Tampa BayWatch – My Thoughts on the Bucs

#97 No more – Simeon Rice released

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Simeon Rice released by the Bucs on the first day of training camp, and this news has dominated the first week of Bucs training camp. Rice was due to start his seventh season with the Bucs and was looking to return to the form of previous seasons. Rice had lost most of the 2006 season to a shoulder injury that limited him to 8 games and only 2 sacks. However before being benched in favour of DeWayne White, Rice was clearly struggling with his injury.

Simeon Rice

If Rice knew coming into camp that there would be concerns about his fitness he may have feared the worst.

Another Buc stalwart, Shelton Quarles was cut at the end of April, also due to concerns over his fitness. However, although sad that Quarles was cut, I knew that we had an excellent replacement in Barrett Ruud who has been understudy to Quarles since being drafted in 2005.

However, I’m not so comfortable with the Rice cut. Cutting Rice leaves a huge hole in an already struggling defence (the Bucs only ranked #17 in total defence last year). The Bucs have added players to the line through Free Agency and the Draft but can anyone match a fully fit Simeon Rice ? DeWayne White filled in admirably and then filled his bank balance with a Free Agency move to the Detroit Lions.

Currently the most likely candidates for the RDE position are Kevin Carter and Gaines Adams, the rookie out of Clemson. My hunch is that Carter will start and Adams will be a situational player. Adams will be given more and more exposure as the season progresses. In Carter, Adams can’t get a much better mentor. Carter is reknowned as student of the game and I hope that he can pass footballing knowledge on to Adams.

Looking back over Rice’s time in Tampa he has clearly been one of the top defensive pass rushers and when on song was nearly unplayable. His speed off the edge and ability to get to the quarterback were unmatched. His stats over the past 6 seasons are only bettered by Michael Strahan of the Giants.

Year Sacks Passes Defensed Tackles Interceptions
2001 11.0 8 64 0
2002 15.5 11 75 1
2003 15 10 62 2
2004 12 5 51 0
2005 14 5 47 1
2006 2 1 21 0

It’s a huge loss to lose a player of Rice’s quality, however the Tampa coaches must be happy with the cover that they have in the position. I just hope that in letting Simeon go we don’t have another John Lynch situation where a player is let go and goes on to have another good few years with another team.

I wish Simeon all the best wherever he may end up and thanks for the memories…

Simeon RiceSimeon Rice

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Written by UK Bucs Fan

August 4, 2007 at 5:06 pm

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