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October 10, 2012 @ 11:00 am
Current Rating: 5.00 Stars/2 Votes

Bucs 2012 In-Season Issue

In The Lab: TE Danny Noble

WRITTEN_BY Mark Cook Mark Cook
Mark Cook


The tight end position has come under fire for lack of productivity in Tampa Bay this year, but could rookie Danny Noble step up and become a factor as the season goes on? Find out in this In The Lab feature on PewterReport.com.

When training camp opened last July, Buccaneers rookie tight end Danny Noble was just an afterthought in most fans’ minds. Just a camp body many assumed.

With veteran Dallas Clark signed earlier in the spring, 2011 fourth-round draft pick Luke Stocker on the roster – in addition to returnee Collin Franklin and 2012 draft pick Drake Dunsmore – Noble appeared to be the odd-man odd even before the first snap of camp.

But Noble defied the long odds and ended up sticking on the 53-man roster, even as players with more experience and name recognition were released.

Noble talked about the experience of being a rookie and having no idea what to expect joining an NFL franchise.

“I really just wanted to come into training camp, and whatever they (coaches) asked – just do it,” Noble said. “Coming in I knew there were a bunch of tight ends, I didn’t know if my back was necessarily against the wall, because this is a new coaching staff and they are starting off fresh. All I could do was do what they asked, and tried to learn it as fast as I could.”

The former tight end from Toledo said he weighed his options before joining the Buccaneers as an unrestricted free agent after catching 48 passes for 555 yards and eight touchdowns during his Rockets career.

“The new staff and the chance for everyone to start with a fresh start,” Noble said. “Coming in from college, I didn’t really have the hand-on-the-ground experience, and blocking in-line. I mainly was flexed-out. I was thinking this being a new coaching staff, they were starting from scratch and me coming in brand new and needing to learn from the beginning, I felt like no one really had an advantage over anyone else.”

Noble grew up on the east side of Cleveland and told Pewter Report that football wasn’t his first love.

“I started playing football in junior high – seventh or eighth grade,” Noble said. “I was a basketball player, but all my friends were playing football so I decided to play also.”

Noble, an Ohio native, came from a very athletic family, his mother was inducted in her high school Hall of Fame and also at Kent State.

“She played sports, basketball, she was just very athletic and I guess I inherited some of that from here,” Noble said. “My Dad also. I heard he stories when I was younger about how good of a ball player he was.”

As Noble’s football career was just beginning, tragedy struck and his mother passed away suddenly. At age 13, Noble faced a life without his biggest fan.

“It was real tough, real hard,” Noble said. “I remember when I was real young I signed up for karate and I didn’t really like it. I wanted to quit. But my mom wouldn’t let me. She told me if I start something I have to finish it. That really stuck with me.

“But I had a good base of support around me that saw I could accomplish things. They stuck with me, and of course my Dad. But it was rough.”

The family was in danger of splintering but Noble said his father stepped up to the plate and continues to be one of his inspirations.

“After my Mom passed, my Dad had to take over raising four kids by himself,” Noble said. “A lot of people didn’t think he could do it, but he did. He had to cut a lot of his friends off a lot of the fun stuff so he could take care of his kids. That is a real man. You don’t k now how much of a man you are until you have to buckle down and raise a family.”

Noble told Pewter Report not only is the talent in the NFL superior to college so is the coaching. The rookie said his position coach, Brian Angelichio, is like no one he has played under before.

“When I was at Toledo we went through three or four tight end coaches,” Noble said. “And no disrespect to them, but there was no legitimate tight end coach. This is my first real tight end coach. He is real detailed. Some coaches are detailed in one aspect of the game, like running or receiving, but he brings both to the table and he knows what to expect.

“This is my first year so I had no idea what to expect from the coaches here. But his style is that he wants the best for us. He isn’t pushing us hard because he doesn’t like us. He is pushing us hard so we can perform at out best. Every Sunday there are legends out there on the field and he tells us it (hard work) is never enough. Even if you think you did a good job, you can turn on the film and see you can do it better. There are so many things you can coach up. It is infinite. It is a long learning process. You can never learn too much.”

Angelichio talked to Pewter Report last week about Noble, who had four catches for 18 yards in the preseason, and what he has went through.

“I think Danny is a guy who has made strides from rookie mini-camp,” Angelico said. “He is relatively new being in the tight end position … from a system of pass protection. He was more of a split-out guy. So I think there was some learning for him from a protection standpoint and the various checks in the run game. But he is worked hard and continuing to make progress.

“Obviously it is an ongoing evaluation and you are constantly evaluating. He has certainly done some things to get in the position to be where he is. It is something we continue to work on and you hope from the repetition and drill work that it improves and it has improved and obviously it has improved. He is making strides.”

Since joining the Buccaneers Noble has been able to play against some of his childhood heroes. In fact one of those players –Dallas Clark – dresses two lockers down form Noble on a daily basis.

“It was breathtaking when we signed Dallas,” Noble said. “Growing up my brothers and I played Madden and Peyton Manning was my favorite player and Dallas Clark and Peyton Manning were like right hand and left hand. And then I saw Dallas come in, and I was excited and thought it was amazing. He plays that flexed-out style of tight end like I do. There is no one better to learn from.”

Noble said having a guy like Clark in the meeting rooms is invaluable.

“Dallas is a real down-to-earth guy,” Noble said. “If I’m in on a play and I do something – even if I thought I did it right – Dallas always has points he can make. He is a Pro Bowl tight end. He is a legend. He knows what it is to almost be perfect. And although no one is perfect he knows what is suppose to look like. He knows how a route is supposed to be run. He recognizes defenses better than the rest of the tight ends.”

One thing that Noble thinks will help the young Buccaneers become winners eventually is the camaraderie inside the walls of One Buc Place.

“It is really close,” Noble said. “Getting that team bond and coming together just takes time. It doesn’t just happen automatically. As the season goes along and we practice – every day, minute and second – we are getting closer.

“What I like about it is everybody in here are grown men. So when it is time to be serious they can be serious. They aren’t just in the locker room goofing around. At the same time they know how to have fun. Coming in as a rookie from college you wonder what to expect. Coming in this locker room makes it easy just to talk to the guys. Everyone is really friendly and helpful.”

Last modified on Sunday, 21 October 2012 08:10

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Mark Cook

Mark Cook

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  • avatar

    One would think that it would be easy to get the name of the TE coach right, but time after time after time, you get it wrong. Does anyone else read a column before it goes out. http://www.buccaneers.com/team/coaches/brian-angelichio/36022a5e-ca77-4ef0-bf52-1b921d18f442
  • avatar

    By now, after 10 years as a PR subsrciber, I've become accustomed to the multiple grammatical, spelling, and general misuse of the English language by these guys. Honestly, I'm amazed they haven't taken any steps to correct these constant errors. Obviously, we can navigate thru the errors but this is a pay site and you expect some professionalism.
  • avatar

    Noble sounds like a young man with his priorities in order. Learning from a player like Dallas Clark is an obvious positive as is taking advantage of superior NFL coaching. The opportunity to grow in this organization is there, especially for players who are all in. Good luck Danny, make it happen!
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