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Roster Gets Immediate Tweaks

The Bucs weren’t kidding when they said Saturday’s “final” cuts wouldn’t end their roster shaping; Sunday’s moves included waiver claims for WR Taye Biddle and CB Anthony Madison


Former Carolina WR Taye Biddle had two touchdowns in the Panthers' preseason opener in August

The 53-man roster the Tampa Bay Buccaneers established during Saturdays' final cutdown round lasted less than 24 hours.

Making full use of Sunday's crowded waiver wire, the Buccaneers tweaked several spots on the depth chart, established the first iteration of their practice squad, doubled their injured reserve list and released one player from IR.

Wide receiver Taye Biddle and cornerback Anthony Madison are the newest Bucs, having been claimed off the wire from Carolina and Pittsburgh, respectively. To make room for them on the roster, Tampa Bay released cornerback Sammy Davis and linebacker Leon Joe.

Madison obviously replaces Davis in the Bucs' cornerback rotation, but the swap of Joe for Biddle evens out the depth chart for the time being, with the team now carrying six receivers and six linebackers. Tampa Bay's moves on Saturday had left the team with only five receivers, and while that's not unheard-of the Bucs have more often kept six players at that position.

Four of the players released on Saturday were waived/injured, which meant they had to clear waivers on Sunday before reverting to the Buccaneers' injured reserve list. All four – tackle Chris Denman, cornerback Carlos Hendricks and wide receivers Chas Gessner and Paris Warren – did indeed clear waivers and will remain with the team on IR. That same list was reduced by one, however, as the team released guard Jeb Terry from injured reserve after reaching an injury settlement.

All NFL players who were placed on waivers on Saturday were cleared by noon on Sunday at noon if not claimed by another team. Armed with that list of players, the Buccaneers also put together most of their practice squad for the start of the season. The team filled all seven of its allotted spots with players it had released the day before: running back Kenneth Darby, cornerback Marcus Hamilton, tight end Keith Heinrich, wide receiver Chad Lucas, center/guard Enoka Lucas, tackle Dennis Roland and fullback Byron Storer.

Darby and Hamilton were seventh-round picks by the Buccaneers this past April. Heinrich, Lucas and Roland were fixtures on Tampa Bay's practice squad last year. Enoka Lucas and Roland entered the league as rookie free agents this spring, Lucas with Houston and Storer with the Buccaneers.

Known for his blazing speed, the 6-1, 185-pound Biddle joined the Carolina Panthers as an undrafted free agent in 2006. He didn't make the 53-man roster coming out of his first preseason, but landed on Carolina's practice squad and was eventually moved to the active list in late November. Though he subsequently missed several games with a groin injury, Biddle did play in two contests in December and make an immediate impact. In his first game, against the New York Giants, he caught two passes for 31 yards and added a tackle on special teams. The following weekend he took over the primary punt return job against Pittsburgh, running two kicks back for 11 yards.

This preseason Biddle stung the Giants again, catching touchdown passes of 23 and 85 yards in August 11 Carolina-New York contest. He finished the 2007 preseason with seven catches for 190 yards and those two scores, averaging 27.1 yards per reception. At Mississippi, Biddle played in 48 games and tallied 90 receptions for 1,512 yards and eight touchdowns. He hails from Decatur, Alabama.

Madison's NFL career started in much the same way as Biddle's. Madison wasn't drafted out of Alabama, but he signed with the Pittsburgh Steelers as a rookie free agent in the spring of 2006. He too started his rookie campaign on the practice squad, though he got a slightly earlier promotion to the active roster, coming up in Week Four after a season-ending injury to Ricardo Colclough. Madison then saw action in each of the remaining 13 games, playing a significant amount on special teams and occasionally getting work with the defense. He finished the season with three tackles on defense and 10 on special teams.

The 5-9, 180-pound Madison isn't big, but he's a technician and a willing tackler. He led the Steelers with 16 solo tackles this preseason and posted 18 stops overall. At Alabama, he was a three-year starter who opened his last 37 games before finishing his collegiate career in 2005. As a senior, Madison totaled 42 tackles and five passes defensed. He is a native of Thomasville, Alabama.

Davis joined the Buccaneers as a free agent in March after spending one season with the San Francisco 49ers and two with the San Diego Chargers. Joe was claimed off waivers from the Chicago Bears on August 28 during the first round of NFL roster cuts.

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