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alldaway

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#30 : August 15, 2007, 12:42:52 PM

Some teams projected him as a left tackle (Of course to an agent that means a lot *snicker*.  In the end their assesment was wrong though as we use the power of hindsight.  We clearly saw Walker was better as a right tackle then a left tackle.

I stand by what Uncle Stan said.  The Bucs screwed the pooch with Walker.


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#31 : August 15, 2007, 12:47:58 PM

Some teams projected him as a left tackle (Of course to an agent that means a lot *snicker*.  In the end their assesment was wrong though as we use the power of hindsight.  We clearly saw Walker was better as a right tackle then a left tackle.

I stand by what Uncle Stan said.  The Bucs screwed the pooch with Walker.

We'll have to agree to disagree. I just don't see this "we screwed him up by moving him" argument. Is the guy that poor a player that he couldn't move back to his "natural" position and fulfill his potential? Naw, Walker ruined Walker with his attitude and approach after pocketing the big money. The fact that practically to a man his teammates really couldn't stomach the guy says it all.

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#32 : August 15, 2007, 01:16:54 PM

Some teams projected him as a left tackle (Of course to an agent that means a lot *snicker*. In the end their assesment was wrong though as we use the power of hindsight. We clearly saw Walker was better as a right tackle then a left tackle.

I stand by what Uncle Stan said. The Bucs screwed the pooch with Walker.

Quote from: Rick Stroud
At left tackle: Walker is the 1

The Gator slips and the Bucs gladly trade up for Kenyatta Walker, saying he is one of the best in a decade.

TAMPA -- Fingers crossed, holding a four-leaf clover and wearing a horseshoe on their rabbit's foot, the Bucs could not have been luckier in the NFL Draft on Saturday.

Their make-a-wish pick when the day started was Florida tackle Kenyatta Walker.

Not only was he one of the best players available, he would fill the Bucs biggest hole.

But Walker would have to step on a banana peel left on an ice rink to slip far enough for Tampa Bay, which entered the day picking 21st overall.

So the Bucs met him halfway.

Completing perhaps one of the most opportunistic off-seasons in team history, the Bucs traded their first- and second round picks to the Bills to move up seven spots and select Walker 14th overall.

The 6-foot-41/2, 313-pound Walker, who played right tackle at Florida, will switch to left tackle and is projected to be their opening day starter in Dallas on Sept. 9.

More importantly, he could start at left tackle for the next decade.

"In 10 years of evaluating offensive linemen, this is one of the best guys I've ever done," said Bucs offensive line coach Chris Foerster. "He is a tremendous football player.

"He's one of those guys like a (Paul) Gruber. That's a guy who's a 10-year player at the toughest position to play on the offensive line. He's going to do it on a high level, I think. I think he's one of those guys."


The drafting of Walker means the Bucs will not attempt to sign Dolphins free agent Richmond Webb, general manager Rich McKay said.

With their third-round pick, the Bucs added Akron defensive back Dwight Smith, who also returns kickoffs.

"The thing I really liked was his ball skills, which goes along with him being a returner and being used to using his hands," Bucs coach Tony Dungy said. "I think he's going to get a lot of interceptions."

But any choice would be gravy for the Bucs after taking Walker.

And it was so easy, really.

Walker was projected as a top 10 draft pick and arguably was the best tackle. But once the Bengals chose Missouri defensive end Justin Smith fourth overall, the Bucs figured they had a chance.

McKay started working the phones, calling San Francisco vice president Bill Walsh to ask if the 49ers would entertain trading the ninth pick.

But the Niners were trading up two spots with Seattle, so McKay kept working the phones, dialing Carolina, St. Louis and Jacksonville before Buffalo took the deal.

"Most people thought Cincinnati would take an offensive tackle. We felt he had a chance to go there," Dungy said. "When they didn't take him, in between there were seven or eight teams that weren't going to take him because they have left tackles or more pressing needs. You worry that people are thinking the same things you do. Here's a good player, should we move up?"

Walker, who was invited by the NFL to attend the draft in New York, was surprised but delighted to be drafted by Tampa Bay, which plays just 140 miles south of where the redshirt junior starred as a second-team All-American.

"I never thought it in a million years," Walker said. "It never crossed my mind, but I'm very excited. I'm happy to be a Buccaneer, playing for a Super Bowl-contending team. I think things happen for a reason and it shows a lot that they came and got me. I'm really excited, man."

But Walker's enthusiasm did not top the Bucs', who were likely to wind up with Arizona State tight end Todd Heap if they remained at 21.

"If we didn't like the receivers, we probably would've considered the tight ends or moved down," Dungy said.

Walker's next move will be from right to left tackle. But after playing in a passing-dominated offense at Florida, he is skilled in pass protection.

George Hegamin, who backed up veteran Pete Pierson at left tackle, will be a reserve on the right side behind Jerry Wunsch.

"If they move me to center right now, I'd be comfortable, honestly," Walker said. "I'm just ready to play and ready to learn my plays, get a little dirty and have a good year.

"There's a lot of pressure coming to Tampa. There's a lot of expectations and I just feel I'm ready."

Walker is the first offensive lineman taken in the first round by the Bucs since Charles McRae in '91. Foerster said Walker will benefit from playing next to 12-time Pro Bowl guard Randall McDaniel.

"There's only one or two guys athletically that can handle the open end with pass rushers like Simeon Rice," Foerster said. "When you get up there with a silent count, you've got to have athleticism and footwork to keep up with these guys. And there's just not a lot of big, 320-pound guys who can do that. That's what separates him from (Michigan tackle) Jeff Backus. Jeff doesn't have that foot speed that Kenyatta has. "We've got a top pick at left tackle, a perennial Pro Bowler (McDaniel) at left guard, a Pro Bowler (Jeff Christy) at center, we've got a top pick from last year (Cosey Coleman) at right guard and a top of the second-round pick (Jerry Wunsch) at right tackle. You put it together and say, "They ought to be pretty good up front."


With any luck at all.

http://www.sptimes.com/News/042201/Sports/At_left_tackle__Walke.shtml

Quote from: Gary Shelton
Bucs wind up with their fantasy choice

TAMPA -- The names were flashing past Rich McKay. It was as if a slow day had been put on fast forward, forcing McKay to lean forward to relive the moments.

It was late in the afternoon, after the dealing and after the drafting of the first round. The Bucs' draft room was empty. Across the building, McKay sat in his office, watching the names of the teams and their players as they crawled across the bottom of his television screen.

Okay, Rich. Imagine a gun to your head.

Now answer: Which of those names would you rather have than Kenyatta Walker?

The list began again, and McKay watched the names stream by. "Not him, not him," he said. "We like that guy. Not him. Not him. He can play. Didn't like him. Not him."

McKay sat back. He shrugged. He smiled.

"There were two guys, maybe three, whose grades were up there with Kenyatta's," McKay said. "But we didn't have a need at their positions."

This is where you start with Kenyatta Walker, Buccaneer. You start with the knowledge that the Bucs are absolutely, unquestionably, head over heels in love with the kid. You start with the appreciation of how much they appreciated him.

And then you hope they were right.

The Bucs swung for the fences. They spent their first-round pick, and their second, to draft Walker. And they still think they got a bargain. If you believe what the Bucs believe, they picked a player with nice ability, nifty agility and a nasty attitude. For the next decade, no applications are being accepted for the job of left tackle.

"This guy," said director of college scouting Tim Ruskell, "can be a Gruber."

Does that give you an idea? If not, consider this:

The Bucs liked Walker better than Leonard Davis, the No. 2 pick.

They liked Walker better than Chris Samuels, the No. 3 pick in last year's draft. They liked Walker better than, well, just about anyone.


Okay, let's be honest. The Bucs would have written sonnets to whomever they picked Saturday, even if they had picked Charles McRae all over again. Teams always love their pick, and they are always amazed to find them still on the board.

How, then, do you know the Bucs really, really loved Walker?

Well, you could have joined offensive coordinator Clyde Christensen early Saturday afternoon. It was 12:30, the draft was just under way, and Christensen was talking about the draft.

"Kenyatta Walker," he said in that faraway voice of the dreamer. "That's our dream pick. If we could end up with that guy . . ."

At the time, Walker seemed like an unreachable star. He was going to go in the top 10, if not the top four. When you're drafting 21st, that's too far to even imagine.

How much did the Bucs think of Walker? The offensive coaches put together their own evaluations of the top athletes. They had Michael Vick first. They had Walker second. If you factored in need, they had Walker first.

"I've been evaluating players for 10 years, and he's one of the best I've ever seen," line coach Chris Foerster said.

Great size will get a man drafted as a tackle, but to be a great player requires more. Teams rank on athleticism, temperament, production and the way he uses his hands. Walker got a five on all counts. Give him a very good four on intelligence. It's a pretty good package.

And so it was that the Bucs agreed on two things. First, Walker was going to be a great player. Second, he was going to do so somewhere else. No one really thought the team had a shot at Walker. Why should they?

But when the Cincinnati Bengals passed in favor of Justin Smith with the fourth selection, something tickled in the back of McKay's head. Maybe, he thought. Just maybe. The Bengals chose to pass on Walker because he has played right tackle, and they wanted a left tackle. The Bucs, however, weren't concerned. In their view, Walker had pretty much played left tackle on the right side at Florida. In other words, he had played in space, without a tight end next to him. He had done a lot of pass-blocking. And when the team worked him at left tackle, Walker looked comfortable.


When Walker got past New England at No. 6, McKay began to dial the phone. He called Bill Walsh, who had the ninth pick. "I'd love to do business," Walsh said, "but we just traded up to No. 7."

From previous conversations, McKay knew Seattle and Green Bay wouldn't deal. Carolina was a possibility, but not once Dan Morgan slipped that far. St. Louis was determined to stay put and draft defensive players. Jacksonville threw a bit of fear into McKay, who thought the Jags could take Walker and use him as a bookend with Tony Boselli. But the Jaguars took Marcus Stroud.

That left Buffalo, which was looking for a cornerback. Because no corners had been taken, the Bills could afford to move back and still get the player they wanted. The Bucs offered their first, a third and a fourth. The Bills demanded the first and second.

A high price? Maybe. But consider this. Between 14 and 21, a lot of players the Bucs liked -- Rod Gardner, Santana Moss, Jeff Backus -- were taken. That would have left the Bucs taking Arizona State tight end Todd Heap in the first round and a leftover lineman -- say, Mike Gandy -- in the second.

So there is your trade. The Bucs shipped Heap and Gandy for the player they liked most in the draft.

Again, if the grades were right, it was a bargain.

"This one didn't take a lot of smarts," coach Tony Dungy said. "We got lucky."

So go ahead. Imagine him as a rock. Picture him opening holes and smothering pass rushers. Envision him protecting the blind side of Bucs quarterbacks for a decade. Believe that he will be as good as the team that dared to fantasize.

Go on, dream.

For Kenyatta Walker, for the Bucs, a dream is where it all began.

http://www.sptimes.com/News/042201/news_pf/Columns/Bucs_wind_up_with_the.shtml

FRG is the most logical poster on this board.  You guys just don\'t like where the logical conclusions take you.

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#33 : August 15, 2007, 01:23:08 PM

I agree with Uncle Stan. The switch messed him up beyond repair.

I can't disagree more. It's plain dumb to think a talented player is going to get "messed up" because he has to play one end of the line and then another. Most college players have played multiple positions, and some have switched from offense to defense and vice versa, and some have even played BOTH WAYS.

I played end. I played tackle. I stood up and played LB. Hell, I played OG and even FB.

No, I'm sorry. "The switch messed him up" is an excuse, and a very poor one at that.


exactly. 


alldaway

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#34 : August 15, 2007, 01:23:46 PM

Christiensen and Foerster...they bring back some memories.   [banghead] [banghead] [banghead]

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#35 : August 15, 2007, 01:39:03 PM

Christiensen and Foerster...they bring back some memories.   [banghead] [banghead] [banghead]
Say what you will about those two but the Bucs scored more points in 2000 than any Gruden team scored in five seasons.

FRG is the most logical poster on this board.  You guys just don\'t like where the logical conclusions take you.

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#36 : August 15, 2007, 01:42:42 PM

FRG:

Scary links you posted. KW = Paul Gruber, huh?

alldaway

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#37 : August 15, 2007, 01:46:27 PM

Quote
Say what you will about those two but the Bucs scored more points in 2000 than any Gruden team scored in five seasons

Steckel is the one who should be credited for the 2000 (not those two knuckleheads) season.  He was the OC and a shame that Dungy let a good one go too.
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