Why The Bucs Didn’t Sign Dan Persa

May 29th, 2012

Regular readers of Joe know that news came from Northwestern quarterback Dan Persa, via his Twitter feed, that he was going to work out for the Bucs just prior to the Bucs rookie mini-camp, and Joe was geeked by the news.

Persa was perhaps one of the most underrated quarterbacks in college football. His junior year he lit up opposing defenses (except for Penn State) with thrilling, come-from-behind victories, as he did in the snow at Evanston against an Adrian Clayborn-led Iowa Hawkeyes.

But it was on his game-winning touchdown throw that day that Persa blew an Achilles tendon as he jumped for joy running off the field in celebration.

Last season, as a senior, Persa was not his normal self, still hobbled with his Achilles. So when Persa worked out for the Bucs, Joe was certain that over a year after his initial injury, Persa would be just fine.

When Joe — and the rest of the pen and mic club — got to watch just a portion of one rookie mini-camp practice, Persa was nowhere to be found, even though Joe had it confirmed with Bucs officials Persa was at One Buc Palace prior to the open practice.

Then, the Bucs signed LSU quarterback Jordan Jefferson. Joe was floored: How could the Bucs not sign a dynamic quarterback like Persa and sign Jefferson, who did little to nothing with LSU? Bucs officials claimed they signed Jefferson because of his upside, which lasted a grand total of three days before Jefferson was released.

Joe could only guess Persa didn’t pass his physical, but Joe could never get that confirmed. Now Joe knows what happened, and one could say Persa didn’t pass his physical.

When Persa worked out for the Bucs, per Teddy Greenstein of the Chicago Tribune, Persa blew out his same Achilles.

During a tryout with the Buccaneers in early May, Persa tweaked the same area. His Chicago-based agent, Mike McCartney, sent him to see David Porter, a foot and ankle specialist and an orthopedic consultant to the Colts.

“He said my foot was at 65 percent,” Persa said, “and during the season, it was probably at 50 percent. He said: ‘If you ever want it to be semi-normal again, you have to have another surgery.'”

Joe feels badly for Persa, who likely has taken his last snap of his football career. The guy was fun to watch and simply a clutch quarterback.

Maybe this is just a figment of Joe’s imagination, but Joe cannot recall in years past so many players in football suffering Achilles injuries. It almost seems commonplace now.

9 Responses to “Why The Bucs Didn’t Sign Dan Persa”

  1. MVPFreeman Says:

    Looks kind of like Brees in that pic.

  2. OptimisTroll Says:

    Now that players have to aim low, the wear on the bottom part of their bodies will increase.

  3. Orlandobucfan Says:

    Thanks for that uplifting story on a rainy week just kidding joe, another great inside scoop.

  4. Brandon Says:

    OptimisTroll Says:

    May 29th, 2012 at 5:02 pm
    Now that players have to aim low, the wear on the bottom part of their bodies will increase


    Horrible theory. Achilles tendons injuries are almost always non-contact injuries caused by an athlete pushing off hard on the foot and snapping the gastrocnemius muscle into action but instead severing it like an overtightened guitar string.

    Case in point, Persa hurt his Achilles celebrating, Bowers in non-contact drills, Suggs as well, heck, Vinny Testaverde did his backing away from center.

    There is no concrete theory that can pigeon hole all Achilles injuries other than athletes not listening to the warning signs of a possible Achilles injury in the making. Achilles that snap are usually, but not always, tight or tender before they are injured but not to the point that they are crippling, just slight discomforts… and then one day they athlete either doesn’t warm up properly (not by static stretching but by dynamic stretching designed to increase core muscle temperature) or over fatigues the muscle.

  5. Big Picture Guy Says:

    Easiest stretch in the world, and I am shocked that so many athletes tear their Achilles along with pulling/tearing hamstrings. There really is no excuse except for improper warm-up.

    To stretch your Achilles, it’s as simple of lunging and bending your back knee. Or stand up against a wall, and press your foot into it. Standard drill for soccer players, and you don’t hear about them injuring their Achilles tendons (though I guess you don’t really hear about them doing anything since no one cares about soccer).

  6. Drew Says:

    Never had a problem with an Achilles and attribute this to the stair drop exercise. Toes on the stair edge and dropping the heels as far as they will go to strengthen the Achilles.

  7. NJBucsFan Says:

    We are in a time that most atheletes have been taking supplements for most of their lives. There’s not much research on long-term impact on the body. I was in high school during the Gold Card GNC days when anyone that worke out had Creatine wafers, pills, liquid drops, and powders. In addition to this cortisone shots are heavily used and this most likely has a negative impact. May determinate tendons and numbs an already damaged area so you don’t know you are doing more damage. Prime example is Ryan Howard.

  8. Vince Says:

    Could the recent rash of Achilles be due to different conditioning standards in all levels of football? Don’t know, that’s why I’m asking.

  9. Brandon Says:

    It’s funny how many people BELIEVE they know the problem and think that old-school static stretching will actually prevent the problem. Sorry folks, static stretching when done before exercise has been proven to cause more injuries and decrese athletic performance than dynamic stretching, warm ups, and even NOTHING.