By Eric Schmidt

Greg Schiano is preparing to embark on his rookie season in the NFL. In order to east the transition, he is surrounding himself with some familiar faces, seven to be exact as the Buccaneers continue to add former Rutgers players to their roster. On Tuesday, it was announced that former New England Patriots WR Tiquan Underwood would be joining the Buccaneers.

Underwood was a four-year player at Rutgers where he recorded 132 receptions for 1,931 yards and 16 scores.  The former Scarlet Knight receiver will likely have to make a significant impact on special teams in order to remain with the Buccaneers because they don’t appear to have many vacancies at that position. Tampa acquired veteran WR Vincent Jackson in free agency. The team has some talented young receivers on the roster- Preston Parker showed improvement in 2011. Arrelious Benn led the Buccaneers in yards per catch last season. Mike Williams took a step back in 2011 after a spectacular rookie season and has to be considered to be the Buccaneers number two receiver for 2012. WR Dezmon Briscoe showed some promise last year after finally finding his way onto the playing field.

As mentioned, Underwood becomes the seventh former Rutgers player to make the Buccaneers current roster. CB Derrick Roberson made the roster after rookie tryouts this past weekend.OG Desmond Wynn joins the Buccaneers as do DE George Johnson and DT Gary Gibson. Veteran offensive guard Jeremy Zuttah is also a Rutgers alum.

Of course the signing of paralyzed DT Eric LeGrand received the most attention when head coach Schiano reached out to LeGrand and offered him a contract.





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Readers Comments (3)

  1. avatar Steve

    Don’t care much for what the article’s title is implying. All teams need to add players for practice squads. As a new head coach coming out of college, it makes sense to seed the roster with some players who know what the HC expects from his players with the hope that it helps transition the Bucs returning players quicker to the new system. Besides, maybe a few are more talented and can bump their way on to the roster, and that’s a good thing!

    • avatar Eric Schmidt

      Easy Steve,
      Take a step back and relax. As a lifelong Buccaneers fan, I like the hire of Schiano and the direction he seems to be taking the team this offseason. I believe in the first three sentences of the first paragraph, I outlined that coaches like to surround themselves with familiar players.


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