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October 5, 2013 @ 9:03 pm
Current rating: 3.00 Stars/4 Votes

Underwood Back With Bucs And Ready To Contribute

Written by Mark
Mark Cook


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With an offense that is averaging just over nine points a game, the Buccaneers shook up their roster over the last week, benching, then releasing quarterback Josh Freeman, and also cutting receiver Kevin Ogletree who was signed during the 2013 free agency period. Replacing Ogletree on the roster is former receiver Tiquan Underwood.
While the benching and eventual release of quarterback Josh Freeman has been all the talk over the last 10 days, the Buccaneers made another bold and significant move by releasing wide receiver Kevin Ogletree who was signed in the offseason as a free agent.

The former Cowboys’ receiver had a major case of the drops and head coach Greg Schiano and general manager Mark Dominik has seen enough and released Ogletree and safety Ahmad Black last week. To help spark the stagnant offense the Buccaneers welcomed back a familiar face – and hairstyle – with the signing of last year’s No. 3 starting receiver Tiquan Underwood.

Underwood, who was cut after the final roster was set in late August, wasn't a couch potato over the last month, instead kept he working out and hoping to hear his phone ring.

“I was in California for the entire time,” Underwood said. “I was training at a facility. It was a pretty good place, weight room, inside turf, it was a good deal but (just training) nothing like being in actual football shape.”

Waiting on a phone call was difficult but Underwood has been through this before.

“As a professional all you can do is stay ready,” Underwood said. “No matter if Tampa was the team, or any other team you just have to stay in shape, stay on top of your game and when you get that opportunity, get off and run with it.”

Following the Buccaneers is something Underwood did from afar and thinks this team isn’t too far away from being 3-1 instead of their current disappointing 0-4.

“Being on the outside is always tough,” Underwood said. “Because you want to play, but it is what it is. Personally, this team has lost four games in a matter of six points so it’s right on the cusp. There’s a lot of talent, and hard workers on this team, so you just have to ride the ship, and continue to work hard and we’re going to fix it.”

Underwood, who caught 28 passes for 425 yards and  two touchdowns in 2012 for Tampa Bay, was caught off guard by the benching and eventual release of Freeman, but knows it happens often in the NFL.

“It’s part of the business side of football,” Underwood said. “Changes are going to be made when things aren’t going well so as a professional you have to do your job to the best of your ability. Coming back here it’s been nice to see (Mike) Glennon taking command of the huddle, and running with the opportunity he was given.”

After being away for a month Underwood can’t hardly believe the difference in Glennon since he last saw him back in August.

“Absolutely he looks different,” Underwood said. “I left at the beginning of the season, so it’s been a month, so coming back here and seeing him the leader in the huddle and throwing balls, telling guys what to do, where to line up, he’s come a long way as a rookie and it’s a nice thing to see.”

Having spent all offseason and training camp with the Buccaneers should help Underwood step right back into the flow of things.

“I think it’s always a good thing for a player to go back to a team that he knows,” Underwood said. “You don’t have to go back to the playbook, you don’t have to go somewhere new and learn. We’re all professionals, so if I went somewhere new, I would have to do what I had to do, and study and learn it. Coming here is a perfect situation. Knowing the offense, knowing the offensive coordinator, the coach, and head coach obviously.  I’m going to try to take full advantage of this.”

Getting released by the Buccaneers during the team’s final cut downs – for the second season in a row – was difficult, but Underwood didn’t spend much time playing the what-if game in his mind.

“This time I was actually at peace with myself,” Underwood said. “I played special teams; I played in preseason games hurt, gutting it out, so I was at peace. Even if wasn’t given this opportunity, and nobody called, I was cool with that. I’m fortunate and happy that I did get another opportunity to play in this league so I want to go out there and play hard, do whatever I have to do to help this team win.”

Last modified on Sunday, 06 October 2013 00:18

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  • avatar

    That's the spark they needed. Super Bowl bound for sure! Either that or the first pick in the draft next year.
  • avatar

    Mark, Do you or Scott know why Ahmad Black got released? He was essentially a starter given how much dime the Bucs play. I didn't see any mention of it in the most recent Fab 5 and apparently no one asked about it during the most recent chat because they were too busy railing against Schiano. I seem to remember someone speculating that perhaps Ahmad had failed another drug test, but I don't think that was ever confirmed. It seems pretty peculiar that he would just be released in mid-season when he was performing fairly well.
  • avatar

    Interesting info from Roy Cummings in the Tampa Trib "Freeman to blame for ugly saga" all PR seems to do is report the one sided story. I think your replationships with the players, since most of your "inside" info comes from them, is slanting the stories. I'm sure you knew the same info Roy C did but have failed to report it. Also maybe concentrate on the timing of Freeman's placement in the drug program with the fact we had 2 Players Eric Wright & Aqib Talib suspended for Adderall. Neither had a waiver or script. Who did they get it from? Why did Freeman not notify the league he switched form Adderall to Ritalin? Could he have provided the Adderal which in itself would be a felony? Could Schiano and Dominik suspect this since maybe Freeman is the only player that may have a waiver for Adderal? Makes you think.... I used love having a "Insider" subscription but it really has lacked content the last 2-3 yrs very disspapointing.
  • avatar

    Underwood, welcome back.
  • avatar

    To bring back Underwood tells me this team does not know how to evaluate talent. To cut a player twice and then bring him back twice does not say much for the HC and his assistants.
  • avatar

    "To bring back Underwood tells me this team does not know how to evaluate talent. To cut a player twice and then bring him back twice does not say much for the HC and his assistants." Yup and they are 0-4 and afraid to deviate outside their bubble. Plenty of more qualified candidate out there but they choose to go back to their baby blanket instead of taking a calculate risk to improve the roster.
  • avatar

    I have never been more relieved than to know that Tiquan Underwood and Tom Crabtree will be back - two sure fire game changers that can put the team on their backs and carry us to victory! (Sunday morning sarcasm)
  • avatar

    The things Underwood said about Glennon are encouraging.
  • avatar

    Glad Underwood is back. He has marginal NFL talent but seems to work and play hard. I appreciate that. ------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------ While we are talking about WRs, I want to bring up the poor showing by 89 Russel Shepard. A former Blue Chip QB turned failed WR at LSU. Are we going to turn him into a DB? His hands were pretty darn bad at LSU and it's not like they are know for bad coaching... I'm thinking they will always be bad hands. And if he can never be a WR how about Wannstedt or Schiano takes time this bye week and show the kid how to be a gunner. He has just about been as bad at it as you can be... I almost threw the remote at the TV when the return stepped up, waived for the fair catch and Sheppard pulled up to I don't know, say hi, watch, wish him luck catching the ball while of coarse the ball lands behind the returner and slowly cascades into the endzone once again unattended by a Buc's gunner. ------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------- Maybe Dominik made Shepard's agent a promise or something when we claimed him off waivers from the Eagles or something. Sheppard has little upside at WR, so far can't play STs worth a darn so IMO give him a number in the 20s or 40s and put him at a position he may actually just succeed at in the NFL.
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