ST. PETERSBURG — Florida Tuskers coach Jim Haslett said though the level of competition level in the first-year United Football League "may not be the National Football League," he believes his team is "pretty close."
So what would happen if the unbeaten Tuskers played the winless Buccaneers?
Tuskers running back Michael Pittman, a former Buc, acknowledged Wednesday that there are some guys on the team who would "probably tell you we can (beat the Bucs)."
That's when running back Tatum Bell chimed in, "I'm one of them."
Bell, who played a combined five seasons with the Broncos and Lions, said he believes the Tuskers can compete with some NFL teams, such as the Bucs. The Tuskers (3-0), who play the Las Vegas Locomotives on Friday at Tropicana Field, are loaded with former NFL players and coaches.
"I think that's how confident we are as a team," Bell said. "We feel like we can go out there and play with some of the best of them. There's a lot of savvy vets that have a lot to prove to everyone. I think that's what also makes the talent in the league so high, everyone is trying to prove something."
Pittman said: "I'm not going to say we can beat the Bucs; I guarantee we'd give them a great game. This team, we have a lot of fire, we've got talent at every position."
Pittman said he still watches and supports the Bucs, as he has a lot of friends on the team and "hopefully they'll get a win soon."
"I feel for them," he said. "I believe they have more talent than what they're actually showing out there."
Joe Smith can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.