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Bucs could stumble.

this is a discussion within the Saints Community Forum; LAKE BUENA VISTA - NT Anthony McFarland\'s deadline for completing a new contract expired Saturday morning, but that won\'t keep the Bucs from continuing to work toward an agreement. A Bucs official who spoke on the condition of anonymity said ...

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Old 07-22-2003, 12:20 PM   #11
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Bucs could stumble.






LAKE BUENA VISTA - NT Anthony McFarland\'s deadline for completing a new contract expired Saturday morning, but that won\'t keep the Bucs from continuing to work toward an agreement.
A Bucs official who spoke on the condition of anonymity said Sunday the team will renew talks shortly and that it hopes to get McFarland under contract before departing July 29 for its exhibition game in Japan.

Re-signing McFarland is not the only objective. Though it may be a few months before negotiations get serious, the official said re-signing fellow DT Warren Sapp is a goal the team has set for this season.

McFarland and Sapp become free agents if they are not re- signed before March 1, 2004. Re- signing McFarland is clearly the team\'s first order of business and completing a deal should not be difficult.

In previous discussions, the Bucs and McFarland\'s agent agreed in principal on the length of the contract (believed to be six years), total value (believed to be approximately $33 million) and signing bonus (approximately $11 million).

The only disagreement was how the money would be paid out. The Bucs wanted to pay 40 percent of the value in the final two years. McFarland is believed to be seeking a more even allotment.

McFarland\'s agent, Karl Bernard, did not respond to phone messages Sunday.

Sapp has said in recent weeks that he expects the Bucs to apply the franchise tag in an effort to retain him next year, but that would force the Bucs to pay Sapp $7.9 million against the salary cap in 2004. The Bucs can greatly reduce that figure by re-signing Sapp to a new deal. GOING BOTH WAYS: Coach Jon Gruden loves to mess with opposing coaches\' minds. That\'s one reason he had Sapp line up at tight end on about seven goal- line plays last season.

It\'s also one of the reasons he\'s contemplating using CB Ronde Barber and McFarland on the offensive side of the ball this year.

``We\'re not trying to stimulate anybody or trying an experiment here,\'\' Gruden said. ``We\'re working on improving our team and trying to figure out the best way to utilize our roster and win.\'\'

Barber, who played running back in high school, has run four plays out of the flanker position, where he had two balls thrown to him during drills Sunday.

``There were certain games last year when we only had four receivers and there were certain games I wish we had five, sometimes six,\'\' Gruden said in explaining his possible use of Barber as a receiver.

``We\'re hoping Charles Lee or Jacquez Green can step up and be an active part of our team,\'\' Gruden added. ``But until then, we\'re going to get Ronde ready to contribute as a wideout, as a special teams player and as a defensive back.\'\'

Barber said he\'s up for whatever Gruden wants.

``It\'s nothing I can\'t handle,\'\' he said. ``I have some offensive qualities. I\'d like to think so, anyway. I mean, I think I have good enough hands.\'\'

McFarland, who played some fullback in college (LSU) and twice lined up there for the Bucs during the 1999 season, has yet to line up on offense for Gruden, but the coach said no one should be surprised if he does.

``We\'ll discover where later, but you might see Anthony McFarland show up in the offensive huddle for a couple of plays,\'\' he said. ``I mean, we\'re just trying to win here, and this is a contingency plan. Nothing else.\'\' BUCS BITS: Former Atlanta RB Jamal Anderson said recently he\'d like to come out of retirement and play for the Bucs, but Gruden said the team is a little full at the position. ``I did talk to him once. I\'m a big fan of everybody who has played great, but that\'s just gossip right now,\'\' Gruden said. ``We\'ve got so many backs right now, we don\'t know who to hand the ball off to.\'\'... Gruden isn\'t a glutton for punishment. He has a good reason for wearing long sleeves in the Florida sun. With his fair skin and freckles, Gruden has to be careful of sun exposure. ``This is a special kind of material,\'\' Gruden said. ``I learned about these from the fishermen that I met - the captains that go out fishing that cover their ears. I burn bad so I try to find a material that breathes.\'\'

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Old 07-22-2003, 12:25 PM   #12
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Bucs could stumble.

Have you looked at their receivers??????????/
Keyshawn Johnson 6\'4\" 212lbs, 45 career TD\'s, 1000+ yards in 4 out of 7 seasons; big frame, soft hands, premiere reciever in the league.
Keenan McCardell 6\'1\" 191lbs, 44 career TD\'s, 1000+ yards in 4 out of 11 seasons; epitome of what you want out of your secondary reciever, makes the tough catches and can block well.
Joe Jurevicius 6\'5\" 230lbs, could play as the secondary reciever on a few teams in the NFL, if someone was looking for more of a possesion reciever to fill that #2 role.
Karl Williams 5\'10\" 177lbs, yeah, well, he had some speed when he was younger.

Their recieving corp isn\'t great, but it\'s nothing to scoff at either. They are aging, but still solid. It could be alot worse, just ask Cincy, Houston, Miami, Baltimore, Carolina, Arizona, Detroit, or Chicago. These are just a few teams that would be more than happy to take one or more of the above players to their respective teams.

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Old 07-22-2003, 12:31 PM   #13
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Bucs could stumble.

B&B,

Your right. They are not that bad, but they are not that good either. They have no home run threat or speed in general to stretch the field. Defenses can key in on stopping the run. Overall as a group they are a problem for the Bucs.
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Old 07-22-2003, 12:47 PM   #14
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Bucs could stumble.

The Bucs main area of concern has to be their running back situation. They ranked 27th in rushing in the league last year and with Pittman seemingly headed for jail the Bucs have no solid answer. Gruden has said Arron Steckler would move up to the #1 tailback spot if pittman can\'t go. Arron Steckler???? Sure he has a long run for the Bucs but he has only one start ever, and what happned to Jones? The Bucs were able to over come their lack of a running game last year, the Defense will have to come up just as big again to overcome what could be an even worse ground attack this year.
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Old 07-22-2003, 01:20 PM   #15
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Bucs could stumble.

http://espn.go.com/nfl/trainingcamp0...n/1583441.html

I just read this. Ronde Barber at Tailback?This is not a move born out of confidence.

LAKE BUENA VISTA, Fla. -- In the latest example of how the fertile imagination of Jon Gruden runs deep, the Tampa Bay Buccaneers coach has taken a dive into the genetic pool, apparently hoping that the athletic traits shared by the NFL\'s most celebrated twins extend to running with the football.

Ronde Barber had two interceptions and three sacks last season.Halfway through the opening session of training camp on Saturday morning, Gruden had cornerback Ronde Barber, one of the league\'s best coverage players over the last couple seasons, line up for a few plays at tailback. Barber\'s twin brother, Tiki, is a star tailback, of course, for the New York Giants.

It marked the first time since he shared the backfield with his brother at Cave Spring High School in Roanoke, Va., that Ronde Barber had lined up on the offensive side of the ball. How long the training camp experiment lasts probably depends on whether Ronde Barber can actually make a splash at tailback or if he is just a half-(ground)-gainer in a move he acknowledged was \"a dive into the unknown.\"

The move was prompted, in part, by the possibility starting tailback Michael Pittman could be facing jail time, and by the Bucs\' fairly mundane running attack.

[Edited on 7/22/2003 by saint5221]
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Old 07-22-2003, 03:14 PM   #16
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Bucs could stumble.

The Buc\'s offense is at best mediocre. If Sapp really isn\'t happy that is great news for us. With Sapp pissed off and Keshaun being a tick away from a melt down (on a good day), it is very possible by 11/2 the Bucs could be 3 and 4 (losing to PHI, ATL, IND, and SF). I\'m morte concerned with ATL and their cake schedule. I only hope the reports of a new NO defense (zone playing and conditioned) are true.
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Old 07-22-2003, 11:23 PM   #17
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Bucs could stumble.

Bucks tinkering with offense using Barber at RB, Sapp at TE, and McFarland at FB has interesting possibilities, especially Sapp and McFarland in goal line sitiuations. The use of Sapp at TE last year proved successful there.

The Barber experiment looks more like a reach. Didn\'t most all pro DBs play RB or QB once upon a time? Can\'t wait for him to run up in the hole and get Ruffed up or Tebuck knocked out of him. Then while he is still seeing stars two plays later Deuce is running over him into the endzone. That experiment won\'t last long.

Hey, then they might be forced to move an offensive player to defense in his spot to team up with the Lynchmob. Maybe Joe \"JeriTall\" Sid Vicious.

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