Despite possibly facing misdemeanor DUI charges after being arrested on Aug. 23, wide receiver David Boston is making the trip to Seattle with the Bucs and will see time on the field against the Seahawks. On Thursday, the urinalysis test that Boston took the night of his arrest turned up a positive result for one of the many illegal substances that his urine was tested for.
After the incident, the Bucs released a statement in response to Boston’s arrest saying there was no evidence to support the charges and, after their own investigation into the situation, the team believes that Boston is innocent.
After Friday’s practice, head coach Jon Gruden stood pat in his stance that he believes that Boston is innocent.
“All I can say is that David has assured me that he’s innocent and I believe him,” Gruden said. “I apologize if that makes anybody mad. I believe the man, I think he’s a great guy and his status is obviously going to be determined by someone other than me. I respect him tremendously and I believe what he said. I also believe this will all work itself out.”
When asked about his availability on Sunday, Gruden was firm in the fact that Boston will be on the field.
“Yeah he’s playing, he’s making the trip,” Gruden said. “Why wouldn’t he?”
Boston's situation is just one of the many incidents that Gruden has had to deal with so far in the offseason and through the preseason. Along with the injuries to left tackle Luke Petitgout, left guard Arron Sears and fullback Mike Alstott, Gruden has had to deal with cornerback Torrie Cox getting suspended for four games for violating the NFL’s substance abuse policy, cutting defensive end Simeon Rice on the first day of training camp and all the questions surrounding quarterback Chris Simms.
Gruden has managed to keep the team moving forward and has remained positive despite the many issues he’s had to face getting ready for this season. Even though the issues keep mounting, Gruden has never looked at them as out of the ordinary.
“I’ve never looked at it that way, every team in the league has got a lot of issues to deal with and you have to deal with them,” Gruden said. “Philly lost [Jeff] Garcia and [Jeremiah] Trotter and you can keep going on and on. That’s part of this business, you have to make some tough decisions that not everyone in the building likes. Some that are made because of necessity, some that are made because that’s the direction the organization is going. You have to understand that it’s a team game and you try to look forward to giving some people some opportunities in life.”
Boston didn’t speak to the media following Friday’s practice, but did release a statement on Thursday.
“All I am able to say at this time is that I have done nothing wrong; I was not impaired. I have assured, and will continue to assure, the Buccaneers that I have done nothing wrong. And, in the end when this matter is resolved the facts will show that I have done nothing wrong. I appreciate the Buccaneers organization believing in me and the fans for their support.”
FLANKER, BACKUP QB SPOT GAMETIME DECISION
The backup quarterback position and the “Z” flanker position were two spots that had a lot of competition during training camp. Boston along with wide receivers Maurice Stovall, Michael Clayton and Ike Hilliard were all vying for the starting spot at flanker. Quarterbacks Bruce Gradkowski, Luke McCown and Simms were battling for the backup spot behind starting quarterback Jeff Garcia.
A starter has yet to be determined for the flanker position and the backup QB spot is still undetermined as well. Both spots will be a gametime decision for Gruden, and the flanker spot could be done by committee in the first couple of games of the regular season.
“Again, I’m not going to say other than we will use them all,” Gruden said. “Who starts doesn’t mean – I don’t know if they all have incentives in their contract for starts, but if they do, we will way that into the equation. But they are all going to play. We have different personnel groupings that involve all five of our receivers. We will see how the game goes. If we get the ball and our defense is opportunistic and gets us the ball we will have some time to use guys.”
ROOKIES TO SEE PLAYING TIME AGAINST SEATTLE
Four of the Bucs' first five draft picks from this year’s draft will see significant playing time against the Seattle Seahawks. Defensive end Gaines Adams and left guard Arron Sears will receive their first NFL start in the season opener. Safety Tanard Jackson likely will get the start and safety Sabby Piscitelli will receive a good amount of playing time.
Third-round pick linebacker Quincy Black could see some limited action against the Seahawks. Sears and Adams join running back Cadillac Williams and tight end Alex Smith as rookies who started the first game of their NFL career in the past three years for the Bucs.
Piscitelli and Jackson will split time at safety with Will Allen and Jermaine Phillips. Black could be used to give a breather to strongside linebacker Cato June.
Gruden is happy with the progress of the rookies so far this season and looks for some big plays from his rookie selections.
“Yeah we feel like that last few years we have had some rookies come in and play really well and thank God for that,” Gruden said. “It’s been a long time since young people have come in here and really stepped up. [Michael] Clayton did it, [Davin] Joseph did it, Cadillac [Williams] did it, Alex Smith has done it. We are expecting [Arron] Sears to do it, expecting [Tanard] Jackson, Gaines Adams and other guys to do it and we need them to and we expect them to.”
Defensive end Patrick Chukwurah is the only player that will not suit up for the Bucs against the Seattle Seahawks on Sunday.
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