From 68 To 87

April 4th, 2014

Man of change: Bucs tight end (?) Steve Maneri.

One of the great stories on the Bucs roster lies with the guy former Bucs tight end Anthony Becht says is “tough as nails” and will “punch you in the mouth.”

Joe had to dig a little deeper, and Joe’s glad he did.

Back in February, the Bucs signed tight end Steve Maneri, who was walking the streets after the Bears cut him in October. He was a Chicago casualty when the Bears needed a roster spot after Jay Cutler got hurt.

Maneri, who’s listed as a gargantuan tight end at 6-7, 280, has ties to Bucs general manager Jason Licht. In 2010, Maneri was an undrafted tight end out of Temple University that the Texans tried to beef up and convert into an offensive tackle. The plan was working. Later that year, Bill Belicheat and Licht, who was then New England’s director of pro personnel, snatched up Maneri and had him on their active roster as a backup left tackle before he was cut and put on the Pats’ practice squad.

Maneri landed in Kansas City following Pats training camp the following season. He made the Chiefs roster as an O-linemen, and the Chiefs decided to convert him back to tight end in 2012. Three years as a lineman and he was asked to cut weight and catch the football.

“When they decided I would be an NFL offensive tackle I was about 265 pounds,” Maneri told the Chiefs official website in 2012, the season after he played with Becht. “Gaining 30 pounds wasn’t easy, but taking the weight off was really easy. I’m naturally a thinner type of person. It just came right off.”

Maintaining a 300-pound frame was a constant struggle for Maneri. One of the ways he kept on the weight was by frequenting his neighborhood Applebee’s to down the “2 for $20” special by himself (that’s two full entrees and an appetizer for $20 if you haven’t seen the commercials).

“I just started eating like a normal person again and the weight came right off,” Maneri said.

Maneri actually signed a decent free agent contract with the Bears last year and started a game before he got cut in midseason.

Entering his fifth year in the league, it’s unclear whether Maneri is in the Bucs’ plans as a tight end, or as an offensive lineman. Perhaps he’s been stuffing his face for the past six weeks to bulk up?

Regardless, Maneri is here to block. Brandon Myers and Tim Wright are not blockers, and the Bucs likely want at least one blocking tight end. A guy with Maneri’s versatility, size and durability might just give him a leg up on Luke Stocker and Tom Crabtree.


14 Responses to “From 68 To 87”

  1. Espo Says:

    Love the versatility, not to mention willingness to adapt for his team.

  2. pablo Says:

    This guy is a scrub he gets get cut whenever a team needs a spot on the roster.

  3. OB Says:

    Joe a lot of people have done extremely well in all walks of life when just given the chance. Not all do, but giving him the chance can’t hurt.

  4. Atlanta Buc Says:

    Think we are done at TE this year as far as the draft is concerned other than rookie free agents after draft; it appears to be a weaker crop, at least at the top. Bucs have too many other pressing offensive needs with only 5 picks (Thank you rockstar). Hoping for the trade down at 1 or 2 depending on if our guys we truly covet are available or not. We desperately need OL, QB, WR, LB, youth/depth on the cheap to build further for a good foundation (See Seahawks). We cannot continue to be big players in Free Agency every year like this year, history shows it is a losing and costly proposition if done in mass. Players who are available, tend to be available for a reason. Just ask the Redskins.

  5. Couch Fan Says:

    All he has to do is stay healthy and he’ll have a leg up, or both, on Stocker.

  6. Oil Derrick Brooks Says:

    Luke Stocker. LOL.

  7. mpmalloy Says:

    Nice read.
    Thanks for that.
    The past 5 years have benn morbid at best
    but I’m hoping the owners finally decided
    to give a crap and the result is L&L.

    We shall see.

  8. Drew Says:

    Camp fodder.

  9. brandonbucfan Says:

    How about the “tackle eligible” play on the goal line?
    He must have some fairly decent hands and at 6-7 might be interesting.

  10. Bucfever40 Says:

    How in the world is Luke Stocker STILL on this team? His dynamics as a TE must be very enticing to the new crew, cause I know his tape sure isn’t. I think we already have an excellent blocking TE in Tom Crabtree, this guy is a mauler with wheels, Maneri might be a good prospect as a blocking TE, but I think Crabtree will be on this roster come opening day.

  11. MR.T Says:

    I think Stockers days are numbered. He’s never come close to fulfilling his potential and I don’t see him on the final roster. I can see Maneri as our main blocking TE especially on goal line situations

  12. BucForLife Says:

    Luke Stocker………………………………WHAT A FREAKING JOKE!

  13. Chef Paul Says:

    I have to struggle to keep a 300 pound frame too. Except its the exact opposite struggle as his. Ironically, one way for me to keep from going over 300 is I only eat one “2 for $20” meal at Applebees. My wife gets to pick the meat off my discarded rib bones. It aint easy, but we all have a struggle with something.

  14. Mr. T Says:

    Saw a picture of this guy from the just concluded mini camp. It was from the right side, he was running and wearing a sleeveless jersey. His right arm looked like it belonged on Mr. America, really ripped. If it was indicative of how the rest of him looks he should be one heck of a blocker.