WR Shipley 'seems like our kind of guy,' Schiano says
Amid reports that the Bucs were the only NFL team to claim Bengals receiver Jordan Shipley off waivers because of his ACL injury, coach Greg Schiano said Tuesday the former Texas star was on the team's radar prior to the 2010 draft.
"We had a good grade on him coming out,'' Schiano said of Shipley, who played in only two games with the Bengals last season before tearing his ACL. "(General manager) Mark (Dominik) and (player personnel director) Dennis (Hickey) really like him in evaluation process and took a peek at him and did some background on him and he seems like our kind of guy. Whenever we have an opportunity to bring a player in...I don't know, let's see how he fits. But if we have a good evaluation on him and he seems like our kind of guy, let's bring him in if we can and here's a time when we can.''
Schiano made it clear the decision to claim Shipley does not mean the Bucs are unhappy with their receiver situation, particularly in the slot where Preston Parker and Sammie Stroughter have been competing.
"I wouldn't say it's in response to any need, it's just that if you have a chance to investigate a player that you liked, you do it,'' Schiano said. "Now is the time when we can do it.''
Unfortunately for Shipley, there's not much time to impress the Bucs' coaching staff. Tampa Bay will begin joint practices with New England Wednesday and Thursday before hosting the Patriots in a preseason game Friday at Raymond James Stadium.
Meanwhile, Shipley is playing catch up. On Tuesday, he was used primarily as a punt returner.
"My rookie year, I do a few in preseason and had a couple long ones,'' Shipley said. "So I love punt return and any chance I get to out there, I'll be out there.''
The Bengals believed Shipley still was being impacted by the ACL surgery. As a rookie, Shiplay was the Bengals third receiver and caught 52 passes for 600 yards and three touchdowns.
"I definitely felt like I was progressing a little bit,'' Shipley said. "I felt like it was a situation they had made before. I don't know. I feel like I was coming along, feeling good and progressing. But that's good because now I'll be ready to go here.''
But before Shipley can be effective on the field, he has to learn the Bucs offense and terminology.
"It's a totally different system as far as terminology so I'm going to have a busy day today and the next several days probably just learning everything until I get comfortable,'' Shipley said.