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Tampa Bay Buccaneers sign 16 undrafted free agents

New Buc Jock Sanders played at St. Petersburg Catholic, then set West Virginia’s all-time record for receptions.

Getty Images (2010)

New Buc Jock Sanders played at St. Petersburg Catholic, then set West Virginia’s all-time record for receptions.

TAMPA — The Bucs signed 16 undrafted free agents Wednesday, highlighted by former St. Petersburg Catholic High School star Jock Sanders, a 5-foot-6, 185-pound receiver at West Virginia, Boise State QB Mike Coughlin and Tennessee LB Nick Reveiz, son of former NFL kicker Fuad Reveiz.

GM Mark Dominik revealed Tuesday that the team had already reached agreements with Syracuse LB Derrell Smith and Arkansas-Pine Bluff WR Raymond Webber, who led the nation with 101 receptions and 1,429 yards.

Webber will be joined by Sanders, the Mountaineers' all-time pass catcher, and Texas Tech's Detron Lewis, who finished 15th in the nation in receptions with 6.69 per game.

The team also added a few running backs. Oklahoma's Mossis Madu (6-0, 197) was used mostly as a ballcarrier last season. Overall, he played in 40 games and finished with 160 carries for 724 yards and eight touchdowns while recording 23 catches for 186 yards. Notre Dame's Armando Allen led the Irish in rushing last season with 697 yards (4.9 yard average), despite missing three games. In his career, he rushed 469 times for 2,144 yards and six touchdowns and caught 119 passes for 833 yards and another seven touchdowns.

Idaho RB Deonte Jackson is expected to sign with the Bucs. Sharing the workload with two other backs, he rushed for 2,700 yards in his career.

Coughlin was mired as the backup at Boise State to Kellen Moore but impressed scouts during the team's pro day. The Bucs also signed two long snappers — UCLA's Christian Yount and Mississippi State's Aaron Feld. One of them will have a good chance to replace Andrew Economos, who is recovering from a torn Achilles' tendon.

(MOSTLY) HEALTHY Team REPORTs TODAY: Players report to training camp at One Buc Place this morning and most are healthy.

The list of players who finished the season on injured reserve was lengthy a year ago, but most of those ailments have healed or are healing.

Team officials were especially pleased with second-round pick Da'Quan Bowers, the Clemson defensive end who signed a four-year contract Wednesday. After leading the nation with 16 sacks, Bowers' stock fell when he had knee surgery before the NFL draft.

"Everything we've gotten back from Clemson in terms of what he did after the draft was over until one day ago, he followed a very good plan that we had in place and he stuck to it," Dominik said. "The trainers there at Clemson have worked really hard with him, and now we're fired up to have Todd Toriscelli and our group continue to work with him. But I see Da'Quan being ready to go Day One."

Another player who appears ahead of schedule is WR Arrelious Benn, who had surgery to repair a torn ACL. That recovery can take from six to nine months, but Benn already is running and cutting.

"They were like, 'Wow!' For me to be blessed to have this recovery as fast as I did — it was textbook surgery," Benn said. "I've never had a severe injury like this, but I came back pretty well. I'm still taking it slow. … I cleared my physical, but I'm still taking it slow. There's no need for me to rush into (training camp.) I'm going to be limited for some things, but I'm feeling good."

Benn said he wasn't sure if he would play in the preseason but is confident he'll be ready Sept. 11 for the regular-season opener against the Lions.

S Cody Grimm (broken leg) and DT Brian Price (pelvic injury) might be limited in training camp, but DT Gerald McCoy (torn biceps), C Jeff Faine (triceps) and CB Aqib Talib (hip) are ready to go.

Tampa Bay Buccaneers sign 16 undrafted free agents 07/27/11 [Last modified: Thursday, July 28, 2011 9:44am]
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