Koetter likes Bucs receivers but could add in the draft
Coach Dirk Koetter believes the Bucs have a deep group of receivers, starting with Mike Evans and 33-year-old Vincent Jackson, who played on only 10 games last season due to a series of knee injuries. And there is competition among young players behind them, along with two players who never made it onto the field last season -- Kenny Bell, who spent his rookie year on injured reserve with a hamstring injury and veteran Louis Murphy, who suffered a torn ACL.
“I feel fine about our receiving corps. Obviously, at the top with Vincent and Mike,'' Koetter said. "I’m not a believer that Vincent Jackson is anywhere close to being done. I think both of his injuries were extremely freakish last year. He happened to take a helmet right on the knee in both instances. Vincent is a fast healer. I think Mike is going to have a rebound year if we can call 1,200 yards a bad season.
“I’m really excited for the competition we have with the four young guys, between Adam, D.D. (Donteea Dye), Kenny Bell coming back and Evan Spencer. I’m really excited for those four and then you’ve got the two vets, Louis Murphy and Russell Shepard. I think we’ve got great competition and that’s pre-draft talk. So I don’t think our wide receivers are in bad shape at all.''
That said, Bell will begin the off-season well behind Humphries, Dye, Shepard and perhaps Spencer. And Koetter won't rule out the Bucs taking a receiver in the NFL draft, especially one who can stretch the field. Of course, it's unlikely they would address that position with the No. 9 overall pick.
“Everybody needs to add a speed receiver but when you talk about a speed receiver, those guys have got to be able to play,'' Koetter said. "There were some guys who were looked at but a speed receiver still has to be able to show up on third down, has to be able to play in the red zone. A speed receiver can’t just get behind the defense twice a game and maybe you hit him and maybe you don’t. Yeah, everybody is looking for a speed receiver that can play.''