A Vote Of Confidence For Luke Stocker

April 27th, 2013

In a division packed with stud tight ends, the Bucs will ride the backs of tight ends Luke Stocker and newcomer Tom Crabtree, who caught 18 balls with the Packers over the past three seasons.

Joe sees this as a huge vote of confidence in Stocker, who was a Bucs fourth-round pick in 2011.

Stocker’s blocking has improved and he’s got a pair of hands. Yes, Joe’s also seen Stocker look bad and slow, especially in practice, and he’s no Pro Bowler. But Joe believes Stocker can be effective.

A bigger question is how much the Bucs have devalued the pass-catching tight end role in their offense, as was done for years by the Giants when Bucs offensive coordinator Mike Sullivan was there following Jeremy Shockey’s departure.

51 Responses to “A Vote Of Confidence For Luke Stocker”

  1. Chris@Apple Roof Cleaning Tampa Says:

    Escobar was there for the taking, but we went in another direction.

  2. tampabaybucfan Says:

    It’s not over yet. I expect we may re-sign Clark and, or pick up a TE cut from another team for cap purposes….

  3. RastaMon Says:

    I am OK with Stocker…always have been….sure I’d like to have the current prototype NFL TE too…but for the time being Stocker is growing as a traditional TE

  4. Tm Says:

    Perhaps UCLA Fauria as free agent

  5. BuccaneerBonzai Says:

    Been saying for weeks that the Bucs would not draft a TE and planned to resign Clark after the draft. Smoke & mirrors.

  6. Snook Says:

    Just because CAR, NO and ATL have good TEs doesn’t mean we need one. Its not like our TEs cover their TEs.


    Stocker is just fine for this offense. Anyone remember the big names in NYG offense? Exactly.

  7. Curmudgeon Says:

    We’ve also got some developmental guys who might be able to step up and contribute: Dunsmore and Noble. We’ve actually got a bunch of interesting guys at the TE position, just no big-time receiving threats… You can’t necessarily fix all weaknesses in one offseason… and if this is not a priority in the offense, then it doesn’t make sense to spend a high draft pick on one when there are big needs on defense.

  8. bob Says:

    we will fill this hole just like we fixed our secondary, but i like Dunsmore and hope he gets another chance

  9. Scotty in Fat Antonio Says:

    FWIT…Bucs signed USF TE Evan Landi per his reps

  10. Rickster07 Says:

    I wasn’t surprised we didn’t take a te. I knew it was a need but we have young stocker, and Crabtree. He had Aaron freaking Rodgers throwing him the ball. I mean he’s pretty much a seasoned vet already.
    I was surprised however we didn’t take a rt. Any ideas we might get the start? Or are we dipping back into fa?

  11. Mike J Says:

    The Bucs value in-line blocking. Very often, with Jackson flanked in the slot, he becomes a de facto ”joker” tight end,hence Ogletree as an outside guy.
    I believe I posted something along these lines some months ago, arguing that the Bucs’ brass might not see the same degree of need for a TE in the draft as a lot of fans & pundits do (did). & that was before Crabtree.

  12. Stanglassman Says:

    DIAMONDS IN THE ROUGH: Ryan Otten, San Jose State, 6-5, 230, 4.73 … If not for a frightening staph infection which at one point threatened his life, Otten might be considered a potential top 100 prospect. He flashed this kind of ability while hauling down passes at San Jose State and earning an invitation to the Senior Bowl. While lacking the bulk and strength scouts are looking for as a traditional in-line blocker, Otten is a slippery route-runner with soft, reliable hands and enough speed to threaten the seam.

  13. Machiavellii Says:


  14. Matt B Says:

    Fauria and Otten already signed with other teams per the link above…I really hope we Resign Dallas Clark.

  15. Patrick Says:

    Why the f did we let Dallas Clark walk? Stocker sucks and Crabtree has 18 catches in 3 seasons.

  16. Couch Fan Says:

    Dont worry we have a stud of a QB that will lead us to the playoffs….

  17. Machiavellii Says:


  18. RCS Says:

    I really think Noble will shock some people was having a good preseason until he got hurt.

  19. Sneedy16 Says:


    Walk? He is a free agent no one signed him yet, so the Bucs can pick him up at any time.

  20. gotbbucs Says:

    @ Patrick
    You drive me nuts, dude.

    All I want is Stocker to catch around 30-35 balls and block his ass off. If we get that out of him it will be a successful season for him in my book. This offense doesn’t need a 60-70 reception TE, it needs one that can set the edge for Martin and work the redzone on play action.

  21. Bricen Says:

    I like Landi @ TE. AMAZING hands, decent speed, average size. Really needs to get stronger and work on blocking, though.

  22. Bobby Says:

    I don’t know. I wanted us to get a TE badly. I see Atlanta with Roddy and Julio and still the guy who makes things happen is Gonzalez. He’s just the perfect safety valve. We could use that extra threat. Maybe Stocker can turn into that, I don’t know.

  23. Andrew 1 Says:

    the only thing Im upset about is that we didnt get a good enough DT, like one with our second round pick. think about it, if Gerald McCoy God forbid goes down with a season ending injury WE ARE SCREWED. say goodby to the top run defense and say goodby to any type of pass rush from the interior of our dline. if that happens not even the great Darrelle Revis himself is going to successful.

  24. Andrew 1 Says:

    unless you really believe our 4 round pick Spence is going to be able to fill the void, in which case I dont.

  25. MR.T Says:

    It’s absurd to settle for a TE we hope can catch 20 or 25 passes a year. All the really good teams have great TE’s, why because it adds another dimension to their offense that the other team has to account for and makes them harder to defend. To have your TE primarily for blocking purposes only is a waste of what should be a productive offensive position.

  26. gotbbucs Says:

    @ Andrew 1
    You can’t have starter caliber players backing up every position. I understand the concern regarding McCoy because of his past. I would assume the scheme would have to adjust if McCoy goes down again.

  27. Capt. Tim Says:

    We need a TE to attack the middle of the field.
    Right now, we only attack the edges.

    It would greatly diversify the passing offense.
    There is always a chance we find an adequate TE in FA.

  28. Blob Says:

    Are you gonna put up a story about the top 100

  29. Andrew 1 Says:

    @ gotbucs

    yea but they obviously want another starting caliber DT playing next to McCoy or else they wouldn’t have drafted Brian Price like 4 picks into the 2nd round in that draft. I realize it didnt work out with Price but thats no reason not to immediately find a suitable replacement for him, which we have not. do you really believe anybody we have on the roster is worth starting next to McCoy or take his place if he were to go down? I dont.

    other than that the bucs have done a nice job of filling out the roster.

  30. gotbbucs Says:

    Take a chill pill MR.T.
    If Stocker is our starter this year he’ll catch close to 50 balls. Vernon Davis only had somewhere around 40 receptions last year and I can’t even think of who Seattle’s TE is off hand. There are good teams out there that don’t over emphasize the TE position.

  31. Curmudgeon Says:

    Mr. T, you’re wrong. Giants haven’t had a big threat at TE. Ravens have Pitta, who’s a nice TE, but not a superstar.

    You’re right that the big receiving TEs are in vogue, but that means nothing. We were #9 in offense last year without one of these stellar TEs. Also, we have some developmental TEs on the roster: Dunsmore, Noble… And we had bigger needs on defense. Sorry dude, sometimes you have to draft priorities, and TE was not one this year.

  32. gotbbucs Says:

    @ Andrew 1
    Lets hope he doesn’t get injured then. It is what it is, if he goes down again Bowers probably slides down on sub packages to rush inside. Also, yes, I believe Gibson could easily start at our tilt nose position.

  33. Bricen Says:

    @Andrew 1 Spence will play next to McCoy, he’ll be there to suck up blocks as the tilt nose and free up Gerald. Nose in this defense can be played by almost anyone.

  34. Andrew 1 Says:

    @ gotbucs

    I will keep Gerald McCoy’s health in my prayers, thats for sure. but your probably right, if he were to go down they would adapt by changing the scheme up a little bit.

  35. MR.T Says:


    Part of that 9 was due to D. Clark and his 47 catches which stocker wont come close to I would much rather have Clark back for 1 more year than the guys we have now. It is still a waste not to have a good 60 or 70 catch TE on the roster. We would be the better for it, for the reasons I already mentioned, its just common sense.

  36. Andrew 1 Says:

    @ MR.T

    you dont know for sure that Stocker wont get 40-50 catches next season. ever since he was drafted he has been playing in the shadow of Kellen Winslow and Dallas Clark. who knows, now that he has been declared our go to TE it could bring out the best in him.

  37. lurker Says:

    lol @ common sense…

    so you know the offensive scheme? you mentioned the things you want, but our offense is not the type you are talking about. also, gotbucs and curmudgeon mention “great” teams that do not use the tightends as the “offensive weapon” that you want.

  38. Andrew 1 Says:

    I pity the fool!!! lol, sorry couldn’t help myself.

  39. Curmudgeon Says:

    Again, Mr. T… priorities… Why did we lose games last year? Mainly because of defense. We drafted defense because that was the greatest need. You can say that’s stupid all you want… In a perfect world, we would’ve had more draft picks to work with and we might’ve been able to grab a TE just to make you happy… But, we only had so many draft picks to fill more pressing needs. And there’s no reason to think Stocker can’t catch 40-50 balls. And we have developmental guys in Dunsmore and Noble who might be ready to step into contributing roles. There’s a lot of ways to run an offense…

    So, what you say is “just common sense” isn’t… Priorities, priorities, priorities… Defense, defense, defense. Drafting defense when that was our doom last year is common sense.

  40. Macabee Says:


    The Seahawks TE is Zach Miller. They have the good Zach, we have the bad Zach, the one from the Jags.

  41. FlBoy84 Says:

    Saw that RB Akeem Shavers and QB Robert Marve, both from Purdue, signed with the Bucs, as well as Landi, UMass OT Speller and OLB Moseley from Buffalo.

  42. Scotty in Fat Antonio Says:

    Akrem Shavers, RB, Purdue
    Nick Carlson, OL Wyoming
    Branden Smith, CB, Georgia
    Rashaan Melvin, CB, Northern Illinois
    Hubie Graham, TE, Pitt
    Evan Landi, TE, USF
    Nick Speller, OT, UMass
    Brice Schawb, OT, ASU
    Rashaan Melvin, CB, Northern Illinois
    Deveron Carr, CB, ASU
    Robert Marve, QB, Purdue

  43. FlBoy84 Says:

    See you like Melvin so much you listed him twice Scotty. 🙂 Curious to see if Marve can beat out Orlovsky & Weber.

  44. gotbbucs Says:

    Here’s the thing, if some of you guys were looking for impact players in any round beyond the 3rd, this was not the draft for you.
    If you count Revis I think we got two starters out of this draft with Revis and Banks, and one rotational DT. Spence will rotate with Gibson. Everybody else is developemental and special teams for now, and that’s not a knock on our draft class for this year, that’s just the kind of draft this was. Take the guys that have the measurables but never quite put it all together in college.
    There was one impact TE in this class and he didn’t quite make it far enough down the 1st round for them to consider trading up for him. Seriously, that’s pretty much it. Crabtree, Noble, Dunsmore….that’s pretty much the caliber of TE’s that were coming off the board in the middle of this draft, so what would have been the point of taking another one. All I really expected them to go after late was a straight up blocking TE, but there wasn’t a great crop of them either.

  45. Youpeoplearesodumb Says:

    Marve won’t make it to training camp. He is not an NFL talent.

  46. BuccaneerBonzai Says:

    Bucs sign

    Evan Landi, TE, South Florida

    Robert Marve, QB, Purdue

    Akeem Shavers, RB, Purdue

    Nick Speller, OT, Massachusetts

  47. MTM Says:

    The Bucs need a TE that is a threat. They don’t have that threat at this time which makes them easier to defend. All the high offenses have one. It will be interesting to see how it is addressed.

  48. Tnbucsfan Says:

    I watched Stocker play at UT and he can become a good TE. He can be a security blanket for Freeman because he has really good hands.

  49. 76buc76 Says:

    Celek could be had. The eagles signed Casey then drafted Ertzs. He has taken a beating over the year’s but he’s a vet. That could teach these young TE’s how to be consistant. Let’s face it Stocker and Crabtree are a joke. Might get catches just because no one will bother covering them. Stocker does a good job on that backside misdirrection TE throw back. But then again anybody can make a play when there wideopen.

  50. 76buc76 Says:

    The Buc’s draft was OK. We got d-line depth,CB positiion is set,a smart mirror image of Freeman back-up QB. No O-line depth,TE and I’d like to have seen another LBer. But when you have 50 M commited to 5 player’s you will lack depth everywhere.The secondary will be much improved,the D-line not so much. I expect about the same sack number’s. The LBer’s won’t be blitz happy thou. Gotta believe the LBer’s had a tell of some sort,or were just to obvious when they blitzed last year. They seemed to get pick up every time. Blitzing LBer’s is just not Buc ball anyway.

  51. Joc Says:

    Dom is a Moron