TAMPA — After his release from the Giants on Friday, it didn't take long for RB D.J. Ware to determine Tampa Bay was the place for him.
The Bucs are closer to his home state of Georgia, and former Giants assistant Mike Sullivan is Tampa Bay's offensive coordinator.
"First and foremost, I think he can be a third-down back," coach Greg Schiano said. "He's done that in this league effectively. That would be nice to start there. Carrying the football? We'll have to see. There's only so many touches, and those touches are earned."
With rookie Doug Martin named the starter and with veteran LeGarrette Blount and seventh-round pick Michael Smith on the roster, would the Bucs activate all four backs on game days? Schiano said only if some play on special teams.
Ware said Tampa was right for him.
"When doors close, another one opens," he said. "The Bucs brought me in. I felt wanted. I felt needed. Anything I can do, I'm willing to do."
HARD FEELINGS: DT Amobi Okoye, released Friday after agreeing to an injury settlement, questioned Schiano's character Monday because of statements he made about a "history" of knee issues. Okoye has joined the Bears, for whom he played last season.
"It's too bad to hear the unfortunate things he's saying about my knee," Okoye said, according to the Chicago Sun-Times. "It's kind of unfair of him to say what he said to the media, painting a bad picture like my knee was always bad."
Okoye had offseason knee surgery and, he says, returned too early. An ensuing setback caused him to miss the final three preseason games.
Last week, Schiano said of Okoye, "You can be a little cautious at times. We've tried to do that. But at the end of the day, you've got to go out and earn a spot."
Okoye took aim at those comments.
"It really makes me question character of himself, because, while I was there, he was trying to mold us to be kind of like him," Okoye told the Sun-Times. "It made me question all the things he was teaching me. … It's like, 'Wow, what type of guy is this?' That really hurt."
It's unclear what the Bucs told Okoye after the surgery, or what their expectations were.
COMING OR GOING?: DL Wallace Gilberry, pulled off the practice field Saturday because he was being released, re-signed after G Julian Vandervelde was released. "I was just under the impression I was going to go home and stay in the gym and stay in shape to be ready," Gilberry said. "But God had another plan and so did Coach Schiano and (GM) Mark Dominik. I'm definitely happy."
PRACTICE SQUAD: The team signed OL Bradley Sowell, LB Jacob Cutrera, TE Drake Dunsmore, WR Dale Moss, WR Bert Reed, LB J.K. Schaffer, QB Adam Weber and DE Markus White.