Luke Stocker Knows He Is On Bubble

July 29th, 2014
Bucs TE Luke Stocker is aware he may be a victim of a numbers game.

Bucs TE Luke Stocker is aware he may be a victim of a numbers game.

It doesn’t take a calculus professor at Northwestern to figure out that fan favorite Luke Stocker’s chances of making the Bucs this season is poor. Now in his fourth season with the Bucs, the tight end from Tennessee has caught but 28 passes the past three years in an inconsistent and injury-plagued career.

The writing was on the wall for Stocker’s shelf life when the new Bucs regime signed a free agent tight end, drafted a tight end in the second round, and openly gushed over a rookie free agent wide receiver turned tight end who caught the Bucs if not the NFL by surprise.

Bucs types said little if anything about Stocker and actions speak louder than words. Stocker knows it is do or die time for him to remain in pewter and red. Yesterday after practice, Stocker all but admitted he is working his tail off if not wearing out a rosary in hopes the Bucs keep four tight ends.

“That’s definetly my mindset and that’s my job is to make them keep me,” Stocker said. “That’s my goal right now.”

Bucs coach Lovie Smith has hinted he might use three-tight end sets. If that is the case, it potentially creates a roster spot for a fourth tight end, in this case, Stocker, who said a three-tight end set can throw a defense a curveball.

“It depends on the guys you’ve got,” Stocker said. “If you have the guys to create mismatches, that’s a big advantage of the offense. You can have three tight ends and run a four-wide set if you have the the right guys who you think can make the plays.”

Thus far, Stocker is enjoying playing in Jeff Tedford’s diversified offense and sees every day in practice how it confuses defensive players.

“It is real hard for the defense to get lined up,” Stocker said. “They don’t know who is who. You can see they are all confused. It creates a lot of problems for the defense.”

9 Responses to “Luke Stocker Knows He Is On Bubble”

  1. dick2111 Says:

    Pat Yasinskas over at projected that the Bucs would keep only 3 TEs but 6 RBs (including Jeff Demps). Can’t see it. My bet is that they’ll keep 4 TEs (including Luke Stocker) but only 5 RBs.

    Lovie’s all about ball security. Demps may be fast as lightning, but his ball security and receiving skills aren’t anywhere close to what Lovie expects. He won’t make the team unless those improve dramatically.

    Luke Stocker has the potential to be a beast. Unfortunately for him, he keeps getting dinged up. If he can stay healthy, he’ll be our best blocking TE as a minimum, and should contribute a lot on special teams.

  2. biff barker Says:

    We are light years beyond the dullness of Mike Schula, Greg Olsen and Schiano’s thumbprint on Mike Sullivan’s offense.

    What is really nice is that the Bucs O can show different looks week in and week out.

    Most important is to mitigate the pass rush!!

  3. biff barker Says:

    Tim Wright or Charles Sims is pretty much your 6th receiver. So the 4th TE slot can come from the RB or WR unit.

    You really need at least one blocking TE. If Myers, ASJ and Wright show poorly in camp, they have to find a way to keep Stocker.

  4. louden Says:

    “fan favorite Luke Stocker…” hahahaha that was an good one Joe
    Besides that – yeah, he could survive another year, but maybe better idea to keep all the RB´s + tweener WR/RB tweener Demps.

    Stocker could have an chance as a guy who can catch + block (body wise), lining up at the line in a 3 TE set, then going in motion as FB – and Jenkins split wide out (able to run routes and be great edge setter for quick pitch – toss plays) – Oh my, so damn excited about what Tedford is gonna do with Bucs offense. There so many possibilitys now, compared to the limited minds of last year

  5. OB Says:


    I think most of us are drinking what LOUDEN is and dreaming the same thoughts.

  6. Piratic Says:

    To quote Billy Wells from Gunburner: “It’s gonna be a steep climb, on a fine line.” for #88 to make this roster.

  7. buddha Says:

    Fans get way too angry at players who get injured. I recall not too long ago that many fans had McCoy circled as a bust and the outrage at Carl Nicks is really disgusting. Ask anyone who has ever had MRSA through no fault of their own. Stocker is another prime example. He just hasn’t been healthy. Now it looks like he is and the guy has talent–perhaps our best blocker. Thought here is that Bucs keep four tight ends and Stocker gets serious playing time. We’ll see if he can stay healthy and make plays during the preseason games. He has looked good in practice.

  8. Bucsfanman Says:

    I hope Stocker does well. I agree with Buddha on this one, we are way too harsh on injured players.
    Another perspective may be the use of a TE at fullback, just a thought.

  9. Piratic Says:

    @buddah: When #88 has been on the field, I’ve seen him get owned in one-on-one blocking far too many times, and when he’s been asked to chip, he hasn’t been much better. Unless he is markedly better than he has been, his time here is short, imo.