Bucs GM Allen talks about Faine, Troupe more

Tampa Bay Buccaneers general manager Bruce Allen talked on the radio on Friday on a variety of subjects, including several of the Bucs' new acquisitions and how many more the Bucs have ahead of them. Find out more about how he sees players like Jeff Faine, Antonio Bryant and Ben Troupe fitting in with the Bucs this season right here.

The Tampa Bay Buccaneers invested $37.5 million in new center Jeff Faine, a player that Saints general manager Mickey Loomis has openly said he wanted to retain.

So why did the Bucs pump so much money into their offer? Well, Bucs general manager Bruce Allen said that the Bucs had followed Faine for the past few years and were impressed with his play for the Saints.

He also came highly recommended by a current Bucs defensive lineman.

"We talked to Chris Hovan about the best centers he's played against the last three years and he said clearly it was Faine," Allen told Sirius NFL Radio. "Hopefully Chris won't get those 15-yard penalties because they used to have some fights. He (Faine) is an athletic, aggressive man and we think he'll fit in just fine."

BRYANT'S NEXT CHANCE: Some eyeballs rolled around the league when the Bucs signed wide receiver Antonio Bryant earlier this week. The former Biletnikoff Award winner has fallen well short of expectations since he was a second-round pick for Dallas in 2002. He's also had some off-the-field incidents.

Allen said the team knew all of that before they signed Bryant and gave the impression that it was a low-risk move for a team that needs more playmakers at receiver.

"At different times we've given players like that chances. Some have flourished and some have failed," Allen said. "We lay out the ground rules strictly and openly with every player and we like the candid responses we receive. He is talented and he wanted an opportunity. We had some players on our team that have played with him and vouched for him. There's no investment in him."

GETTING TO KNOW DOUGLAS: The Bucs signed 31-year old defensive end Marques Douglas on Thursday, and Allen said that the big draw for signing a player like Douglas — who has thrived mostly in 3-4 schemes during his career — was his versatility.

"You can put on a game tape and you can see him play nose, defensive tackle and defensive end in the same game," Allen said. "He has the ability to play all of those positions. That versatility is something that (defensive coordinator) Monte Kiffin likes to use in his defense to create mismatches. I think he'll fit in."

GETTING TIGHT WITH TROUPE: By signing Ben Troupe, the Bucs now have three tight ends under contract and it may lessen the need to take a tight end in the upcoming draft. In fact, Allen said the Bucs were interested in Troupe when he came out of Florida four years ago and said that he compares similarly to some of the better tight ends in the upcoming draft.

"We can all get excited about the potential of draft picks, but we saw (Troupe) as someone that, if he were in this draft, we would consider taking him early. We're real happy he wanted to sign up."

WHAT'S LEFT: Allen said that the Bucs are interested in adding about four more players to the roster before they put their complete focus on the draft. Patriots safety Eugene Wilson and Seattle wide receiver D.J. Hackett remain possibilities, but there are other unnamed players the Bucs have their eyes on.

"We have our radar gun on four or five players," Allen said. "We're at 76 players and we'd like to be at 80 players going into the draft."


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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