Rookie QB Rudy Carpenter completed 12 of 18 passes for 125 yards and a touchdown for Dallas during the preseason
The Tampa Bay Buccaneers are trying to build a winning team from the bottom up. Makes sense, then, that they would bring in a Carpenter.
On Tuesday, the Buccaneers announced the signing of two players to the active roster, both of whom were rookies plucked off other teams' practice squads. Quarterback Rudy Carpenter comes in from Dallas and wide receiver Terrence Nunn joins the Bucs from New England.
Carpenter's pun-worthy name aside, the Buccaneers needed a quarterback after placing veteran passer Byron Leftwich on injured reserve due to an elbow ailment. Nunn takes a spot on the 53-man roster created by the release of cornerback Mike Mickens, who was coincidentally signed off Dallas' practice squad, too, three weeks ago.
Leftwich signed as an unrestricted free agent with Tampa Bay in May and eventually won a battle for the starting job with fellow veteran Luke McCown during training camp. Leftwich started the first three games of the season before being replaced by second-year man Josh Johnson, who eventually gave way to the current starter, rookie first-rounder Josh Freeman. In his three starts, Leftwich completed 58 of 107 passes (54.2%) for 594 yards, four touchdowns, three interceptions and a passer rating of 71.2.
Carpenter has spent the first 11 weeks of his rookie campaign on the Cowboys' practice squad after being waived during the final roster cutdown on September 5. He appeared in two of the team's four preseason games, though his only passes came in the finale at Minnesota, in which he completed 12 of 18 passes (66.7%) for 125 yards, one touchdown, no interceptions and a passer rating of 105.1.
Carpenter signed with Dallas as an undrafted free agent following a long and prolific career at Arizona State. Beginning with the last five games of his redshirt freshman season, Carpenter started an FBS record 43 consecutive games and finished as one of the top 10 quarterbacks in Pac-10 history in terms of yards, touchdowns and total offense.
In his four seasons at ASU, Carpenter completed 799 of 1,309 passes (61.0%) for 10,491 yards and 81 touchdowns. As a senior, he completed 213 of 351 passes for 2,493 yards and 16 touchdowns, and as a junior he threw for 3.202 yards and 25 scores in leading ASU to a 10-2 regular-season record and a date with Texas in the Holiday Bowl. The 6-2, 212-pound Carpenter hails from Westlake, California.
Nunn also entered the NFL as an undrafted free agent, though his final season at Nebraska was the 2007 campaign. After not signing with a team in 2008, Nunn joined the Patriots this past May and made it to the final roster cuts before being waived on September 5. He joined the Patriots' practice squad the next day and has spent the balance of the season on that squad.
Nunn (6-0, 195) played in all four preseason games for the Patriots and caught eight passes for 133 yards, finishing second on the team to Randy Moss (nine for 144) in both categories. Though his longest of those eight catches went for 30 yards, Nunn put up an impressive average of 16.6 yards per catch.
At Nebraska, Nunn played four seasons and caught 136 passes for 1,762 yards and 11 scores. He caught at least 35 passes for at least 452 yards in each of his last three campaigns, topped by 43 grabs and seven TDs as a sophomore and 597 yards as a junior. Nunn played his high school football in Houston, Texas.