Make us your home page
Instagram

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

(View our Privacy Policy)

Stovall finally has a breakout performance

Dolphins safety Gibril Wilson takes down receiver Maurice Stovall, who had six catches for 74 yards. Three of his catches gave the Bucs a first down.

DANIEL WALLACE | Times

Dolphins safety Gibril Wilson takes down receiver Maurice Stovall, who had six catches for 74 yards. Three of his catches gave the Bucs a first down.

TAMPA — Throughout the preseason, the Bucs have waited for Maurice Stovall to stake his claim to the No. 3 wideout spot.

Stovall made his best case yet Thursday night with six catches for 74 yards in a 10-6 loss to the Dolphins. Three receptions gave the Bucs first downs.

"I was really pleased about Stovall," Bucs coach Raheem Morris told WDAE-AM 620.

It was a big moment for Stovall, 24, who has yet to establish himself since being drafted in the third round in 2006. He has been snakebitten by injuries and made his impact primarily on special teams.

Coaches have seen Stovall, who has only 20 catches for 213 yards in 29 games, make plays in practice and training camp. They just wanted to see it happen consistently in game action.

With Antonio Bryant and Michael Clayton missing chunks of camp (and Thursday's game) with injuries, Stovall has been given plenty of reps. Morris said somebody would need to step up to grab the No. 3 spot among Stovall, Sammie Stroughter and Brian Clark, with Thursday being another measuring stick.

Stovall seemingly passed the test.

He got inside on two quick slants. One, on the first play from scrimmage, went for 8 yards. On third and 7 later in the drive, Byron Leftwich found him over the middle for an 18-yard gain. Late in the first, on third and 9, Stovall broke free for a 21-yard catch.

It was a contrast from the first preseason game, when Stovall missed two opportunities for big plays on catches with a high degree of difficulty.

He said earlier this week that getting more game experience has increased his comfort level in the offense.

"Any time you're in a game," Stovall said, "whether you're on offense, defense or special teams, you want to put positive things on tape and show the coaches and teammates that you want to play and can make plays in a game."

Joe Smith can be reached at joesmith @sptimes.com

Stovall finally has a breakout performance 08/28/09 [Last modified: Friday, August 28, 2009 8:13am]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

© 2017 Tampa Bay Times

    

Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

Loading...
  1. Fennelly: Even frustrated Bucs fans hold out hope

    Blogs

    Many fans wrote back when I threw out an all-points the other day, asking if Bucs fans are perpetually in a state of expecting the worst.

    Bucs fans cheer during a preseason game against the Washington Redskins in August at Raymond James Stadium.
  2. Bucs snapper Garrison Sanborn looking forward to return to Bills

    Bucs

    Throughout his eight seasons with the Bills, whenever former players would come to Buffalo for a game, Garrison Sanborn remembers the place to take them for a reunion dinner was a popular Italian …

    Garrison Sanborn enjoyed just one winning season in eight years in Buffalo. [AP photo]
  3. J.T. Brown said first protest already sparked action plan

    Blogs

    Lightning wing J.T. Brown said part of the reason he will no longer raise his fist during the national anthem is because his first silent protest has already sparked an action plan.

    J.T. Brown stressed that he got a lot of support from the Lightning, from ownership on down to help put him in situations to help.
  4. Bucs' Mike Evans, Bills cornerback E.J. Gaines could face off again

    Bucs

    Bucs receiver Mike Evans has gone up against four Pro Bowl cornerbacks in five games, and on Sunday he could be lining up against a corner he has a history with in Buffalo's E.J. Gaines.

    Bucs wide receiver Mike Evans (13) makes a touchdown catch over Arizona Cardinals cornerback Justin Bethel (28)  Sunday  in Glendale, Ariz. [LOREN ELLIOTT | Times]
  5. Bucs Cannon Fodder podcast: The importance of Kwon Alexander's return

    Bucs

    Greg Auman talks the importance of Kwon Alexander's return Sunday in Buffalo in his latest Cannon Fodder podcast.

    Bucs middle linebacker Kwon Alexander, pictured during training camp in July at One Buc Place. [LOREN ELLIOTT   |   Times]