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Bucs keep tabs on kicking game

Jay Feely kicked for the Dolphins last season, but the ex-Jesuit High star has since been released by Miami and Kansas City.

Getty Images (2007)

Jay Feely kicked for the Dolphins last season, but the ex-Jesuit High star has since been released by Miami and Kansas City.

TAMPA — Bucs coach Jon Gruden recently reiterated his support of K Matt Bryant, whose preseason struggles seemed a cause for concern.

But that doesn't mean the team is turning a blind eye.

This is evidenced by the Bucs taking stock of several free-agent kickers, including perhaps the most well-known on the market: former Dolphin Jay Feely, recently released by Miami and, after a two-day stint, Kansas City.

Feely, from Jesuit High, worked out in Tampa several days ago as three other potential candidates, whose identities weren't revealed, participated in a workout Monday for front office personnel.

The reason for the concern is Bryant's three wayward kicks of 36 yards or shorter during the preseason. He finished 7-of-12.

Feely, 32, has made 80.8 percent career attempts including 91.3 percent (21-of-23) last season. Bryant has made 81.5 percent of attempts in his career.

Simms passed over: Chris Simms spent Monday working out and taking a physical for the Ravens, but talks ended when the team settled on free agent Joey Harrington as a veteran backup. Simms, 28, told the Times he performed well in the workout with Harrington and Todd Bouman.

"But I probably hurt myself by telling them I hadn't played a lot or had many reps this preseason," Simms said. "They wanted somebody to play right away."

Simms said he has had interest from the Vikings, Cowboys, Packers and Patriots but likely won't be on a roster when the regular season begins this week.

Practice squad: The team added RB Clifton Smith, WRs Micheal Spurlock and Brian Clark, C Marcus Hamilton, TE Daniel Fells and DT Dre Moore, their fourth-round pick.

The Bucs added two newcomers, CB Brandon Sumrall and G Julius Wilson. Sumrall was recently released by the Vikings, Wilson by the Rams.

Hurricane watch: The team stuck to its schedule, continuing to plan for a game Sunday in New Orleans, which was affected by Hurricane Gustav. Gruden said the team has not been told of any change in plans.

"I don't even want to think about it, really," he said. "… If any adjustments need to be made, the people that have the authority to make those decisions will make them."

Times staff writer Rick Stroud contributed to this report.

Bucs keep tabs on kicking game 09/01/08 [Last modified: Tuesday, September 2, 2008 7:43am]
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