Tampa Bay Buccaneers: Ted Larsen

Bucs' free agents: Nos. 6-10

February, 12, 2014
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Let's continue our look at Tampa Bay's potential free agents with Nos. 6 through 10:

6. Dekoda Watson, linebacker. Watson split last season between linebacker and defensive end. It remains to be seen where he might fit in the new defensive scheme, but Watson could return at a reasonable price.

7. Andrew Economos, long-snapper. The position might not seem that important. But Economos is a reliable veteran and new coach Lovie Smith places a priority on special teams. Economos could be brought back.

8. Ted Larsen, offensive lineman. He can play guard and center, so versatility helps his value. But the Bucs need to overhaul their offensive line and it’s unlikely Larsen will be part of the plans.

9. Michael Adams, cornerback. Injuries disrupted last season. Adams has some experience and some ability, but he’s not likely to be a high priority for the Bucs.

10. Gary Gibson, defensive tackle. He’s a competent backup, but the Bucs need to add some quality depth in the interior of their defensive line. Retaining Gibson won’t be a priority.

Tampa Bay's 2014 free agents

February, 4, 2014
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TAMPA, Fla. -- New coach Lovie Smith and general manager Jason Licht are inheriting a pretty good situation as they get ready for the start of free agency.

It remains to be seen what they’ll do as far as bringing in players from the outside. But they don’t need to do anything major when it comes to their own potential free agents. The Bucs have 19 potential free agents, but none of them are core players.

The list is highlighted by fullback Erik Lorig, receiver Tiquan Underwood, linebackers Jonathan Casillas and Dekoda Watson and offensive linemen Jamon Meredith and Ted Larsen -- all of whom were at least part-time starters in 2013.

The rest of Tampa Bay’s list of potential free agents includes quarterback Dan Orlovsky, tight end Nate Byham, running backs Brian Leonard and Spencer Larsen, defensive end Daniel Te’o-Nesheim, defensive tackle Gary Gibson, defensive backs Danny Gorrer and Michael Adams, linebackers Adam Hayward and Jacob Cutrera, long-snapper Andrew Economos and kickers Rian Lindell and Lawrence Tynes.

Playing time for special teams

January, 20, 2014
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TAMPA, Fla. -- Dekoda Watson was a part-time player as a linebacker and defensive end last season. But he was pretty much a full-time player on special teams.

Watson was on the field for a team-high 311 of Tampa Bay’s 453 special-teams plays.

Let’s take a look at the number of special-teams plays Tampa Bay’s most used players on special teams were on the field for. We’ll include only those that had more than 75 plays on special teams.

Looking at playing time: Offense

January, 17, 2014
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TAMPA, Fla. -- It’s time to take a look back at playing time for the 2013 season.

We’ll start with the offense and will have a separate post on the defense at another time. Tampa Bay’s offense ran 1,036 plays. Here is the breakdown by position with my quick take below each one.

QUARTERBACKS: Mike Glennon 842, Dan Orlovsky 4.

Quick take: Josh Freeman started the first three games before Glennon took over. Glennon got plenty of experience and has been selected to most of the All-Rookie teams.

RUNNING BACKS: Erik Lorig 383, Bobby Rainey 327, Doug Martin 304, Brian Leonard 291, Mike James 155, Spencer Larsen 35, Michael Hill 18, Jeff Demps 10.

Quick take: The Bucs were forced to use a lot of players in the backfield due to injuries. Martin was the opening-day starter, but he went down early with a season-ending injury. James was his replacement, but he also suffered a season-ending injury. Rainey finished up the year as the feature back. The good news here is the Bucs now have several backs with experience.

WIDE RECEIVERS: Vincent Jackson 969, Tiquan Underwood 563, Mike Williams 363, Chris Owusu 263, Skye Dawson 99, Russell Shepard 32.

Quick take: Jackson was the iron man in this group. Williams suffered a season-ending injury and was replaced by Underwood in the starting lineup.

TIGHT ENDS : Timothy Wright 608, Tom Crabtree 214, Nate Byham 113, Luke Stocker 105, Kyle Adams 64.

Quick take: This is another position where the Bucs had to do some juggling due to injuries. Wright, an undrafted rookie, wound up getting most of the playing time as Crabtree, Byham and Stocker all landed on injured reserve.

OFFENSIVE LINE: Demar Dotson 1,035, Donald Penn 1,033, Jeremy Zuttah 1,015, Davin Joseph 1,010, Jamon Meredith 475, Ted Larsen 361, Gabe Carimi 210, Carl Nicks 145.

Quick take: Dotson, Penn, Zuttah and Joseph were at least durable. Nicks played in only two games due to injuries. Many of Carimi’s snaps came as an extra tight end.

Tampa Bay's 2014 free agents

January, 2, 2014
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TAMPA, Fla. -- Say what you want about the unsuccessful tenure of Tampa Bay general manager Mark Dominik. But, in a lot of ways, he left the Buccaneers in good shape.

As we’ve told you several times before, the Bucs have about $115 million committed toward the 2014 salary cap, which is expected to be around $125 million. Throw in the fact the Bucs will be able to carry over about $7 million in unused 2013 cap space and they’ll enter the start of the offseason with about $17 million to work with.

More importantly, almost all the prominent players are under contract through 2014. The Bucs have a total of 19 players that can become unrestricted free agents, but none of them are core players.

Here’s a list of Tampa Bay’s potential free agents: offensive linemen Jamon Meredith and Ted Larsen; quarterback Dan Orlovsky; receiver Tiquan Underwood; tight end Nate Byham; running backs Brian Leonard, Erik Lorig and Spencer Larsen; defensive linemen Daniel Te’o-Nesheim and Gary Gibson; defensive backs Danny Gorrer and Michael Adams; linebackers Dekoda Watson, Jonathan Casillas, Adam Hayward and Jacob Cutrera; long-snapper Andrew Economos; and kickers Rian Lindell and Lawrence Tynes.

Bucs practice report: Change at guard?

December, 26, 2013
12/26/13
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TAMPA, Fla. – The Buccaneers could have a lineup change at left guard in Sunday’s season finale.

Jamon Meredith had been starting at the position, but he was replaced by Ted Larsen during last week’s loss to St. Louis. That arrangement may continue against New Orleans.

“I wouldn’t say that for sure yet, but [there is a] good chance Ted will be the starter,’’ coach Greg Schiano said.

In injury news, linebacker Dekoda Watson (groin) did not practice Thursday. Safety Mark Barron (hamstring) was limited. Schiano also said that defensive end Da’Quan Bowers, who was placed on injured reserve Thursday morning, had surgery to clean out his knee.

In other news, Schiano said rookie defensive end William Gholston, whose playing time has been increasing steadily, will get his second career start Sunday.

Playing time for the Buccaneers

December, 24, 2013
12/24/13
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TAMPA, Fla. -- It's time to take a look at how much playing time each of the Tampa Bay Buccaneers got in Sunday's loss to the St. Louis Rams.

The offense was on the field for 59 plays and the defense took 61 snaps. Here's the breakdown:

OFFENSE

Offensive line: Donald Penn 59, Davin Joseph 59, Demar Dotson 59, Jeremy Zuttah 59, Ted Larsen 37, Jamon Meredith 22, Gabe Carimi 8.

Quarterback: Mike Glennon 59.

Receivers: Vincent Jackson 56, Tiquan Underwood 41, Chris Owusu 23, Eric Page 4.

Tight ends: Timothy Wright 52, Kyle Adams 14.

Running back: Bobby Rainey 41, Erik Lorig 31, Brian Leonard 19, Spencer Larsen 6.

DEFENSE

Defensive line: Gerald McCoy 61, Adrian Clayborn 61, Akeem Spence 48, William Gholston 47, Daniel Te'o-Nesheim 13, Steven Means 8, Gary Gibson 4, Derek Landri 2.

Linebackers: Lavonte David 61, Mason Foster 52, Dekoda Watson 26, Adam Hayward 20.

Defensive backs: Dashon Goldson 61, Darrelle Revis 61, Keith Tandy 59, Johnthan Banks 59, Leonard Johnson 19, Kelcie McCray 9.

Tampa Bay's injury update

December, 11, 2013
12/11/13
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TAMPA, Fla. -- The interior of Tampa Bay’s offensive line could have a new look when the Buccaneers host the San Francisco 49ers.

Center Jeremy Zuttah and guard Davin Joseph both are dealing with shoulder injuries. Coach Greg Schiano said Zuttah and Joseph were limited in practice Wednesday. If Zuttah can’t play, the Bucs likely would turn to Ted Larsen. If Joseph is out, Larsen can play guard and Gabe Carimi also could be an option.

Schiano also said wide receiver Vincent Jackson (hamstring) and defensive end Da’Quan Bowers (knee) were limited in practice.

Rookie defensive end William Gholston still is going through the league’s protocol after suffering a concussion Sunday. But Gholston was able to participate in Wednesday’s practice.

Looking at Buccaneers' playing time

December, 10, 2013
12/10/13
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TAMPA, Fla. -- It's time for our weekly look at how the Tampa Bay Buccaneers distributed playing time.

In a 27-6 victory against the Buffalo Bills, the Bucs ran 66 offensive plays and were on the field for 67 defensive snaps. Here's a look at the individual playing time from Sunday.

OFFENSE

Donald Penn 66
Jamon Meredith 66
Demar Dotson 66
Mike Glennon 66
Tim Wright 59
Vincent Jackson 57
Jeremy Zuttah 51
Tiquan Underwood 45
Davin Joseph 43
Erik Lorig 42
Bobby Rainey 37
Ted Larsen 36
Brian Leonard 25
Chris Owusu 21
Gabe Carimi 16
Russell Shepard 14
Kyle Adams 11
Skye Dawson 7
Mike Hill 5
Spencer Larsen 2
Eric Page 1

DEFENSE

Dashon Goldson 66
Johnthan Banks 66
Mark Barron 66
Gerald McCoy 66
Darrelle Revis 66
Lavonte David 59
Leonard Johnson 58
Adrian Clayborn 56
Mason Foster 53
Akeem Spence 43
Daniel Te'o-Nesheim 39
William Gholston 23
Keith Tandy 15
Da'Quan Bowers 14
Adam Hayward 12
Steven Means 11
Derek Landri 11
Dekoda Watson 10
Danny Gorrer 1
Ka'Lial Glaud 1
Kelcie McCray 1
TAMPA, Fla. -- Ted Larsen's time as the starting center for the Tampa Bay Buccaneers already might have come and gone.

During the portion of practice that was open to the media Monday, Jeremy Zuttah was back at center. Zuttah had opened the season as the team’s starting center. But, after guard Carl Nicks was diagnosed with a recurrence of an MRSA infection, the Bucs moved Zuttah to guard and inserted Larsen at center.

But Larsen might have sealed his fate in Thursday night's loss to Carolina. Out of the shotgun formation, Larsen had three snaps that were off target for quarterback Mike Glennon. That might be enough to put Larsen back on the bench.

Guard Jamon Meredith, who started 12 games last season, could end up in the starting lineup Sunday when the Bucs play at Seattle. Meredith worked as a first-team guard during the portion of Monday’s practice that was open to the media.

Practice report: O-line shakeup

October, 16, 2013
10/16/13
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TAMPA, Fla. -- When the Tampa Bay Buccaneers practiced Wednesday, the interior of the offensive line had a completely different look.

You already know that guard Carl Nicks is sidelined for the foreseeable future after having surgery to remove an MRSA infection from his foot. But Nicks wasn’t the only starter missing.

Guard Davin Joseph also sat out practice. Coach Greg Schiano said Joseph was dealing with a knee injury, which is not on the same knee that forced Joseph to miss last season. Schiano said he’s hopeful Joseph can return to practice Thursday and play Sunday.

But the Bucs have to be ready for any situation. In Wednesday’s practice, starting center Jeremy Zuttah moved to left guard. Ted Larsen took over at center and Gabe Carimi worked at right guard.

In other injury news, wide receiver Mike Williams (hamstring) took part in practice. Schiano said defensive end Da'Quan Bowers is day to day with a toe injury.

Meantime, the Bucs made some minor roster moves Wednesday. They promoted wide receiver Skye Dawson from the practice squad to the 53-man roster. The Bucs also added offensive lineman Emmett Cleary and defensive back Nick Saenz to the practice squad. Offensive tackle Randy Richards was released from the practice squad.

Cornerback Danny Gorrer, who is on injured reserve with a designation to return, began practicing Wednesday.

Buccaneers exploring options at guard

September, 2, 2013
9/02/13
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TAMPA, Fla. -- Although coach Greg Schiano said it’s too early to tell if guard Carl Nicks will be able to play in Sunday’s regular-season opener, it seems like a long shot.

Nicks is battling a staph infection and Schiano said his status is uncertain for the game with the New York Jets. But even before the staph infection, Nicks didn’t see any preseason action and was limited in camp as he recovered from a foot injury that cut his season short last year.

That means the Bucs need an alternative if Nicks isn’t ready.

“We have guys on our roster on the offensive line and we’ll just choose one of them,’’ Schiano said. “They all can play guard so one of them will be the starting guard if Carl can’t play.’’

The Bucs have several options. Gabe Carimi, who has spent most of his career at tackle, has gotten some practice time at guard recently. Another scenario would be moving center Jeremy Zuttah to Nicks’ spot and inserting Ted Larsen at center. That’s a move the Bucs have done in the past, but Schiano wouldn’t say if that’s the plan.

“It’s always an option because we’ve done it,’’ Schiano said. “But I wouldn’t say that’s the way we’re going to go or that’s not the way we’re going to go. Right now we just have to get the best five on the field. We’ll evaluate that when we know definitively about Carl.’’

Surveying the Buccaneers' roster

September, 1, 2013
9/01/13
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After making their cuts Saturday, the Tampa Bay Buccaneers have a roster that looks a lot like what I projected Friday.

I hit on 51 of 53 roster spots. Defensive tackle Gary Gibson and offensive lineman Cody Wallace were the two guys I had making the team who didn’t make the final cut. I didn’t have tight end Tim Wright and safety Keith Tandy making the roster, but they did.

Let’s take a brief overview of the composition of Tampa Bay’s roster:

QB (3): Josh Freeman, Mike Glennon and Dan Orlovsky

Comment: The question is whether Glennon or Orlovsky will be the No. 2 quarterback. My thinking is the Bucs wouldn’t have held onto Orlovsky if he’s going to be No. 3.

RB (5): Doug Martin, Erik Lorig, Brian Leonard, Mike James and Peyton Hillis

Comment: Leonard, James and Hillis all looked good in the preseason. They all can be used to help keep Martin fresh.

WR (5): Vincent Jackson, Mike Williams, Kevin Ogletree, Tiquan Underwood and Eric Page

Comment: The first four were pretty much set in stone. Page made the roster mostly because he’s going to be the return man.

TE (4): Luke Stocker, Tom Crabtree, Nate Byham and Tim Wright

Comment: Presumably, the Bucs kept Wright around because they expect Crabtree to miss some time with an ankle injury.

OL (8): Donald Penn, Carl Nicks, Jeremy Zuttah, Davin Joseph, Demar Dotson, Gabe Carimi, Ted Larsen and Jamon Meredith

Comment: By carrying only three backups, the Bucs appear to be optimistic that Nicks won’t miss too much time due to a staph infection.

DL (9): Adrian Clayborn, Da'Quan Bowers, Daniel Te'o-Nesheim, Trevor Scott, William Gholston, Steven Means, Gerald McCoy, Akeem Spence and Derek Landri

Comment: McCoy, Spence and Landri are the only true defensive tackles. The Bucs must be planning to use at least one of their ends on the inside at times.

LB (6): Lavonte David, Mason Foster, Jonathan Casillas, Dekoda Watson, Najee Goode and Adam Hayward

Comment: The starters have a chance to be one of the league’s best units, and the backups aren’t bad either.

DB (10): Darrelle Revis, Johnthan Banks, Leonard Johnson, Danny Gorrer, Rashaan Melvin, Michael Adams, Dashon Goldson, Mark Barron, Ahmad Black and Keith Tandy

Comment: This should be the most improved area on the team.

Specialists (3): Rian Lindell, Andrew Economos and Michael Koenen.

Comment: Lindell is the third projected kicker the Bucs have had. Connor Barth and Lawrence Tynes both are out with injuries.

Projecting the Buccaneers roster

August, 30, 2013
8/30/13
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Roster cuts don’t have to be made until 6 p.m. Saturday. But let’s have a little fun in the meantime.

Let’s take a look at my best guess as to how the Tampa Bay Buccaneers’ 53-man roster will shape up:

Quarterbacks (3): Josh Freeman, Mike Glennon and Dan Orlovsky

Analysis: A rough outing by Glennon in the preseason finale might have convinced the Bucs it’s best to keep Orlovsky around.

Running backs and fullbacks (5): Doug Martin, Brian Leonard, Mike James, Peyton Hillis and Erik Lorig

Analysis: Hillis is very much on the bubble. The fact he doesn't play special teams could hurt him. But he also could stick around because he has the size to be a backup for Lorig at fullback and could be a valuable short-yardage rusher.

Tight ends (3): Luke Stocker, Tom Crabtree and Nate Byham

Analysis: The Bucs may have to keep Danny Noble if Crabtree’s ankle injury is going to keep him out for an extended period.

Wide receivers (5): Vincent Jackson, Mike Williams, Kevin Ogletree, Tiquan Underwood and Eric Page

Analysis: Page has emerged as the return man and that should earn him the final roster spot.

Offensive line (9): Davin Joseph, Carl Nicks, Donald Penn, Demar Dotson, Jeremy Zuttah, Gabe Carimi, Ted Larsen, Jamon Meredith and Cody Wallace

Analysis: The Bucs could carry an extra lineman if it looks like Nicks will be out for an extended period.

Defensive line (10): Gerald McCoy, Akeem Spence, Adrian Clayborn, Daniel Te’o-Nesheim, Da’Quan Bowers, Gary Gibson, Trevor Scott, William Gholston, Steven Means and Derek Landri

Analysis: The last few spots are very competitive and the Bucs could look to bring in a defensive tackle from the waiver wire.

Linebackers (6): Lavonte David, Mason Foster, Dekoda Watson, Jonathan Casillas, Adam Hayward and Najee Goode

This position is pretty clear-cut unless the Bucs bring in someone off waivers.

Defensive backs (9): Darrelle Revis, Johnthan Banks, Dashon Goldson, Mark Barron, Leonard Johnson, Danny Gorrer, Michael Adams, Rashaan Melvin and Ahmad Black.

Analysis: Melvin is very much on the bubble.

Specialists (3): Michael Koenen, Andrew Economos and Rian Lindell.

Analysis: Kicker Lawrence Tynes still is recovering from a staph infection and could end up on injured reserve.

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