Bucsblitz.com Senior Bowl chatter

Bucsblitz.com Senior Bowl Chatter is devoted to keeping you up to date with what's going on with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers at the Senior Bowl. Inside is the Tuesday morning update, including comments on two players that have already spoken to the Buccaneers.

Updated 8:28 p.m. EST Tuesday

TUESDAY, JAN. 22

BUCS SEEN: Director of pro scouting Mark Dominik, General Manager Bruce Allen, head coach Jon Gruden, offensive line coach Bill Muir, defensive backs coach Raheem Morris and personnel executive Doug Williams.

CURRENT AND FORMER BUCS REUNION: At one point Bucs defensive coordinator Monte Kiffin sat with a couple of his protégés — Lions head coach Rod Marinelli and Bears head coach Lovie Smith. Gruden also traded hugs with a couple of former assistants, current Steelers head coach Mike Tomlin and Lions defensive coordinator Joe Barry.

AT THE BAR: Gruden and Allen were spotted by Chatter having a drink at the Renaissance Hotel bar, engaged in conversation with Dallas Cowboys executive vice president Stephen Jones.

PLAYERS THE BUCS HAVE SPOKEN TO OR WILL MEET WITH: Florida WR Andre Caldwell, Arkansas DT Marcus Harrison, Vanderbilt OL Chris Williams, California RB Justin Forsett, USC DE Lawrence Jackson, East Carolina RB Chris Johnson and Virginia Tech LB Xavier Adibi.

IDLE CHATTER: Cal RB Justin Forsett said his conversation with the Bucs earlier this week lasted about 15 to 20 minutes and centered on his background and family. "It went well," Forsett said. "They just wanted to know more about me." He had no indication coming into the Senior Bowl that the Bucs wanted to speak to him. … One Bucs official said Tuesday that the interviews at the Scouting Combine should be enlightening. By then the Bucs will have at least five sets of film on every player on their board and those 30-minute conversations in Indianapolis will be one of the key components to determine their player visits in April. … New Rams running backs coach Art Valero made his first visible appearance at the Senior Bowl since his remarks about the Bucs and Gruden upon his departure two weeks ago. … USC DT Sedrick Ellis, who made no secret to Chatter that he would like to become a Buc, performed above average in one-on-one drills on Tuesday morning. … USC LB Keith Rivers invoked Derrick Brooks' name when talking about the players he fashioned his playing style after. Rivers played the weak side in the Trojans' Cover 2 defense, but Rivers doesn't believe he should be limited to the weak side. He's played all three linebacker positions in the last two North practices. … LSU wide receiver Early Doucet said he had interest in the Bucs because of Michael Clayton, another LSU wide receiver whom the Bucs took in the first round in 2004 and because of their stable quarterback situation with veteran Jeff Garcia as the starter. But Doucet received interest on Tuesday from the Vikings and the Browns, and he said the Bucs have not met with him yet. Given Doucet's blend of receiving ability and kick return prowess, that's likely to change at some point. … Florida State DT Andre Fluellen was another player singing the Bucs' praises on Tuesday. The Seminole can play the three-technique or the nose and made no secret that he enjoyed watching Bucs games when Warren Sapp was with the team. He's also talked to the Bucs, making him the third defensive tackle Chatter has talked with that has met with the Bucs.

QUOTABLE: "Hey Finish!." — A Raiders coach to Oklahoma State running back Dantrell Savage, who lost a block during one-on-one blitz pickup drills against North linebackers.

MONDAY, JAN. 21

BUCS SEEN: Director of College Scouting Dennis Hickey, personnel director Doug Williams, college scout Dominic Green, general manager Bruce Allen, secondary coach Raheem Morris, offensive line coach Bill Muir, head coach Jon Gruden, former Bucs player and current Bucs scout Reggie Cobb.

BUCS WE KNOW ARE HERE BUT WE HAVEN'T SEEN: Director of Pro Personnel Mark Dominik.

FORMER BUCS WE'VE SEEN: The complete Detroit Lions contingent, including head coach Rod Marinelli, defensive coordinator Joe Barry and new secondary coach Jimmy Lake, who was chummy with Morris all day at the South practice.

OLD FACES IN NEW PLACES: Marinelli, Barry and Lake all had friendly conversations with Allen during the South practice, with Lake getting a near-noogie from the normally staid GM.

IDLE CHATTER: Head coach Jon Gruden was watching the quarterbacks — naturally — during the South practice. But he appeared to pay the most attention to Kentucky's Andre Woodson, whose blend of size, arm strength and mobility are probably enough to keep Gruden tantalized throughout the pre-draft scouting process. … Bruce Allen said the Bucs felt the coaching staff would be complete by the Super Bowl. The Bucs have clear openings at quarterbacks and running backs. Remember this name ¬— Mike Mularkey. The former Bills head coach and Steelers and Dolphins offensive coordinator will be in Mobile this week talking to several teams, and it's believed there could be an announcement on Mularkey's status in a couple of days. The Bucs could be in the running and Mularkey could be a good fit at quarterbacks. … Allen confirmed that Bucs C John Wade has voidable years on the final two years of his contract, but said Wade and his agent haven't let him know if Wade will exercise the option. … Allen didn't talk about published reports of the Bucs' potential invitation to an overseas regular-season game in 2008, but it makes sense. The Chiefs — one of the other three teams considered a candidate — is also interested and will host the Bucs this year. Neither team would want a division or conference game to be the overseas game. Super Bowl week could be busy for the Bucs. Along with the coaching staff and the NFL's plans to announce the overseas game, the Bucs are supposedly going to have their hearing concerning Jake Plummer's contract that week. … Elsewhere, the Browns coaching staff was a closely-knit group on Monday, and even gave one reporter a dirty look when he came over to their gathering to retrieve a bag he had left there earlier. Head coach Romeo Crennel spent plenty of time with Muir. The pair coached together in the 1990s with the Jets. … There aren't just NFL scouts in Mobile this week. The Canadian Football League has scouts for the Senior Bowl. Chatter has seen jackets for the Edmonton Eskimos, the Toronto Argonauts and the Calgary Stampeders. … Chatter spent time with Texas wide receiver Limas Sweed, who proved engaging and eager to play football after a five-month absence due to a wrist injury. "I feel like a caged dog," Sweed said. "I just want to get back out there." He said he had no intention of pulling out of the game if he could play. Doctors medically cleared him last week. He's made a nice first-round pick for just about any team, including the Bucs, who have a clear need at the position.

QUOTABLE: "You came out like an old woman." — Niners wide receivers coach Jerry Sullivan, to LSU wide receiver Early Doucet after Doucet ran a bad route.

Matthew Postins covers the Buccaneers for BucsBlitz.com and the Charlotte Sun-Herald in Port Charlotte, Fla. An award-winning member of the Pro Football Writers Association, he appears frequently on Scot Brantley Show from 3-6 p.m. weekdays on WHBO 1470-AM in Tampa-Clearwater.


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