The Bucs hope with all their might that receiver Reggie Brown can recapture whatever allowed him to thrive early in his career. Having acquired Brown from the Eagles for a 2011 sixth-round pick, Tampa Bay has a chance to see a huge payoff for a minimal investment. But only if the 2005 second-round pick out of Georgia proves to be the guy who caught 61 passes in 2007, not the disappointment who had nine last season. We'll find out soon. The voluntary portion of the offseason program started this week at One Buc Place, and Brown, 29, is already there getting down to business.
What are your first impressions of the Buccaneers organization?
It's nice to be down here. Everyone is pretty excited to get the season going. It seems like the staff here is trying to unite the team. Everyone is working out together, and you just sense the enthusiasm with the staff and the team around here. I just think it's going to be a pretty good year.
Do you think you'll have more opportunities here?
I've never doubted my skills. There was a time in Philly where I wasn't given the opportunity to go out and play and help the team win. But that never deterred me as far as what kind of player I am and the ability that I have. I know I can go out there and make plays week in and week out.
Was it frustrating?
You work hard in the offseason and you set goals for yourself, and when you're not given a chance to meet those goals, you feel like all the hard work you've done … all goes down the drain. It can be hard on you. But I just tried to stay focused and stay positive. I knew I was going to get another opportunity to show what I can do on the field.
What are you thoughts about quarterback Josh Freeman?
He's a big guy. I'm pretty sure he has a big arm. It's good to work with a young quarterback. You can get on the same page. It's easier. When you have a vet, he has certain things he likes to do. With a young guy, you can come in and just communicate to him and show him how you like to run routes and things of that nature. I think it's going to be a good relationship.
Has your game changed at all during the last five years?
No, it's pretty much about production and getting those opportunities on the field. I'm still a guy who can run good routes and catch the ball and make plays. So, once I get the ball in my hands, I feel like I can help the team out.
There's a lot of talk about injuries being part of your problem. Can you talk about that?
I didn't really have any injuries. In my first three years I didn't miss a game. I had a couple hamstring and quad problems in the preseason, but that was pretty much it. I missed a couple games in the regular season in my fourth year, but those were the only injuries that I've had.
What do you do best as a receiver?
Make plays. That's my job description. That's what receivers are supposed to do. I think I have elusiveness. I'm able to break tackles. I guess I'm considered a small receiver at 200 pounds, but I can break tackles.
How did you deal with your lack of playing time?
I was definitely frustrated. But I think my (receivers) coach there, David Culley, did a great job of not letting me get down on myself and helping me stay positive. He knew I was going to get a chance to play again and just kept telling me not to get down on myself.
Did you ever get an indication from the coaches about why your role changed so drastically?
There really wasn't an explanation. It was what it was. That's pretty much what I got.
When you got traded, was it a shock or did you think it was coming? And what was your reaction?
I kind of thought I was going to get traded this offseason. I was hoping. I didn't want to sit through another year of just doing nothing. Some people might say it's cool to just do nothing and get paid, but it isn't. When I heard Tampa Bay was going to be the team that I was going to get traded to, I was excited because I thought I could come down here and have a great opportunity to play and contribute to the team.
Stephen F. Holder can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.