Tampa Bay Buccaneers take gamble on wide receiver Mark Bradley

TAMPA — The Bucs don't know whether WR Mark Bradley will contribute to their receiving corps or if the experiment will prove a waste of time.

The 2005 second-round draft pick of the Bears was claimed off waivers this week.

"It's an opportunity to get a guy who was a high pick, a guy we liked coming out in the draft," coach Raheem Morris said. "It's an opportunity to go grab somebody and get a couple more looks at some people in these last two weeks (of the season). Let's get him in here and see what he's got and see if we can save some draft picks."

That last statement is an admission that upgrading at receiver is a priority for the Bucs, not a surprise given the inconsistency at the position this season.

Bradley, a former star at Oklahoma, had 24 receptions for 320 yards before being released this week by Kansas City. Overall, he has been disappointing considering his draft status. But because acquiring him costs the Bucs relatively nothing more than two weeks of salary, it's a low-risk proposition.

The Bucs haven't seen much of him lately, and Bradley is likely too unfamiliar with the offense to play Sunday against the Saints. But when they previously got a close look at him, they saw a productive player.

That came last season in a game at Kansas City, when Bradley led the Chiefs with four catches for 65 yards. He also threw a 37-yard touchdown pass to QB Tyler Thigpen in that game on a gadget play that victimized CB Ronde Barber. The Bucs haven't forgotten.

"We're a little (ticked) off at him," Morris joked Thursday. "Ronde beat him up this morning in the training room."

INJURY REPORT: C Jeff Faine was added to the injury report with a right elbow injury, but Morris downplayed the news and suggested Faine would play Sunday.

"He's okay," Morris said. "He's day to day. He's just limited. You have to be careful with him and get him ready."

Other players who were limited in practice included WR Antonio Bryant (groin) and S Tanard Jackson (knee). Neither player's status improved from Wednesday.

GOT ONE VOTE: Saints QB Drew Brees is sure to get serious consideration in the race for most valuable player. If the decision were up to Morris, it would be a done deal.

"I've always been a Brees guy," Morris said. "That doesn't take away any credit that anybody deserves around the NFL. I just don't see (Colts QB) Peyton Manning as much. I don't see (Patriots QB Tom) Brady as much, or even (Titans RB Chris Johnson). I hear about them, and I hear about their stats, but I just get a chance to see Brees more often. I've always been a fan of what they've been able to do (in New Orleans)."

Tampa Bay Buccaneers take gamble on wide receiver Mark Bradley 12/24/09 [Last modified: Thursday, December 24, 2009 8:26pm]

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