Former Pro Scout Mike Martin will now handle national combine scouting duties as the Bucs have made several changes to the player personnel department
Jim Abrams and Brian Gardner have moved professionally from one Bay area to another, but they will continue to make a living in the same place: on the road.
The Tampa Bay Buccaneers announced Friday that they have added two new college scouts to their personnel team: Jim Abrams and Brian Gardner. Both Abrams and Gardner come to the Buccaneers from the San Francisco 49ers, where they held similar positions. Abrams, with the 49ers for 13 years, was a national scout for the past four years after spending the previous seven as a regional scout. Gardner was a regional scout for San Francisco for the past 10 years.
This is a homecoming of sorts for Gardner, who first entered the NFL with the Buccaneers in 1992. He spent three seasons as a scout with the Bucs, covering the southwest region, before moving across the country to San Francisco in 1995.
Abrams has been assigned the west coast region in the Bucs' college scouting grid, while Gardner will handle the southeast region.
Tampa Bay will have a new scout in the midwest, as well, as Seth Turner will move from his role of national combine scout into the regional scouting trade. Turner makes the move in his fifth season with the organization. In turn, Mike Martin, who has spent the past two seasons at team headquarters as a pro scout, will take over Turner's national combine scout position. Martin will remain in Tampa in his new role.
While NFL teams scout professional and amateur players year-around, the college scouting season basically ends at April's draft. Thus, May is a common month to make adjustments to the player personnel staff, and the Bucs have made several. Two weeks ago, the team promoted Ruston Webster to director of player personnel and brought in college scout Dennis Hickey to fill Webster's previous position of director of college scouting.
Hickey's promotion left the midwest region unstaffed, until Turner took over those responsibilities. Abrams and Gardner fill the spots previously occupied by Mike Phair and Mike Yowarsky.
Both Abrams and Gardner have been involved in football for a long time. Abrams played his college ball at Kent State and later served as a graduate assistant at UNLV, Purdue and Ohio State before hooking on with the 49ers. Gardner split his college career between Nicholls State and Prairie View A&M, then spent several years playing in the Arena League and the Canadian Football League. In 1991, he served as defensive coordinator for the New Orleans Night of the AFL before following two Night coaches – Eddie Khayat and Harold Jackson – to the Buccaneers in 1992.
Turner originally joined the Buccaneers in 2000 as an intern in the scouting department. Martin spent one season as a pro personnel assistant before being named a pro scout.