NFC South: Jameel Cook

Bucs announce their moves

September, 5, 2009
Posted by’s Pat Yasinskas

The Bucs have topped the rest of the division by getting their roster down to 52 players, one less than the league maximum. That’s because safety Tanard Jackson has been placed on the suspended list for the first four games of the season.

The Bucs released tackle Anthony Alabi, cornerback Kyle Arrington, defensive tackle Chris Bradwell, center Rob Bruggeman, defensive end Jarriett Buie, safety Steve Cargile, receiver Patrick Carter, defensive tackle Rashaad Duncan, defensive end Louis Holmes, running back Kareem Huggins, cornerback Darrell Hunter, tackle James Lee, tight end Jason Pocias, tight end Ryan Purvis, linebacker Bo Ruud and receiver Mario Urrutia. Safety Donte Nicholson was waived with an injury settlement.

Tackle Xavier Fulton was placed on the injured reserve list.

Kicker Matt Bryant, fullback Jameel Cook, receiver Cortez Hankton and receiver Marcus Maxwell had their contracts terminated.

NFC South afternoon mailbag

July, 29, 2009

Posted by's Pat Yasinskas

We'll start this afternoon's NFC South mailbag with a pair of differing opinions on my comment that former Tampa Bay fullback Mike Alstott was overrated.

Mitch in Orlando writes: Pat, I have to agree with Ricky in Naples on his assessment of Mike Alstott. Your number one argument has always been that Alstott was a fullback, and therefore, should have been a better blocker. The problem with that argument is that Alstott was rarely used as a fullback until his final season with the Bucs. He was used as a complementary tailback for years, and rarely called upon to block. If you remember, the team used Jameel Cook and even Michael Pittman to block FOR Alstott. Alstott was always listed as a fullback for Pro Bowl reasons because people always wanted to see him there, just as Tim Duncan was listed as a power forward last year because he couldn't beat out Yao Ming to start at center. In Alstott's final season, he actually was moved to the starter at fullback for the Bucs, and he did rather well there. As a diehard Bucs fan, I would love to see Alstott in the Hall of Fame, but I can't really say he deserves it; however, he certainly does not deserve to be called over-rated.

Brian in Oldsmar, Fla. writes: Just have to say I agree with you about Alstott being overrated. I've been a Bucs fan since the late 80's, and have loved the A-Train from when he came to the team in 96 (If I remember right) to his retirement a few years back. He was a great teammate, person, and player. He had the respect of his peers across the league and was one of the toughest runners the NFL's seen since Csonka and Riggins. Some of the runs he made, especially the goal line carries, were staples of sports highlights for many years. All that said, Mike Alstott was a sub-par blocker. Always was, even in his days at Purdue. As much as I love what Mike did for the Bucs and the Bay area, I think many fans blow his accomplishments out of proportion. Sure his running style could electrify a stadium, and he was perfect as a change of pace back to compliment Dunn, Pittman, or whoever else was carrying the majority of the load. But, is he Canton material? I don't think so at all.

Pat Yasinskas: Both of your points are noted. Again, I'm not saying Alstott was a bad player. He was a very good one. But I think some Tampa Bay fans get carried away and call him the best fullback ever. He wasn't really a fullback -- at least not if you judge the position by the modern era.

Brett in Dallas, Ga. writes: I am surprised that no one voted for Rod Coleman for the all decade team, he was a dominant pass rushing DT for the falcons and most certainly one of the best in the division when healthy.

Pat Yasinskas: Yeah, as much as I agree Warren Sapp and Kris Jenkins deserved to be the defensive tackles on the NFC South all-decade team, it is a bit surprising that Coleman didn't even get a vote. He spent four seasons with the Falcons and had double-digit sacks in 2004 and '05. After a year out of the league, I'm very curious to see what Coleman can do for the Saints this year.

Corey in Charlotte writes: I was wondering what you think the chances of Mike Goodson showing up in the slot or even wildcat formations are this year. I've been getting pretty pumped about seeing him on the field because I believe he's the type of player that can have some immediate impact.

Pat Yasinskas: I'm also curious about what the Panthers will do with Goodson. The fourth-round pick from Texas A&M gives them some flexibility behind DeAngelo Williams and Jonathan Stewart. You know any John Fox team is going to use the running backs plenty and I think Goodson could fill several roles. With Nick Goings gone, Goodson could get significant time on passing downs. He caught 37 passes in his final year of college. I also think Goodson will get a look in the return game. Not sure the Panthers will use the Wildcat much, if at all. But Goodson certainly gives them some options.

Derek in Atlanta writes: Which Falcons backup do you expect to be cut? John Parker Wilson, Chris Redman, or D.J. Shockley?

Pat Yasinskas: Redman is pretty much set as Matt Ryan's backup. That means it will come down to Wilson or Shockley for the final roster spot. I give Shockley a slight edge entering camp because he's been in this offense for a year. I also thought he looked good when I visited Atlanta's minicamp. Wilson could be a candidate for the practice squad.

Carlos in Panama City writes: It has been kind of quiet on the status of Arron Sears and I was wondering if you could tell me what is wrong with him? He is one of our young, marquee players and I hate to see him not playing.

Pat Yasinskas: This is a very real concern because Sears has been a solid starter his first two seasons. The Bucs have said Sears is dealing with a personal issue and been very careful not to discuss the matter further. Unless Sears or the Bucs come out and say something definitive, that's about all that can be reported right now. The team has spent most of the offseason working with Jeremy Zuttah in Sears' place at left guard. We'll see if Sears comes to camp. The Bucs may end up placing him on a reserve list if he's not ready to play.

Posted by's Pat Yasinskas

Very quietly, the Buccaneers waived fullback Byron Storer on Friday.

The Bucs have not announced the move to the media, but they reported the transaction to the NFL office Friday afternoon. Storer was waived with an injury settlement.

The move comes a few days after coach Raheem Morris said Storer had suffered a major setback in his recovery from last season's knee injury. This leaves the Bucs short on depth at fullback, where B.J. Askew is the starter, but there's not much after him.

Tailback Earnest Graham was forced into some fullback duty last season when both Askew and Storer were injured. The Bucs brought back veteran Jameel Cook after those injuries and he remains with the team. But the Bucs likely will look to bring in someone to compete with Cook for the backup role.

Brooks' career by the numbers

February, 26, 2009

Posted by's Pat Yasinskas

TAMPA, Fla. -- The crew over at ESPN Stats & Information assembled a nice packet on Derrick Brooks' time with the Buccaneers.


To start with, Brooks ranks first in team history in games (224), starts (221), Pro Bowl selections (11) and first-team All-Pro selections (five). Only four other defensive players in history played at least as many games for one franchise as Brooks did for the Bucs: Darrell Green (Redskins), Ed "Too Tall" Jones (Cowboys), Jim Marshall (Vikings) and Clay Matthews (Browns).

Brooks, the 2002 Associate Press Defensive Player of the Year, also had seven career defensive touchdowns.

With Brooks' departure from the Bucs, cornerback Ronde Barber remains as the only starter from the Super Bowl XXXVII championship team. Fullback Jameel Cook, who left and returned to the Bucs, and safety Jermaine Phillips, who appeared in that game as a special teams player, are the only other players still (sort of) with the Bucs.

Phillips can become a free agent Friday, and Cook's spot on the roster in 2009 is far from a lock with two fullbacks (B.J. Askew and Byron Storer) expected back from injuries.

Posted by's Pat Yasinskas

TAMPA, Fla. -- This might not seem like a big deal on the surface, but it could be the best injury update the Bucs have had in a long time.

Fullback B.J. Askew, who hasn't played since Week Three, fully participated in practice Wednesday. That's a pretty strong sign Askew might be ready to return Sunday against Minnesota. Askew had been sidelined with a hamstring injury and the Bucs struggled to find consistency in the running game without him.

Backup Byron Storer had moved into Askew's starting role, but went out for the season with a knee injury in the sixth game. The Bucs have been using Jameel Cook as their fullback since then.

But getting Askew back would upgrade the blocking and likely be a big boost for Earnest Graham, Warrick Dunn and Cadillac Williams.

Audibles: NFC South Week 9 previews

October, 31, 2008

Posted by's Pat Yasinskas

Atlanta Falcons at Oakland Raiders, 4:15 p.m. ET

In a season that's been all about the future, the Falcons will visit their past.

They'll face DeAngelo Hall, the cornerback they once drafted in the first round. Hall's spotty play so far in Oakland could be another boost for Atlanta rookie quarterback Matt Ryan.

Hall's problems in Atlanta got overshadowed by Michael Vick and Bobby Petrino. The Falcons already have moved beyond their former quarterback and coach. Moving beyond Hall -- and perhaps getting receivers Roddy White and Michael Jenkins behind him in coverage a few times -- could be another major step in Atlanta's dramatic turnaround.

Tampa Bay Buccaneers at Kansas City Chiefs, 1 p.m. ET

Fullbacks don't seem like a big deal, until you don't have one.

That's the situation the Bucs have found themselves in with starter B.J. Askew out with an injury and not looking like he's ready to come back any time soon. That's part of the reason the Bucs scored just nine points in Dallas in Week 8 and why they haven't been able to run the ball consistently.

They're using Jameel Cook, whom they signed off the street a couple weeks ago, as their lead blocker. Cook was with the Bucs in 2005, but the offense (which had Chris Simms at quarterback at that point) is dramatically different.

Against a struggling defense like the Chiefs, this is a perfect opportunity for Cook to show the coaches he can handle the playbook. If the Bucs truly are going to contend for the NFC South title, they need more out of Cook and they need a lot more than nine points a game.

Evening roundup

October, 15, 2008

Posted by's Pat Yasinskas

Here's a look at the day's headlines around the NFC South.


Receiver Marques Colston (thumb) and tight end Jeremy Shockey (sports hernia) practiced on a limited basis Wednesday. Here's the full rundown on the injury situation. Coach Sean Payton told the Carolina media in a conference call that Shockey and Colston were close to being able to play last week, but Sunday's game in Charlotte has been the target for both players.


Receiver D.J. Hackett was the only player who didn't practice -- at least to some degree -- Wednesday. Offensive linemen Jeff Otah and Ryan Kalil, who missed Sunday's loss at Tampa Bay, were among those practicing on a limited basis.


NFL Network analyst Brian Baldinger compared rookie quarterback Matt Ryan to Peyton Manning, in terms of poise and confidence. I agree with Baldinger, in that regard, but think it's a little too early to begin comparing Ryan overall to one of the all-time greats after only six games. Then again, Ryan and the Falcons are 4-2. Manning and the Colts went 3-13 in his rookie season (1998).


Receiver Joey Galloway at least got some limited practice in. Fullback B.J. Askew again was held out of practice and with Byron Storer out for the season, the Bucs signed fullback Jameel Cook. He's been with the Bucs previously and knows the system, so it wouldn't be a stretch to look for him to start Sunday against Seattle. That would allow the Bucs to move Earnest Graham, who filled in last week, to move back to tailback.