Two days after announcing their 53-man roster, the Buccaneers announced their practice squad on Monday morning and had those players out on the field for practice.
Comprising the Bucs practice squad is: wide receiver Brian Clark, tight end Daniel Fells, cornerback Marcus Hamilton, defensive tackle Dre Moore, running back Clifton Smith, wide receiver Micheal Spurlock, cornerback Brandon Sumrall and guard Julius Wilson.
Joining these players on the practice squad is safety Sergey Ivanov. As a part of the NFL International Practice Squad Program, Ivanov will not count against the eight-man practice squad roster.
The team also signed offensive tackle James Lee to the active roster. Lee takes the roster spot that was opened up with the release of veteran cornerback Eugene Wilson. The Cleveland Browns signed Lee as an undrafted rookie free agent in May. The South Carolina State product started 31 of 33 games there and was released by the Browns on Aug. 30.
Bucs head coach Jon Gruden discussed the moves after practice.
"We claimed offensive tackle James Lee from the Cleveland Browns," said Gruden. "We're excited to have him. Obviously we had to release a player. We released Eugene Wilson. We were very disappointed to do that. That hurt. James Lee is a very good player potentially and a guy we are anxious to work with.
"Elbert Mack deserves to be here. That wasn't part of the thought process [for cutting Wilson]. Elbert's had a heck of a camp, so have the other corners. We feel real good about the four corners that we have right now. We have an injury on the offensive line, and linemen are hard to find. We feel [Lee] has a lot of talent and natural ability. We're looking forward to working with him."
Six of the players on the practice squad (Clark, Fells, Hamilton, Moore, Smith, and Spurlock) were with the Buccaneers during training camp. All of them were released in the final cuts that took place on Saturday. Moore was Tampa Bay's fourth-round pick in this last April's draft. Hamilton was a seventh-round pick in the 2007 NFL Draft. Gruden was happy to get those players back into the organization.
"The two receivers had good camps, Spurlock and Clark," Gruden said. "We got a number of guys, Dre Moore [included], we think that have potential, but they have a long way to go to prove it."
On the same day as Tampa Bay's cuts, Sumrall (5-10, 193) was released by the Minnesota Vikings and Wilson (6-4, 327) was let go by the St. Louis Rams.
"They are new players. We saw Julius a little bit up close when we played the Dolphins," said Gruden. "We know a little bit about Brandon. We just like some of the qualities they have. Our pro scouting department does a great job studying everybody's roster. I think the roster that we fielded gives us competition and hopefully some guys that can develop into pros."
Buccaneers guard Davin Joseph is recovering from surgery on a broken foot. The timetable for Joseph's return has been vague. Some have speculated that Joseph would be out 4-8 weeks, and others have said that he may be back sooner. Gruden would not indicate a date for his return yet.
"I'll announce the injury list on [Wednesday]," said Gruden. "He's getting better and we are very happy with that news."
Buccaneers backup middle linebacker Matt McCoy, who was held out of Monday's practice with an injury, has changed his number from 41 to 50. The numbers for the practice squad players are listed below.
QUOTE OF THE DAY
Gruden on the team resting players in the final preseason game and addressing if the team is ready for regular season action.
"Everybody rested guys in the last preseason game. Houston, I don't know if they played a starter either. Yeah I'm concerned, and we're not the lone ranger. A lot of teams in the league have had players idle. I don't like it. You know I don't like it, but I'm also confident that the players that we have, based on what I saw today, have gotten better. That's what is most important that they are ready to go now. The season is just about to begin, but if I had a perfect world, which I don't live in, I'd like to see these guys out here everyday. It is a credit to our training staff, we are going to have some guys ready to go this week and we'll do the best we can."
QUOTE OF THE DAY II
Gruden on Mack continued.
"He had an impressive career at Troy. We watched Leodis McKelvin a great corner selected by Buffalo (11th overall in last April's draft). The more you watch Troy the more you say who is this other guy. He had a really good camp and he made the team for good reason. But I can't say enough all those corners. I think all four of them had really good training camps."
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