Life and politics from the Sunshine State's best city

Bucs need help from their receivers down the depth chart

in Sports/Top Headlines by

In the war of attrition that is the NFL, the Tampa Bay Bucs are trying to fix what’s broken while their team is on the move.

In particular, the Bucs have trying to find wide receivers after injuries cut their available players to three last week.

Tampa Bay has brought up Josh Huff, a former third-round pick of the Eagles out of Oregon, from the practice squad to help to fill in. Huff has made progress since joining the Bucs’ practice squad three weeks ago.

“We’re going to find out, aren’t we?” said offensive coordinator Todd Monken. “It looked like a few weeks ago we might be able to get him up and he had a little bit of a setback. But we’re excited and we’re going to find out this week what recall he’s had. When you’re on the practice squad, most of the reps you’re getting is for your opposing offense against your defense, so we’re going to find out what kind of recall he’s had. We’ve got to do a great job this week of getting him up to speed.”

Speed is one thing that Huff seems to have.

“Josh Huff man, he’s blazing (fast),” said Jameis Winston. “(He) has a lot of abilities that would definitely add to our repertoire. We really are excited to have him up on the 53-man active roster and to see what he’s going to do on game day.”

 A week ago, backups Russell Sheppard and Freddie Martino saw increased playing time.

“There’s a difference between a play every now and then and an expanded role,” Monken said. “We found that out last week with some of the other players. They’re all capable, it’s just a matter of – it’s one thing to know an assignment, it’s another split, detail and then going against the best in the world and giving yourself a chance to be successful.”

Monken said Sheppard and Martino performed well a week ago.

“They’ve done fine,” Monken said. “I’ve said it all along, those guys have talent, or they wouldn’t be on an NFL roster. Now it’s a matter of their confidence, keep working at their skillset, keep developing it and then getting an opportunity. And Mike [Evans] garners a lot of attention, so those guys are going to get one-on-one match-ups a lot more than they would normally. Mike’s got to handle the frustration of that and those guys have got to be able to step up when they get their one-on-one opportunities.”

The Bucs play New Orleans at 1 p.m. Sunday.

Gary Shelton is one of the most recognized and honored sportswriters in the history of the state. He has won the APSE's national columnist of the year twice and finished in the top 10 eight times. He was named the Florida Sportswriter of the Year six times. Gary joined SaintPetersBlog in the spring, helping to bring a sports presence to the website. Over his time in sports writing, Gary has covered 29 Super Bowls, 10 Olympics, Final Fours, Masters, Wimbledons and college national championships. He was there when the Bucs won a Super Bowl, when the Lightning won a Stanley Cup and when the Rays went to a World Series. He has seen Florida, FSU and Miami all win national championships, and he covered Bear Bryant, Bobby Bowden and Don Shula along the way. He and his wife Janet have four children: Eric, Kevin, K.C. and Tori. To contact, visit

Latest from Sports

Go to Top