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Friday Notes: Crabtree, Nicks Ruled Out

Posted Sep 6, 2013

The Bucs' final injury report of the week indicates that they will be without G Carl Nicks and TE Tom Crabtree on Sunday for the season opener…Plus, the possible replacement for Nicks, more injury updates, team captains and more

Watch: Head Coach Greg Schiano's last PC of the practice week

If Dashon Goldson is as successful in his first year with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers as Vincent Jackson was in his Tampa Bay debut last season, the Buccaneers' defense will be in very good shape.

 

In one way, Goldson has already started down the same path as Jackson.  In 2012, the former San Diego Chargers receiver was a high-priority free agency addition who so impressed his new teammates with his work ethic and leadership skills that they chose him as a team captain before he had played a single regular-season game for the Buccaneers.  This year, Goldson was the Bucs' top target in free agency, and not for his football skills alone.  Just as expected, Goldson quickly established a leadership role on a defense with a lot of young contributors, and just as with Jackson, it has earned him an immediate captaincy.

 

Prior to the start of each regular season, Buccaneer players vote to determine who will serve as their team captains.  The Bucs named five captains for the 2013, all of whom will wear the special "C" on their jerseys on game day.  They are:

 

OFFENSE

WR Vincent Jackson

G Davin Joseph

 

DEFENSE

S Dashon Goldson

DT Gerald McCoy

 

SPECIAL TEAMS

LB Adam Hayward

 

Jackson, McCoy and Hayward are all continuing their captain duties after being selected for the same roles last year.  Joseph has previously been a team captain but was not one in 2013 because he suffered a season-ending knee injury in the preseason.  Goldson is obviously new to the list.

 

“I think it’s a very strong group," said Head Coach Greg Schiano, who called the group an 'excellent representation' of the team.  "You look on offense with Davin, a Pro Bowl player and just a strong, strong personality and a strong man; very respected on this football team. Then you look at Vincent, another Pro Bowl player, who, again, [has] a work ethic that’s pretty much the elite of the elite. So I think it’s easy to see those two.

 

"Then you look on the defense side: again, two Pro Bowl players. Dashon Goldson, who the day he got here started leading, and Gerald McCoy, who I think has done an incredible job not only in his own personal preparation, but also taking on the role. He started to do it as the year went on last year; becoming more and more of a strong leader.

 

"And then on special teams, Adam Hayward. We have Coach [Phil] Galliano, who assists [Special Teams Coordinator Dave] Wannstedt and [coaching assistant Billy] Miller, and we also have Coach Hayward. He understands things at that level and it’s great. Physically he can make plays, and mentally he really understands special teams, every phase. And he’s an awful big help."

 

Schiano says he counts on the team captains to help him keep his finger on the pulse of the team.  While any player is free to come by his office for a talk, it's the captains who are most likely to do so if there is an issue that needs to be discussed.  Sometimes that can even include the players disagreeing with some aspect of the coaching staff's approach to practice or the games.

 

"You do [receive criticism]," said Schiano.  "And if you didn’t, you’d be worried that they don’t feel comfortable communicating.  [Sometimes] it's the age-old deal though: We have to agree to disagree. I hear them, but sometimes I don’t agree… most of the time I do. And, again, I defer to them most of the time because they’re the ones doing it. And talking about those five guys, those five guys aren’t looking to get out of something. Those guys are workers. I learned a long time ago from a great coach there are certain guys you watch on the practice field and when they look tired, now you’re tired. And that’s how I try to do it.”

 

* The Bucs will open the season on Sunday without the services of guard Carl Nicks or tight end Tom Crabtree.  Both were listed as "out" on Friday's official injury report, the first one of the week that includes game-status designations.  In addition, rookie cornerback Rashaan Melvin, the only other Buccaneer not to practice at all this week, is considered doubtful to play.  Here are the full Friday injury reports for both teams:

 

Buccaneers:

Player

Injury

Practice Status

Game Status

TE Tom Crabtree

Ankle

Did Not Participate

Out

T Demar Dotson

Back

Limited Participation

Probable

RB Mike James

Eye

Limited Participation

Questionable

FB Erik Lorig

Calf

Limited Participation

Questionable

CB Rashaan Melvin

Hamstring

Did Not Participate

Doubtful

G Carl Nicks

Foot

Did Not Participate

Out

CB Darrelle Revis

Knee

Full Participation

Probable

 

Jets:

Player

Injury

Wed. Participation

Game Status

LB Nick Bellore

Oblique

Full Participation

Probable

G Willie Colon

Knee/Shoulder

Full Participation

Probable

LB Quinton Coples

Ankle

Did Not Participate

Out

CB Antonio Cromartie

Hip

Limited Participation

Probable

DE Leger Douzable

Illness

Limited Participation

Probable

G Vlad Ducasse

Calf

Full Participation

Probable

DT Kenrick Ellis

Back

Limited Participation

Questionable

WR Clyde Gates

Shoulder

Full Participation

Probable

LB David Harris

Hip

Full Participation

Probable

DT Damon Harrison

Knee

Full Participation

Probable

WR Stephen Hill

Knee

Full Participation

Probable

WR Santonio Holmes

Foot

Did Not Participate

Questionable

T Ben Ijalana

Knee

Full Participation

Probable

WR Jeremy Kerley

Finger

Full Participation

Probable

CB Ellis Lankster

Foot/Hamstring

Full Participation

Probable

CB Dee Milliner

Achilles

Full Participation

Probable

QB Mark Sanchez

Right Shoulder

Did Not Participate

Out

QB Matt Simms

Calf/Oblique

Full Participation

Probable

QB Geno Smith

Ankle

Full Participation

Probable

G Brian Winters

Ankle

Full Participation

Probable

TE Kellen Winslow

Knee

Limited Participation

Probable

 

Of course, the best bit of news provided by that list for the Buccaneers is the probable designation for cornerback Darrelle Revis, who did not play in any of the preseason games as he completed his recovery from a 2012 knee injury.  That was also the expected news, as Schiano has been saying for weeks that Revis was on pace to return for the opener, and it's even possible the veteran cornerback could have seem some action in the third or fourth preseason games if that had been deemed necessary.

 

Both Buccaneers listed as questionable reside in the offensive backfield, and while the team is currently deep at tailback, Lorig is the only fullback listed on the depth chart.  The Bucs can get lead blocking from tight ends or a big tailback like Hillis, but Lorig's availability would certainly open up some options.

 

“He looked good," said Schiano of Lorig's Friday practice. "It’s just a matter of how did he feel afterward. You know how I always talk about the next morning? [We've] just got to see what the next morning brings. There are a couple guys that are in flux right now and we’ll make decisions either late tonight or tomorrow, probably wait until tomorrow just to see how everybody is so that we don’t make a mistake, and then finalize things when we get on the plane.”

 

With Nicks out, the team will definitely be going to a contingency plan at left guard, with all three current OL reserves considered possibilities.  Schiano did say that the team is "leaning" towards starting Gabe Carimi at that spot but stopped short of naming him the choice over Ted Larsen or Jamon Meredith.

 

“He’s got the most reps there [in practice]," said Schiano.  "There are others guys that could. So we’ll kind of play that one by ear, still. We said at the beginning of the week that we would make a final decision on Friday. I want to watch the tape from today and have a good discussion about that, because plenty of guys got good reps at that left guard spot, but he got the most so that’s where we’re leaning. We just want to see and make sure.”

 

Another starting lineman, right tackle Demar Dotson, was added to the injury report on Friday due to a back ailment, but Schiano said that was just to let Dotson rest up some aches and bruises so that he would be fresh on Sunday.

 

New York's super-sized injury report didn't get any shorter on Friday but, as we conjectured on Thursday, most of the players on that list were in little danger of missing Sunday's game.  Indeed, 17 of the 21 men on the Jets' injury report got "probable" designations on Friday, including cornerbacks Antonio Cromartie and Dee Milliner, linebacker David Harris, wide receivers Stephen Hill and Jeremy Kerley, quarterback Geno Smith and tight end Kellen Winslow.

 

There are two Jets who have been ruled out for the game, however: quarterback Mark Sanchez and linebacker Quinton Coples.  With Smith already named the starter, the more serious issue there is Coples, who is listed as a starting outside linebacker in New York's 3-4 front.  The 16th overall pick in the 2012 draft, Coples had 5.5 sacks as a rookie last fall.

 

In addition, wide receiver Santonio Holmes is questionable, as is starting nose tackle Kenrick Ellis.

 

* Schiano is 1-0 in season openers as an NFL head coach, as the Buccaneers opened last season with a 16-10 win over the Carolina Panthers at Raymond James Stadium.  He is the fourth Buccaneer head coach to get a win in his initial game, joining Ray Perkins, Richard Williamson (in the 14th game of the 1990 season) and Sam Wyche.  Schiano could become the first Buccaneer head coach to win his first two season openers, though he'll have to get the second one on the road

 

As a franchise, the Buccaneers are 15-22 all-time in season openers, and there hasn't been a significant split in their fortunes between home and road games.  The Bucs are 7-10 all time in openers played at home and 8-12 when on the road for Week One.  That's a winning percentage of 41.2% at home and 40.0% on the road.

 

Schiano says he's established more of a comfort level going into his second season as opposed to last year.

 

“[There’s] a lot more certainty, so does that make you more comfortable?" he asked.  "I guess it does. Going into our first game last year – now, you had the four preseason [games], but everybody will tell you, coach and player alike, that it’s a different game [in the regular season]. And I haven’t been to the playoffs yet, but they say the playoffs is a different game. So, let’s get this one and then see where we go from there.”

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