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Bucs RB Ward returns, 'just here to be a leader'

Running back Derrick Ward, vowing to become a team leader, returned to voluntary offseason workouts Monday after missing four of the first six workouts.

Ward said he could not participate last week because of a "dental issue." Monday, he looked sharp working during the team's two-minute offense period.

"Last week, I had a dental issue," Ward said. "I was back home getting that handled. Now I'm here for the rest of the (organized team activities) and the minicamp and just getting ready to go."

Ward, 29, was a backup to starting running back Cadillac Williams last season. He gained 409 yards on 114 carries (3.6 average). But the seventh-year pro says he knows how to prepare for the season.

"I've been doing this for seven years, so I know what I have to do," Ward said. "I'm in pretty good shape and ready to go out there and participate and be part of my teammates. We have a great bond here.

"I'm here to compete; I'm here to help this team win and hopefully get to a Super Bowl. I'm just here to be a leader. I'm one of the old guys on offense. It's funny looking back on it now, but it's just a good opportunity for me to become more of a vocal leader on the field and in the locker room and lead by example."

PACKER CHARGES UNLIKELY: Police don't plan to recommend pressing charges against a Packers player accused of sexual assault by two women who changed their statements during the investigation, the chief overseeing the investigation said. Delton (Wisc.) Police Chief Tom Dorner said he expects to forward the investigation's findings to prosecutors by today, but he thinks they would have a hard time proving a case. Officers were called early Saturday to a condo in Lake Delton where seven Packers stayed during a charity golf event. The women initially told investigators they were sexually assaulted by more than one Packer as other players held them down. After the players were questioned, the women changed their statements to say only one person assaulted them, Dorner said. Police cleared six players; a seventh, whom police declined to identify, remains under investigation.

CULPEPPER TO UFL: Former Vikings, Dolphins and UCF quarterback Daunte Culpepper, 33, signed with Sacramento of the United Football League. He'll be reunited with his former Minnesota coach, Dennis Green.

CHARGERS: Wide receiver Malcom Floyd signed his one-year contract tender as a restricted free agent; the deal is worth $3,168,000.

RAMS: The team reacquired four-time Pro Bowl receiver Isaac Bruce so he can retire as a Ram; reportedly, a retirement news conference is scheduled Wednesday.

RAVENS: The league ordered the team to cancel its final offseason training camp because of a violation of workout rules.

Information from Times wires was used in this report.

Bucs RB Ward returns, 'just here to be a leader' 06/07/10 [Last modified: Monday, June 7, 2010 11:27pm]
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