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)

Tampa Bay Buccaneers receiver Dezmon Briscoe continues to advance his playing status

TAMPA — Dezmon Briscoe says he learned to read defenses playing NCAA Football, not just the real thing but the video game from EA Sports.

It's a virtual visualization tool for the Bucs receiver.

"In this day and age, they actually scout the defenses now, and it helps you read and make reads," Briscoe said. "When I get on the field, I try to visualize things as if I was playing the video game, and it usually slows the (real) game for me."

Briscoe has been performing as if he's being controlled by buttons and a joystick. In the preseason opener Friday at Kansas City, he led the Bucs with four catches for 60 yards, all in the first half.

Not that anybody in Tampa Bay was surprised. Activated for the final two games last season after No. 2 receiver Arrelious Benn went on injured reserve with a torn ACL, Briscoe, 21, stepped in and stood out. He caught six passes for 93 yards, four of them for first downs. He got deep, hauling in a 54-yarder in the season finale at New Orleans. He also demonstrated great body control, catching a 2-yard fade over Saints cornerback Jabari Greer for a touchdown by dragging both feet in the back of the end zone.

With Benn making a slow recovery from knee surgery, Briscoe has taken control of the starting job opposite Mike Williams. "I had to wait until my opportunity came and make sure I seize it," Briscoe said.

It's a lesson Briscoe learned the hard way. A polished and productive receiver at Kansas who produced 3,240 yards in three seasons, Briscoe figured he would be gone in the first or second round of the 2010 draft.

But several things derailed Briscoe, Bucs general manager Mark Dominik said. He ran poorly at the draft combine, recording a 4.68-second 40-yard dash. He may have interviewed with teams even worse, appearing somewhat aloof and detached.

Dominik, a fellow Kansas alum, made Briscoe the 30th and final player the team interviewed before the draft. Dominik expressed interest but told Briscoe to expect the worst, and indeed, the receiver lasted until the Bengals chose him in the sixth round.

"We watched his final preseason game, and he ran a stutter-go," Dominik said of Briscoe's 50-yard TD in a preseason game against the Colts. "He showed every trait you want in a receiver. He showed stop-and-start, acceleration, high point, finish, all those kinds of things. That's when I knew if there was a chance to get him on our practice squad, hopefully get him on our (roster) one day, that's what we wanted to do."

The Bengals released Briscoe on the final roster cut in September with the intention of signing him to their practice squad after he cleared waivers.

But Dominik pounced on the chance to acquire Briscoe on the Bucs' practice squad, offering him the NFL-minimum salary of $310,000 instead of the $5,200 a week normally paid to those players.

"I had that much belief in who he could be and who he is," Dominik said. "It's unconventional. It's legal."

Although not a burner, the 6-foot-2, 210-pound Briscoe runs good routes and has body control.

"He and Mike (Williams) are similar in that respect, going up, shielding the defender," receivers coach Eric Yarber said. "He has good enough speed, but he's a precision route runner. He has no technical flaws in his routes. Quickness is a necessity, speed is a luxury. If you've got great speed without quickness, you'll never be able to use it."

With Briscoe's help, the Bucs offense may be changing the scoreboard like a video game.

"This was a spot I felt was for me," Briscoe said. "A bunch of young and hungry guys who want to go out and prove we can go out and play with the elite teams in the league."

Tampa Bay Buccaneers receiver Dezmon Briscoe continues to advance his playing status 08/17/11 [Last modified: Wednesday, August 17, 2011 10:31pm]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

© 2017 Tampa Bay Times


Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

  1. College World Series: Gators, LSU face off in all-SEC finals


    OMAHA, Neb. — The matchup for the College World Series finals bolsters the case for those who say the best baseball in the land is played in the SEC.

    Florida’s Brady Singer, delivering during a CWS win over Louisville last week, is scheduled to start tonight against LSU.
  2. Jones: Fox Sports Sun shows depth in Rays coverage

    TV and Radio

    tom jones' two cents

    Tampa Bay Times columnist Tom Jones looks back at the best and worst from a weekend of televised sports.

    Best coverage

    Tampa Bay Rays third baseman Evan Longoria (3) makes a run home for a score in the in the final game of a three-game series between the Tampa Bay Rays and AL East rival the Baltimore Orioles at Tropicana Field in St. Petersburg, Fla. on Sunday, June 25, 2017.
  3. Brian Boyle says returning to Lightning a 'huge option'


    As former Lightning forward Brian Boyle approaches free agency this week, he said he's trying to stay busy.

    Former Tampa Bay Lightning player center Brian Boyle (24), on the ice during first period action at the Amalie Arena in Tampa on March 16, 2017.
  4. Rays journal: Blake Snell to rejoin rotation, Erasmo Ramirez heads to bullpen

    The Heater

    ST. PETERSBURG — LHP Blake Snell is rejoining the Rays' rotation, but the move has as much to do with helping the bullpen as it does with Snell's improvement during his time at Triple-A Durham.

    Tampa Bay Rays relief pitcher Erasmo Ramirez (30) delivers a pitch in the first inning against the Cincinnati Reds Wednesday, June 21, 2017 in St. Petersburg.
  5. Rays' bullpen stars lit up in loss to Orioles

    The Heater

    ST. PETERSBURG — Saturday it was the soft underbelly of the bullpen that let one get away from the Rays, incurring the wrath of the team's faithful followers, who wondered why the high-leverage guys weren't pitching.

    Rays closer Alex Colome, coming in with the score tied in the ninth, allows three runs in his second straight poor outing.