Are the Bucs seeking a center?

Center doesn't look like a need at the moment, but it could become a big one if John Wade leaves via free agency. How are the Tampa Bay Buccaneers seeking to fill that potential void? Well, they had a formal discussion with at least one center prospect in Indianapolis. Find out about him right here.

Notre Dame center John Sullivan told Bucsblitz.com that he and the Tampa Bay Buccaneers had a formal meeting Wednesday night in anticipation of the beginning of the NFL Scouting Combine on Thursday.

Sullivan — a player Bucsblitz.com targeted as an under-the-radar prospect in its "Combine Crib Sheet: Offense" article, which you can access here — came in at about 305 pounds during his physical.

Sullivan also confirmed suspicions that the Bucs are interested in upgrading the center position. Sullivan said he got that impression during his meeting.

"Yes, yes," Sullivan said. "You're putting me on the spot" is all he could say when asked who from the organization he met with.

Right now the Buccaneers have starter John Wade, but he could choose to void the final two years of his contract and become a free agent. If he does, the Bucs would be left with Dan Buenning, a fourth-year pro who started at left guard in 2005 and 2006 but has never played center in the NFL.

Buenning did not play at all in 2007 as he sat behind Wade and backup center-guard Matt Lehr, who is an unrestricted free agent. Lehr's agent, Robert Lattinville, told Bucsblitz.com last week that he and the Bucs have had dialogue about a new contract.

Sullivan is ranked No. 5 among centers at Scout.com. He made 33 career starts at Notre Dame and took on more responsibility last season with the departure of veteran quarterback Brady Quinn, making more line calls and blocking changes.

"Playing center, both the mental and the physical is very important," Sullivan said. "They have to work together. The center as a lot of responsibility for recognizing fronts, seeing the Mike (linebacker), knowing the defense, and if you have an idea of what's coming you can do your job better."

The Bucs aren't the only team interested in Sullivan. He's also meeting with the Seahawks and the Rams on Wednesday night and he met with the Broncos both at the Senior Bowl and the Combine.


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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