One Last Chance

August 31st, 2017

Last shot or resume builder?

Many Tampa Bay players, when they leave Den of Depression field tonight, will never step foot in the Bucs’ locker room again.

They’ll return to jobs they had, as they mull their future: beer truck drivers, mattress delivery men, insurance claims adjusters, history teachers, bouncers, assistant managers at Applebee’s… you know the drill.

One bubble guy is Derel Walker, the former CFL legend. Walker is a like quite a few other guys on the bubble, hoping his special teams work pays off.

It will be a weird night for Walker. He knows he’s as much trying to play well to get a roster spot with the Bucs as he is trying out for other teams in case the Bucs wave goodbye.

“I just look at it as another opportunity,” Walker said. “So come out there and make the most every opportunity that comes my way. Ge out there and get my blood flowing and run around.”

While Walker would love if his receiver skills were good enough to make the Bucs, but he knows he will have to shine on special teams. Winning Bucs coach Dirk Koetter has made it clear bubble guys excelling at special teams have an edge.

“Every opportunity, whether it is offense or special teams-wise, I want to go out there and put out good film for myself,” Walker said. “I’m looking forward to this season. I willing to man up and step up to that task [at any special teams spot]. It goes back to opportunity: Make the most of the opportunity, things will take care of themselves.”

And if the Bucs cut him, well, Walker knows there are 31 other teams that might need his help.

“At the end of the day, that’s all you want, to have a job doing what you love,” Walker said. “I am blessed and thankful to be here and have this opportunity and still play this beautiful game I’ve played since I was a child.”

And Walker admits it’s hard not to think of home, Texas.

Houston and the southeastern part of the state have been ravaged by Hurricane Harvey. While Walker’s immediately family is three hours away, he said, he does have family and friends in the Houston area directly affected by the storm. Walker played at Texas A&M and a lot of his former teammates are from Houston, he said. Walker said he spends a lot of his offseason time in Houston either working out or planning for life after football.

“I’m connected to a lot of people there,” Walker said. “We will find a way to fight through it. Texans are proud people. It might take a while, but we will find a way.”

9 Responses to “One Last Chance”

  1. BigHogHaynes Says:

    I can’t even begin to understand why MEvans or DJackson even played in a preseason game, the reps should have been given to all these bubble receivers so we could better determine who would be the better fit! We know what Hump brings to the table, and clearly Godwin comes in pro ready (no coaching up needed)! Walker, Reedy, Bobo, Die your on the clock tonite! P.S. I think Sims should have been moved to the Reciever Core!

  2. Tnew Says:

    I don’t say this much but when I have the opportunity. 110% correct big hog
    The thought of anything happening to these guys. Sims has been split wide more than in the past. I would rather him be our bubble screen guy than Hump. I think the fight is between Huff, Dye and Reedy for two of the last 3 spots. Walker is out unless he does something crazy amazing.

  3. Casey Morgan Says:

    Tnew Says- I agree it’s between Huff, Dye, an Reedy. And Huff will be the odd man out. Reedy has punt return abilities…

  4. Tampabaybucfan Says:

    Surely some of these college grads will attain better Jobs than Joe suggests…at least with their scholarships they don’t have student loans.

  5. stpetebucsfan Says:

    First off…thoughts and prayers to Walkers family and friends in Texas. Hard to watch the highlights coming out of the storm and not be moved. It’s obviously a tragic and sad event but the spirit of the folks fighting through this disaster has been inspirational to me. Most of the rescues were done by neighbors on everything from jet skis to kayaks and canoes. And the first responders have also been heroic in their efforts….just hope they get a break in the weather and the water starts to recede.

    I think Joe’s comments about what these guys are going to be doing if they don’t make it are for entertainment purposes ala HK. Great drama but many of these guys will be back in the gym working out trying to be ready for that next chance. Some could end up in the CFL…Arena football…hard to give up what you love.

  6. Pistol Pete Says:

    Reedy looked very fast against the Browns…maybe it was just me, but dude looked like a blur…

  7. CautiousOptimism Says:

    This guy was Bonzai’s favorite subject of the offseason. Would love to hear how he thinks things are going for Walker?

  8. unbelievable Says:

    Agreed on it being between reedy, huff, and dye. Walker just hasn’t shown that much, and bobo Wilson clearly does not belong in the NFL.

  9. Upstate Stickcarrier Says:

    @BigHog & TNew – Sims is too good as a 3rd down back. He is also our best blocker at RB; however, he has the best hands in that RB room which would make him a good WR. 3rd Down Back – That is his role and he does it really well, IMO.

    @Pistol Pete – Agreed on Reedy. He should be #5 solidly as he was playing very fast. The rest of the WRs are fighting for #6 (if the Bucs keep 6) and to be called back as a PS guy.