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Posts Tagged ‘arron sears’

Mark Barron Can Sit Anywhere Now

July 26, 2012 at 05:48pm by Scott   •  10 Comments »

Nothing snarky this time. Good luck, Brian.
On the first day of training camp, the Bucs traded Brian Price to Chicago for a low-round 2013 pick. In case any players thought Greg Schiano wasn’t serious, they should take those doubts, shoot them in the face and bury them in the back yard.

My guess is that Price showed up to camp out of shape, but that seems like something that could be overcome. He certainly wouldn’t have been the first. It seems extra-harsh with all the tragedy Price has gone through, most recently (as in a few months ago) the loss of his sister which affected him so profoundly that he had to be hospitalized. But the team and Price may have come to an agreement that we don’t know about and there may not be any hard feelings. Whatever the reason is, that’s another second round pick gone. Da’Quan Bowers, hurt; Brian Price, traded; Kellen Winslow, traded; Dexter Jackson, waste of space; Arron Sears, tragically vegetative. The second round is the money round. That’s where some of the biggest bargains are, and the Bucs have whiffed on it for years. Jeremy Trueblood is arguably the most successful Buccaneer second-round pick of the millenium. Maybe I should be nicer to him.

The good news is that Amobi Okoye will come off the PUP list tomorrow, so he will be able to fill in right away assuming he takes Price’s spot. Price was playing nose for most of his career, and that seems like a mismatch for Okoye, but who knows what Schiano and his defensive staff have in mind. I like the idea of two fast and athletic first-rounders anchoring the middle of the line. Also, Adam Hayward will come of the PUP list tomorrow.

While they were at it, the Bucs released Dezmon Briscoe. The Bucs had a shitload of wide receivers, but Briscoe was one that I was pretty sure would stick. He was said to be somewhat sloppy in OTAs, but we all knew what he could do on gameday. The rub there is that Schiano doesn’t give a shit what you did on gameday in any other season; he wants to see what you’re bringing to the table today. Briscoe didn’t bring enough, and now he’s on the market. Remember when Mark Dominik overpaid him a practice squad salary just to get him on the team? Yeah, Schiano doesn’t care about that, either. Somewhere in a training camp dorm, Sammie Stroughter is thanking Jesus and rubbing a lucky charm bracelet.

Arron Sears Update

June 28, 2012 at 11:30am by Scott   •  2 Comments »

We'll never know how good he could have been.
Arron Sears left the Bucs abruptly in 2009 and no one would ever really comment on the reason other than it was “personal” and obviously had something to do with a mental or emotional issue. I have a special place in my heart for Sears who is a former Volunteer, a former Buccaneer and by all accounts a really nice guy. So this update by PFT from a lawsuit filed against the NFL saddens me because it definitely isn’t encouraging.

“Sears has almost total loss of function, is unable to care for himself and cannot take [care] of his day-to-day activities,” the lawsuit says, according to the Tampa Bay Times. “Further, Arron Sears has extreme displays of temper and anger with the appurtenant risk of causing harm to himself and others.”

I’m not going to use this entry to vent my opinions on concussion issues or how much responsibility the NFL or the individual has for those issues. I just want to wish Sears recovery. Or, if that’s impossible, at least some peace. Good luck, big guy.

Arron Sears Is Out Of Jail

April 06, 2011 at 10:06am by Scott   •  2 Comments »

Ray McDonald may be a successful 49er now, but he was scared shitless of Sears as a Gator.
After being held without bond for 62 days, Arron Sears has finally been released into an 18-month mental health pretrial intervention program. Despite being consistently uncooperative with authorities, the court system and the officer Sears assaulted are doing everything possible to try to keep him out of trouble and get him the help he so obviously needs.

The law enforcement officer involved in the incident at TGH allowed Sears to enter an intervention program instead of pursuing criminal charges. If Sears successfully completes the program, all charges against him will be dismissed. If not, Sears’ case will go back to the state attorney’s office.

This is great news for Sears and that cop really deserves some appreciation for realizing that Sears isn’t a criminal, he’s just messed up. A full 18 months of constant help will hopefully be enough to get Sears back to “normal”. I don’t know if he’ll ever play football again, but I’m optimistic that he can lead a happy and productive life in society after this therapy is over. Again, I wish him nothing but the best.

More Details On Arron Sears’s June Arrest

March 09, 2011 at 09:59am by Scott   •  1 Comment »

Good luck to Arron.
With Arron Sears‘s court hearing coming up tomorrow, more details on the incident that got him arrested last June have been made public. And although those details involve cigars and beer, it’s not as much fun as it sounds.

According to the police report, on the day of the alleged battery, June 5, [Officer] Battaglia was summoned to the walkway connecting the hospital and a parking garage, where, the officer said, Sears was lying down. Battaglia wrote in a report that Sears “did display mental illness signs.” After another police unit responded, Sears eventually got into his vehicle and left, the report said.

About four hours later, Sears was returned to the hospital under the Baker Act after a Hillsborough deputy found him sitting in his truck “zoned out,” the report said. At the hospital, Sears became belligerent and continually attempted to leave his room despite his mother’s pleas and attempts to restrain him.

At one point, Battaglia wrote, Sears left the room and “demanded a beer and a black and mild (cigar). We informed the subject he could not have those in the hospital. The subject’s facial expression became aggressive and he stated, ‘You better get it or this place is going to blow.’ “

And then the Tasers came.

Arron’s mom has been granted emergency guardianship of him until this whole thing gets sorted out. The DA doesn’t sound like he’s going to be a prick and seems willing to try and get Arron help rather than send him to jail for another year or two. It’s a sad state of affairs for a guy who showed so much promise early in his career. No one knows if this is a brain disease that came up on him naturally or if it’s the result of head injuries from either college or pro ball. With the recent suicide of Dave Duerson and his insistence that his brain be studied for chronic traumatic encephalopathy, you have to think that football-related trauma is going to get serious scrutiny.

I wish Arron good luck at his trial and with his treatment, and I know all Bucstats readers do as well. Take it easy, big guy.

REAR ENTRIES: Stop Teasing Us

December 07, 2010 at 01:14pm by Scott   •  4 Comments »

Rear Entries 53

BLOUNT NOMINATED FOR ROTW AGAIN: LeGarrette Blount was nominated for yet another Rookie of the Week award that he will not win. Sean Lee intercepted Peyton Manning twice, one for a touchdown. A running back who does an excellent job week after week just isn’t glamorous enough to take that prize. The Bucs are playing with more just-out-of-college guys than Tom Cruise on vacation and somehow they still can’t lock up a single winner. And the hope I had about Mike Williams winning the ROTY award is pretty much dead. Sam Bradford has all the hype and will probably win by a landslide.

I know that’s a shitty way to ask you to vote for Blount, but go ahead and do it. Every vote he gets is one more notice that the Bucs shouldn’t be ignored. Fucking Max Hall

ARRON SEARS DIDN’T SHOW FOR COURT: Arron Sears had a court date yesterday for his arraignment on charges of beating up a cop back in June, and much to everyone’s surprise, this mentally-ill giant whom no one is looking after didn’t show.

Circuit Judge Kimberly Fernandez issued the warrant when Sears failed to show at the scheduled arraignment. No attorney appeared on Sears behalf. He had been free on $2,000 bond.

The fact that Sears has flipped out is bad enough, but it’s so much worse that whatever family he has is allowing him to wander the streets aimlessly and not looking after his affairs — like felony arraignments. The dude was Baker Acted for three days; everyone knew where he was. His mom or aunt or best friend or whatever could have come to Tampa and either taken custody of him or had him held longer if he really was a threat to anyone and at least gotten some shit into motion. If he won’t take his pills, crush them up in his applesauce. SOMEONE HELP THIS DUDE.

THIS ARTICLE HAS NO REASON TO EXIST: I read Martin Fennelly‘s latest article after the loss to Atlanta and I can’t think of an event that was more of a waste of five minutes in my life, and believe me, I’ve squandered years on complete bullshit. Here’s how it starts:

If the Tampa Bay Buccaneers were a 7-5 college football team, they wouldn’t be going to a New Year’s Day Bowl, though I guess the Outback Back is filled with 7-5 teams this year.

Congratulations on a fine season … Florida?

I really don’t know what that has to do with anything. And every sentence is its own paragraph, I guess because he thinks each one is so precious that it deserves its own space. That or he doesn’t know how to create drama any other way. He has more unnecessary pauses than William Shatner with the hiccups.

The Super Bowl champion Saints could have fallen badly to the two-win Bengals, but didn’t. The Bears could have been upended by the two-win Lions, but weren’t.

The Giants, Eagles and Packers calmly took care of business.

Among the NFC playoff hopefuls, only the Bucs fell by the wayside.

The Bucs lost two in a row and all of a sudden he’s saying they’re not as good as everyone thought they were. Except we all knew how good they were and how their record was stacking up and, at least from what I read in this site’s comments, everyone knew how ahead-of-schedule the Bucs were. They were bound to stumble — we all saw this coming. Why does this self-important shit-sprayer think he’s imparting some profound insight to us? It’s just so awful.

I don’t know if it’s all about youth. It was a veteran Bucs team that collapsed with four consecutive losses to end the Tampa Bay career of Monday Night Football announcer and University of Miami coach Jon Gruden.

Is… is that funny? Gruden already said he wasn’t going to coach Miami, so… I don’t get the joke. If Fennelly had said Denver Broncos coach Jon Gruden, that would have been a little funny since Gruden is always tied to every coaching vacancy that comes up, so at least it would have been timely. And also, I don’t agree with this whole premise about the Bucs hitting some wall. They lost two games that they should have lost, and they played them pretty close. When they start losing games they should win, then you can say they’re hitting a wall. Sigh, if only Fennelly would hit a wall. In his car.

More On Sears’s Summer Arrest

November 16, 2010 at 09:58am by Scott   •  No Comments »

Arron Sears mugshot from Saturday
Details finally came to light on what happened with Arron Sears this summer that got him arrested this weekend.

Sears was being hospitalized at the request of his personal physician under the Baker Act, which empowers police officers to take people who appear likely to harm themselves or others in for mental evaluation, said Tampa police spokeswoman Laura McElroy.

So last Saturday was actually Sears’s second Baker Acting. The first one was put on him by his own doctor.

In the June incident, Sears became combative when a nurse asked him to change into a paper gown, McElroy said.

If you were 360 pounds, would you want to change into a paper gown? Fuck no. In 2010, we don’t have a suitable substitute for a paper gown that allows doctors the “access” they need but also preserves privacy and some level of dignity? Whoever invents that will be insanely rich. We’re talking drug dealer-rich.

A police officer, who was there on extra duty because of a previous incident at the hospital in which it took 10 people to subdue Sears, stepped in when Sears fled the room, she said.

So there’s an earlier third incident, too. This just gets deeper and deeper. Plus… ten people? Man, I really wish he was still blocking for the Bucs.

That’s when Sears grabbed the officer’s arms and pushed his body against him. Sears also pushed a nurse, sending the nurse 4 or 5 feet into the air, McElroy said.

The officer used a Taser to subdue Sears and he was eventually returned to his hospital room.

I once sent a nurse flying four or five feet in the air, but for an entirely different reason. Why would you stand so close to me during a prostate exam?

The officer pressed charges against Sears in hopes he would receive court-mandated medical health counseling, she said.

So the officer pressed charges in June, but Sears wasn’t arrested? There’s no arrest record for Sears from back then, and the warrant was still open when he was arrested in Saturday. How did he get out of getting arrested on the spot in June, especially considering he had just assaulted a police officer? That’s the part I don’t understand.

At least he’s getting some kind of treatment now and can hopefully start down the path to recovery from whatever it is he has. It would be interesting to find out if this can be linked to football-related concussions or if it’s just something he was born with. During this period of heightened awareness for wide receivers and defensive backs getting concussions, Sears’s situation could also give much-needed attention to the big guys up front who take more helmet-to-helmet hits than anyone. Again, good luck to Sears.

Arron Sears Was Baker Acted

November 15, 2010 at 01:22pm by Scott   •  2 Comments »

Arron Sears
No jokes here, people. Arron Sears was found “wandering” the Citrus Park section of Tampa on Saturday afternoon and, because of an outstanding warrant for assault on a police officer, was arrested.

Based on his behavior, deputies decided Sears needed to be held for a mental health evaluation under the state’s Baker Act, which allows people considered to be a danger to themselves or others to be held for as long as 72 hours.

I put the word “wandering” in quotes because it’s kind of a loaded word. He could have just been walking, but I think I have to give the police the benefit of the doubt here based on Sears’s history. Evidently, Sears still has an address in Tampa about a mile from where he was arrested.

“I can’t go into much detail, but if he had not had criminal charges, he would have gone to the hospital for evaluation, not jail,” said sheriff’s office spokesman Sgt. Larry McKinnon.

I don’t remember ever hearing about Sears being in trouble this summer. I guess unless the arrest actually happens, not much gets reported. But Sears is obviously in some kind of altered state because everything I’ve ever heard about him is how amiable he is.

Sears, who played left guard at Tennessee, was drafted by Tampa Bay in 2007 by former coach Jon Gruden and general manager Bruce Allen.

Just as a point of clarification, Sears played offensive tackle, not guard, at Tennessee.

I don’t know who’s supposed to be watching out for him or helping him get the care he needs, but Sears obviously needs some professional help and guidance. I wish him all the best.

Sears Cut, Others Too I Guess

April 26, 2010 at 03:27pm by Scott   •  7 Comments »

Here's to hoping Arron finds the help he needs.
The Bruce Allen/Jon Gruden regime earns another round of fail on the house for yet another high draft pick that contributed very little. This time it’s Arron Sears, cut after taking 2009 off following an excellent 2008 season. Hey, guess what position the Bucs didn’t draft this year.

He was working out and lifting weights as early as March, 2010, but the team was not confident that his personal problems were behind him and decided to part ways with him, fearing that his NFL playing days might be over.

Last I heard people were cautiously optimistic, but that evidently didn’t last too long. Sears was the Bucs’ best hope at left guard and was clearly a better player than Jeremy Zuttah. At this point, Zuttah will probably go into camp as the starter and compete with Shaun Murphy.

Tampa Bay has also waived guard Shawn Murphy, cornerback Stoney Woodson and punter Sam Paulescu.

I… I see. So the Bucs now have Zuttah and no one for left guard. As I said, they didn’t draft a single offensive lineman this weekend, so all they have are a couple undrafted free agents at this point to push Zuttah at all. I know there’s a de facto ban on quality free agents at One Buc, but they might want to consider making an exception here. Like a big exception.

The Jets released Alan Faneca and already informed the Pro Bowl guard of the move, according to a league source. Faneca joined the Jets as a free agent before the 2008 season, and he has been selected to nine consecutive Pro Bowls.

It goes against everything the Bucs stand for this season, I’m just throwing it out there. Unless they plan on playing Gerald McCoy at guard, too, they don’t have this year’s draft to lean on anymore and it would be a mistake to let Zuttah enter camp uncontested except for a couple scrubs. Are they planning on playing Xavier Fulton at guard? You can’t just kick someone inside and expect it to work right away, can you?

No one expected Woodson to stick around. I thought Paulescu would at least make it to camp to compete with Brent Van Halen but I guess the Bucs have seen enough to give the rookie the punting job out of the gate.

With regard to Sears, if he is still suffering from some kind of mental or emotional ailment as everyone suspects, this is the best thing for him. You can’t mess with that stuff — especially in a profession like football where you get your head rattled around daily. Good luck to a great Volunteer in his future endeavors.

REAR ENTRIES: Revenge Of The Rear Entry

April 13, 2010 at 02:38pm by Scott   •  1 Comment »

I had never seen this picture before, but it made me smile so here you go. Jeff Garcia is the meat in a man sandwich.
SEARS NOT READY TO PLAY YET: According to Jeff Faine, Arron Sears still has a long way to go before he’s in playing shape.

“I think the best way I can describe it is for the two months I was off, I gained 10 pounds and was out of shape,” Faine said. “He’s been off for a year. He’s working back into it, and he’s making strides. He’s getting back into shape. Is he ready to play now? No. But I’m not ready to play now either. That’s what this for, and he had a year off so he’s getting back into it.”

At this point I look at Sears like a no-lose situation because I’m not counting on him to be a factor. If he can’t get back into playing shape, he goes on his way. If he can, it’s a bonus for a position that could really use his help.

A position that I could really use help in: reverse cowgirl. How do you keep roofied chicks from slidin’ off?

THANKS GERALD!: Gerald McCoy twittered a few times during his visit to One Buc Place. Here’s a fun one:

“Rough trip to Tampa having Tonsillitis and all but you know nothing will stop Gerald from reaching his dream. Especially with God on my side”

Say, did you know tonsillitis can be contagious for up to two weeks when you first get it? And I’ll bet he took a nice long tour of the locker room and probably, you know, breathed while he was in there and everything. Probably shook hands with a few players, maybe even a couple of those bro hugs where you’re kind of cheek to cheek. Thanks, buddy. Don’t worry, though, Tampa will get its revenge. You have to be immunized just to drive down Dale Mabry. If he opened his window on the limo ride back to the airport, he’s taking some shit back with him that the CDC hasn’t even cataloged yet.

WILKERSON IS ALMOST GONE: At least that’s what Roy Cummings says here:

NFL.com is reporting that DE Jimmy Wilkerson is on the verge of signing with the New Orleans Saints.

But this is what NFL.com, the site he referenced, says:

Wilkerson, a seven-year veteran who has spent the last two seasons in Tampa Bay, had dinner with coaches and team officials as part of a productive visit and could end up signing with the Saints.

That doesn’t exactly sound like “on the verge” but whatever. Cummings goes on to say that the Bucs really won’t care if he signs somewhere else, and that part is true. It has become obvious that the Bucs would just as soon watch any player over the age of 26 get catapulted into the sun than lift a finger to try and keep them. It will be a challenge, but they could actually achieve their goal of fielding a team of 52 rookies plus Josh Freeman before the season starts.

Wilkerson is set to visit Seattle if New Orleans lets him leave.

How It Is: Offensive Line

February 24, 2010 at 01:12pm by Scott   •  No Comments »

Graham puckers up for an uncomfortable kiss.
CURRENT ROSTER: Jeff Faine, Jonathan Compas, Jeremy Zuttah, Shawn Murphy, Davin Joseph, Arron Sears, Marc Dile, Donald Penn, Demar Dotson, James Lee, Xavier Fulton, Jeremy Trueblood

Last year, most analysts and other people who don’t actually work for a living considered the offensive line Tampa Bay’s team strength. The new coaching staff brought in the zone-blocking scheme which some were optimistic about if only for the fact that it was different than what the Bucs had done before, and everything they did before sucked. But after getting off to a good start in Dallas, the zone scheme didn’t hold up. And whether the problem was the players not being suited for it or the coaches not doing a good job of teaching it, zone-blocking didn’t work out and Greg Olson didn’t waste much time re-integrating some power and gap schemes back into the mix. The assumption is that they stick mostly with power, with some zone sprinkled in here and there.

Faine is still probably the best offensive lineman on the team despite the occasional bad read or missing the snap with Josh Freeman or allowing some defensive tackle push here and there. He’s a team captain and one of the best friends a new quarterback can have. He’s not going anywhere.

Compas made the 53-man roster last year after being signed the week before the regular season started and made it through the whole season without being cut. That’s pretty remarkable for a guy we really know nothing about. I would say that he could be easily replaced, but the staff obviously likes something about him. Still, there’s going to be competition for the backup center spot. Compas isn’t all that safe.

Dile started out on the 53-man squad in 2009, then he was waived, signed to the practice squad, waived again, and now is signed to a future contract. Dile is primarily a guard, but can play pretty much any spot on the line, which gives him added value. But I don’t think it’s enough. He was consistently blown up in 1-on-1s in training camp last year and is pretty small, even for an interior lineman. I think his USF pedigree helped him stick as well. There are better options.

Zuttah is another guy who people have said can play several positions, but when he was called upon to replace Penn at left tackle, it was a slaughterhouse. Zuttah is a guard or a center, period. Zuttah has enough starting experience now to secure his spot on the team in 2010, but he may have to go back to being a backup again if Sears gets back into shape and reclaims his left guard spot.

Speaking of Sears, word is that he has been working out diligently at One Buc Place and is trying to get back into shape for minicamps and OTAs. That’s good news because Sears came back from his year-long hiatus fat and obviously out of shape. If he’s serious and has his head back into football, he could easily fit right back into his left guard spot and be an instant upgrade over Zuttah. Chances are the two will compete for the starting spot in camp, which is the way to go. But Sears at his best easily beats Zuttah at his.

Murphy was mostly inactive last year, but he came in against the Falcons at left guard when Zuttah kicked out to tackle. I honestly don’t remember how he played, which probably means he was good enough to not get noticed. Murphy is expendable at this point.

Joseph just keeps getting better. He also had some miscues last year, but no one is perfect. Joseph pretty much has a lock on the right guard spot.

The Bucs will reportedly place the highest restricted free agent tender on Penn, making it highly unlikely that any team will pursue him. Penn won’t be happy about it, but he can blame the NFL and the union for that since he would be an unrestricted free agent if 2010 hadn’t gone uncapped. There’s no telling if his disgruntlement will affect his play, but when he’s on he’s one of the better left tackles in the league right now. He definitely goes into camp as the favorite for the left tackle spot again, barring some weird draft scenario where the Bucs use their #3 pick to take a tackle. There will be some token competition, but I don’t see anyone beating him out.

Dotson is an odd cat. He beat out James Lee for a roster spot last year because of his ability to play the swing tackle/guard role. He was Trueblood’s replacement at Carolina when Trueblood drew a stupid personal foul. And then a couple weeks later, he came in at tight end against the Seahawks (drawing his own flag for not reporting eligible). The only other play I remember Dotson being involved in is when he allowed a Saints defensive end to push him back and hit Freeman’s arm. But Dotson is fucking enormous (listed at 6-9, 315) and you can’t coach that. I don’t know that he has the technique to truly compete for a starting spot, but he’ll definitely be given a chance to compete for a backup role again.

As long as we’re talking about Lee, he made it into a game once last season and spent the rest of his time either inactive or on the practice squad. Lee didn’t have a particularly noteworthy camp last year after surprising people in 2008 when he gave Penn a real run. I think he’s strictly depth and could easily be cut again.

Raheem Morris has had an assful of Trueblood and he’s going to have to show that he can avoid dumb penalties and mistakes if he wants to keep starting on the right side. If the Bucs don’t just let him walk outright, they’re definitely going to bring some competition in for him. One guy who could push him is Fulton, who was on injured reserve all of 2009 after tearing his ACL in the preseason. Fulton has mostly played left tackle while dabbling now and then at left guard, but there’s nothing to say he couldn’t move over to the right side and give Trueblood a swift kick in the ass. Fulton had a good camp and a decent preseason before his injury and could make things interesting for either Trueblood or Penn. As a Bucs draft pick last year, he’ll definitely have the edge over anyone the team brings in to compete for those backup spots.

Just like with every other position, the free agency class for offensive linemen sucks a big one this year. Eugene Amano would have fit right in at left guard for the Bucs, but the Titans locked him up for five years last week. The quality drops of quite a bit after him.

If the Bucs are looking for a good swing interior lineman to give Zuttah some pressure, they could look at Rex Hadnot. He’s got significant starting experience and can play any of the three interior positions. He was injured last year and only played in nine games, so chances are that if Cleveland doesn’t re-sign him that he’ll come relatively cheap. He hasn’t really flashed lately, but he’s been on the Browns, so there you go. He’s only 28 and has more experience than Zuttah.

Man, the tackle pool is low this year. Mike Williams? Levi Jones? Tra Thomas? All these former first-round picks who aren’t worth a shit anymore. I mean, maybe they could fill in for some depth or something, but neither Penn nor Trueblood will take them seriously as competition to their spot. The best tackle options out there seem to be Tony Pashos and Mike Gandy. Both players ended their 2009 on injured reserve, Pashos with a broken shoulder blade and Gandy with a sports hernia. Gandy is the superior player and did a good job keeping Kurt Warner on his feet (Arizona was the sixth-best in the league in sacks allowed with 260.) As a result, he’ll demand more money than Pashos, who will likely come pretty cheap. But with Penn a threat to hold out if he doesn’t get a long-term deal and Trueblood needing a good prodding, either one of these guys might be a good pickup.

As for the draft, the Bucs are in play to get Russell Okung (Oklahoma State) with their first-round pick if certain other conditions fall into place. Okung has been called the best offensive tackle in college football — strong, durable, good recovery skills if he gets beaten initially. Oklahoma State runs the spread, so he has mostly played in a two-point stance, but the conversion shouldn’t be that much of a problem. Also a result of the spread is that his pass-blocking skills are significantly more developed than his run-blocking, which still is very good. But one thing I hear about him is that he doesn’t have much of a “nasty” streak like some will say they like in their linemen. What would be nasty is the reaction to his selection by Penn, Trueblood, Zuttah and Sears, any one of whom could quickly be replaced by Okung.

Unless the Bucs move down in the first round, no other offensive lineman makes sense that high up. Tackle Charles Brown (Southern Cal) will probably still be available with the Bucs’ third-round pick unless there is a run on offensive linemen after the top few prospects go. Brown is more upside than actual production at this point. He is a converted tight end who would need to add some weight to be seriously considered a starter. But because of his tight end background, he is quick on his feet and has an excellent kick-slide.

A guy who might be available in the fourth or fifth round is John Jerry (Ole Miss). Jerry is the brother of Peria Jerry from last year that everyone thought the Bucs were taking. John doesn’t have the same athleticism of his brother, but he’s strong and tall and was a four-year starter in the SEC. He’s a beast in the running game but hasn’t shown the nimble feet for pass-blocking. He’s a guard all the way and a project, much like Fulton, that will benefit from NFL coaching that can mold his great size and strength.

This year’s crop of draftable offensive linemen isn’t quite as deep as last year’s. Brown or Jerry might be good prospects, but I’m not really excited about them. And even though Chris Scott (Tennessee) looked decent in the Senior Bowl, I don’t consider him anything more than a career backup in the NFL, so I can’t even be a homer in this case. But the Bucs need to get some quality line depth and guard themselves against possible holdouts. The best way to do that is to sign one or two of the free agents above and take a flyer on a low-round guy in the draft that can be coached along to be a good backup or part-time starter.