"It starts up front around here. It's always started up front. That's never been truer," coach Raheem Morris said. "Get those guys up front humming and it makes your linebackers better, your secondary better, the guy calling the plays better, everybody better."
"I don't think I can compare to Warren Sapp by any means," McCoy said. "He's a great player, a Hall of Fame guy and I wouldn't take anything from him... I haven't proved anything at all."
Williams had numerous off-field issues that caused him to be suspended or miss games at
"I don't think anybody spent more time than the Buccaneers did and I think we're going to reap the rewards for it," Dominik said.
COULD SURPRISE: WR Mike Williams -- The Syracuse receiver had a history of off-field problems that forced him to miss all or parts of two seasons. But Williams, at 6-foot-2, 221 pounds, is tremendous after the catch. Nearly all his problems were school-related and he gives QB Josh Freeman another big target.
A closer look at the Bucs picks
Round 1/3 -- Gerald McCoy, DT, 6-3, 300,
Round 2/35 -- Brian Price, DT, 6-1, 303, UCLA: Another player to improve the NFL's worst run defense. Price will move to nose tackle.
Round 2/39 -- Arrelious Benn, WR, 6-2, 220,
Round 4/101 -- Mike Williams, WR, 6-2, 221,
Round 6/172 -- Brent Bowden, P, 6-2, 202, Virginia Tech: Bowden is said to have a strong leg with 33.6 percent of his kicks downed inside the 20-yard line. He had 40 punts of longer than 50 yards during his career and had a 42.2 gross average.
Round 7/210 -- Cody Grimm, S, 6-1, 203, Virginia Tech: The son of former Redskins great Russ Grimm played linebacker for the Hokies but will be a safety in the NFL. Forced three fumbles in four plays vs.
Round 7/217 -- Dekoda Watson, LB, 6-1, 225,
--Coach Raheem Morris attempted to recruit Arrelious Benn to
QUOTE TO NOTE: "Some people collect quarterbacks. I guess I collect defensive tackles." -- Bucs GM Mark Dominik.
STRATEGY AND PERSONNEL
UNRESTRICTED FREE AGENTS
--S Jermaine Phillips broke his hand and finished the year on injured reserve.
UNRESTRICTED FREE AGENTS (not tendered offers)
--FB Byron Storer (not tendered as RFA) spent the year rehabbing his knee. He could be done.
RESTRICTED FREE AGENTS (*indicates restricted because of uncapped year)
--*OT Donald Penn (tendered at $3.168M with first- and third-round picks as compensation) is a very capable left tackle and did his best the first weeks of 2009. But then he seemed to shut it down and gained weight.
--*OT Jeremy Trueblood (tendered at $1.759M with second-round pick as compensation), as the starting right tackle, led the Bucs in penalties against last season.
--*RB Cadillac Williams (tendered at $2.299M with first-round picks as compensation) was the Bucs' most inspirational player who played in all 16 games despite tearing previously the patellar tendon in both knees.
EXCLUSIVE RIGHTS FREE AGENTS: None.
--WR Mark Bradley: RFA; (tendered at $1.809M with second-round pick as compensation); $1.809M/1 yr.
--LB Angelo Crowell:
--CB Elbert Mack; terms unknown.
--*LB Barrett Ruud: RFA; (tendered at $3.268M with first- and third-round picks as compensation)$3.268M/1 yr.
--*WR Maurice Stovall: RFA; (tendered at $1.176M with third-round pick as compensation); $1.176M/1 yr.
-*LB Jon Alston: Not tendered as RFA by Raiders; terms unknown.
--WR Reggie Brown (trade Eagles).
--S Sean Jones: UFA Eagles; terms unknown.
--S Will Allen:
--P Josh Bidwell (released).
--WR Antonio Bryant:
--WR Brian Clark: Not tendered as RFA/Lions; 1 yr, terms unknown.
--CB Torrie Cox (released).
--P Dirk Johnson (released).
--QB Byron Leftwich (traded Steelers).
--LB Matt McCoy: Not tendered as RFA/Seahawks; terms unknown.
--DE Jimmy Wilkerson: UFA Saints; terms unknown.