Tampa Bay Buccaneers: Tiquan Underwood

ORLANDO, Fla. -- Cornerback Leonard Johnson, tight end Tim Wright, quarterback Mike Glennon, defensive tackle Akeem Spence and linebacker Lavonte David were the big winners for the Tampa Bay Buccaneers in the NFL’s performance-based pool for 2013.

The pool is designed to compensate players who had relatively low salaries compared to their 2013 playing time. Dozens of Bucs received bonuses, but we’ll stick with the top ones here. The bonuses do not count toward the salary cap.

Johnson led the way with a $208,864 bonus. Wright ($200,592), Glennon ($183,209), Spence $181,593) and David ($180,190) rounded out the top five. The rest of the top 10 was made up of safety Keith Tandy ($152,646), cornerback Johnthan Banks ($145,655), linebacker Mason Foster ($133,268), receiver Tiquan Underwood ($127,927) and linebacker Dekoda Watson ($105,647).
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Key free agents: LB Adam Hayward, FB Erik Lorig, LB Jonathan Casillas and WR Tiquan Underwood.

Where they stand: The Buccaneers don't have any huge names among their own free agents, but they'd like to keep some of them as role players. Hayward is a key special-teams player and Lorig is important as the lead blocker for Doug Martin in the running game. If Casillas returns, he's a candidate to start at strongside linebacker. The major need on defense is for a pass-rusher. On offense, the team may look to overhaul its offensive line. Tight end and depth at wide receiver also are big needs.

What to expect: The Bucs were 4-12 last season and they have a new coaching staff and general manager. That means there will be significant changes. The Bucs have $18 million in cap room, so they’re going to be active in free agency, even though they've stated their goal is to build through the draft. Look for connections to the new regime to play into free-agent signings. Return man Devin Hester and cornerback Charles Tillman played for coach Lovie Smith in Chicago and defensive coordinator Leslie Frazier worked with defensive end Jared Allen in Minnesota. All of those players could be prime targets. A veteran quarterback also could be added to the mix, with Josh McCown and Michael Vick as possibilities.

Bucs' free agents: Nos. 1-5

February, 12, 2014
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Let's complete our look at Tampa Bay's potential free agents with Nos. 1 through 5.

1. Adam Hayward, linebacker. As a linebacker, Hayward has limited value as a backup. But Hayward was the captain for Tampa Bay’s special teams last season. New coach Lovie Smith places a premium on special teams, so it would make a lot of sense to bring Hayward back.

2. Erik Lorig, fullback. The Bucs are going to be a run-first team. Lorig is a decent lead blocker, so it makes sense to try to keep him around.

3. Jonathan Casillas, linebacker. Casillas could be a candidate to start at strongside linebacker. He also has plenty of value on special teams.

4. Tiquan Underwood, wide receiver. He ended up starting after Mike Williams was injured last season. Underwood is not a guy you want in the starting lineup every week, but he could fill a role as the third or fourth receiver.

5. Jamon Meredith, guard. Injuries propelled Meredith into the lineup last season. The Bucs are likely to try to upgrade their offensive line this offseason, but Meredith could have some value as a backup.
TAMPA, Fla. -- Let's continue our look at the five biggest areas of need for the Tampa Bay Buccaneers with the wide receivers at No. 4.

Vincent Jackson is firmly established as the No. 1 receiver and that's not going to change. But what the Bucs do beyond Jackson remains to be seen.

Mike Williams opened last season as the No. 2 receiver. But Williams went down with a season-ending injury near the halfway point. There have been reports that the former regime wasn't happy with Williams' dedication to his rehab, but it remains to be seen if the new coaching staff and front office have any similar concerns.

If the new regime isn't sold on Williams, adding a quality starter will be a priority in free agency or the draft. Even if the new regime decides it likes Williams, this team still needs to add depth at receiver.

Tiquan Underwood, who will be a free agent, took over Williams' role as the starter. But Underwood isn't a big threat and this team could be looking out for someone much better as the third and fourth receivers.

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.

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.

Playing time for the Buccaneers

December, 24, 2013
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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.

Playing time for the Buccaneers

December, 17, 2013
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TAMPA, Fla. – It’s time for our weekly check on playing time for the Tampa Bay Buccaneers.

In Sunday’s 33-14 loss to the San Francisco 49ers, the Bucs ran 51 offensive plays and were on the field for 74 defensive snaps.

Here’s a position-by-position look at how many snaps each player got:

OFFENSE

Quarterback: Mike Glennon 51.

Running backs: Bobby Rainey 29, Brian Leonard 22, Erik Lorig 13, Spencer Larsen 3.

Wide receiver: Vincent Jackson 51, Tiquan Underwood 44, Chris Owusu 35, Eric Page 2, Skye Dawson 1.

Tight ends: Tim Wright 48, Kyle Adams 6.

Offensive line: Davin Joseph 51, Donald Penn 51, Jeremy Zuttah 51, Demar Dotson 51, Jamon Meredith 51, Gabe Carimi 1.

DEFENSE

Defensive line: Gerald McCoy 72, Adrian Clayborn 68, Akeem Spence 60, William Gholston 38, Daniel Te'o-Nesheim 32, Da'Quan Bowers 9, Derek Landri 7, Steven Means 6.

Linebackers: Mason Foster 69, Lavonte David 66, Dekoda Watson 63, Adam Hayward 9

Defensive backs: Dashon Goldson 74, Johnthan Banks 74, Darrelle Revis 74, Mark Barron 49, Keith Tandy 32, Leonard Johnson 12.

Looking at Buccaneers' playing time

December, 10, 2013
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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 Bay's playing-time summary

December, 3, 2013
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TAMPA, Fla. -- It's time for our weekly look at how the Tampa Bay Buccaneers divided their playing time.

In Sunday's 27-6 loss to Carolina, the Bucs had 49 plays on offense and 64 on defense. Here are the number of snaps each player participated in:

OFFENSE

Davin Joseph 49
Donald Penn 49
Jamon Meredith 49
Demar Dotson 49
Jeremy Zuttah 49
Mike Glennon 49
Vincent Jackson 48
Tiquan Underwood 40
Bobby Rainey 38
Tim Wright 38
Chris Owusu 25
Erik Lorig 24
Brian Leonard 11
Russell Shepard 9
Gabe Carimi 9
Kyle Adams 3

DEFENSE

Johnthan Banks 62
Dashon Goldson 61
Lavonte David 61
Mark Barron 61
Gerald McCoy 61
Mason Foster 55
Adrian Clayborn 54
Akeem Spence 51
Leonard Johnson 42
Jonathan Casillas 40
Darrelle Revis 39
William Gholston 31
Daniel Te'o-Nesheim 30
Dekoda Watson 10
Keith Tandy 10
Danny Gorrer 9
Gary Gibson 9
Da'Quan Bowers 7
Ka'Lial Glaud 5
Kelcie McCray 3
Adam Hayward 3

Playing time for the Buccaneers

November, 26, 2013
11/26/13
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TAMPA, Fla. – It’s time for our weekly check on playing time for the Tampa Bay Buccaneers.

In Sunday’s 24-21 victory against the Detroit Lions, the Bucs had 52 offensive snaps and 76 defensive plays. Here are the total snaps each player took part in:

OFFENSE

Davin Joseph 52

Donald Penn 52

Jamon Meredith 52

Demar Dotson 52

Jeremy Zuttah 52

Mike Glennon 52

Vincent Jackson 47

Tiquan Underwood 41

Tim Wright 38

Bobby Rainey 37

Erik Lorig 28

Chris Owusu 17

Tom Crabtree 15

Brian Leonard 15

Gabe Carimi 6

Spencer Larsen 2

Russell Shephard 1

DEFENSE

Keith Tandy 76

Lavonte David 76

Mark Barron 74

Gerald McCoy 74

Leonard Johnson 72

Johnthan Banks 69

Adrian Clayborn 66

Adam Hayward 55

Akeem Spence 54

Danny Gorrer 49

Daniel Te'o-Nesheim 36

William Gholston 35

Darrelle Revis 34

Kelcie McCray 21

Da'Quan Bowers 18

Dekoda Watson 12

Jonathan Casillas 11

Derek Landri 4

Rapid Reaction: Tampa Bay Buccaneers

November, 24, 2013
11/24/13
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DETROIT -- A few thoughts on the Tampa Bay Buccaneers' 24-21 victory against the Detroit Lions on Sunday.

What it means: The winning streak continues. It’s at three games, and this one was the most impressive. The Bucs won on the road for the first time this season. A team that seemed to have everything go wrong early in the season, finally got some breaks and took advantage of them. The Bucs had four interceptions, a fumble recovery and a blocked punt. The win also could continue to push coach Greg Schiano off the hot seat.

Play of the day: Rookie quarterback Mike Glennon hit Tiquan Underwood with an 85-yard touchdown pass with 14:05 remaining to give the Bucs a 24-21 lead.

Breaking the rules: There’s a rule that you don’t catch a punt if it’s inside your own 10-yard line. Tampa Bay’s Eric Page violated that rule late in the third quarter. He caught a punt that seemed destined to be a touchback at the 3-yard line, returning it to the 5. Glennon and Underwood came through with their TD connection to get Page off the hot seat.

Almost the goat: Kicker Rian Lindell missed two field-goal attempts in the fourth quarter that could have given the Bucs a bigger cushion.

Revis sidelined: The much-anticipated matchup between Tampa Bay cornerback Darrelle Revis and Detroit receiver Calvin Johnson didn’t live up to its billing. Revis didn’t play in the second half after suffering a groin injury.

What’s next: The Buccaneers play at Carolina next Sunday.

QB Watch: Buccaneers' Mike Glennon

October, 30, 2013
10/30/13
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A weekly examination of the Tampa Bay Buccaneers' quarterback play.

Glennon
Rewind: Mike Glennon completed 30 of 51 passes for 275 yards with one touchdown and no interceptions in a Thursday night loss to Carolina. Glennon also was sacked three times in a game in which the Bucs couldn’t find the end zone until the fourth quarter.

Fast forward: Going to Seattle could be Glennon’s toughest test so far. The crowd noise is as loud as any stadium in the league. Perhaps more importantly, Seattle has an excellent defense, which includes one of the league’s top secondaries.

Moving parts: Glennon will be without No. 2 receiver Mike Williams, who was placed on injured reserve earlier this week. That’s going to create a big void because Williams was the next option after Vincent Jackson, and the Bucs aren’t loaded with experienced depth at receiver. It’s likely that Tiquan Underwood will move into Williams’ role. The good news here is that Underwood got most of his work with Glennon in the preseason.

Prediction: Coach Greg Schiano said Monday that the Bucs have been putting Glennon in a tough spot by having him throw too much. Schiano said he wants more balance with the running game. That may sound nice in theory, but it will be tough to make that a reality. Running back Doug Martin seems likely to miss his second straight game with a shoulder injury. That means rookie Mike James will be the primary ball carrier. If the Bucs fall behind early, Glennon could be throwing just as much as he has been in recent weeks.

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