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Rick Stroud, Greg Auman and Matt Baker

Bucs not yet counting out Arron Sears



One of the things that came up this week in our conversations with Raheem Morris and Mark Dominik at the NFL owners meetings was the status of guard Arron Sears.

As you probably know, he missed all of last season because of a personal matter that still has not been addressed in any detail publicly. I'll spare you the conversation about the search for information on what exactly he was going through.

It's not all that important any more because Sears is back and appears to be interested in playing football again. But that doesn't mean he's ready to slide back into the lineup, much less contend for the starting left guard position he once owned. Remember, he was once one of this team's best offensive linemen and was sorely missed in 2009.

Asked about Sears' ability to contribute this fall, both Morris and Dominik were cautious in their answers, though it's clear they haven't ruled out the possibility of him playing a role. 

"Arron's working and we'll have to see what Arron is when he comes back and we start our offseason," Morris said. "But the situation was a private situation and we tried to keep it that way. . . I look forward and I'm hopeful to see where he is and to see how he's going to react when he has an opportunity."

Remember, even when Sears returned late last season, he wasn't allowed to participate in any football-related activities. He merely started the long process of getting back into shape. On the couple of occasions I actually laid eyes on him, it was clear he had gained a very considerable amount of weight and that it would be a long road back.

But a few months have passed now, and the Bucs wouldn't be wasting their time with him if they didn't think there was a legitimate chance he could help them at some point in the future. It also is a good sign they feel he can overcome not just his physical obstacles, but the personal ones that led to his absence in the first place.

"He wouldn't be with the organization if we didn't feel like he had the opportunity to come back and help this football team," Dominik said. 

[Last modified: Wednesday, May 26, 2010 3:57pm]


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