NFC South: Ashton Youboty

Tampa Bay Buccaneers trim roster

August, 29, 2011
The Tampa Bay Buccaneers just announced a bunch of roster moves. The biggest name on the list was cornerback Ashton Youboty, who was released.

He was signed during camp when the Bucs had some injuries in the secondary. But he also was viewed as possible insurance if Aqib Talib was suspended. The team said Saturday night it has been told by the NFL that Talib will not be suspended during the 2011 season, so that made Youboty expendable.

The Bucs also waived receiver Aundrae Allison, cornerback Vince Anderson, tight end Collin Franklin, defensive end Brandon Gilbeaux, receiver Detron Lewis, punter Robert Malone, receiver Jock Sanders, and fullback Rendrick Taylor. They also waived/injured guard Brandon Carter.

Hitting the NFC South links

August, 24, 2011
A morning look at the headlines from around the NFC South.

Atlanta offensive line coach Paul Boudreau says the competition at right guard between Garrett Reynolds and Mike Johnson will go right down to the wire.

The NFC has had a different champion each of the last 10 seasons. Elliott Harrison makes the case why the Falcons can keep that streak going. Each of the other three NFC South teams have won the NFC during that span.

Rookie defensive tackle Terrell McClain has started to get some work with Carolina’s first-team defense. Look for him to move ahead of Corvey Irvin before all is said and done. The Panthers are high on McClain’s potential and never have seen all that much out of Irvin.

New Orleans coach Sean Payton said the knee injuries to guard Carl Nicks and running back Mark Ingram are minor. Nicks has a contusion and should return to practice after Sunday’s preseason game with Oakland. Ingram experienced some swelling and is only expected to miss a few days of practice.

The Bucs don’t know if cornerback Aqib Talib will be suspended by the NFL, but coach Raheem Morris said they’re ready for that possibility. Morris said the Bucs will follow the “next man up’’ philosophy. In this case, that’s E.J. Biggers, who has started before. The larger question might be who would step into Biggers’ place at nickel back. Second-year pro Myron Lewis has potential, but Ashton Youboty and Elbert Mack have more experience.

Bucs await decision on Talib

August, 22, 2011
ESPN’s Adam Schefter reports Tampa Bay cornerback Aqib Talib will travel to New York this week to meet with commissioner Roger Goodell, who ultimately will determine if the league will punish the player for his role in an off-field incident in March.

The incident took place in Texas and Talib’s lawyers have claimed he was coming to the aid of his sister. Witnesses said guns were fired and Talib was charged with aggravated assault. His trial is scheduled for next March.

Talib has been practicing with the Buccaneers since the lockout was lifted and training camp opened. Team officials said they’ve heard Talib’s side of the story and did not feel his actions warranted his release. But those officials also have known the possibility of league discipline might be on the horizon.

Talib was suspended for the first game of last season for a 2009 altercation with a cab driver. That makes Talib a repeat offender under the NFL’s personal-conduct penalty and any possible suspension likely would be for more than one game.

Although the Bucs have known since March that Talib might face disciplinary action, they made no major moves to prepare for a suspension. Talib is the team’s top cornerback, but there is depth.

Veteran Ronde Barber is the other starter. E.J. Biggers has played well as the nickel back and the team believes he could handle the starting role. Second-year pro Myron Lewis has potential, but has yet to show consistency. If Talib is suspended, the Bucs would have to choose among Lewis, Ashton Youboty and Elbert Mack as the nickel back.

Bucs add insurance at cornerback

August, 15, 2011
I like the move by the Tampa Bay Buccaneers on Monday to add cornerback Ashton Youboty.

It might not seem like a big deal and part of the reason it was made was because starting cornerback Aqib Talib and reserve Myron Lewis have hamstring injuries and the Bucs need another healthy defensive back right now. But this could end up being a significant move. Youboty has spent the past five seasons with Buffalo and can fit nicely as a third or fourth cornerback. The Bucs could use that if starter Talib ends up getting suspended by the NFL.

Talib had an offseason incident in which he was charged with aggravated assault and is awaiting trial next March. Team officials have not heard anything from the league on if commissioner Roger Goodell will take any disciplinary action.

But they are worried about the chance of the league suspending Talib for multiple games. Talib was suspended for the first game of last season for a 2009 off-field incident.

Talib and Ronde Barber are the starters and E.J. Biggers is likely to be the nickel back. The Bucs also have Lewis and Elbert Mack. If Talib is suspended, Biggers likely would move into the starting lineup.

The team likes Lewis’ potential, but isn’t sure if he’s ready for significant playing time. Mack is viewed as a backup and special-teams player. If Biggers has to start, Youboty could step in as the nickel back.