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Tampa Bay Buccaneers

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Bucs Activate Razzano

Rookie FB Rick Razzano is back on the active roster and could get the first significant action of his NFL career…To make room, TE Nate Lawrie was moved to the practice squad


FB Rick Razzano has appeared in one game during the regular season so far

Rick Razzano has had an eventful 2005 season…on the transaction page. Now he'll get another chance to see his first significant action on the playing field.

On Wednesday, the Tampa Bay Buccaneers announced that they had re-signed Razzano to their active roster. The rookie fullback out of Ole Miss had spent the past two weeks on the Bucs' practice squad.

To make room for Razzano on the 53-man roster, Tampa Bay released first-year tight end Nate Lawrie. In essence, the two young players switched places, because the Bucs re-signed Lawrie to their eight-man practice squad after he had cleared waivers.

Razzano made the team's active roster out of training camp but was inactive for the season opener. He then missed the next four games while serving a commissioner's suspension. The Bucs activated Razzano from the reserve list on October 15 following the end of his suspension and he played briefly on special teams the following afternoon against Miami.

The Bucs lost quarterback Brian Griese for the rest of the season to a knee injury in that Dolphins game and responded by trading for San Francisco's Tim Rattay. To clear room for Rattay, the team waived Razzano on October 18, then re-signed him two days later when Griese officially went to injured reserve. Razzano was inactive for the Bucs' next game at San Francisco, then was waived again on October 2 and immediately re-signed to the practice squad.

The 5-11, 250-pound Razzano is known as a punishing blocker, a throw-back type who relishes the big hit. Primarily a lead blocker at Mississippi, he also ran 50 times for 143 yards and one touchdown and caught 41 passes for 312 yards and another score. The Buccaneers selected him with the first of four seventh-round draft picks in April, making him the 221st player drafted overall.

Razzano's efforts to make the active roster got off to a bad start when he suffered a bad hamstring pull on the second day of training camp. Though he missed most of the three weeks of work in Orlando, Razzano was impressive enough in offseason workouts and in the second half of August to earn a spot on the active roster. Now that he has returned to the 53-man squad, he could be used in the power running game and on several special teams units.

Lawrie was originally drafted by the Buccaneers in the sixth round in 2004. He spent most of his rookie season on the practice squad before being promoted to the active roster on December 14. Lawrie played in two of the last three games in '04, catching a 15-yard pass at Arizona in the season finale.

This year, Lawrie made the active roster out of the gates and appeared in five of the Bucs' first nine games. He was inactive for two other contests and did not play in the remaining two. Though he played occasionally in three-tight end sets this season, Lawrie did not have a reception.

Even with the move, the Bucs have three tight ends on the roster. Starter Anthony Becht and rookie Alex Smith have played well, combining for 25 receptions for 182 yards and two touchdowns. Veteran Dave Moore, whose primary job is as the team's long-snapper on punts and placekicks, has recently been included in the team's three-TE sets.

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