When the Buccaneers signed quarterback Alex Tanney last week, the viral video of him performing trick shots with a football wasn’t factored in according to head coach Lovie Smith. Still, it is hard to not be impressed with Tanney’s abilities in the Youtube.com video that has amassed several million views since the Illinois native and some friends recorded it back in 2011.
“It’s all real stuff,” Tanney said following Tuesday’s OTA workout at One Buc Place. “It was just me and my buddies having some fun after practice there in college. My buddy edited and threw it up on line and it just went viral. We had a lot of fun with it.
“It was just great exposure for our college and for Division III football, because we’re never on ESPN or any type of televised game and no one has ever really hear of Monmouth College so just to get that exposure all over ESPN and some of the major broadcast companies was fun.”
Smith admitted to being somewhat of a dinosaur when it comes to social media.
“I’m told he’s a YouTube sensation,” Smith said. “I have to admit, I’m a little bit behind the times on that, but on the football field he did some good things and we’re going to go to camp with four quarterbacks and he’s our fourth.”
Throwing footballs into the back of moving trucks aside, Tanney was an excellent quarterback in college, and set several records including leaving Monmouth with the Division III mark for most passing yards in a career with 14,249 and also being named Midwest Conference Offensive Player of the Year honors three times.
Despite the collegiate accolades,Tanney has bounced around the league since entering as an undrafted rookie in 2012.
“I’m really excited about the opportunity here,” Tanney said. “I’ve really been bounced around so I’m just trying to get somewhere long enough to where I can develop and learn the system and get some reps. “I actually jumped into training camp late last year with Dallas after going to Kansas City, so I wasn’t there for OTAs, but I was able to jump in there and get reps right away, and the biggest thing is getting something on tape and I was able to get some preseason tape. I’m trying to get down, probably my fifth (offensive system) one in three years, so I didn’t have much of a (Memorial Day) weekend, just went back home and kept on studying.”
So far Smith has liked what he has seen.
“Each week we bring new players in and if we think they’re better than what we have on our roster at that time we’ll make a move,” Smith said. “So, Alex came in last week and did a good job.”
Currently Tanney sits behind Josh McCown, Mike Glennon and Mike Kafka on the depth chart, and understands he faces an uphill battle to make the Bucs roster. In the meantime, as he tries to learn the Buc offense, he has been in Bucs starter Josh McCown ear on a regular basis.
“Everywhere I’ve been there’s been a vet that’s been around and he’s been around the game and you just want to pick their brain and so if I’m here early and he’s here and he’s in the meeting room I’m right there behind him just asking things that he’s picked up over his long career,” Tanney said. “Just this morning we were having breakfast and I had a list of questions form this weekend and he’s more than willing to help me and it took 20 or 30 minutes and we solved everything out.”
Mark Cook currently is the director of editorial content and Bucs beat writer and has written for PewterReport.com since 2011. Cook has followed the Buccaneers since 1977 when he first began watching football with his Dad and is fond of the 1979 Bucs team that came within 10 points of going to a Super Bowl. His favorite Bucs game is still the 1979 divisional playoff win 24-17 over the Eagles. In his spare time Cook enjoys playing guitar, fishing, surfing and family time at the beach. In addition, Cook can be found in front of a television or in Doak Campbell any time the FSU Seminoles are playing. Cook is a native of Pinecrest in Eastern Hillsborough County and has written for numerous publications including the Tampa Tribune, In the Field and Ya'll Magazine. Cook can be reached at email@example.com
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