With the loss of probable starting defensive end Da'Quan Bowers, depth has suddenly become an issue on Tampa Bay's DL. After Michael Bennett, you're looking at George Johnson as the next guy on the Bucs roster to step in.
Think about that for a moment.
The Tampa Bay Buccaneers are jammed with tight ends right now. First, there's the non-blocking but sure-handed Kellen Winslow Jr., who probably has worse knees than Kellen Winslow Sr. There's Luke Stocker from Tennessee, who should be fresh as a daisy after resting for most of the 2011 season. You also have Colin Franklin from Iowa State (6'6", 256 pounds), Zach Pianalto (6'4", 250 pounds), Chase Coffman (6'6", 250 pounds), along with rookies Drake Dunsmore (6'3" 235 pounds), Danny Noble (6'5" 248 pounds) and Urban Tyler (6'5", 250 pounds).
That's a lot of tight-end material and we didn't bother to mention Erik Lorig.
And for good reason.
Could it be possible, given the sparse circumstances at defensive end at One Buccaneer Place, that Lorig will be given a look back at his old college position?
Lorig made the team as a hybrid—a tight end/fullback or H-back type, if you will. For the first time, the Bucs have a pure fullback on the roster, and that would be cannonball Cody Johnson from Texas. Johnson's 5'11", 250 pounds. How would you like to have that compact sedan coming at you?
Which brings us back to Lorig.
With the drafting of Bowers and Adrian Clayborn, it was a simple luxury to move Lorig off of the defense and take advantage of his athletic ability by throwing him over to the offense where help was needed.
Now that there are enough tight ends to field a basketball team, Lorig's true value might be back at defensive end.
And it's not like there's a huge cast of rock-star defensive ends floating around the league, right now.
We previously mentioned Dwight Freeney and Vonnie Holliday, with a good chance that Freeney could be a salary cap casualty up in Indy. Holliday's available now.
For now this will be a wait-and-see game for another three weeks to find out who might be available after June 1.
But for now, Lorig's there and...who knows? Maybe he never got a really good look on defense.
The new Greg Schiano regime loves versatility and Lorig has that written all over him.
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