Bucs DE Jimmy Wilkerson said he wants to re-sign with the Bucs. After tearing an ACL vs. the Saints, Wilkerson said he thinks he'll be ready to play again in training camp. A few Bucs missed practice on Wednesday, and Sunday's game won't be blacked out. Plus head coach Raheem Morris comments on the speed of the defense.
Buccaneers defensive end Jimmy Wilkerson would like to extend his stay in Tampa Bay. Wilkerson had his season end in New Orleans after tearing an ACL in his left knee. The Oklahoma product is a free agent next March after playing two seasons with the Bucs.
"I feel like I've always said that I envision myself being here," Wilkerson said. "I still envision myself as a Buccaneer. They are going to continue to talk. If it happens it happens but if it doesn't just move on from there. I'd like to be a Buc."
Wilkerson's agent has had some talks with Tampa Bay general manager Mark Dominik about a new contract, but that was before he suffered his injury against the Saints. By injuring his knee late in the season, the timetable for him to play in 2010 is in question.
"Right now I think I'll be back around training camp," Wilkerson said. "If my rehab and surgery goes the way we want it to go it should be around that time."
Wilkerson leads Tampa Bay's defensive linemen with 66 tackles and is second on the team in sacks with six. In 2008 as a backup, Wilkerson had five sacks, two tackles for a loss, and one forced fumble.
"This is my first big injury," Wilkerson said. "The only injury I've ever had was my rookie year I had a bursa sac removed."
In practice on Wednesday Tim Crowder took Wilkerson's place as the starting left defensive end. Defensive ends Kyle Moore and Michael Bennett will backup and rotate in the game with Crowder and starting right defensive end Stylez G. White. Moore figures to be the third defensive end in the rotation. Head coach Raheem Morris likes the progress he's seen from the rookie from USC.
"He's big. He's intimidating. He's physical, and he looks like a guy," Morris said. "He's getting better and better every week. He's getting better and better with his mental preparation, and with his details. He's getting better and better as a character football player. He's one of the guys now that comes to the sideline and tells you what he did wrong, that's always encouraging and a positive. I see nothing but positives with Kyle, his coaches, and what they've been able to do. As a rookie defensive lineman it is tough to get going. It is hard to go into that Roy Miller role and jump right into those 30 snaps. He wasn't right away, but now he is."SUNDAY WON'T BE BLACKED OUT
The Buccaneers will finish the 2009 season without a single game being blacked out in the Tampa Bay area. This Sunday's game against the Atlanta Falcons will not be blacked out, but there are still tickets available for purchase.
Running back Derrick Ward (knee) and left guard Jeremy Zuttah (toe) did not practice. Defensive tackle Miller (hamstring) and tight end Kellen Winslow (knee) were limited in practice. Morris believes that Ward will be able to play against the Falcons on Sunday.
"[Ward] tweaked his knee a little bit on Sunday," Morris said. "He didn't go back in the game but he was on the sideline ready to go. But at that point [Cadillac] Williams got hot so we went with him. He should be ready to go."
The Atlanta Falcons had three players limited in practice. Defensive end Jamaal Anderson (chest), defensive tackle Jonathan Babineaux (shoulder), and tackle Sam Baker (elbow/hamstring) were limited. The following Falcons were unable to participate: kicker Matt Bryant (hamstring), tight end Tony Gonzales (calf), punter Michael Koenen (head), linebacker Curtis Lofton (shoulder/hamstring), safety Charlie Peprah (hamstring), quarterback Matt Ryan (toe), running back Michael Turner (knee), and wide receiver Eric Weems (head).OUOTE OF THE DAY
Morris was asked about if the Bucs have the speed on defense to make the Tampa 2 defensive scheme work as well as it did in the past.
"I don't know this maybe, I've been here for eight years, but this may be one of the faster defenses we've had. When you are talking about Quincy Black playing that Sam (strongside) position I don't know if there has been a guy that has been faster than a guy like Quincy. Shelton Quarles and Barrett [Ruud] you could throw them in a hat and mix it up (and they're the same), but Geno [Hayes] is certainly as quick as anybody I've seen as a young Derrick Brooks. He's not as thick and as big yet, but certainly is quick. When you are talking speed, that guy can flat out run.
"When you are talking about the upfront people when you talk about Jimmy Wilkerson he's probably one of the quicker left ends we've had. I compare him to [Greg] Spires or some of the guys we have had in the past, he's certainly as quick as we've had. Tanard Jackson is certainly as quick as we've had at safety, and Aqib Talib is certainly as quick and talented as we've had at corner, and you got some real talent when you talk about those guys in the scheme and their quickness. It is nice to look at and is nice to see. Now I don't know if anybody will ever be [Warren Sapp], and as quick and fast and physical as that guy, but you got some real comparable measures and real comparable people to what we've had in the past. I don't know if we have the banger of [John] Lynch, like we had with Jermaine Phillips or a guy of that nature. But Sabby [Piscitelli] is certainly as fast as those guys. He's quick as those guys but we have to be able to put it all together and go out there and play to our strengths. Really the Tampa 2 Bucs are right now and we can't live in the past."
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