The Former Bubble Player Known As “Honcho”

August 12th, 2018

Versatile, humble.

As Joe wrote yesterday, it seems Bucs coach Dirk Koetter has already decided one backup is returning to the team for the 2018 season. That would be former free agent signee and practice squad player, tight end/fullback Alan Cross.

For the past two years, Cross has bounced off the roster, on the roster. Off the practice squad, on the 53-man roster. So it is a bit of a stunner that Koetter, in early August, deemed Cross a made man this early.

Uesterday Joe asked Cross what it meant to him that his coach, so early in the roster evaluation process, publicly stated he was not a bubble player.

“I’ve had that mentality ever since I got to college — I walked on as a long-snapper,” Cross said. “I always feel like I have to make the team, regardless of what coach says. Obviously it makes you feel good, but I’m still here to make the team in my opinion.”

Pretty good attitude to have. And Joe spoke with left tackle Donovan Smith yesterday who attributed Cross’ success to that same mentality.

Cross, after being jerked off the roster so many times, could have said, the hell with it, and signed with another team. Like a bulldog, Cross keeps coming back for more.

“That’s a compliment to who he is as a worker and a guy,” Smith said. “He comes in here, works as hard as he does and do the things that the coaches ask him, that’s a great thing and hats off to [Cross].

“‘Honcho’ is a special guy. If you ever need a laugh or someone to pick you up, he’s the guy to go to.”

Cross’ nickname given to him by his teammates, “Honcho,” is in reference to the “Mike Honcho” character in Talladega Nights who posed in “Playgirl.”

Make no mistake, Cross knows he’s way down the food chain from Cam Brate and O.J. Howard. But he believes the fact that he sort of fills multiple spots on the roster: Ability to play two (or more?) positions as a backup helps with job security.

“That’s the main reason why I’m still here,” Cross said. “That’s the biggest reason why I made it my rookie year, because of special teams. Being able to do more positions on every special team is better, and it will benefit you.

“That’s what I try to tell the young guys that are coming in. Try to learn as much as you can, be a sponge, soak up as much as you can. While the coach is teaching one person, even though it’s not your position, just learn it. You never know.”

Koetter added that guys like Cross are “worth their weight in gold.”

Joe is confident this post will enrage T-Max and his alias.

23 Responses to “The Former Bubble Player Known As “Honcho””

  1. Harry in Costa Rica Says:

    We need McCoy, Kwon, David, whoever is the opposite CB from Grimes, etc, to have this attitude, every minute of every single practice, every single game. Just imagine…

  2. Tampabaybucfan Says:

    Well, that can’t be good news for Austin Johnson….perhaps Auclair or other UDFA TEs…..It could also be bad news for players at other positions like RB, WR, CB, LB…..especially those who are mainly ST players….

    I’m surprised that Koetter would be so definitive this early…

  3. Dooshlarue Says:

    Wow tmax/reality-biotch being personally called out by Joe.
    You’ve finally made it Biotch!
    Take a bow…

  4. Broy34 Says:

    Wow I’ve been staying away from the comment section. Seems tmax has gotten even more annoying if the joes mention him in an article

  5. SB Says:

    “Joe is confident this post will enrage T-Max and his alias.”

    LOVIN’ It!. Thanks for the first laugh of the day Joe!

  6. Buccaneer Bonzai Says:

    “Joe is confident this post will enrage T-Max and his alias.”

    LOL! Reality is a Beotch, your cover is blown, lol.

  7. OneBuc55 Says:

    Gotta love the Underdog mentality…

  8. Buccaneer Bonzai Says:

    Two spots available at tight end.

    Koetter has been trying to find a good fullback for years…so long that some fans think he doesn’t want one. But he has said he does multiple times.

    Cross has the potential to be a good one. In fact, Johnson and Auclair have that potential as well. Brate and OJ fit the mold of TE that Koetter wants. The other guys obviously do not fit those molds…they fit the fullback mold.

    A Lorenzo Neal type of fullback would explode the running game. An Alstott type would put fear in defenses. I would settle for either one

  9. Sumo Says:

    This team NEEDS a fullback but we’ll never see one play with Dirk coaching the team. Its a big mistake.

  10. Pickgrin Says:

    “T-Max and his alias”

    Since you finally acknowledge the obvious publicly Joe – it begs the question – Why is he still here???

  11. Buccfan37 Says:

    Tmax just points out what ain’t peaches and cream, or peachy and keen. I await his insight on Bucs as winners.

  12. Buccfan37 Says:

    Tmax adds oomph to JBF.

  13. Buccfan37 Says:

    Hey where you at tmax? Your fans are restless.

  14. Dooshlarue Says:


    Clicks = $$$

    Joe ain’t no dummy.

  15. Buccfan37 Says:

    So the idea is to trash tmax, uh tmax has been a Buc bummer.

  16. Steve Munoz Says:

    hahahaha mike hancho these guys are hilarious

  17. Steve Munoz Says:

    thanks for the link Joes!

  18. DB55 Says:

    DB55 Says:
    August 20th, 2017 at 9:59 pm
    Alan Cross = team MVP. You heard it here first.

  19. Lunchbox Says:

    I love stories like this, kind of reminds me of Earnest Graham; a guy that was a hanger-on that finally stuck (for a while). Those hard work stories need to be seen by the guys whose spots on the team are assured as well. Also love the Mike Honcho reference lol. BTW, I love the idea of Cross filling in the FB spot, if he is really adept at it, he’d have the inside track. If he could block like Lolo Neal, and run like Alstott, that would be awesome. Probably asking for a bit too much with that last bit though, I’d settle for him being a punishing blocker.

  20. Lunchbox Says:

    And regarding Tmax/Beotch- I couldn’t care less if he posted on here or not, but like it or not, for fans of this site, he’s wormed his way into being part of the JBF culture, even if its for being a Debbie Downer all the time. It is what it is.

  21. SOEbuc Says:

    Before the other night I’d only seen him playing a blocking FB in the red zone and he was very good. He’s had a couple TDs in his days with the Bucs. Always liked his play and glad he’s got his spot this year. Unless they’re using Vea, put Cross as the FB in front of Peyton inside the ten and you gotta good chance of gaining yards or a TD. No one in the NFL uses FB for some reason anymore, but the A-Train could never be forgotten by Bucs fans.

  22. BigMacAttack Says:

    He reminds me a little of Heath Evans sand D^*k pics. Clutch guy.

  23. DavidBigBucsFan99 Says:

    I said before he needed more throws because he makes some great ones and now welcome back Koetter names him to the team already. Nostradamus I’m not