Simeon Rice is back — in the news, anyway.
I woke up this morning to find out that Rice will be in Albany, N.Y., on Wednesday for a physical with the New York Giants. They're considering signing Rice to take up Michael Strahan's spot, should the 14th-year defensive end choose to retire.
Something tells me Rice will pass that physical. Call it a hunch.
New York is always a place for big headlines, so signing Rice would be a plus. Can you imagine the loquacious Rice chatting with the New York media every week? Headlines abound.
And what if Strahan chooses to come back? Can you imagine a team having the No. 1 and No. 2 active sack masters on opposite ends of the same defensive line? And, guess what — they don't particularly like each other, either.
Every sports editor in the tri-state area is imagining his circulation spiking. A feud between two great players always makes for great copy — and great revenue.
Now this would be entertaining.
Surely Eli Manning would love to cede his spot in the New York City microscope for at least one year.
Now, on to Monday's practice update.
Mixing it up: Jamie Winborn was back with the first group at weak side linebacker in place of Derrick Brooks, who didn't participate in 11-on-11 drills for the second straight morning. Brooks dressed out, though, and put in his traditional interception session with linebackers coach Gus Bradley.
Defensive coordinator Monte Kiffin, naturally, wants Brooks in that spot come the regular season. But he said he's more than comfortable with Winborn, who started for San Francisco a few years ago and actually returned to Tampa Bay for a second season, despite a serious lack of playing time in 2006.
"He could start for a lot of different teams," Kiffin said. "And he has."
Also on defense, the second-group safeties — Sabby Piscitelli and Tanard Jackson — put in some work with the first group, as did defensive tackle Darrell Campbell, who normally works with the third group. Kiffin loves to mix personnel this time of year, especially on the defensive line, where he's impressed with the depth and optimistic that the line's pass rush will improve, even with Rice gone.
"The thing is, you have to have the depth," Kiffin said. "You can't have Greg Spires playing 65 snaps a game. You can't get to the fourth quarter and have your guys tire. So you've got to have several players that can get it done."
They'll give anyone a mic: Today I spotted "Bucified Bert, Dream Seeker." At least that's what it said on his cape.
Bert was apparently doing some video work for TBO.com. He wasn't hard to miss. He had a pirate ship hat on his head, was dressed from head to toe in Buccaneers clothing and — did I mention he was wearing a cape?
By the way, "Bucified" stands for "Be Understanding Citizens Identify Friendly Individuals Each Day."
Bert made the late "Crazy Ray," the Cowboys' Super Fan in Dallas, look tame in comparison. Of course, Bert isn't walking around with a stick horse between his legs, so maybe it's the same.
What's up with Maurice: WR Maurice Stovall walked off toward the end of practice with a team trainer and headed to the locker room. He didn't seem to be in any discomfort, and he returned to the field after practice to do his usual post-practice workout with fellow receivers Chas Gessner and Michael Clayton. I'll update with his status in the Afternoon Blitz.
Gaines' wingspan: I saw DE Gaines Adams bat down his first pass today, a floater into the flat by Jeff Garcia. He can get some air under his feet, and his wingspan is pretty similar to Rice's. Those quick reflexes will be a plus once he gets the scheme down.
Galloway back: WR Joey Galloway returned to practice this morning after missing Sunday's workouts to watch his AFL Columbus Destroyers lose in the title game to San Jose.
You have a lot to learn: Here's one of those notes you can only get if you're at practice.
Rookie linebacker Sam Hayward found himself in coverage out wide on running back Michael Pittman. Bradley actually asked Hayward to come up closer to the line so he could jam Pittman.
Thing is, you don't jam Pittman, not with those arms and that upper body. Pittman is only five pounds lighter than Hayward, who tried to jam Pittman but didn't' stand much of a chance. Pittman brushed it off and caught a 20-yard pass from Bruce Gradkowski.
Hayward wasn't happy about it, but at least he knew what to do next. He found Brooks — who was watching the play from about 15 feet away — and asked him for advice. Brooks was happy to oblige.
Here's a taste of what he can do: Piscitelli gave the fans a taste of what he can do when he hit tight end Alex Smith on Monday morning.
Smith caught a pass out of the flat and was heading upfield when he and Piscitelli met on the sideline. Piscitelli hit him up high, hard enough to decleat Smith and send him to the ground.
Thing was, Piscitelli wasn't going full speed. Not even close. He was probably about 50 percent. I can't wait to see this guy go full bore into someone in preseason.
Check in with BucsBlitz.com for the Afternoon Blitz, your afternoon workout connection. Today the session is entirely devoted to special teams.
Have a question for Buccaneers expert Matthew Postins? E-mail him at firstname.lastname@example.org and he'll personally answer your e-mail, and possibly feature it in an upcoming feature.
Matthew Postins covers the Buccaneers for BucsBlitz.com and the Charlotte Sun-Herald in Port Charlotte, Fla. He is a member of the Pro Football Writers Association. Included among his more than two dozen writing and editing awards are national awards from the PFWA, the National Newspaper Association and the Associated Press Sports Editors, and state awards from the Florida Press Club and the Florida Sports Writers Association, for his coverage of the Buccaneers since 2004.