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Will Allen vs. Kalvin Pearson

With the exception of Super Bowl XXXVII MVP Dexter Jackson, who left for Cincinnati via free agency, Tampa Bay’s secondary remains intact for the 2006 season.

The Bucs aren’t too concerned about Jackson’s departure seeing as Allen started eight regular season games at free safety in his place last season.

With Jackson gone, Tampa Bay is lacking depth at the safety position. Jermaine Phillips will once again start at strong safety for the Bucs, and Allen appears to be the front runner ahead of second-year S Donte Nicholson and rookie Jahmile Addae.

While there’s still a chance the Bucs could add a veteran to the mix after the New Orleans Saints officially release former Bucs S Dwight Smith, which is a move that will happen shortly, according to ESPN. But Tampa Bay has been quite pleased with the offseason turned in by Pearson.

Pearson (5-10, 190) made a name for himself on special teams last year by notching a team-high 25 tackles in 14 games (one start). He’s an aggressive safety and is known for his hard-hitting ability.

While he probably won’t beat out Allen for the starting job, Pearson had a great offseason and is poised to solidify the backup safety job in training camp and preseason.

Advantage: Will Allen



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