The Tampa Bay Buccaneers took the field for a morning practice at Disney's Wide World of Sports complex on Wednesday.
The Bucs spent the early part of practice working out free agent fullback Lorenzo Neal on the far field.
Tampa Bay's interest in Neal likely stems from the injured ankle Bucs starting FB B.J. Askew currently is nursing. With Askew out, the Bucs have been using backup FB Byron Storer in his place.
Neal, 37, spent the past five seasons (2003-07) with San Diego, where he helped RB LaDainian Tomlinson produce five straight 1,000-yard seasons. In fact, Tomlinson's worst season with Neal lead blocking for him still produced 1,335 rushing yards and 17 touchdowns.
The 5-foot-11, 255-pound Neal has also played with the Bengals (2001-02), Tennessee Titans (1999-00), the Buccaneers (1998), the New York Jets (1997) and the New Orleans Saints (1993-96).
Neal has rushed 214 times for 782 yards (3.7 avg.) and eight touchdowns. He's also hauled in 192 career catches for 1,051 yards and 12 touchdowns.
In his only season with the Buccaneers, Neal was the lead blocker for fullback Mike Alstott and running back Warrick Dunn. Tampa Bay's rushing offense ranked fourth in the NFL that year with an average of 134.3 yards per game.
“We feel like we have a really good fullback here in Askew. He’s had a foot injury and we think he’s going to be okay," Bucs head coach Jon Gruden said. "Byron Storer has really done well in his absence. Lorenzo Neal is special. He was in Tampa before. I don’t know anybody that doesn’t respect him as a physical presence and a team guy. I know the tailbacks smiled ear to ear when the saw him walk into the building. I saw some of the linebackers say, ‘I don’t know about this.’ He’s a Pro Bowl fullback with Pro Bowl character. We wanted to take a look at him because he’s available – that I can comment on. He had a good workout and was physical.”
Want the inside scoop on the Tampa Bay Buccaneers' 2008 training camp? Want to find out who is starring in training camp and who is underperforming, and who the Bucs are targeting in free agency and the NFL Draft next year? Find out by subscribing to PewterReport.com's Pewter Insider by clicking here.
LISTEN to Pewter Report's Jim Flynn each Monday morning at 8:30 a.m. during football season on the Pewter Pulse with Dan Sileo on WDAE 620 AM The Sports Animal, and catch Pewter Report's Scott Reynolds each Wednesday afternoon during football season at 5:00 p.m. on the PewterReport.com Buccaneer Blitz with Steve Duemig on WDAE 620 AM The Sports Animal.