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Here are five things that caught my attention this week:
FAB 1. Pewter Report is famous for its in-depth Buccaneers training camp coverage complete with details from each practice and analysis that is unmatched. Now that the first week of practice is in the books, here are the top dozen performers thus far at training camp:
1. WR MICHAEL CLAYTON Pewter Report reported that wide receiver Michael Clayton looked good during the OTAs due to the fact that he’s dropped about 15 pounds this offseason. Clayton has continued his hot streak and has not only been the team’s best receiver in terms of consistency and playmaking ability, but he may be the best Buccaneer in camp right now. Physically, Clayton looks like he did during his rookie season. He’s quick and physical, and he’s getting the separation that he wasn’t able to get over the past three years due to knee injuries and gaining too much weight. If he can translate what he’s been doing in practice to the likes of Ronde Barber, Phillip Buchanon and Eugene Wilson into the preseason games, Clayton will line up at the flanker position opposite Joey Galloway on opening day.
2. DE GAINES ADAMS Without question, Adams is the best pass rusher on the Buccaneers. He has blazing speed and uncanny agility and is so fast and explosive off the ball. Adams didn’t get faster in the offseason. The Clemson product had this speed last year. It’s just that the second-year defensive end is playing with a great deal of confidence right now. Adams admits that he is in much better shape this season and appears ready to pick up where he left off last year when he caught fire at the end of his rookie season. Because he lacks experience, Adams will become a better player over the next month with two more weeks of training camp practice and four preseason games. There is no reason why Adams shouldn’t have double-digit sacks in 2008.
3. DT RYAN SIMS Pewter Report has been high on Sims since the end of last year when he finished with a team-high four tackles for loss and a sack in limited playing time over the last eight games of the 2007 season. With a full year in Tampa Bay under his belt, Sims looks much more comfortable and aware in this defense and will really push both nose tackle Chris Hovan and under tackle Jovan Haye for playing time in 2008. Sims is having a great training camp, stuffing the run and really pushing the pocket with his 315-pound frame. If Sims can play about half the snaps on defense this year and be productive he’ll earn a big-time contract extension with the Buccaneers. If he maintains his consistency he has a bright future in Tampa Bay.
4. QB LUKE McCOWN McCown has benefitted greatly from Jeff Garcia’s absence at the start of training camp in addition to the additional reps he’s gotten from Garcia’s strained calf. Do you think the 38-year old Garcia will start all 16 games this season? Considering he only started 13 last year and got knocked out of the season opener in 2007, I don’t. Any one who has watched practice has seen that McCown is clearly out-playing veteran Brian Griese, who has thrown his share of interceptions at camp and has not been as accurate as McCown. McCown hasn’t been sterling every practice, but considering that he has only seven NFL starts in five years in the league, he has shown a great deal of improvement and has been the best quarterback in training camp – hands down.
5. OL JEREMY ZUTTAH Zuttah is not necessarily out-performing starters Arron Sears or Davin Joseph, but he is playing as well as those guards. That’s saying something considering that Zuttah is a rookie and Sears and Joseph both have Pro Bowl potential. What is impressive about Zuttah is the fact that he has picked up the playbook so fast and has not been phased about life in the NFL. Zuttah has shined at left guard, and if either Sears or Joseph regresses this year, the Bucs won’t hesitate to put Zuttah, who is one of the strongest and smartest players on the team, in the starting lineup. Zuttah is clearly the best rookie on the team after the first week of training camp with wide receiver Dexter Jackson coming in second. Cornerback Aqib Talib, the team’s first-round pick, has given up as many plays as he has made and has to be more consistent.
6. CB PHILLIP BUCHANON Buchanon has been the best cornerback in camp through the first week. He’s shown the speed, quickness and instincts that will serve him well in an important contract year for the Miami product. Buchanon seems to have a lock on the starting left cornerback position due to his consistency and his playmaking ability. Neither Eugene Wilson nor Aqib Talib seem ready to challenge Buchanon at this point in time. Talib is a bigger, more physical cornerback than Buchanon is, but he will likely start the season as the nickel corner.
7. WR MICHEAL SPURLOCK If you have been reading Pewter Report’s Camp Insider stories, you know how impressive Spurlock has been during the first week of camp. He doesn’t have the draft status of Maurice Stovall or the big name and experience of Antonio Bryant, but with a limited amount of reps, Spurlock has dazzled. He’s shown very good and consistent hands in addition to blazing speed and some wicked double moves. Spurlock has also taken more reps at punt and kick returner than expected, especially given the fact that the Bucs spent a second-round pick on Dexter Jackson for that reason. Keep an eye on Spurlock in the preseason games. He could really open some eyes.
8. C JEFF FAINE Prior to his injury, Faine had really been standing out in training camp. His playing style is night and day from that of former center John Wade. Faine is tough, physical, full of energy and the offensive linemen love his approach to football. From an X’s and O’s standpoint, Faine has allowed Jon Gruden to delve deeper into his thick playbook and bring out a lot of perimeter run plays and screen passes that accentuate the speed and skills of running backs Michael Bennett and Warrick Dunn. It’s early, but it appears like the mint the Bucs paid for Faine in the first hours of free agency were worth it.
9. SS JERMAINE PHILLIPS Phillips had a breakthrough year in 2007, posting over 100 tackles and leading the team with a career-high four interceptions. The starting safety is poised to repeat those feats again. Phillips is playing with a great deal of confidence and is entering an important contract year in 2008. He is being pushed by second-year safety Sabby Piscitelli, but has so far kept him at bay. Defensive backs coach Raheem Morris loves Phillips and it would take an all-world preseason from Piscitelli to unseat Phillips right now. The veteran known as “Flip” is in the prime of his career and has been a prime performer in training camp with several pass breakups and interceptions.
10. LB CATO JUNE June has a very good camp and seems much more comfortable this year, which is his second season in Monte Kiffin’s defense. June has always been a stellar pass defender, but he has really stepped up in the running game. He’s not just using his speed to track down ballcarriers in pursuit, but June has also showing some real toughness at the point of attack, too. June opened some eyes in the goal line defense earlier this week when he used his quickness to penetrate the backfield on several snaps and make plays in the backfield. Look for more splash plays and turnovers from June in 2008.
11. SS SABBY PISCITELLI Last year, Tanard Jackson was the young safety that was making big plays and catching the eye of the coaching staff. This year, Piscitelli has been that player. When the former second-round pick starts making plays in practice, he just doesn’t stop. Piscitelli has taken over a few practices and has made plays against the pass – with several interceptions and pass breakups – in addition to the run in training camp. After a quiet first couple of days, Piscitelli has caught fire and has defensive coordinator Monte Kiffin and defensive backs coach Raheem Morris contemplating using three safeties in the game in certain situations if the Oregon State alum continues to play at this level.
12. TIE – WR MAURICE STOVALL & WR ANTONIO BRYANT Stovall has made some of the most spectacular catches in training camp during the first week and has really been impressive. He has made the most of Joey Galloway’s absence and has made a real push for playing time. But haven’t we seen this before? Last year, Stovall started camp strong and faded too fast by working out too hard and having dead legs at the start of the season. Bryant has also made a great impression during camp and his game seems to be a mix between Galloway and Michael Clayton. Bryant needs to be more consistent in terms of catching the ball, but he certainly has the talent to not only make the team, but also play a significant role in Tampa Bay’s offense. Look for either Stovall or Bryant to emerge as the Bucs’ third wide receiver this year.
We’ll keep an eye on this baker’s dozen of Buccaneers in the second week of camp to see if they can continue to ascend, or if other players will rise up and steal their thunder.
FAB 2. One of the top performers in the Buccaneers’ 2008 training camp through the first week has been defensive tackle Ryan Sims. Once thought of as a first-round bust in Kansas City, Sims has responded to the change of scenery in Tampa Bay much the way Chris Hovan did when he resurrected his NFL career with the Buccaneers in 2005. With Sims, who was acquired in a trade on draft day in 2007, on the verge of stealing playing time from Hovan at nose tackle or from Jovan Haye at under tackle, he caught a lucky break when Haye went down with a groin injury.
No, Sims isn’t happy that his teammate got injured, but like any reserve player, he is thrilled to get extra snaps and plans to take advantage of any opportunity that presents itself.
“Sims is doing a good job,” Bucs defensive coordinator Monte Kiffin said. “He was here all offseason and it’s his second year in the system. I expect him to really play well for us. He gives us a good push up the middle and we want to look at him as a pass rusher. Maybe he’s a power rusher for us, not necessarily a quick guy. He can play the nose or the three-technique. We like him. We liked Ryan as soon as he got here. I don’t know what went wrong in Kansas City, but he’s certainly been nothing but positive here for us.”
Despite only playing about 30 percent of the plays over the final eight regular season games, Sims was able to record 23 tackles, one sack, one forced fumble and a team-leading four tackles for loss for the Bucs last year. That performance and his hot start at training camp will definitely lead to more playing time for Sims in 2008.
“His factor grade – the number of times he made plays for the times he was in the game – was unbelievable last year,” Kiffin said. “We need to play him. It’s hot here in September and October. Hovan and Haye play so hard that they need to get a break, so that’s what we’re going to do with him.”
Due to the Florida heat, it’s difficult for any player over 300 pounds to be an every down performer. But with Tampa Bay’s new philosophy of rotating defensive linemen, the Bucs have seen the value of having power players like the 315-pound Sims and 305-pound rookie Dre Moore on the roster.
“Dre Moore is the same type of player as Sims is,” Kiffin said. “I want guys like that. I want them over 300 pounds. I have nothing against big guys. If a guy can play at 285, that’s fine, but I’ll take a 315-pounder as long as he hustles. Now if you’re 315 pounds and you can’t run to the ball, I’m not interested. But if you’re 315 pounds you can run to the football because we’ll coach you how to do that. I like guys like that.”
Not only has Sims shown the willingness and ability to run to the football, he’s also done a great job of simply shutting down the run. Running back Michael Bennett, who was Sims’ teammate in Kansas City, has seen a tremendous change in Sims’ attitude and performance since his arrival in Tampa Bay.
“That’s a big wall right there,” Bennett said of Sims. “That’s a big wall of Silly Putty. That’s what I call him. You get sucked in and get spit back out when you run into that man. He’s coming along real well. You can see the determination in his eyes and his preparation. He’s doing well.”
One part of Sims’ determination is his desire to erase all of the negativity that dogged his play in Kansas City and to make a positive mark in Tampa Bay. The other part of Sims’ motivation is the fact that he is entering a contract year and is angling for a long-term contract extension. Sims is making the most of his extra snaps in practice at the expense of Haye, who ironically, will also be a free agent in 2009.
“We like Ryan Sims a lot,” Gruden said. “He’s a load in there. He can play nose or under tackle. He is a big, physical presence. He’s a great pocket pusher. It’s hard for our quarterbacks to step up when he’s generating that type of push. I’ve been really impressed with him. We have a long way to go, but we said some good things about Ryan last year and we’re saying some good things about him this year. Maybe we should learn from Earnest Graham last year and get Ryan on the field more this year.”
FAB 3. One of the most anticipated training camp battles has wound up being a lopsided win due to a disqualification. Given Luke Petitgout’s rock solid performance in the first four games of the 2007 season, and the way backup Donald Penn stepped in to play the final 13 games at left tackle when Petitgout was lost for the year with a torn ACL, the battle for the starting job between the crafty veteran and the young up-and-comer was supposed to be the best clash in camp.
The problem is that Petitgout has been sidelined for the start of camp by landing on the active PUP (physically unable to perform) list due to a slower-than-expected recovery from his ACL injury. In the meantime, Penn looks to keep a strangehold hold on the starting job.
“Anybody in the NFL wants to be in that starting position, so yeah, I want to be the starter,” Penn said. “I would be stupid if I didn’t say I wanted the starting job. Of course I want the starting job. I want to build on what I did last year to show everybody in the NFL what I can do.
“To tell you the truth, last year is behind me. Last year, I did well, but I think I can do better. I’m focused on watching myself against our guys and trying to get better and work on what I need to work on. I’m studying film a lot and I don’t know where I would be without Bill Muir.”
Penn has taken the necessary steps this offseason to become a professional. Instead of learning on the fly like he did a year ago when he was just a few months removed from the practice squad, he’s watching more film and studying his game as well as his opponents.
“I’m real hard on myself,” Penn said. “I need to work on everything – my run blocking and my pass pro. I need to work on my knowledge of the game. Even veterans learn things from camp. Luke told me last year that even he still learns things in training camp. I’m training to learn the game more and learn more about my opponents that I can use against them.
“My run blocking needs to improve. I could have played a lot better than I did. My pass pro, but I think I could have sustained my run blocks better and finished my pass pro stronger. I need to finish every block. We are an aggressive O-line. We’re all young and we’re aggressive. I need to work on getting downfield and finishing my blocks like the other guys. I’m just trying to build and build, and if I keep that mindset, this job is up for grabs.”
Penn knows that one day, perhaps in the not so distant future, Petitgout will come off the PUP list and the long-awaited training camp battle for the starting left tackle spot will finally begin.
“I’m not worried about him right now,” Penn said. “Petitgout is a tremendous player who has helped me a lot. I’m worried about me, helping this team and getting better. If I can get better each day, I’ll put this in God’s hands. I’ve put my whole career in God’s hands and I’ve worked hard. So far, that approach has served me well.
“I’m a fighter. I’ve been fighting my whole life. In college I was fighting for a spot. When I came in here, I had to fight for a spot. Fighting is nothing new to me. I’m going to keep fighting and fighting.”
To prepare for this fight, Penn hit the weight room hard and hardened his once soft body, which was often ridiculed by his offensive linemates last year.
“I got a lot stronger this offseason,” Penn said. “So I worked out a lot with Davin Joseph, Arron Sears and [Jeremy] Trueblood and I got stronger and put on a little more weight. If you are in the best shape, it’s hard to get beat. If you are tired, that’s when you start messing up. I’m trying to be in the best shape I can be. This is an opportunity I don’t want to give up.”
If Penn should prevail and keep the starting left tackle job, the Bucs will boast one of the youngest and most formidable offensive lines in the NFL. It’s not like Tampa Bay doesn’t have chemistry with Petitgout in the lineup, but Penn, Sears, Joseph and Trueblood bonded last year over the span of 13 games and came of age together by producing the best running game in the Jon Gruden era in Tampa Bay with 1,872 yards rushing and 15 touchdowns.
“We are a young offensive line and one of the best things we do is hold each other accountable,” Penn said. “We know what the other man is going to do and we believe in each other. If I do something wrong, Davin will get in my face. If Davin does something wrong, I’ll say something or Jeff [Faine] will say something on down the line. We’ll take that criticism and try to build on it, we won’t take that criticism and get mad about it.
“Jeff is 26 and he’s the oldest guy except for Petitgout. We’ve got a young offensive line. Jeff has caught on quick to this offense. That’s key and tells you he’s a smart guy. He’s giving us the calls now and we don’t have to help him out. I watched him last year and he was a great player in New Orleans. He’ll be great for us.”
With Penn getting some extra reps in during camp in Petitgout’s absence, he is becoming a better player by going against a diverse group of pass rushers that includes newcomers Marques Douglas and Jimmy Wilkerson, in addition to Gaines Adams, who is having a phenomenal camp in his second year in Tampa Bay and is on the verge of stardom.
“I played against Douglas last year and he’s physical,” Penn said. “He’s a good run stopper. He’s a hard guy to get off the ball and a hard guy to move. Jimmy has been giving me a run for my money in this camp and also going back to mini-camp and the OTAs. Jimmy’s a good player and I’m still trying to study his moves. I haven’t had as many reps against him as I have against Gaines Adams and Greg White. Jimmy’s a good player and a great pass rusher.
“I can’t say anything bad about Gaines right now. I know going into the games this year I won’t have to worry about speed rushers. Gaines gets off the ball so quickly. Compared to this year and last year he’s getting off the ball so much faster. Gaines is keeping me on my toes and making me a better player. He’ll be a great player down the road. He may even be great this year.”
The same could be said of Penn if he beats out Petitgout.
FAB 4. Last year’s “feel good story” during the Buccaneers preseason was undoubtedly wide receiver Paris Warren. Warren led Tampa Bay with 15 catches for 191 yards and four touchdowns last August and was on the verge of winning a roster spot – and perhaps some playing time – before a devastating and grotesque dislocated ankle in the preseason finale against Houston placed him on injured reserve.
This summer, Warren has had a good, but not great camp and really needs to come through in the preseason again to make a push for a roster spot in 2008.
But the early entry for the “feel good story” of 2008 has to be wide receiver and return specialist Micheal Spurlock. Aside from wide receiver Michael Clayton, Spurlock may be the most consistent receiver the Bucs have in training camp. His dropped passes are few and far between and his splash plays have been plentiful.
What makes Spurlock such an intriguing story this summer is the fact that he was supposed to be the afterthought – yesterday’s news. Sure, Spurlock was the Buccaneer who finally returned a kickoff for a touchdown after 32 years and 1,865 attempts. After his 90-yard dash against Atlanta last December, one would think that Spurlock would be a lock to make the team in 2008.
But a 19-yard average on his returns after his touchdown, coupled with an untimely and costly fumble against New York in the playoffs, erased some of the momentum Spurlock had created just weeks after being promoted to the roster from the practice squad. That prompted the Bucs to spend a second-round pick on Dexter Jackson, whose primary mission during his rookie season is to lock down the kick and punt return duties.
“That’s our business – it’s turnover-related,” Spurlock said when asked about his reaction to the team spending such a high draft pick on a return specialist. “Every year we’re going to have a draft and every year somebody is going to get picked at somebody’s position. That’s part of the business. This year it was my position. We’re going to come out and help each other and show our skills and we’ll see what happens. That’s what he was drafted for. That’s his position. Dexter was their guy. He’s going to come in and work and we’re going to have a good time.”
Spurlock has at least a few games worth of NFL experience working for him, as well as a solid understanding of Jon Gruden’s voluminous playbook, which is something that Jackson is still learning. The fact that Spurlock was a quarterback at Ole Miss – not a receiver – has accelerated his learning of the Bucs’ passing game.
“It’s been a year and half and I’ve been getting in the playbook,” Spurlock said. “I came during the first week of the season last year and everything the coaches were doing revolved around game plans. Now, I’ve had the whole offseason to learn the playbook and get involved in our offense. It’s gone pretty good, but I don’t want to get too comfortable. If I know what to do I can go out and play fast and help the team. Any double move is my favorite move. I think my start-stop ability is pretty good. I try to get better at the routes that I’m not so good at, though.
“They always say the more you can do the better you help yourself. When I was in Arizona I was in the same position. They had just drafted Steve Breaston to be the return guy. That’s part of the business. There is no love lost between me and Dexter or me and Steve. That’s just the nature of the business. It’s just the best man wins. Whoever gets the opportunity to return kicks or catch passes, that’s what it is.”
The old coaching phrase “competition brings out the best in everybody” has certainly applied to Spurlock. Not only has he proven to be a better receiver than Jackson (and half of the team’s other receivers, too), but Spurlock is also the first-team punt returner and kick returner – for the time being. Spurlock knows that he can’t rest on what he did last year, because his history-making return obviously wasn’t enough to keep the team from drafting Jackson.
“It was the first one in history, but you have to put it behind you,” Spurlock said. “I tell everybody that it’s not what you did, but it’s what have you done lately? Right now, I’m trying to go out and work hard and have them get comfortable with me. Every day is a grind. I feel like I’m going out and working for a job – to be on the bus, on the plane and maybe go play New Orleans.
“I take it upon myself and the other 10 guys that are out there. We’re the first possession on offense. It’s our job to get the best field position. Their job as a kickoff team is to pin us back as far as they can. We didn’t do a great job after the touchdown last year, but there are always areas to improve. It’s behind us now.”
Spurlock’s fumbled kickoff return to start the second half of the Giants playoff game is also behind him.
“You have to have a short memory,” Spurlock said. “If you keep thinking about a turnover it’s going to affect your play and you’re not going to play as well. I’m trying to move forward. It’s just like the touchdown return – that was last season.”
If he can string together four more impressive weeks that rival his first eight days of camp, Spurlock may put himself in position to get more touchdown return opportunities.
“We haven’t had a lot of yelling this year at the receivers,” Bucs head coach Jon Gruden said. “These guys know what they are doing. We’ve had a great offseason. The idle chatter that we’ve had 95 percent of our guys here for the offseason isn’t just hogwash. These players really want to make the team and they want to win. Richard Mann has had a real impact on these guys and Spurlock is quick. He played quarterback at Ole Miss. He’s another young guy we like. Dexter Jackson is going to have a similar progression to what Micheal has had. He’s got to learn to be not only a wide receiver but he has to be a reliable return guy. He’s got a long way to go.”
That’s what Spurlock is hoping for.
FAB 5. Here are a couple of things to hold you over until the next edition of SR’s Fab 5 – after a word from our sponsor.
SR’s FAB 5 SPONSOR: THE MEATMAN Please allow me to introduce you to a new section in each SR’s Fab 5, which recognizes one of Pewter Report’s sponsors. I ask you to read this paragraph in each edition as it is these companies that support our efforts and make it possible for you to enjoy Pewter Report’s coverage of the Buccaneers. This week’s sponsor is The Meatman, which is a steak and meat company located in St. Peterburg and can be found on the Web at MeatmanSteaks.com. I’ve tried their filets and strip steaks and found them to be restaurant quality. If you want to have restaurant quality steaks on your grill, give The Meatman your order. Each cut of meat is cryogenically sealed to guarantee freshness when shipped or stored in your freezer. With tailgating season around the corner, give The Meatman a try. They also deal in exotic meats such as ostrich, alligator and kangaroo. I haven’t gotten up the nerve to try them yet, but will let you know if I do.
• Bucs cornerback Eugene Wilson reminds me of a shorter, yet more physical Juran Bolden. Like Bolden, Wilson is at his best when he gets his hands on a receiver within 15 yards of the line of scrimmage. He just doesn’t have the speed to keep up with Tampa Bay’s wide receivers downfield, which tells me that he will likely be the fourth cornerback on the team behind Ronde Barber, Phillip Buchanon and rookie Aqib Talib.
• I think the Bucs should part ways with wide receiver Ike Hilliard in favor of a younger receiver if he’s fourth on the depth chart at the start of the season. This team has to be planning for life after Joey Galloway with Ike getting older (32) and Clayton being a free agent in 2009. The Bucs should keep Micheal Spurlock in addition to Dexter Jackson and Maurice Stovall in order to shore up the special teams and give the team at least three young receivers. I thought the Bucs made a huge mistake in letting Frank Murphy go in 2002 after he returned a kickoff for a touchdown in the preseason opener that year. Tampa Bay would make the same mistake by letting Spurlock go in favor of keeping the unproven Jackson as the return specialist and the aging Hilliard as a receiver – unless he earns a starting role or at least the number three receiver spot.
• It was clear after talking to Bucs head coach Jon Gruden after practice one day that he was irritated about a report in the St. Petersburg Times about how complex his offense is. He asked rhetorically, “How do you explain the success that Michael Clayton, Cadillac Williams, Alex Smith, Dan Buenning, Davin Joseph, Jeremy Trueblood and Arron Sears had in this offense during their rookie seasons? I think the players are certainly getting a feel for the volume of the book,” Gruden said. “A lot of the book’s thickness is the same play. It might be out of Trey personnel. It might be out of U personnel. It might be out of Diamond personnel. Conceptually, the players see the list of plays and they sometimes think it’s insurmountable, but at the end of the day it’s just the same play in different formations and with different personnel groupings.” Gruden’s playbook is not overly complex. Rookie Jeremy Zuttah has picked it up quite well this season. In fact, quarterback Bruce Gradkowski was able to operate Gruden’s offense during his rookie season in 2006. The aspect of Gradkowski’s game that held Tampa Bay’s offense back was not his lack of learning with the playbook, it was his inaccuracy with the deep ball and lack of NFL experience.
• I like what I’ve seen from rookie running back and return man Clifton Smith. I think he is the kind of player with the speed and quickness to make his mark in the preseason, but I hope that he doesn’t. If he has a successful preseason it will hurt the Bucs’ chances of landing him on the practice squad. With Earnest Graham, Warrick Dunn, Michael Bennett and Cadillac Williams in the fold, Smith has virtually no chance of making the roster barring an injury or two. But I do think this diminutive runner is worth keeping in red and pewter for a year to see how he develops. With Dunn at age 33, Bennett at age 30 and Graham turning 29 next year, having another young back like Smith around would be a good thing.
• Finally, if I’m head coach Jon Gruden, I’m not playing Jeff Garcia in the preseason opener at Miami. I’m giving Luke McCown the first quarter, Brian Griese the second quarter and I’m going to use the entire second half to showcase Chris Simms. Simms likely won’t be on Tampa Bay’s 53-man roster and in order for general manager Bruce Allen to drum up any interest in him around the league (don’t believe the newspaper reports about the Bucs fielding trade calls about Simms – there haven’t been any) the Bucs need to get some good film on him. The fact that the Dolphins don’t exactly have the best quarterback situation in the league and the fact that team president Bill Parcells coached Simms’ dad, Phil, in New York, may make Miami a very interested trading partner if Simms has a good showing. Simms has had a pretty good training camp with limited reps. If he can overcome the nerves he will likely be dealing with at week’s end, Simms could be one step closer to getting his wish, which is to re-start his NFL career with another NFL team.
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