“I Really Wanted To Get Him Signed”

March 30th, 2015
(Photo courtesy of Tampa Bay Buccaneers)

Lovie Smith weighs in on Luke Stocker.(Photo courtesy of Tampa Bay Buccaneers)

The lone Tampa Bay survivor of the Buccaneers’ 2011 draft, tight end Luke Stocker, represents a great example of Lovie Smith learning about his football team.

Lovie showed up after the MRSA-infected, Josh-Freeman-stained demise of the New Schiano Order and wasn’t quite sure what he had.

In Stocker, he had a real nice guy who is chiseled out of an ancient tight end mold, 6-5, 265 pounds with a decent set of hands. But Stocker had lived with team trainers. Joe’s favorite Stocker injury was the pulled muscle he suffered during summer preparation for Greg Schiano’s notorious training camp conditioning test.

Last year, Stocker made it through the year healthy, and he was a standout on special teams, outside of a terrible missed block against the Rams that led to a blocked field goal in a two-point loss. Stocker also proved versatile, serving as a fullback and looking sound blocking on the O-line.

Stocker was re-signed this offseason, so Joe asked Lovie about Stocker at the NFL Owners meeting in Phoenix last week.

“See, going into last year, I didn’t know a lot about Luke. I knew he looked the part. I knew I liked talking to him,” Lovie said. “But he proved his worth to our football team last year. We used him in a lot of different roles, whether it be, of course, as a backup tight end, a tight end that got more and more reps, and his contribution on the special teams. I really wanted to get him signed. You know, after the season, it was good, and he’ll be with us going forward.”

How bout that. Re-signing Stocker was a priority for Lovie.

In many ways, Stocker was victimized by too-high expectations through his career. The guy was a fourth-round pick. And he’s largely played to his draft status.

23 Responses to ““I Really Wanted To Get Him Signed””

  1. StPeteBucsFan Says:

    Go Vols!

  2. unbelievable Says:

    It was good to see him get through 1 full year healthy. He’s certainly not anything amazing, and doesn’t strike fear into any d-coordinator, but at least he’s versatile when healthy.

    If he stays healthy again moving forward, then this ends up being an okay pick from Dominik.

  3. Tom Edrington Says:

    Rub-a-dub-dub two men in a tub: Stocker and ASJ.

  4. bucco brice Says:

    stocker actually cost more than a 4th. I think they gave a pick away to move up and get him. A 5th too?

  5. unbelievable Says:

    @Bucco we traded a 2012 4th round pick to move up in 2011 and draft him. Hardly worth it so far, but maybe he’ll stay healthy and contribute for the next few years.

  6. bucs4lyfe Says:

    Considering ASJ is going to be a better receiving threat, we have mike evans plus vjack still performing at a starters level, we have Brandon myers so we’re set at tight end and there’s really no one on the roster to unseat him that I know about. him and Brandon myers are pretty much the same guy minus the injuries

  7. ColoradoBuc Says:

    What? No opinions on which quarterback to choose? Where’s Eric when you {don’t} need him?

  8. Johnny Dejay Says:

    Teams like Seattle, Green Bay, and New England get real production out of their 4th round picks, and that’s why they are perennial contenders. Fact is, Luke Stocker is a second-rate player with so much glass in his bones, he oughta be a chandelier. He’s another a-swing and a-miss by the Popstar former GM. There’s nothing to see here, move along…

  9. Sick of the debate Says:

    Really hoping they decide to incorporate the tight end position into this offense. We got burned by TEs enough last year, maybe they have realized the importance of the position and us it as a weapon as well as a blocker.

  10. Buccfan37 Says:

    Lovie knows TE’s. I like Stocker and am glad he is coming back.

  11. nate Says:

    Lol I think football may have passes lovie this guy sucks..

  12. ander Says:

    Try to make him our left tackle since he is such a good blocker

  13. ToesOnTheLine! Says:

    Man I’m just not seeing how the Bucs thought 4th round pick Stocker>Walk on/free agent Tim Wright, but it’s their job to be the professional talent evaluators. I’m hopeful that Stocker can stay healthy.

  14. The Buc Realist Says:

    lovie has no hope of keeping this job long!!!

  15. Tampabaybucfan Says:

    Two fourth rounders for Luke…..let’s see….maybe going forward he will be worth at least one of them…

    A shining bright star on Dominick’s draft resume….

  16. Tom S. Says:

    The only remaining player from the 2011 draft is an injury-prone backup TE that cost two 4th round picks to acquire? Now I get why Joe loves that Dominik guy so much. Great GM, obviously.

  17. BucTrooper Says:

    Dominik traded up for him.

    Dominik also saw Michael Clayton play and said, “he needs 10 mill guaranteed.”






  18. BucsFanInChina Says:


    In that, we should expect any 4th rounder in the future to sit on the bench and occupy a spot on the roster, to then get injured every single year? Nope, no sir, I hope we have higher expectations than that.

  19. Drew Says:

    Koetter schemes to player strengths. I believe the Offense will improve this year.

  20. Mike10 Says:

    Tom and ander haha

  21. Mike10 Says:

    How can Lovie be excited for a fourth rounder who barely plays and is replaceable on the roster, but not with a MLB who plays and has no comparable replacement?

  22. drdneast Says:

    Tom Edrington professes to be a Bucs fan but am I the only one to notice he is usually the first one on the board to post something negative.
    Tim Wright is a pure pass catching TE which is why Lovid didn’t want him. He is actually more of a big WR and since we already have two of those, he was expendable.
    The Pats may feel the same way since they just picked up a TE in FA. Wright’s days may be numbered in New England.
    I was reading about Stocker last night and discovered he played almost virtually injury free as a Vol so he wasn’t know to be brittle.
    Still. one player left from a 2011 draft does show you how horrendous the Dummy’s picks were.

  23. danati74 Says:

    He did prove this past year to be an above average blocking FB/TE. We now have a true FB and Stocker on the roster. I don’t see why some drafts have us picking a FB in this draft. As if we don’t have so many holes on this team. We don’t have enough picks in this draft to fill the holes. Use this guy to block for our running backs. Try to use him as a blocking TE. Hopefully we can get some use out of him now. He looks the part. I hope for 2 forth rounders we can get something out of him besides someone to talk to in the hot tub.