“I Got Benched”

December 5th, 2013

UnderwoodEight games into his triumphant return from his couch, wide receiver Tiquan Underwood has opened a few eyes with his play of late after a rough start. He’s now got 16 catches for a whopping 325 yards and three touchdowns.

Joe talked to the soon-to-be free agent yesterday about taking over for Mike Williams and surviving an ugly 2013 debut. No hair questions, though Joe does think the Buccaneers need to sell an Underwood bobblehead.

JoeBucsFan.com: You’re trained to play all the receiver positions but you’re playing more of Mike Williams’ role this year on the outside. Do you like that. Are you more suited to that?

Tiquan Underwood: To be honest, it doesn’t matter to me, man. I just want to play. I had my best season (last year) primarily in the slot. And this year, I’ve been playing more outside and it’s been working out for me. I don’t have any favorite either way. I just enjoy playing and competing. The more versatile you can be the better. So if somebody gets hurt, in this instance, you could fill-in. It gives your offensive coordinator more flexibility, an ability to move guys around, which he’s done a lot. He’s moved Vincent Jackson inside. When Mike was healthy, he would move inside-outside. It gives you more variety.

Joe: You had some bad games when you first came back to the team. In reality, you were asked to dive in off your couch. How long did it take you to get back your feel for the NFL? And how did that go for you?

Underwood: Yeah, I didn’t play well my first game back versus Philly. I got kind of thrown into the fire, five targets zero catches. And the next game against Atlanta I actually got benched, didn’t play the first three quarters and got thrown in there in the fourth quarter when Chris Owusu went down. Then I got a little bit of a groove, caught a fourth-down pass, caught a touchdown that got called back. And then the following week, that third week, is when it really started clicking for me. Since then, it’s just taken off. And I’m trying to be a consistent player out there for Mike Glennon and the coaches.

Joe: When you came back, did the offense feel a little different without Josh Freeman?

Underwood: No. Not at all. Some new plays, little subtleties and stuff like that, but the meat and potatoes of it were the same.

7 Responses to ““I Got Benched””

  1. ROBERT6 Says:

    I like the guy – he plays with heart. so not bashing him when I say that he needs to lose the hair if he ever wants to be taken seriously by ANY team. He’s not 17 anymore and no matter what anyone says who could look that guy in the eye and think he sees the big picture when he can’t even do something so simple as get a cut that’s professional, mean or something. just not kid-n-play. Some teeth whitening would be in order as well from all the smiles I saw on the sideline after a few big plays. You want the big part? act the big part!

    love how the guy plays.

  2. d-money Says:

    I like him…love the hair.

    I just can’t for the life of me understand why they cut him in favor of Ogletree and Owusu.

  3. GBG Says:

    Underwood should remain a Buc, especially considering what we can go and get in the draft, and Mike Williams returning this offseason. Role players are difference makers too!!

  4. bigpoppabuc Says:

    Eh.. He’s still on the fringe with me. I need to see him do it consistently. Three good games is not enough to hand him a big role in the offense. Right now he’s just a deep threat/big target in the red zone and I believe he’s dropped as many touchdowns as he’s caught.

  5. RealityCheck Says:

    @Robert – worst advice ever. The ONLY reason people know his name is BECAUSE of his hair. Pretty sure that being a member of a pro football team and contributing with catches and scores each week already means people take him seriously. Performance is all that matters in the end, but standing out from the crowd with a weird style (including hair and beards) has worked to popularize countless athletes. I wonder when Troy Polamalu and Clay Matthews are going to get a nice high and tight cut so they can be taken seriously.

  6. ROBERT6 Says:

    @ reality

    to compare Troy or Clay to him is a joke to say the least. Just because he is on the field (out of necessity) does not mean they coaches take him seriously. and no…..performance is not all that matters. just ask winslow, Bennett etc, etc..

  7. pick6 Says:

    he’s going to spend his career on the fringes unless he either demonstrates starter ability (too late for that IMO) or tighens up his special teams skill set. underwood probably deserved to make the final 53, but he’s the sort of player you’d prefer as a #4 WR, with your #3 maybe having more upside or the ability to dominate in the slot. penciled in at #4 you are basically going to have to excel on special teams to justify your role and that’s not tiquan’s thing. i really like the guy, he will not be a buc legend by any means but with a couple more years hanging around he might have a nice cult following a la Karl “The Truth” Williams. it will be tough because every year until they succeed the bucs are going to draft a guy in hopes of taking Underwood’s job year 1 and eventually preparing for VJax to move on\retire