Possible WR Shake Up Is Not Bad News

August 13th, 2015
"America's Quarterback" will not see his career implode if he does not have WR Louis Murphy as a slot man.

“America’s Quarterback” will not see his career implode if he does not have Louis Murphy as a slot man.

It pays to talk to folks and actually watch training camp practices, even though, like players, scribes like Joe are starting to get worn out.

Now through at least the next three weeks, you will see many prognostications about who will be where on depth charts, even though a depth chart before the first preseason game is about as useful as a snowblower in the Florida Keys.

Take the stab that good guy Gregg Rosenthal of NFL.com took in analyzing the Bucs’ wide receiver corps.

Louis Murphy missed the first 11 days of camp. He was the favorite to be the slot receiver. Guys like Kenny Bell, Rannell Hall and second-year pro Robert Herron are now contenders for the job. This is not good news for Winston.

First of all, “America’s Quarterback,” Bucs signal-caller Jameis Winston, has much bigger concerns than slot receiver.

Not sure why Rosenthal thinks so much of Louis Murphy. No offense to Murphy, but he is a journeyman the rotten Raiders didn’t even want. And, yes, the Bucs did cut Murphy just before the regular season last year only to bring him back weeks later.

Murphy made a nice play to help the Bucs beat the Steelers on the road last year and had a 113-yard receiving day in Chicago. Aside from that, Murphy’s season was rather forgettable, and if you can’t get noticed outside of a game and one quarter on a 2-14 team, Joe doesn’t know what more to add.

There is genuine excitement about rookie, fifth-round pick Kenny Bell, both from the Bucs as well as from fans who have watched him at training camp. He has much more upside than Murphy, and Joe thinks we have just about seen Murphy’s upside, if he hasn’t already hit that ceiling.

No, Jameis’ career will not crumble if Murphy is not his slot receiver. One could argue it is bad news for Jameis if Murphy is his slot receiver.

If you would like to hear what Murphy has to say about returning to practice this week, then click the arrow below. Audio courtesy of Joe’s friends at WDAE-AM 620.

24 Responses to “Possible WR Shake Up Is Not Bad News”

  1. pick6 Says:

    i’m really rooting for louis murphy – seems like a good guy who is really grateful to be a buc – but if it turns our 2 draft picks and a guy like rannell hall are all going to do more for the offense and Special Teams, i’m totally fine with rooting for him to succeed on another roster. at some point shipping a WR to a needy team like the Jags for a 6th or 7th round pick seems like a better idea than just cutting a guy.

  2. America's D-Bag Says:

    never use “blow” and Key West in the same article. sick bast@rd!

  3. Danati74 Says:

    I like Murphy, he is much bigger than most of the other slot guys. We could use him on the outside and in. Same could be said for Bell. We really are deep at receiver. We will probably keep some receivers we didnt expect to keep and cut sone we dont expect to see cut. Hide some on our practice squad. I cant wait to see what they can all do starting with Saturday.

  4. Nole on Sat.-Bucc on Sun. Says:

    I mean some of these folks talk as if you have to have an all pro at every position in order to compete in this league. I happen to know better though.

  5. mike Says:

    I like murphy but i am a biased gator. He has the look and feel of a good #2 wr and he will have a few games like he produces like a #1, but it’s the next 4 or 5 games where he has no catches and a few drops that make him what he is… just another guy. Hopefully year 2 of robert Heron will look good.

  6. Bird Says:

    I agree totally. Kenny bell needs some reps. And don’t count out Rannell -my UCF alumni. Practice is one thing so I want to see how they perform in games

  7. Dick2111 Says:

    @Joe … “One could argue it is bad news for Jameis if Murphy is his slot receiver.”

    Kinda harsh Joe. I get that Murph and EDS and about a dozen others aren’t your favorites, but you seem to enjoy blowing things out of proportion in some cases.

    When Murph was cut last season, he was hurt. Soon as he was OK again, he was brought back. Hmmm, wonder if there’s any correlation there. He may not be an All-Pro receiver, but he’s got a proven track record of being pretty dependable in clutch situations (a lot like Ike Hilliard was I think). I don’t think that’d be ‘bad news for Jameis’ at all.

    And as far as EDS goes, I never read anywhere that he said anything unkind or negative about Jameis. I personally think Ali Marpet will be great one day, maybe at center even. But I don’t think a rookie center and a rookie QB would be a real good combo at this point. EDS seems to be doing a good job of communicating with both the OLine and Jameis, and seems to hold his own blocking most of the time.

    I understand that writers need to get folks riled up from time-to-time to improve readership, but Murph and Herron and Bell and the others vying for slot WR duty will ultimately stake their claim to the position through their performance on the field. Let the best man win. The coaches are to ones who decide who that is. If the decide ‘correctly’ it’ll be reflected in wins and everyone will be happy. If they don’t, fans will let them know. We’ve gotten pretty good at that over the years.

  8. Tampabaybucfan Says:

    Murphy creates matchup problems at 6’3″ especially when Evans an Jackson are in.

    I like Murphy and the last time I checked we will have more than 3 WRs on the roster…..there is room for at least 3 of these 4…….Bell, Clay, Sheperd & Hall….perhaps all 4.

  9. Tiny Tim Says:

    The bucs are not a Louis Murphy away from the superbowl. So if they decide the other WRs are better or better in the long run, then I will support it.

  10. mac Says:

    I hope we are able to find a better receiver to replace Murphy… He is below average at best… One of the young guys need to step up…

  11. Joe Says:

    Mike hit the nail on the head.

  12. Abdominal Snowman Says:

    I don’t know if I’m just reading this differently but when I read it I think he’s saying it probably isn’t a good thing that there’s no clear cut winner. Granted competition will bring out the best- cream rises to the top- yada yada, but with all these different players getting snaps that means much more limited reps and consequently less chemistry with Jameis. That’s what I took from Rosenthal’s words.

  13. Fsuking Says:

    Murphy sucks. The last time he was even close to starting was 2009. When he retires/gets cut, the most important thing he will have ever done is catch a rare JaMarcus Russell TD pass.

  14. Mo_Downs Says:

    Being “deep” at WR is rather misleading given that at this time of year every roster in the entire NFL is “deep” with WR’s. Beyond Jackson, Evans and Murphy NONE of these 1st NFL training camp “Superstars” have faced a 3rd and long against a professional secondary when it counts. We really don’t know yet who’s “in-game clutch” and who’s an “in-practice-only” superstar.

    Most NFL fans know that the league is filled with 4.4 WR’s who can’t get off the LOS, can’t battle through in-route holding, can’t win a jump ball, can’t run the right route, can’t catch a lob…in traffic and refuse to play special teams. Lets see who shows up on Saturday against the Vikings and then we’ll have a few (very few) answers about how deep we really are at WR.

    Reality Check:

    I’d feel much better if we were talking about how deep we are with proven talent on the OL.


    What good is it to be deep with talent at WR if the QB spends the majority of the game on the ground?

    Go Bucs…!!!’

  15. DavidbigBucsFan Says:

    We’ve been over run by too many ‘ just some other guys ‘ for years. It’s time we have some who can make himself noticed by other teams that they have to include him in their game plan for VJax and Mikezilla. Someone who can make a name for himself.

  16. Pickgrin Says:

    Murphy has experience which Lovie tends to prefer.

    But in addition to Bell and Clay who will both make the team you have UDFAs Ranell Hall and Donte Dye making legitimate cases as to why they should be retained on the final roster. Then there’s speedy Herron who L&L drafted last year and is doing pretty well so far in camp and also Tavarres King who they like and who got some game experience last year. Then of course there is Russell Shepard who you basically have to find a roster spot for because he is so valuable on your special teams.

    Some very tough decisions ahead regarding which receivers to keep.

    Vjax, Evans, Bell and Clay are guaranteed roster spots IMO. That leaves 2 additional spots as teams rarely carry more than 6 receivers on the 53 man roster. You need a guy like Russell Shepard because he is so damn good at special teams and special teams cannot be ignored in favor of your 6th receiver. So that leaves only 1 roster spot available to choose between Murphy, Herron, King, Hall and Dye. And that’s not even taking into account Adam Humphries who has looked pretty good as well.

    It will not be easy to do much “stashing” of receivers on the practice squad IMO as a # of these receivers we release and expose to waivers are going to get picked up and will be playing for other teams. We can only hope the Bucs can find a couple more good OLine prospects this same way to help balance things out.

  17. JJJ Says:

    Murphy and Bell will be solid as 3/4 wr options. I think they both end up with 500 yards or so.
    Who starts off with more snaps as the #3 isn’t all that important.

  18. Getaclue Says:

    This is a good problem we sure won’t be seeing Eric page or sky Dawson running routes again

  19. FuNkYxMuNkEy Says:

    Bell is a stud. Murphy is OK but nothing special. Bell dominated games n college and as our 3rd WR he will have single coverage regularly. He will make some big plays for us if given the chance and he catches everything. He will be our #2 WR once V Jax is gone. Just wait

  20. Stanglassman Says:

    WR cuts will come down to whither the Bucs want Shepard’s special team play over Hall or if they want to keep Shepard & Hall than Murphy will be the odd man out. If Hall can be a good special team gunner than he will def make this team over Shepard. My guess is that they will cut Murph because he maybe available to pick up mid season if injuries occur. Hall won’t stick on the P.S. some other team will activate him to their roster.

    4. Clay (return/S.T.)
    5. Hall (*or Murphy)
    6. Shepard (Gunner/S.T.) (Or Murphy)

  21. LakelandBuc Says:

    Louis Murphy and Russell Shepard might get beat out by Rannell Hall and Robert Herron.

  22. MadMax Says:

    Kenny Bell and Adam Humphries are who should be focused most on.

  23. MadMax Says:

    Guys, you’ll eventually see why I like Humphries so much….just like Marpet.

  24. Nick2 Says:

    This is typical dribble from a guy who has not watched a Buc practice and has not done any research on our group of receivers. Heck Hall out of UCF looks pretty good and we all know UCF’s history of NFL receivers is pretty decent. I am banking on Kenny Bell as the slot guy especially with his speed.