Make us your home page

Get the quickest, smartest news, analysis and photos from the Bucs game emailed to you shortly after the final whistle.

(View our Privacy Policy)

Reports: Alabama running back Mark Ingram visiting Tampa Bay Buccaneers today

There are multiple reports indicating Alabama running back and former Heisman Trophy winner Mark Ingram is visiting the Tampa Bay Buccaneers today.

Ingram might not be the highest-profile player to have visited Tampa Bay in advance of next week's draft -- players like Cameron Jordan of Cal have visited and are projected to be drafted earlier -- but Ingram is one of the more interesting prospects to come to town. That's because his presence here suggests that the Bucs recognize running back is not a position of great strength, though they certainly have a talented back in LeGarrette Blount.

Consider: Cadillac Williams is a free agent and arguably on the down side of his career, even though he undeniably an important asset to this team in 2010 as both a runner and receiver on third downs. Earnest Graham, who also is aging, has been strictly a fullback lately, and that doesn't figure to change.

The Bucs will get back Kareem Huggins from a torn ACL this fall, but he has no track record despite having shown tremendous upside in the past two preseasons. In short, the Bucs have practically no regular-season film to analyze when it comes to Huggins and projecting how he might help them. The same applies to seldom-used Kregg Lumpkin, who was added to the roster last season at the same time as Blount.

And, as we've learned around these parts, you just can't have enough backfield talent. Running backs absorb an extreme amount of punishment and that results in numerous injuries.

The fact that the Bucs would spend one of their prospect visits on a running back expected to be drafted in the first or second round tells us they're probably serious in considering an addition in the backfield.

Will it be Ingram? I'd say the odds are stacked heavily against that considering the major needs the Bucs need to address early in this draft (pass rusher, cornerback, etc.). But it would be surprising if the Bucs didn't come away from this draft with a running back prospect would could contend for playing time immediately.

The draft is a week away, so stay tuned.

Reports: Alabama running back Mark Ingram visiting Tampa Bay Buccaneers today 04/13/11 [Last modified: Wednesday, April 13, 2011 1:38pm]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

© 2017 Tampa Bay Times


Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

  1. Joe Maddon gets warm reception in return to the Trop

    The Heater

    ST. PETERSBURG — The night was arranged to honor former Rays manager Joe Maddon in his first visit back to the Trop, and the standing ovation from the bipartisan crowd and scoreboard video tribute seemed proper acknowledgments of his hefty role in the Rays' success during his nine-year stint.

    Chicago Cubs manager Joe Maddon (70) talks with reporters during a press conference before the start of the game between the Chicago Cubs and the Tampa Bay Rays at Tropicana Field in St. Petersburg, Fla. on Tuesday, Sept. 19, 2017.
  2. Rays vs. Cubs, 7:10 p.m. Wednesday, Tropicana Field

    The Heater

    Tonight: vs. Cubs

    7:10, Tropicana Field

    TV/radio: Fox Sports Sun; 620-AM; 680-AM (Spanish)

    Tampa Bay Rays' Blake Snell poses for a picture during the team's photo day at baseball spring training in Port Charlotte, Fla., Saturday, Feb. 18, 2017. (AP Photo/David Goldman)
  3. Marc Topkin's takeaways from Tuesday's Rays-Cubs game

    The Heater

    Chris Archer's night ended with his 11th loss, but he and the Rays should feel good about his six solid innings. After the forearm tightness scare in Chicago, he had two rough outings (15 hits, 11 runs, seven innings), so Tuesday was a reassuring rebound.

  4. At 6-8, Lightning prospect Oleg Sosunov comes with, and needs, a high ceiling

    Lightning Strikes

    TAMPA — When Hall of Famer Phil Esposito first saw Lightning prospect Oleg Sosunov, he joked that the 6-foot-8 defenseman could reach the Amalie Arena ceiling.

    Lightning 6-foot-8 defenseman Oleg Sosunov competes in the preseason opener. Phil Esposito jokes that Sosunov can reach the ceiling at Amalie Arena.
  5. Jones: Rays' Kevin Cash doesn't mind following in Joe Maddon's steps

    The Heater

    ST. PETERSBURG — On this particular night, he's the other guy. He's like a talk-show guest scooted to the end of the couch. He is Kevin Cash. And the Rays manager is standing in the home dugout at Tropicana Field.

    ST. PETERSBURG, FL - SEPTEMBER 17: Manager Kevin Cash (L) of the Tampa Bay Rays reacts to action during the game against the Boston Red Sox at Tropicana Field on September 17, 2017 in St. Petersburg, Florida. (Photo by Joseph Garnett Jr./Getty Images) 700012494