Buccaneers Combine Buzz

Prospects are talking about the Tampa Bay Buccaneers at the Scouting Combine. You can find out what they're saying right here in our "Bucs Combine Buzz." I asked several potential draft choices about their impressions of the Bucs or about their conversations with the Bucs. Get the scoop right here. One of these guys could end up being a Buc!

Louisville WR Harry Douglas was reticent to talk about the teams he was meeting with when I spoke to him on Friday. I finally got out of him that he has five meetings set up tonight, but he wasn't sure with which teams. Part of the problem, I've learned, is that players are just given room numbers to report to and those room numbers don't correspond with team names.

But I did ask Douglas about his impressions of the Bucs offense, and this is what he had to say:

"It's OK. They need some wide receivers, like you said. Joey Galloway is getting old, but he's still a great receiver. And I love Ike Hilliard. I love me some Ike Hilliard. I grew up following Florida football."

Douglas is considered a mid-round prospect at the moment and he's out to improve his stock this weekend. It sounds as if he'd be a rapt student of the wily Hilliard if the Bucs select him.

JACKSON EAGER TO TALK: I got the chance to ask Cal WR DeSean Jackson about the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. He said he hadn't met with them yet, but I think we can assume that it will happen at some point.

In fact, Jackson is hoping for exactly that.

"I shook hands with a couple of scouts and coaches with the Bucs and they're definitely a team I like a lot and I look forward to meeting them," Jackson said.

The Bucs will like the added value Jackson brings as a punt returner. He's projected as a first-rounder right now and a good weekend here in snowy Indy will keep him there.

A LITTLE WARM-WEATHER TRAINING: In talking to Indiana WR James Hardy, I found out this little nugget — he trained in Tampa Bay for the Combine. I already knew coming in that the Bucs had met with Hardy after the Senior Bowl. I'd say it's a pretty safe bet the two will meet again in Indianapolis.

DIGGING INTO SLATON'S PAST: West Virginia running back Steve Slaton told me his meeting with the Buccaneers on Thursday night was more about his off-the-field life than his on-the-field play.

"I think they liked what they heard from me," Slaton said. "They didn't seem to have any problems with me. They just asked a lot of questions about my family and my background."

JOHNSON'S STOCK RISING: Finally, San Diego quarterback Josh Johnson is generating a lot of buzz entering this combine. You probably would too if your head coach at one time was former NFL quarterback Jim Harbaugh.

The Bucs are reportedly interested in Johnson, who played in a West Coast-style offense and had a eyebrow-raising performance in the East-West Shrine Game.

He hasn't met with the Bucs yet this weekend, but I'll bet he will at some point. He did talk to me about the conversations he had with the Buccaneers this offseason.

"I spoke with a couple of players and a couple of representatives in the open interviews (at the East-West game), but not here," Johnson said. "They're always talking football. I think they got a good feel for me during the season about who I am, and at the East-West game they got a better feel for me. The coaches actually questioned me to get a better feel. Now they want to see where my football brain is and I think that's what I do best."

Johnson is a West Coast quarterback with mobility, just like Jeff Garcia. Well, that's probably going too far. But I think the Bucs are just a little intrigued by this guy.


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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