LB Crowell slowly working his way back
It's still too early to know if LB Angelo Crowell, acquired in free agency in March, will be a major factor for the Bucs.
Right now, he's competing at the strong-side linebacker position with Quincy Black and others, but we're only beginning to find out what Crowell can offer. That's because he has been working his way back from a knee injury that sidelined him for all of 2008, and it's taking a while for him to rebuild confidence in the knee.
"Any time you're talking about a guy with a knee (injury), you're talking about a slow development," coach Raheem Morris conceded.
But it's starting to come. This week, Morris said, was a good one for Crowell.
"He's starting to pick it up. Mentally, he's a sharp cat. But when you're talking about getting confidence, starting to run, starting to feel it -- I think it's coming."
Crowell appears to still be on a pitch count of sorts after only being cleared to participate in practices less than a month ago. Soon, the Bucs hope to find out whether their reasonable investment in Crowell will pay off. Crowell will earn $2 million in base salary this season after signing a 1-year deal with the Bucs.
If he can return to form, the Bucs may have found themselves a steal. Crowell, in his last full season, led the Bills in tackles in 2007 with 140.
What will be provide for the Bucs? Stay tuned and time will tell.