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Raheem Morris sees many positives in new Tampa Bay Buccaneers safety Sean Jones

GAINESVILLE — Bucs coach Raheem Morris was scouting potential players at the University of Florida's Pro Day on Wednesday, but he took a moment to reflect on the newest Buccaneer: safety Sean Jones.

The team made Jones' signing official Wednesday, announcing a two-year deal, and Morris is already thinking of ways to put him to use, speaking of how Jones is a force when playing near the line of scrimmage.

"He's a nice box presence, but he also has some athleticism on the back end and some big-time movement," Morris said. "You're talking about a guy who, when you see him, you'll see a demanding presence. You'll see a guy who comes in the box and you have to account for.

"He has all the qualities we like. We're fired up to have him."

Morris said a key benefit of adding Jones is creating competition at safety, a position that lacked that last season.

Asked if the Bucs would make any other forays into free agency after their second signing of an unrestricted free agent, Morris said it was a possibility.

"You're always looking to improve your team in any way you can (with someone) that fits your system," he said. "If we can find more people that fit our system before the draft, then that's what we'll do. If not, we'll let the draft come."

HADEN IMPROVES STOCK: UF cornerback Joe Haden solidified his status as the top cornerback in the draft, addressing the biggest question with a 40-yard dash in 4.39 seconds. Haden also had a fluid performance in position drills. UF tight end Aaron Hernandez posted solid numbers, with a better 40-yard time than Oklahoma's Jermaine Gresham had at the scouting combine, and also beating Gresham's numbers in the 225-pound bench press and in speed drills.

Owners rethink OT

TAMPA — It might be possible for both teams to have a chance to possess the ball during overtime in the postseason and Super Bowl if NFL owners adopt a proposal by the league's competition committee.

Owners meetings will begin Sunday in Orlando.

Improvement in field goal accuracy and field position after the kickoff has given teams that win the coin toss in sudden death overtime an increasingly bigger advantage of winning the game.

In the proposal that will be recommended by the competition committee for the postseason only, both teams would get the ball at least once if no touchdown is scored. For instance, if the team winning the coin toss scores with the field goal, it would kick off and the other team would have a chance to tie or win the game.

If the other team responds kicks a tying a field goal, the game goes to pure sudden death.

"The pros of the switch is to try and rebalance the advantage that's been gained since 1994 based on field goal accuracy being greatly improved and drive start position being improved," said competition committee vice chairman Rich McKay. "I would say to you those that are advocates will say we're trying to put in a system that emphasizes more skills and strategy in overtime as opposed to the randomness of the coin flip."

From 1974, when the sudden death rule was instituted to help eliminate ties, until 1993, teams winning and losing the toss each had a 46.8 percent chance of winning the game.

In 1994, the NFL moved the kickoff back to the 35-yard line, and from 1994-2009, the team winning the OT coin toss won the game 59.8 percent of the time. The team losing the coin toss won the game 38.5 percent of the time.

redskins sign grossman: Quarterback Rex Grossman signed a free-agent deal with Washington. After six seasons with the Bears, the former Gator, 29, spent last season with the Texans, working with new Redskins offensive coordinator Kyle Shanahan.

player sued: Saints coach Sean Payton and his wife, Elizabeth, have sued the team's former long snapper over a $144,000 investment tied to a now-defunct movie studio. The federal suit filed Monday is similar to one filed recently by Saints tight end Jeremy Shockey and former defensive lineman Charles Grant against Kevin Houser, now with the Seahawks.

bills: Former Gator Andra Davis signed a two-year deal and will compete with former USF standout Kawika Mitchell and Paul Posluszny to start at inside linebacker. Ravens free agent defensive end Dwan Edwards reportedly agreed to a four-year contract for about $18 million.

cardinals: Free agent Derek Anderson agreed to a two-year deal and will compete with Matt Leinart, the only quarterback the team has under contract after Kurt Warner's retirement.

dolphins: Free agent Richie Incognito signed a one-year deal and will compete with Donald Thomas and Nate Garner to start at right guard.

49ers: Linebacker Patrick Willis had minor surgery on his right knee last week to remove an inflamed fluid sac. A quick recovery is expected.

seahawks: Linebacker Matt McCoy, who played for the Bucs for parts of the past two seasons, signed a $630,000, one-year deal.

Times staff writer Rick Stroud contributed to this report, which used information from Times wires.

Raheem Morris sees many positives in new Tampa Bay Buccaneers safety Sean Jones 03/17/10 [Last modified: Thursday, March 18, 2010 12:30am]
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