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August 2, 2011 @ 9:02 am
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Stroughter Helping The Competition At WR

Written by Mark
Mark Cook


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Although he is fighting for a roster spot, third-year WR Sammie Stroughter is taking the time to mentor the Bucs' new group of young receivers. Being a role model comes easy as he said several Tampa Bay veterans took him under his wing as a rookie in 2009.

Entering his third season in the NFL, Buccaneers wide receiver Sammie Stroughter knows he has several young receivers, such as Preston Parker, a sensation in last year's training camp, and 2011 undrafted rookie free agent Raymond Webber, nipping at his heels. Confident in his ability, Stroughter isn’t looking at it as fight for a roster spot, but more of an opportunity to mentor the rookies they way he was tutored as entered the league in 2009.

“It really put the young guys at a disadvantage not having the OTAs,” Stroughter said. There is so much to be known before the preseason games. It is a tough situation, but we just have to roll with the punches and continue and try and help tem as much as possible.

“You take them under your wing as much as possible. There is so much getting thrown [at them] right now we are just trying to simplify and trying to keep them from getting all discombobulated and at least try and play fast.”

While camp has been competitive the receivers group is a tight-knit bunch, according to Stroughter, who was mentored by the likes of Antonio Bryant and Michael Clayton during his rookie season.

“All of them are really, really good right now,” Stroughter said. “And they all have the body mold of a great receiver. Collectively, any one of our receivers can make a play. That is one thing I like about the receiver room is when one person makes a play, we all want to make a play. There isn’t any jealousy, and they (the young receivers) feed off it, too. That is always a great atmosphere to work in.”

Although considered a veteran by most, Stroughter doesn’t buy into that notion as he feels it could lead into complacency.

“No, I’m still that young player [laughs],” Stroughter said. “I still make mistakes and things like that. That’s why I look at players like Micheal Spurlock and Maurice Stovall when he was here. To see them hold that standard really high and follow after that, I have to continue to grow on and off the field and lead.”

The former Oregon State player burst onto the scene with the Buccaneers in 2009 after being taken in the seventh round. Stroughter finished his OSU career third all-time in receptions and receiving yards [164 receptions, 2,653 yards], but fell to the 233rd pick in the 2009 draft due to a slow 40-yard dash time (4.6). Not given much of a chance to make the team at the beginning of training camp, Stroughter worked his way on to the roster with dependable hands and a quick grasp of the offense. In a 38-28 victory against the Green Bay Packers, the first start of Josh Freeman’s career and Raheem Morris' first victory, the former Beaver recorded his first NFL career touchdown reception in dramatic fashion.

Trailing the Packers late in the fourth quarter, Freeman hit Stroughter with a touchdown pass on fourth down to lead the Bucs' come-from-behind victory. He and Freeman have developed a good chemistry over the two seasons they have played together, and Stroughter has been impressed with the development of his quarterback.

“Josh has no fear,” Stroughter said. “And if you get there he is going to throw it to you. And that’s one thing you love as a receiver. If we stay true [to the route] he will stay true to you.”

The former Granite Bay California High School star also loves what he sees from fellow receiverArrelious Benn, who is recovering from surgery after a season-ending knee injury last year.

“It’s amazing, amazing,” Stroughter said. “If you can see him running a route you say, 'Which one (leg) did you hurt?' It is really like that. We have a good training staff and they are making sure he doesn’t rush anything, but [Benn] is a competitor, and he wants to be out there. I think he is ready right now.”

Monday afternoon marked the teams's first day in pads and Stroughter was eager to strap them on and take a hit ot two.

“We get to actually play football now,” Stroughter said. “What Coach said is we are running around in dresses right now. When we get the pads on then we get to big boy stuff. You’ll never hear us complain about [practicing without pads]. But it’s not realistic football though.

"It felt good to get out there and feel like real football again. It was a little tough at first as you have to get your legs back under you, but overall it was nice."

Despite the lockout and loss of mini-camps and OTAs Stroughter doesn’t believe it will put the team at a disadvantage overall.

“No, we aren’t ever going to make excuses,” Stroughter said. “That’s one thing Coach Raheem will tell you from Day One. We aren’t going to make excuses from the lockout. We have to continue to grow. We have a good core from last year and we have to continue to grow from there. And add the intricate parts with the young guys.”

With only four days of training camp behind them, Stroughter has been impressed with the focus of his teammates and the work ethic put in thus forth.

“We had a few mental errors toward the end [in Sunday’s afternoon session],” Stroughter said. “[Our focus is] just making sure we are staying sharp and finishing strong. That was our big turning point last year – finishing strong. And now we started off really fast. The fans, in their eyes, we finished off strong, but we had a couple errors for us.”

– Scott Reynolds contributed to this report

Last modified on Tuesday, 02 August 2011 09:07

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  • avatar

    FYI Jock Sander IS fast. Probably A PC but his rep is KR.
  • avatar

    I bet there are a few head coaches that would swap out their wide receiver corps for what the Bucs have. There is a lot of talent in this group and though it is pretty raw, there will be good production from these players, even if they don't all develop into superstars. Remember that sometimes it is the quarterback that makes the receiver a star and we have hit the lotto with Freeman.
  • avatar

    Yes, I remember his orange headband well. In the final game of the regular season in 1981 against the Lions, who were undefeated at home and whose theme song was Another One Bites the Dust; House took it to the "house" on a long pass from Doug Williams. That TD stunned the cocky Lions and the Bucs went on to win the division.
  • avatar

    sorry this guys got to go. Tooo sloooow!!! hows about a trade? or does this jock sanders have any speed?
  • avatar

    Sammie's sure not a bad 7th round draft pick in spite of the comparisons. Ah, #89 Kevin House, what a graceful receiver who just seemed to glide down the sideline.
  • avatar

    Scubog you are son right about Kevin House.Remember the orange headband he wore?
  • avatar

    All I hear is criticism from many Bucs fans! While you were complaining about Stroughter's 24 catches did you mention that he was hurt? I think Stroughter plays hard and he earned the flanker position out the gate but it was easily apparent that his best position is in the slot. I like Spurlock but all things equal I think Stoughter is a better slot WR. Parker is raw but may end up being the best of all but can he be trusted like Stroughter. This is a good thing for the team; having a bunch of good WRs competing and making it hard on the coaches to decide who starts or gets cut. I say let'em all battle and the best man stays and whoever loses let us wish them well without all the criticism and hate. I hate it but I think Spurlock may end up being the odd man out which is bad because he has done a lot for this team. Hopefully, they can find room for him to handle the return duties. I think it ends up 1. Williams 2. Benn 3. Briscoe 4. Stroughter (primary slot WR) 5. Parker I think Webber ends up on PS to start out........
  • avatar

    Webber probably will end up on PS.Stoughter still gives you little.Any real Buc fan knows he is equivalent to a Willlie Drewery, not even that good sir.12 games last year 24 catches.How do you argue with that weak production.Just because he is small doesnt mean he is Courtney Hawkins who was much better.My only point is I feel there are many more Wideouts who have more upside than Stroughter.When he gets cut I wont rub it in.Also Spurlock is a better KR.Go Bucs!
  • avatar

    I agree with that depth chart clutchshot12
  • avatar

    @nickerson56.. Did you REALLY just compare Stroughter to Stovall?? They shouldn't even belong in the same sentence.. You have a point tho, Sammie did benefit from a weak receiving core but he had all those catches for a reason. He was DEPENDABLE and rarely ever dropped a pass. He wasn't very fast but he was very quick. Stovall was not AT ALL.. At 5'7 or 8 Sammie has mad many more acrobatic catches than a guy who was 6'5... As far as speed and size obviously he's not the big and he isn't a speedster but he makes up for it by being a dependable reciever who rarely drops the ball... Any real buc fan knows the MAIN reason why Sammie's stats declined was because the bucs tried to use him at the starting flanker position after Stoval got injured, the fact that he got injured after that didn't help his cause either... Sammie does not have the speed or physicality to play on the outside.. Stroughter is a slot receiver first and foremost, that's where he can kill a defense especially now with the talent we have. I'm excited that we have Briscoe and definitely want to see him get involved more but we need to keep Stroughter invovled... Overall he's probably are most consistent reciever.. If he starts getting hurt like Stovall then cut him.
  • avatar

    What do fans see ? In 12 games last year he had 24 receptions! Averages two a game.Kevin House could come back at fifty plus and do that.Briscoe is third Wideout and Parker and Webber have way upside than Sammy.The way Freeman is playing now,Briscoe could easily get 500yrds this year.In 55 games Stroughter has 573yrds.Briscoe can do that this year.Spurlock is a better KR,and his WR skills will improve.Storughter teaching rookies? What to catch two balls a game? He gives us nothing.Like Stovall get rid of him and open your eyes fans,2 career TD's,one RECV,and one special teams.Arena league Sammmy? Call D-Brooks and play for the storm you benefited from weak depth at WR in the past, not now.Bye Sammy..call the Storm.
  • avatar

    Good Article Mark. It's good to see that we have a very competitive situation right down to the last spot available on the team. Go Bucs!
  • avatar

    1) Williams, 2) Benn, 3) Briscoe, 4) Stroughter, 5) Spurlock
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