Tampa Bay general manager Bruce Allen revealed that wide receiver Joey Galloway had shoulder surgery earlier this week to repair the injury that limited him during the Buccaneers' playoff loss to the New York Giants.
Allen was in Phoenix on Friday for Super Bowl festivities.
That was the biggest revelation during a 15-minute interview with the Tampa press corps in Phoenix to cover Super Bowl XLII game between the Giants and the New England Patriots.
Galloway injured his shoulder in the regular-season finale and caught just one pass in the playoff game against the Giants. He was taken out of that game late due to ineffectiveness. The severity of the injury was unclear at the time, leading to questions about a rift between Galloway and head coach Jon Gruden, both of whom denied such a rift shortly after the season.
"It was successful," Allen said. "Both (shoulders) are still there. We took an inventory. I know what it is but I won't get into it. He should be fine."
Allen said that the surgery wasn't a matter of not knowing the severity of the injury but of Galloway hoping that he could rehab the injury without surgery.
"It was something Joey thought he could work out in the weeks after that game (the Giants), but he was still having some pain with it," Allen said. "So he got it re-analyzed and he thought the best thing to do was to scope it."
Allen said Galloway will be ready for the Bucs' offseason program, which begins March 1.
COACHING VACANCIES: Allen did confirm that the Bucs have spoken to both Rams assistant coach Greg Olson and Redskins assistant coach Earnest Byner about their vacant quarterback and running back coaching positions, respectively.
Olson is still under contract with the Rams through the Super Bowl and Allen did not indicate if an announcement was forthcoming.
"We did interview and talk to Greg Olson," Allen said. "We talked to Earnest and had a nice conversation, but that's all."
Allen also indicated that recently-retired fullback Mike Alstott would not be a candidate for the running backs job, but that was because Alstott does not want to coach at this time.
"Mike as he knows is always associated with us, no matter what he does," Allen said. "He's going to take some time and figure out what he wants to do. For a guy who just retired, he sure has a lot of commitments already made.
"But I don't think he wants to coach right now, and it's (because of) the time (involved). He said he wasn't going to do anything half-heartedly."
Allen said most of the league was aware of the allegations made in the article before Stevens was drafted six years ago.
"I don't know the officers that were quoted in that article," Allen said. "Most of those details were fairly common knowledge before the draft. Anything that a player legally has been convicted or charged on (before the draft), we get it. Now there were new comments in there about personal opinions."
He also said that Stevens has an appeal in the works for his recent conviction on DUI in nearby Scottsdale last year.
He said the Bucs would take a wait-and-see approach in regards to re-signing Stevens, who is an unrestricted free agent.
"Let's see how he does in his trial here in the offseason," Allen said. "We shouldn't get into that yet."
GETTING WITH GRAHAM: Allen said he hasn't been able to sit down with running back Earnest Graham and his agent to work on a contract extension. He said he'll be attacking Graham's contract, and several others, once the Super Bowl ends.
"It's more scheduling of several players to talk to," Allen said. "This week, you always think, ‘We'll get together for a lunch,' and then sorry (no time)," Allen said.
Allen did say the team worked the last two weeks to finalize its free agent list and will focus first on current players that don't have contracts. Graham enters 2008 in the final year of his contract.
CARNELL'S REHAB: Allen said running back Carnell Williams has had some "good days" as his rehab from a torn patellar tendon injury suffered last October.
But there is no timetable yet in terms of Williams' return to the practice field.
"He has to reach certain plateaus before we can determine the next steps," Allen said.
KELLY'S CONTRACT: Allen said he spoke briefly to cornerback Brian Kelly after the season, but before news broke that the 10-year veteran was considering buying out the final year of his contract and becoming a free agent.
Allen said talking to Kelly was on his to-do list before free agency began.
"We'll talk about it," Allen said. "I want to know what he wants to do."
NO DISAPPOINTMENT IN NOT GOING OVERSEAS: Allen expressed no disappointment in the Bucs not being selected to play a regular season game overseas in 2008.
"No. I love our stadium," Allen said. "I love our fans."
TICKET PRICE INCREASE: Allen said he was aware that ticket prices will go up for Buccaneers games in 2008, but an official announcement has not been made yet and he didn't want to get into specifics.
"When you look at our situation, we'll be in the middle of the league with an increase," Allen said. "If you study what the other teams have done in the last 10 years, you'll see that when we release the information."
Matthew Postins covers the Buccaneers for Bucsblitz.com and the Charlotte (Fla.) Sun-Herald. He is a member of the Pro Football Writers Association, and his coverage of the Buccaneers has won numerous state and national awards.