Buccaneers Preview: Wide Receivers

Joey Galloway (AP Photo)

BucsBlitz.com's countdown to training camp continues with a preview of the Buccaneers' wide receivers. Each day BucsBlitz.com will break down a different position leading up to reporting day in Orlando on July 26.

Recently, Scout.com's senior NFL reporter Adam Caplan responded to several questions about the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, ranging from offseason moves to a season prediction. What did Caplan think of Tampa Bay's reluctance to give QB Jeff Garcia a contract extension, among other things? Find out in this exclusive Q&A, with additional commentary from Saintsinsider.com's Matthew Postins. Get the scoop right here.


WIDE RECEIVERS: Starters -- Joey Galloway, Ike Hilliard. Backups -- Michael Clayton, Maurice Stovall, Dexter Jackson, Paris Warren, Micheal Spurlock, Taye Biddle, Antonio Bryant, Brian Clark, Cortez Hankton, Chad Lucas.

Galloway continues to defy the laws of aging in the NFL by producing 1,000-yard seasons each of the last three years. As long as the 36-year old remains healthy, he should be productive. He'll see plenty of double coverage and bracketed coverage, though, if the Bucs are unable to develop more receiving threats. Galloway is at his best when he's stretching the field, as few corners have his explosive speed.

Hilliard will remain the Bucs' top possession receiver, unless someone unseats him. The Bucs will give their young receivers every chance. But if Hilliard plays as he did last year, it will be hard to match the vet's reliability. He caught 62 passes last year.

Clayton, Stovall and Warren each have something to prove. Clayton has never come close to reclaiming his rookie form and has come up injured every season. Last year was his most healthy year since his rookie year and he barely caught 30 passes. It's now or never for Clayton. Stovall must prove that his fade during training camp wasn't a fluke. He started last year with a great week of training camp, but never maintained that level of play and caught just 10 regular-season passes before hurting his elbow in Week 16. He now has an injury to overcome. Warren is now healthy from a broken ankle and must prove his sensational preseason last year was no fluke. The Bucs desperately need one of these guys to step up.

That's part of the reason the Bucs brought in Bryant as a free agent. The former 1,000-yard receiver and second round pick didn't play last year and can be a vertical threat, if he's mentally prepared. The Bucs have little invested in Bryant and the reward could be big if he comes close to regaining his form.

Jackson and Spurlock will likely have little to do as receivers. Their roles will probably be on special teams, but they must show they have some ability to contribute to justify a roster spot.

Biddle, Clark, Hankton and Lucas are all looking for a job. Lucas has the best shot, as he showed some great vertical speed and solid hands in the Bucs' season finale last year.


Which five positions battles are going to keep Buccaneers coaches and fans interested the next six weeks? There are key battles that could determine the Bucs' success this season. What are they? Get expert analysis and predictions from Bucsblitz.com. Just click here to find out who made the list.


Which five Bucs have the most to gain — and the most to lose — at training camp? Bucsblitz.com has the scoop for you in this exclusive analysis Just click here to find out who made the list.


They were the nine biggest stories of the offseason for the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. How did the Bucs do in the magnifying glass of hindsight? Did they do the right things to attack their team needs and keep the team on the winning track? Matthew Postins of bucsblitz.com examines those storylines and their impact on the upcoming season in his exclusive group of articles:

Vol. 1 — the coaching staff.

Vol. 2 — the secondary's future.

Vol. 3 — is Jovan Haye a future star?

Vol. 4 — the precarious state at running back.

Vol. 5 — who will eventually replace Joey Galloway?

Vol. 6 — Jon Gruden's contract extension.

Vol. 7 — What should the Bucs do at center?

Vol. 8 — re-signing a key tight end.

Vol. 9 — assessing the return game.

We're gearing up for training camp at Bucsblitz.com. Today we've posted our first Mailbag feature, with answers to questions on Greg White, Jeff Garcia and a potential breakout player. Just click here to check it out. Part 2 will include an answer on Brett Favre and be published later this week.


Matthew Postins covers the Buccaneers for BucsBlitz.com and the Charlotte Sun-Herald in Port Charlotte, Fla.

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