Can Bucs keep Shrine Game streak intact for 2017?
Practices for Saturday's East-West Shrine Game at Tropicana Field started Monday in St. Petersburg, and the Bucs have had a strong presence during practices at Shorecrest Prep and St. Petersburg High.
General manager Jason Licht has been in attendance at both practices both days, and head coach Dirk Koetter was at Tuesday morning's East practice. A strong lineup of Bucs assistants has been spotted as well -- offensive coordinator Todd Monken, offensive line coach George Warhop, running backs coach Tim Spencer, tight ends coach Jon Embree, defensive line coach Jay Hayes, linebackers coach Mark Duffner, defensive backs coach Brett Maxie and special-teams coordinator Nate Kaczor.
The Bucs also have three coaches as part of the NFL contingent working as coaches this week -- defensive quality control coach Dave Borgonzi and assistant strength coaches Joe Vaughn and Chad Wade.
Will the Bucs sign a player from this year's Shrine Game roster? There's a wild streak going right now -- the current Bucs roster (including impending free agents) has at least one player from every Shrine Game since 2010, with nine players from the seven games. We'll give you a sentence to try to name any of the nine from your memories of Shrine Games ... just stalling now to give you a second more before we reveal the names in the next paragraph ... last warning ...
The current Bucs who have played in Shrine Games: Daryl Smith (2004), Alterraun Verner (2010), Cecil Shorts (2011), Bryan Anger (2012), Keith Tandy (2012), Bradley McDougald (2013), Bernard Reedy (2014), Ryan Russell (2015), Kivon Cartwright (2016) and John Lunsford (2016). We'll also give a shoutout to Duke Preston, the Bucs' director of player development, who played in the 2005 Shrine Game, along with former Bucs guard Logan Mankins.
That's a longer streak than the Bucs have at the Senior Bowl -- generally a more consistent pipeline of NFL talent -- but the streak there stops in 2011. We'll save that one for next week ...