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Bucs Beat

Rick Stroud, Greg Auman and Matt Baker

A different take on Jerramy Stevens

Bucs There were many in Seattle who couldn't wait for new Tampa Bay tight end Jerramy Stevens to leave. But the former Seahawk has at least one prominent friend in the Great Northwest.

"He was a great teammate. He worked hard for me all the time," Seahawks quarterback Matt Hassellbeck said, according to the Tacoma (Wash.) News-Tribune. "I really appreciated the effort that he gave and even the selflessness that he had."

That sure doesn't sound like the Stevens we've seen from afar, but it will be interesting to get to know the guy. The local media has yet to meet him, and it's possible that might not happen for a few weeks. For now, all we can go by is what those who know him say.

Still, even those in Stevens' corner recognize he has an underlying issue.

"All of his problems stemmed from one thing and that was alcohol," Hassellbeck said. "If you take alcohol out of the equation, he was the perfect teammate and a great kid. My hope for him is that he is able to put those problems behind him and have a successful career."

Speaking of alcohol, Stevens latest booze-related incident -- an arrest for DUI and marijuana possession in Arizona -- is under review per the league's new conduct policy according to NFL VP of public relations Greg Aiello. Jon Gruden acknowledged as much when we asked him on Friday, and he also suggested the team took up the issue with the league before signing Stevens. But it doesn't appear the league gave the Bucs any indication of what its plans are.

If you've been following the news lately, you know that a player doesn't have to be convicted of a crime to be penalized for it by the league. Just ask Pacman Jones, who has been suspended for the entire '07 season (though he has a upcoming appeal).

Players with a track record are more likely to be dealt with harshly, and that means possible suspension. Stevens certainly qualifies, having two alcohol-related incidents in his past that resulted in guilty pleas.

As for Stevens' transition to Tampa, it's safe to say this guy's new neighbors will be watching him closely. We posted this a while back when the Bucs initially showed interest in Stevens, and it's worth another look -- if you can stomach it: Click to read.

[Photo: Getty Images]

[Last modified: Wednesday, May 26, 2010 2:45pm]

    

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