Lovie’s Advice To Page: “Stay Ready”

October 18th, 2014

eric page2Spoiled by years with Devin Hester, it’s understandable Lovie Smith might be soured by watching a mortal return man.

Lovie keeps saying how the Bucs need a greater spark from their return game, though not naming rookie Solomon Patton. And now Eric Page returned off the street last week.

Despite re-signing Page last winter, Lovie was down on Page since the spring, and the guy who was the 13th best full-time NFL punt returner last season was cut late in the preseason.

So why is he back on the Bucs’ practice squad?

It makes Joe wonder whether Page will get another shot, as Lovie angles to find players that can snap the Bucs out of their collective coma.

Joe caught up to Page a few days ago to talk about his recent journey:

JoeBucsFan.com: So you got cut by the Bucs, what did you do for the past six weeks?

Eric Page: I went back to my home town of Toledo and just working out there. Spent time with some family and just working out, playing basketball, running, going to the gym, all I could do without being in football shape.

Joe: Among full-time punt returners, you were ranked 13th in the league last year. So did it shock you to be unemployed after a pretty good first season on the field?

Page: No, it didn’t shock me because that’s how the league is. You have to go out and prove yourself every day, and, you know, that’s what I’m trying to do now and that’s how I approached my time off [in Toledo]. Luckily I got a second chance. I’m looking at that to do what I do best.

Joe: Did the Bucs keep in touch with you after you were cut. I know sometimes they let players go  and tell them they might get a quick call back.

Page: When Lovie and I talked about me getting released, he just said, ‘Be ready. Stay ready. You never know what we’ll do, and you’re going to get picked up by somebody. Stay ready and stay in football shape.” My [Bucs] receivers coach gave me the same kind of message. He was confident for me.

Joe: Did you have any tryouts or pursue any other opportunities?

Page: Yeah, I had another tryout. I was thinking about playing in Canada for a little and was working with [my agent] and talking to some of the teams there. But I’m just happy to be here again.

Joe: After you got cut, did you hear any words of encouragement from Greg Schiano or Mark Dominik, or any of your old coaches here?

Page: No, I haven’t talked to them or anything. No texts or anything I can remember, just my high school coaches.

Joe’s not advocating for Page, but Joe is confident Lovie will be looking for any upgrade he can find at positions where he doesn’t have much invested. An undrafted rookie free agent, Patton might not get all season to leave Lovie grinning at his return game.

15 Responses to “Lovie’s Advice To Page: “Stay Ready””

  1. Soggy Says:

    If lovie cut him he must be good, Murphy comes to mind..

  2. port richey george Says:

    Solomon patton’s risk taking helped him to win the job.
    perhaps lovie is thinking of using patton or page more
    as wide receivers.

  3. DB55 Says:

    How does he not sign Hester? Just mind boggling. Then kicks him the ball three times, I thought everyone in the NFL knows not to kick the ball to Hester or Harvin for that matter. Lovie is dazed and confused, every decision he’s made is a perfect example of how dazed he is.

  4. Casual Observer Says:

    Soggy – Was thinking the same thing.

  5. Soggy Says:

    @DB55, Really how does lovie not bring in hester when he had the chance, You know hester wanted to be so much more than just a return man, I think lovie was not buying into that and hester SO rubbed it in his face in that last falcons game, I call hester the one man recking ball.. falcons got him for 3 mil and he is lovie’s friend.. Wow.. Maybe I should call lovie the one buc recking ball?

  6. poorglennon Says:

    How about Percy Harvin for a mid round pick. No money……baaaa release our punter or McCown. For some cash

  7. Soggy Says:

    @Casual Observer, lol, beat me to it, I guess people do pay attention on this site..lol

  8. Willie D Says:

    what do you mean he banked on McCown as QB. I actually think Lovie is a good coach I just think GM football operations might not be his thing. I don’t think he has evaluated talent that great. Page was set up to take off this year but they cut him for unproven rookie who had case of fumbles in camp. go back and look at camp reports Glennon and Page always hooking up, put him in there and let them do their thing.

  9. DB55 Says:


    Seems kinda obvious right? Take the best return man in the game for 3m or roll with two nobodies w 0 td returns combined. Considering your game plan calls for points from the ST unit you’d think that decision would be a no brainer. But what do I know. GO JOE! Knowing is half the battle!

  10. Owlykat Says:

    Lovie, put Licht to work and tell him to get Spurlock back here. He holds all our Special Team Records for Touchdowns and he still is younger than Hester who torched us in the Atlanta Game. Spurlock also made a very decent backup WR here too and he is tall and will fit in well with our Duncaneers. Oh, and while you have Licht busy for a change, tell him to trade for Max Bullogh (and watch how he shut down Ohio State last year from his MLB position.). That is the Urlacher Clone you have been badly missing this year. Remember I warned you that Foster was too slow to be a Tampa 2 MLB and he would be a Super SLB. I also warned you his losing weight would result in his being run over by the other team’s RBs. I know you listened to Hardy instead but he was dead wrong and it caused a blow out by the Ravens. You can turn this team around. Look at what Dallas has done on Defense this year and how well they did taking OL with higher picks, unlike the foolishness of just taking the best player available like Licht believes and he has left you with a disfunctional OL as a result. Wiseup Lovie.

  11. Owlykat Says:

    Oh Soggy, I made it very clear in my posts what a good receiver Murphy was to the point I said we did not have to waste our first pick on a WR. We could have put Murphy there or in the slot. (I wanted us to draft Carr–who just about beat the 49ers this year as starting QB for the Raiders of all teams). We also had Wright at that time with better hands than our 1st round pick, same size and speed too. But L&L thought they knew better and cut Murphy and wasted their first pick by not getting a Franchise QB. We are now paying the price for their mistakes but at least they finally brought Murphy back!

  12. BucsFanceSince89 Says:

    I read through another website that the Seahawks did contact the Bucs about Harvin. Don’t know how that true that is but if it is, wow! WT Fudge are we thinking. And yes, some can argue he’s hurt all the time, Rusell Wilson is not as effective with Percy on the field but still teams plan for him and he’s a threat on the field. I don’t know what to think. What if is all I hear these days.SMH

  13. Hawaiian Buc Says:

    Do we even need a good punt returner? We have to make the other team punt first, don’t we? That doesn’t happen too often.

  14. PanthersSuck! Says:

    Why do we need a punt returner?

  15. RustyRhinos Says:

    “Do we even need a good punt returner? We have to make the other team punt first, don’t we? That doesn’t happen too often”

    Thanks Hawiian Buc
    I am sadly laughing at this true statement… the laughter I am grateful for. It has been a long 68 hour week…