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Monday, October 28, 2013
Where do Buccaneers turn at WR?

By Pat Yasinskas

TAMPA, Fla. -- Monday’s news that Mike Williams has been placed on injured reserve leaves the Tampa Bay Buccaneers with Vincent Jackson and a bunch of unknowns at wide receiver.

It sounds as if Tiquan Underwood, who previously has played for Jacksonville and New England, could take over Williams’ starting job.

“I think Ti’s played in games at a higher level,’’ coach Greg Schiano said. “Has he been perfect? No. If he was, he would have been starting. I think he’s the next guy up as far as experience.’’

Underwood, who has been in the league since 2009, has 43 career catches for 619 yards and 646 yards on kickoff returns. The other four receivers on the roster have combined for 12 NFL catches. Those receivers are Eric Page, Skye Dawson, Chris Owusu and Russell Shepard.

Owusu, who has six catches this season, would appear to be next in line to be the third receiver. But Owusu has been bothered by a nagging foot injury, which kept him out of the last game.

“How well will he be by Wednesday?’’ Schiano said. “How well will he be by Sunday?’’

Page has been used as a return man, but has had little action at wide receiver. Shepard does not have an NFL catch.

Schiano implied that Dawson, who was signed last week,  has the speed needed to play the slot receiver spot. But Dawson still is learning the offense.

“The quickest way to take a fast guy and make him slow is overload him,’’ Schiano said. “He’s a fast guy. We’ve got to keep him fast.’’