Bucs RT Walker Accepts Fate

September 2 – While the Tampa Bay Buccaneers continued its experiment with Cornell Green at right tackle during Monday afternoon's practice, Kenyatta Walker addressed the media and discussed the team's decision to remove him from the starting spot. In other news, the Bucs announced its team captains for the 2002 season.

The Buccaneers are still undecided in terms of who their starting right tackle will be when the team plays its regular season opener on Sunday afternoon against the New Orleans Saints.

Tampa Bay third-year G/T Cornell Green, who the team obtained via a trade during the last week of training camp, has started at right tackle in practice this week in place of Kenyatta Walker, who occupied the starting spot during training camp and preseason.

"It's not my decision, it's a part of the game," Walker said Monday. "They're not satisfied with my play so they've put somebody else in there to play. It's part of the business.

"They're going on what is going to help this team win and that's what they think."

Walker, who started at left tackle for the Bucs as a rookie last season, has struggled since the team moved him over to his natural position just before training camp started. He was inconsistent and committed several penalties throughout preseason, which basically forced Tampa Bay to consider other alternatives.

"To be a starter, you can't penalties or mistakes," said Walker. "Right now, they don't feel I'm ready, so they've put somebody else in there.

"I lost it. It's not that somebody beat me."

While some think Bucs head coach Jon Gruden removed Walker from the starting lineup in order to light a fire under him, Walker apparently has received Gruden's message loud and clear.

"I know I can play right tackle," said Walker. "I'm at my position now. Now, I just need to be a man and step up to the challenge. It's no heat off of my back. This is a business. It doesn't matter, however young I am or second-year whatever. We're trying to win something big here and that's how it's going to be."

Coleman Practicing, But Might Not Start
Tampa Bay right guard Cosey Coleman returned to practice this week after he had been sidelined with a knee injury since Aug. 12. But he's been eased back into the practice routine and might not be ready to start against the Saints on Sunday. The Bucs will know more later in the week. If Coleman can't go, Bucs C/G Todd Washington will start at right guard.

Captains Announced
The Buccaneers announced its team captains for the 2002 season. Bucs defensive tackle Warren Sapp, linebacker Derrick Brooks and strong safety John Lynch are the defensive captains. Center Jeff Christy, quarterback Brad Johnson and wide receiver Keenan McCardell are the offensive captains.


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