Bucs newcomer shaking things up at tight end
There was an unfamiliar player making plays in the passing game today at One Buc Place, and it turns out his coaches noticed.
Tight end Collin Franklin, who the Bucs have acquired off waivers from the Jets, took the field and -- from first impressions at least -- looks like he could make things interesting with Tampa Bay.
Franklin, an undrafted rookie from Iowa State, caught the eye of offensive coordinator Greg Olson. With rookie Luke Stocker still out with a hip injury and unlikely to play this week against the Patriots, there are some practice reps to go around. The Bucs also are hoping Franklin's arrival puts some heat on the remaining tight ends beyond Stocker and starter Kellen Winslow, creating more competition.
That means players like Ryan Purvis, rookie Daniel Hardy and Nathan Overbay. Coaches haven't seen enough consistency from that group that essentially is battling for the No. 3 tight end spot. Now, it seems, you can add Franklin to that list.
Franklin, 6-6 and 256 pounds, made several nice catches in today's workout despite being completely new to the offense. If he manages to do that against the Patriots on Thursday, he could be a player to watch this preseason.