USF product Ryan Benjamin, released by the Bucs on Thursday, will take a Super Bowl championship ring with him
Mark Moroz has turned a three-day tryout with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers into an invitation to training camp.
On Thursday, the Buccaneers signed Moroz, one of 28 young hopefuls who attended the team's rookie mini-camp at the beginning of May on tryout contracts. The Bucs also announced the release of long-snapper Ryan Benjamin, a necessary move as there were no open spots on the 80-man roster to accommodate Moroz.
Moroz is a 6-4, 285-pound offensive lineman from Wake Forest who is capable of playing either tackle or guard but will initially line up on the outside in Buccaneer practices. So far, he is the only one of the 28 tryout players at the rookie camp who has received a call-back from Tampa Bay.
Moroz hails from hockey country, so perhaps he can join in the Bay area's current fascination with the cup-chasing Tampa Bay Lightning. A native of Welland, Ontario, Moroz started his collegiate career as a tight end but moved to the offensive line as a sophomore and started for three seasons. In his first two seasons on the line, the Demon Deacons led the ACC in rushing.
Moroz signed in time to participate in the Bucs' organized workout on Thursday. The team will hold three more 'organized team activity' days next week.
Benjamin was the Bucs' long-snapper for all of 2003 and a good portion of the 2002 Super Bowl season. He originally entered the NFL as an undrafted free agent with the Bucs in 2001, and though he didn't make Tampa Bay's roster that year he had brief stays in New England and Chicago. After an injury to Mike Solwold and an unsuccessful return stint by Morris Unutoa, the Bucs re-signed Benjamin in 2002 and he has held the long-snapping job ever since.
Benjamin was the first University of South Florida player to sign with the Bucs and is still the only one, though former USF quarterback Marquel Blackwell was one of the aforementioned 28 tryout players this spring.
Tampa Bay has several candidates to assume Benjamin's snapping duties already on the roster. John Garrison, listed solely as a deep-snapper on the roster, was signed on January 14 after four years in that role at Nebraska and a training camp look with the Tennessee Titans last year. North Carolina guard Jeb Terry, the Bucs' fifth-round pick in the 2004 draft, possesses long-snapping skills. And returning tight end Dave Moore, the man who held that very job for the Buccaneers for a good chunk of the '90s, could reassume his old role.