Bucs Sign K Doug Brien

December 27 – The Tampa Bay Buccaneers opted to add an insurance policy to their kicking game on Thursday night by signing eight-year veteran K Doug Brien to a one-year contract. With K Martin Gramatica's status encouraging, but still uncertain, the Bucs will go into Saturday night's game with two kickers on their 53-man roster for the first time since 1992. In other news, Tampa Bay filled their vacant practice squad spot by signing LB Maugaula Tuitele.

Tampa Bay K Martin Gramatica suffered a strained right hamstring last Sunday during the Bucs 48-21 thrashing of the New Orleans Saints. On Thursday, Bucs head coach Tony Dungy suggested Gramatica was ready to kick, but the coaching and training staff wanted to give him another day of rest. As it turned out, Tampa Bay figured they'd be better off safe than sorry, so they signed eight-year K Doug Brien to a one-year contract.

"He (Gramatica) actually felt like he could (kick)," said Dungy. "He wants to and thinks he can and we'll find out."

Brien entered the National Football League with the San Francisco 49ers in 1994 and spent one season kicking for them. From 1995-2000, Brien played for the New Orleans Saints. Brien has drilled 145-of-181 field goal attempts (80.1 percent).

After viewing Brien's career, it's remarkable that he's been unemployed this long. Not only has he connected on 80 percent of his field goal attempts throughout his career, but Brien also ranked seventh in the NFC with 106 points and made 23-of-29 field goals last season.

For the first time since 1992, Tampa Bay will have two kickers on their 53-man roster. Kickers Kevin Willis and Eddie Murray were the two kickers that were both on Tampa Bay's active roster in 1992.

Brien will wear the jersey number 4.

In order to make room for Brien on their 53-man roster, Tampa Bay placed S Eric Vance (Knee) on the injured reserve.

In other news, Tampa Bay filled their vacant practice squad spot on Thursday by signing LB Maugaula Tuitele (6-2, 253). The former Colorado State linebacker entered the NFL as a rookie free agent with the New England Patriots in April of 2000. Tuitele will wear the jersey number 54.

Tampa Bay Buccaneers Current Practice Squad:

WR Darryl Daniel

LB Maugaula Tuitele

OT Brian Gruber

DE Ron Warner

CB Corey Ivy

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