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Rick Stroud, Greg Auman and Matt Baker

KR Spurlock showing improvement as a WR



Michael Spurlock owns a permanent piece of Bucs lore as the first player in franchise history to return a kickoff for a touchdown.

What he would really like is a chance to stick on the roster.

The former Ole Miss quarterback is making the most of his chance to compete at receiver and has been impressive during the off-season.

"The way I look at it, this is my senior year playing receiver,'' Spurlock said. "I took a lot of bumps and bruises along the road to get where I am. It's still early, we still have training camp to go, so I'm still progressing. Like coach (Raheem Morris) says, whatever opportunities you get, take advantage of it and that's what I'm doing. For one thing, I had to learn how much running you do. At quarterback, you hand the ball off and watch the play. At receiver, you don't know if you're getting the ball, so you've ot to be at 100 percent every play.''

Everybody remembers Spurlock for his 90-yard kickoff return for a touchdown against the Atlanta Falcons in 2007 -- the first in club history. But he was released the following Sept., and was out of the NFL for a year.

Spurlock played four games for the 49ers last season before being released. But an injury to kick returner Clifton Smith prompted the Bucs to re-sign him last Dec. Spurlock made the most of the opportunity, returning a punt for a touchdown against the New Orleans Saints.

"It was right up the road,'' Spurlock said. "I have family right up the coast in Mississippi and they were able to see it. A lot of people who didn't know I was back were able to see it. The one is, if you come out there, you've got to do something. I just respect this game so much because it's so lonely on the streets. Sitting out and people asking you why you're out, it's so lonely. It makes you respect this game and your opportunity.''

Offensive coordinator Greg Olson says Spurlock's improvement is obvious.

"Spurlock is continuing to compete,'' Olson said. "To me, he's one of the more improved guys.''  

[Last modified: Monday, July 19, 2010 2:42pm]


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