says:


    Why do the Browns want to rid themselves of Hillis?

  19. flmike Says:


    Why do the Browns want to rid themselves of Hillis?

    Because he wants to get paid, he was out with strep-throat 2 games ago and the Browns decided he did it as a contract ploy and basically benched him the next game.

  20. Espo Says:

    I hope he isn’t the next Darren Sproles. I saw that guy suck at life last week.

  21. Bubba Says:

    Interesting write up about Spann:


  22. Bobby Says:

    After reading that article I would say he is highly sought after. After watching his highlight reel and knowing that he was able to continue to perform with a grade 3 hamstring tear…I can see WHY he is highly sought after. Glad we got him.

  23. Captain Stagger Says:

    I couldn’t be more excited….those that follow this board and other boards know my desire to land “Supa” Spann. I think JDub has got to be freaking out right now where ever he is. 5-9 205, with allot of power. He can block, he can catch, and He is very “quick”. His top end speed might not be the league, but I’ve seen him run away from allot of DB’s. His highlight reel is sick, but for those that don’t know, it’s not just the highlights. I watched every NIU game lady year. The tenacity to gain yards after contact is amazing, and at only 5’9 he is extremely elusive. His speed is more in his cuts and bursts, and has a wicked spin move and stiff arm. He is much stronger than Sproles but might not have his speed, I actually think his play is more like MJD.
    I liked him better than Rodgers, Locke, and Devine, and you can wipe the need to draft a change of pace back off the list for 2012.

    Blount and Spann>Jacobs and Bradshaw

  24. SRQBucFan Says:

    He’s like a slower MJD. I like the way he try to just run people over. And bounces off tacklers cuz he’s small but strong.

    Thanks Wiki:
    College highlights

    2010 Vern Smith Leadership Award Winner
    2010 MAC Offensive Player of the Year
    2x 1st Team All MAC
    Back to Back 1000 yd seasons[5]
    Led nation in rushing TDs (2010)
    Second on NIU’s all-time list for career rushing touchdowns
    Walter Camp Foundation National Player of the Week (9/25)

    [edit] College statistics
    Year Att Yards Avg Long TD
    2007 11 61 5.5 14 0
    2008 88 429 4.9 55 8
    2009 179 1,038 5.8 79 19
    2010 258 1,388 5.4 79 22
    Career 536 2,916 5.8 79 48

  25. FLBoyInDallas Says:

    He’s not much slower than MJD. His low 40 time was 4.45 compared to MJD’s low of 4.39. For comparison Blount ran a low of 4.59 at his pro day (4.7 at the combine) and I don’t think anyone considers him slow. For a running back 4.45 is above average speed.

  26. Captain Stagger Says:

    I think my excitement is based more on luck rather than expertise. Going into the 2010 college season I picked two players at positions of need to follow all year. The first was Nate Irving, I hoped and prayed we would land him, but Foster in retrospect might have been the better choice, so I missed on that one. Spann was the other, and I was so disappointed with the Bradford pick. He made the Colts active roster before injury, and I expect him to be activated and at least playing ST and getting spot duty by week 10.