Tampa Bay Buccaneers Have Need for Speed, Not Manningham or Sanu

Tom EdringtonSenior Writer IFebruary 28, 2012

Mario Manningham: no size, no speed, 39 catches.
Mario Manningham: no size, no speed, 39 catches.Ezra Shaw/Getty Images

Gotta hand it to the pundits out there who see the easy way to send Mario Manningham to the Tampa Bay Buccaneers via free agency and then Mohamed Sanu through the upcoming draft.

Yeah, they think since Mike Sullivan came from the Giants and is now your faithful offensive coordinator that he'll be all giddy to bring in Manningham, who says he's pretty sure he's not returning to the Giants.

Then there's the draft, and since Greg Schiano coached Sanu at Rutgers, it's a cinch that he's at the top of the charts in the war room when it comes to college guys who are turning pro.

Let's stop this nonsense right here, right now.

What is it that the Bucs are really lacking in the receiver department? Three guesses, first two don't count.

You got it! It's S-P-E-E-D. The Bucs have a severe need for speed.

So you've got Manningham, who is about 6' tall, 185 pounds, and is now probably a 4.65 guy at best. Does that fill the need? Slow guy, below-average size? Really? How about 39 catches, 523 yards? Yeah, that's the ticket, let's bring in Manningham.

Bunk, pure bunk.

Now for Sanu.

The kid blazed his way to a 4.67 in the 40 at the NFL combine, so he's a 4.7 guy. Yeah, exactly what the Bucs need. Another big slow guy.

Here's the bad news from the NFL Network's braintrust:

Sanu is virtually non-existent in the deep passing game. He is slow off the line of scrimmage and doesn't have the speed to get behind NFL corners. He can get lazy in and out of his breaks downfield and he almost loses interest in competing once the route gets deeper than seven to 10 yards. He is not an explosive athlete with the ball and simply gets what he can after the catch.

Wow, just the guy to make this receiving corps a real threat, eh?

Yeah, get Manningham and Sanu, that will surely strike fear in the hearts of the Saints, Falcons and Panthers.

Stay away from guys like Stephen Hill from Georgia Tech. At 6'4", 215, he's way too big for the Buccaneers, and with 4.36 speed, darn it, he's simply too fast to play for the Buccaneers.

Why look at Vincent Jackson when you can have Mario Manningham?

Yeah, that's the ticket.

The ticket to 6-10.