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Tampa Bay Buccaneers have Titans defensive tackle Albert Haynesworth 'on the radar'

INDIANAPOLIS — There's an awful lot of dot-connecting when it comes to the Bucs and Titans free agent Albert Haynesworth.

The Pro Bowl defensive tackle, 27, is considered a rare impact player, devastating against the run and a force as a pass rusher. He has 141/2 sacks in his past 26 games, which is impressive for an interior defensive lineman.

Although the free agent signing period doesn't begin until Friday, and technically coaches and general managers are supposed to refrain from discussing players before then, coach Raheem Morris admitted having interest in the 6-foot-6, 320-pounder.

"He definitely has talent," Morris said Friday. "He's definitely on the radar. We'll see when that time comes."

GM Mark Dominik said the Bucs' approach to free agency is to focus on re-signing many of their players who could hit the market.

"There's a lot of opportunity here to meet with the agents of our players," he said. "Really, that's been our focus. We have a lot of free agents. We've had a couple signed back. That's really where it is now, our guys that we can get back."

Dominik met with Drew Rosenhaus, the agent for CB Phillip Buchanon, on Friday. With QB Luke McCown under contract and the franchise tag on WR Antonio Bryant, the urgency shifts to re-signing Buchanon.

Super smack: Morris is his own man. But he doesn't run from the comparisons with Steelers coach Mike Tomlin. The two are close, having coached defensive backs for the Bucs. Tomlin has a Super Bowl title in just his second year as head coach. On Thursday night, the self-proclaimed dreamers were fantasizing about the Bucs and Steelers meeting in Super Bowl XLIV.

"We were actually talking last night about meeting in Miami next year, going down there and having a heavyweight head-coaching boxing match, something the media wouldn't be used to," Morris said. "It would be pretty funny if that would happen. We'd both love it to happen. But it would be the first time in NFL history two head coaches talk smack to each other on the podium."

Third wheel: Pro Bowl kick returner Clifton Smith will get a chance at running back in the fall. "We're really fired up about him," Morris said. "You don't make a mistake and fall into the Pro Bowl when somebody gives you a chance. So you'd better give him a chance as a back and see if he can go to the Pro Bowl as a back. There's a guy out there named Darren Sproles that's a pretty good back that's Peanut's (Smith's) size. I don't know if he's that fast, but it's compliments to Peanut."

Tampa Bay Buccaneers have Titans defensive tackle Albert Haynesworth 'on the radar' 02/20/09 [Last modified: Saturday, February 21, 2009 6:24am]
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