CB Alan Zemaitis is considered a perfect fit for the Bucs' defensive scheme
As usual, the opening day of training camp – the day all 89 players are due to report – will be a busy one for the Tampa Bay Buccaneers' player personnel department. There will be one fewer bit of business left to worry about, however, after Wednesday's signing of fourth-round draft pick Alan Zemaitis.
With Zemaitis in the fold, the Bucs will have just four contracts to finalize while gathering the team together in Lake Buena Vista on Thursday. Still seeking deals are first-round guard Davin Joseph, second-round tackle Jeremy Trueblood, third-round wide receiver Maurice Stovall and sixth-round tight end T.J. Williams.
The Bucs did not have to release a player in conjunction with Zemaitis' signing, as they released two on Tuesday when Charles Bennet was inked.
Zemaitis, the 122nd player selected overall in the 2006 draft, is the earliest pick in the Bucs' 10-man class to reach contract agreement. In essence, the team has finished off the second day of the draft (rounds 4-7), minus Williams, leaving the first day unsigned. It is not unusual for those contracts to be finalized on the same day the team reports.
Zemaitis is the sixth of those 10 draftees to sign, following seventh-round tight end Tim Massaquoi last Wednesday, fifth-round defensive end Julian Jenkins and seventh-round cornerback Justin Phinisee last Friday, sixth-round quarterback Bruce Gradkowski on Monday and Bennett, a seventh-round defensive end, on Tuesday.
The 6-2, 200-pound Zemaitis is considered a perfect fit for the Bucs' Cover Two defensive scheme, a big, physical defensive back who is equally comfortable in man-to-man or zone coverage. Last year, he was an AP second-team All-America selection and a semifinalist for the 2005 Jim Thorpe Award, given to the nation's top defensive back. He helped lead Penn State to an 11-1 record and a Big Ten championship in 2005.
Despite a violent car accident in January of 2003 that left him with several head wounds, Zemaitis played in every Penn State game over the last four years and started 34 of the last 35. He was a first-team all-conference choice in each of his last three seasons and he finished his career with 181 tackles. Zemaitis broke the Big Ten and Penn State single-season records with 207 interception return yards in 2003. He hails from Rochester, New York.