On Monday the Tampa Bay Buccaneers made a series of roster moves. One of them was putting guard Arron Sears on the reserve/non-football illness list. Sears missed the first 10 weeks of the 2009 season while dealing with a personal matter. The Bucs reinstated Sears to the team on Nov. 17, and had two-week roster exemption for Sears. With that time being up, Tampa Bay had to decide to active Sears to the 53-man roster, or put him on reserve list ending his 2009 season.
Over the past two weeks, Tampa Bay had Sears working with the training staff since then. On Nov. 18th head coach Raheem Morris said that Sears was overweight and not in football shape. Morris also said that Sears was unfamiliar with the Bucs playbook, and they wanted him to work with the training staff before resuming football specific activities. Morris was asked about Sears' immediate future with his placement on the reserve/non-football illness list.
"He'll remain with us for the rest of the year," said Morris. "He won't be able to practice, he won't be able to play in games, or stuff like that. He'll be allowed to work out in our facility with our trainers, and we'll get him going for the offseason and next season."
Sears attended the team's voluntary mini-camp in April, but left during the team's offseason practices and skipped all of training camp and the preseason, which prompted the Bucs to start second-year G Jeremy Zuttah in his place.
The 6-foot-3, 319-pound Sears started 31 games for the Buccaneers at left guard in the 2007 and 2008 seasons. He was a second-round pick of Tampa Bay in the 2007 NFL Draft. After not reporting for training camp, Sears was placed on the reserved/did not report list. Morris was asked about the progress that Sears made in the past two weeks.
"A lot of it has been physical conditioning," Morris said. "He hasn't had classroom time or any work like that as far as football specific drills. It has been all strength and conditioning. It has been all getting back in shape. It has been all him getting his body right to be the best football player he can be."
Morris outlined what he envisions for Sears' career going forward.
"It is on the up from what I can see," Morris said. "He's been in the building everyday working out with our trainers, and doing all the stuff he needs to do to get ready for football. It is definitely on the rise. Like I said it was wishful thinking to think he was going to make it back this year. That is just kind of rare for anybody to sit out that long and come back."
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