Tampa Bay Buccaneers defensive tackle Warren Sapp had picked his favorite and told those who wanted to hear that he was rooting for Darby to make the team. Sapp liked Darby's quickness and desire, not to mention his pass rushing potential.
Darby didn't make the team, but after spending a year on Tampa Bay's practice squad, he is poised to make the Bucs' 53-man roster this year. So does Sapp have any favorites this year? You bet.
"Yeah, (Robert) Kilow and (Ellis) Wyms. I like Kilow. Kilow's exciting. I told Kilow you start out last week hot as fire and then you're trying to find a way to the waiver wire by letting the ball hit the ground. What are you doing with yourself? I guess that was a good learning experience for him and he's still on this ball club and he has a shot this week to go to Atlanta and solidify him a spot on this team. That's all you can ask for is a shot in this league."
Sapp is referring to the rookie wide receiver from Arkansas State, who has totalled two catches for 17 yards on offense, but is trying to win a spot on the team as a kick and punt returner. Kilow did have a poor outing against New England after ripping off a 41-yard punt return against Cleveland and a 21-yarder against the Patriots. He mishandled one punt while letting two others hit the ground instead of fielding them. Both punts rolled inside the Bucs' 20, with one of them being downed at the 6.
Sapp said Kilow just has to play smart football, catch the ball and make something happen with it when he does.
"He runs like he stole something," Sapp said of Kilow. "He runs out of fear. He's an undrafted free agent and he's got a long road to hoe. We've got Truth who's second in the all-time history of punt returns, so he's got a tough hill to climb. But he's working."
Regarding Ellis, who played both defensive end and tackle for Mississippi State last year, Sapp said he made a good impression from the start, and that he brings the versatility that Tyoka Jackson brought to the defense.
"I liked Ellis the first day I saw him because he has good hips," Sapp said. "I said, 'Ooh, he's got my moves.' I like that kid a lot. He can play inside and outside for us. That is what we've always needed with Tyoka's departure. We needed a dual guy that could play both for us. Ellis is doing a good job for us."
Wyms only has three tackles in preseason action, but has been a pass rushing force with the second- and third-string units. Unlike Kilow, Wyms, the team's sixth-round draft pick, has a pretty good chance of making the team due to his versatility. It also helps that he has Sapp lobbying for him.
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