New Bucs quarterback Jevan Snead discussed his decision to skip his senior year at the Bucs rookie mini-camp on Friday. The Ole Miss product Snead said he doesn't regret the decision after going undrafted, and is happy to be in Tampa Bay. He had different offers, but Snead chose to sign with the Buccaneers.
At the Tampa Bay Buccaneers rookie mini-camp, new Bucs quarterback Jevan Snead talked about his decision to go pro and leave college a year early. Snead left Ole Miss after two seasons as the team's starting quarterback, and had one year remaining of eligibility.
Entering last year, Snead was considered to be a potential Heisman Trophy candidate and possible high draft pick if he were to enter the 2010 NFL Draft as a junior. Snead had a rough 2009 season, and went undrafted. After weighing offers from a few teams that he could sign with Snead chose the Buccaneers. Snead has heard criticism about his decision to go pro, and explained his decision after Friday's practice.
"I had my degree. I graduated in December with a marketing degree," Snead said. "That was huge thing for me. Really I was just felt like it was my time to go. We had a bunch of people leaving the team. A bunch of people say it was because of competition, and I'll tell you right now that's ridiculous. I wouldn't have come out if I were afraid to compete. I know that the next level is all about competing. Anybody who said I was afraid to compete doesn't know what they're talking about."
The 6-foot-3, 219-pound Snead said the draft was disappointing and it didn't go as he expected it to, but he repeatedly said he's excited to be a Buccaneer. In 2008, Snead completed 56 percent of his passes for 2,762 yards with 26 touchdowns and 13 interceptions. Last year, he completed 54 percent of his passes for 2,632 yards with 20 touchdowns and 20 interceptions. Losing his top receiver in Mike Wallace and left tackle Michael Oher to the NFL after the 2008 season hurt Snead during the 2009 season.
The Buccaneers have an open competition to backup starter Josh Freeman. Third-year quarterback Josh Johnson is the early favorite to be the No. 2 on game days. Right now Snead projects to be battling Rudy Carpenter for the third roster spot. Given the Bucs' situation at quarterback, Snead felt that Tampa Bay was the best team for him to sign with.
"I could have gone to a couple of places but I felt this was the best place. My agent did also," said Snead. "There's a great coaching staff, just a great opportunity all around."
Competing with Snead in the rookie mini-camp is former South Florida quarterback Matt Grothe and former Texas Southern quarterback Bobby Reid. During Friday's practice Snead took the first-team reps. Snead said the offense is quite different from what he ran at Ole Miss. Buccaneers head coach Raheem Morris indicated that Snead is doing a good job of picking up the offense.
"All those quarterbacks did a good job of picking it up last night," said Morris. "In the meeting room, how they spit it out in the huddle, all those instances. [Snead] did a good job of going out there and being able to run the offense. He did a good job of knowing what exactly he was supposed to do. Now he just has to go out there and find his rhythm and find his timing and be able to throw to his receivers and have some control over that stuff."
Morris said that the Bucs were likely to bring four quarterbacks to training camp. Grothe and Reid were participating on try-out contracts while Snead is signed for next season. Snead was excited about the opportunity to try and make the Buccaneers team and compete for a spot during training camp and the preseason. Snead reiterated he didn't regret his decision.
"None at all. No regrets, I'm happy to be here," said Snead. "If I had the chance to do it again I'd do the same thing. I'm trying to live my dream, and do it one day at a time."
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