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August 16, 2012 @ 3:36 pm
Current rating: 5.00 Stars/1 Votes

Bucs Training Camp Risers: Who Has Outperformed Expectations

Written by Dory
Dory LeBlanc


Beat Writer E-mail: This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it
The Buccaneers closed training camp Wednesday and Pewter Report gives you insight into who has been the players that have risen above expectations and hopefully onto the 53-man roster. 
Now that training camp has come to an end, several players have stood out as having legitimate chances of either making the Bucs active roster, practice squad or move up the depth chart. Instead of attempting to pick apart the mind of Greg Schiano and tell you who will definitely be on the field in the season opener against Carolina, PewterReport.com chose to focus on players who have performed above the perceived notions of them when they arrived at training camp July 27.

Demar Dotson
Dotson was signed by the Bucs as an undrafted rookie out of Southern Miss in 2009 after playing only one year of football for the Golden Eagles as a defensive lineman. Prior to the 2008 season, Dotson was a standout basketball player for two seasons for Southern Miss after transferring from Southeastern Illinois College. Dotson was signed as a developmental player, and three seasons later has been the starting left tackle in Donald Penn’s absence. Dotson has held his own against defensive Adrian Clayborn, as well as against Miami’s Cameron Wake in last Friday’s preseason game. At times, Clayborn has gotten the best of Dotson in practice, but that’s not entirely a bad thing if you like defense. When Penn comes back from his calf injury, Bucs fans can breathe a little easier over the depth at left tackle.

Greg Ellingson
A Tampa native and product of FIU, Ellingson was signed in May after spending last season as a member of the New Orleans Voo Doo of the Arena League. Coming out of college, one of the biggest knocks on Ellingson was that he didn’t have a second gear to stretch the field vertically. None of that has been evident throughout training camp. Ellingson is a speedy receiver who has return specialist capabilities, but over the course of camp has also shown he has another valuable attribute – reliable hands. As camp wore on Ellingson was able to get more reps and with them, made some spectacular catches from both Dan Orlovsky and Brett Ratliff. Ellingson continually displayed a great attitude and hard work, never taking a play off. Due to his speed, Ellingson easily separated from the defender, and when he couldn’t, fought for the ball against the defensive back. At 6-3 197 pounds, Ellingson is much more physical than he appears and has great flexibility and body control. Ellingson still may not crack the six wide receivers carried on the roster, but should be considered for the practice squad. Ellingson may also return to the Voo Doo, and hope his number gets called up again.

Tiquan Underwood
PewterReport.com has reported daily on the progression of Underwood, who is more famous for his 80’s style Kid N Play hair and being cut by the Patriots the day before their Super Bowl XLVI appearance than he was an NFL receiver. That has probably all changed after an outstanding showing the last few weeks, as well as a preseason opening performance which boasts three receptions for 76 yards. When focused, Underwood has looked every bit of a No. 3 wide receiver making acrobatic catches and running precision routes. Clocked at 4.31 in the 40-yard dash, Underwood displays elite speed on a consistent basis, which gives him value as a return specialist as well. Over the past few practices, Underwood has taken reps with the second team in 11-on-11 drills, and should easily make the active roster.

Anthony Gaitor
When EJ Biggers was injured on the first day of camp, Gaitor stepped in to take the spot of nickel cornerback. Gaitor isn’t the biggest defensive back at 5-10, 175 pounds, but as PewterReport.com has reported, plays much bigger than his frame allows. Gaitor is a sure tackler who is best suited to play zone, but has shown over training camp and the Dolphins game that he can be a cover corner as well. Gaitor still needs to clean up some of his man technique, but he has worked hard since July 27th to earn the third cornerback spot at least for the time being.

Wallace Gilberry
Gilberry was signed by the Bucs in June after spending his first four seasons with Kansas City (Gilberry was signed by the Giants as an undrafted rookie in 2008 but failed to make their roster when the regular season began). Statistically, Gilberry’s career won’t wow you, but he has been solid for the Bucs the past week in particular and can play both on the interior and exterior defensive line. Gilberry has played primarily left end on the third team, where he beat rookie Jamarcus Hardrick on a consistent basis with a good inside move coming quickly off the line. The Bucs’ history of injured defensive linemen coupled with Gilberry’s versatility may land him on the active roster.

EJ Wilson
Wilson was signed by the Bucs last year after being drafted by Seattle in the 2010 draft. In the second preseason game of 2011, Wilson ruptured his Achilles and was placed on the injured reserve list. Throughout this year’s training camp, the North Carolina Tar Heel has proven why he was taken in the fourth round, displaying excellent athleticism and versatility. Wilson runs a sub-five second 40 and has a quick step off the snap and, like Gilberry, can play as a tackle or an end. Wilson has been working very hard every snap he’s taken, penetrating the line of scrimmage against the second team offensive line on a consistent basis. Depending on the estimated return of Da’Quan Bowers, Wilson could find himself on the active roster to begin the season.

Last modified on Thursday, 16 August 2012 16:50

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  • avatar

    We need a nose tackle that does more than fill the space between the DE and the 3 technique. if GMC gets double teamed all the time he won't be effective and will get tired and then injured again.
  • avatar

    Dory, nice article. I find it interesting that both Gilberry and E.J. Wilson are doing that well. If they both make the team it would give us additional back up as they both can play DE and DT, just the same as Michael Bennett. Question, is Quinton Anderson doing well enough to be able to make the practice squad? He is another one that can play both DE/DT.
  • avatar

    EJ Wilson tore up training camp last year and looked to be a lock to make the roster. With a good camp this year as you mentioned, is he not a lock to make this years roster with the additions of Okoye and Gibson.
  • avatar

    Good Article PR. Go Bucs!
  • avatar

    Thanks for that wonderful remarks on 6 players tyhat could make a big impact on this year team-Go Bucs
  • avatar

    Good read. Thanks Dory. Keep on swimming!
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