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Wednesday Notes: Adams Out, Lorig Returns

Posted Sep 11, 2013

There was some improvement on the Buccaneers' injury report to start Week Two, including full participation in practice by FB Erik Lorig, but CB Michael Adams will miss time after knee surgery…Plus, teammates impressed by Jeff Demps' speed, and more


The Tampa Bay Buccaneers' cornerback depth, which was an ongoing issue last season, is being tested again early in 2013.  The latest challenge: cornerback Michael Adams will be out until some time after the Buccaneers Week Five by after undergoing surgery on his knee on Wednesday.

 

Of course, 2013 is certainly not shaping up as a repeat of 2012 for Tampa Bay's secondary, which now features all-pro Darrelle Revis at left cornerback and also includes highly-touted second-round draft pick Johnthan Banks.  The issue isn't talent but simply numbers.  With Danny Gorrer on the injured reserve/designated for return list and thus out for at least eight games, and rookie Rashaan Melvin missing the opener with a hamstring strain, the Bucs are temporarily running a little thin on the corner.

 

Melvin returned to practice on Wednesday, albeit in a limited fashion, after sitting out all of last week.  His potential return would mitigate the loss of Adams for the next several weeks.  In addition, the Buccaneers have some sub packages they can use in the secondary which utilize an extra safety, generally Ahmad Black, rather than (or in addition to) an extra cornerback.

 

Adams and Melvin were two of the five players listed on Tampa Bay's first injury report of the week.  The Saints submitted a somewhat longer list that includes three players who did not participate in practice on Wednesday and another four who were limited.  The full injury reports:

 

Buccaneers

Player

Injury

Practice Status

CB Michael Adams

Knee

Did Not Participate

TE Tom Crabtree

Ankle

Did Not Participate

FB Erik Lorig

Calf

Full Participation

CB Rashaan Melvin

Hamstring

Limited Participation

G Carl Nicks

Foot

Limited Participation

 

Jets

Player

Injury

Practice Status

S Isa Abdul-Quddus

Ankle

Did Not Participate

NT Brodrick Bunkley

Calf

Did Not Participate

WR Marques Colston

Foot

Full Participation

G Jahri Evans

Back

Full Participation

DE Glenn Foster

Ankle

Limited Participation

LB Junior Galette

Hamstring

Full Participation

CB Jabari Greer

Back

Limited Participation

LB Curtis Lofton

Knee

Limited Participation

CB Patrick Robinson

Foot

Limited Participation

T Zach Strief

Neck

Full Participation

DE Tyrunn Walker

Knee

Did Not Participate

LB Martez Wilson

Elbow

Full Participation

 

Adams is a new addition to the list this week after suffering his knee injury in New York, and Crabtree remains sidelined after not even making the trip north last weekend.  However, the other three listings on the Bucs' report all represent improvements from last week.  Carl Nicks is cleared of his infection and ready to focus on football, thankfully.  Melvin, as mentioned, is improving.  And FB Erik Lorig has taken another step forward after practicing only in a limited fashion last week.

 

The Buccaneers added a fullback to the depth chart earlier in the week when they re-signed Spencer Larsen.  In New York, however, the Bucs were forced to use such fill-ins as tight end Nate Byham and running back Brian Leonard as fullbacks in front of Doug Martin when they chose to go to two-back sets.  Lorig's return would bring another dimension back to Tampa Bay's rushing attack, which produced just 65 yards on 25 carries against the Jets.

 

* RB Jeff Demps made his Buccaneer debut at practice on Wednesday, and it didn't take long for him to impress his new teammates and coaches with his speed.

 

Demps, who won a silver medal with the U.S. 4x100-meter relay team in the 2012 Olympics, reported to the team this week and is at the beginning of a two-week "exempt" period during which he does not count against the 53-man roster.  He obviously has a lot to learn about the Buccaneers' playbook on offense and special teams, but he got some immediate action fielding punts and serving as a scout-team running back.  On one play, according to Head Coach Greg Schiano, Demps turned on his world-class speed to great effect.

 

"He made one run today, he reversed field and he outran the whole secondary, the whole team really," said Schiano.  "You can see he’s rusty, he hasn’t played football in a while. He looked excited, [he has] fresh legs.”

 

Defensive tackle Gerald McCoy said Demps' arrival came just in time to give the Bucs' defense a super-charged scout-team impression of the Saints' lightning-quick back, Darren Sproles.

 

“It’s a different kind of speed, but Jeff Demps’ speed is no joke," said McCoy.  "He ran a play today on the scout team where I was like, ‘My goodness.’ You can’t get a better look than that for Darren Sproles, because he turned the corner, and I think I was literally standing next to him, then he was like 40-yards downfield. I said, ‘Is that how fast he runs?’ So, he’s fast, man. He’s fast. Everybody was like, ‘Wow’ – it was simultaneous – everybody out there was like, ‘Wow.’ He’s fast, man.”

 

Linebacker Mason Foster had flashbacks to watching the Olympics on several occasions Wednesday.

 

"He's a great athlete," said Foster.  "He's extremely fast.  He's just as fast as he is on TV, so it's good to have him as a Buc."

 

* The Buccaneers can expect to see something new and something quite familiar from the Saints' defense on Sunday.

 

New Orleans certainly has a new defense, and that was sure to be the case after the Saints allowed an NFL-record 7,042 yards of offense in 2012.  Much as the Buccaneers were essentially compelled to rebuild their secondary after serious struggles last year, the Saints were driven to some rather drastic changes on their entire defense this year.

 

Thus, in came former Dallas Cowboys' Defensive Coordinator Rob Ryan, who converted New Orleans from a 4-3 front to a 3-4.  The Saints got some new personnel for their new look, too, including cornerback Keenan Lewis, linebacker Parys Haralson and safety Kenny Vaccaro.  The early results were good, as the Saints held the high-powered Atlanta Falcons to 17 points in a season-opening win the Superdome. 

 

The Buccaneers will have that tape to study but not much else of the Saints, though they could (and likely have) peruse some old Cowboys game tape, as well.

 

"I think that applies, generally, from any new staff or change offensively or defensively in our league," said Saints Head Coach Sean Payton.  "It generally applies, maybe, in the first week, two weeks, until there’s some film to study, and then, very quickly, staffs in our league are able to look at what is the base defense, what they like to play.”

 

Of course, the Buccaneers could also study their own game tape from last Sunday, because there are sure to be some similarities in the Jets and Saints' defense.  Jets Head Coach Rex Ryan is the brother of Rob Ryan, and both are sons of the famous NFL defensive coaching guru Buddy Ryan.  It's likely that Rob will take a minute or two to pick Rex's brain about what happened on Sunday when the Buccaneers were held to 250 yards and 17 points.

 

“Well, [it's] not a complete copy cat, but you've got to remember they come from the same tree – their dad, both genetically and football wise," said Schiano of the Ryan brothers.  "There’s a lot of similarities, but there are some differences too. I’m sure the brothers speak, if they don’t you’d be disappointed right? So the things that Rex felt was advantageous, you’ll probably see again in some form or fashion. It’s not exactly the same way because the personnel is different, but the theory or the concept will be utilized some way. You've got to remember we played them last year and we didn’t do very well. That’s a tape as well that they’re going to be looking at so we’ve got our work cut out for us, no doubt."

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