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NFL Rookie Mania: Buccaneers Starting Two at Wide Receiver?

Tom EdringtonSenior Writer IApril 29, 2010

Call it "Rookie-Mania" if you'd like and perhaps the Tampa Bay Buccaneers may catch a seasonal case of it this summer.

The primary symptom is taking first-year players and throwing them into the starting lineup.

That could be the case with the Bucs, and the primary suspects are the duo of newly-drafted wide receivers Arrelious Benn from Illinois and Mike Williiams, the one-time problem child from Syracuse.

"Both have size and that's what I believe in," Bucs GM Mark Dominik said recently during and NFL Sirius Radio interview. "In the West Coast offense, I'm a big believer in getting out of breaks and getting open. Benn (Arrelious) can get yards after contact. The same thing with Mike Williams. He has big-play ability."

Dominik told Peter King of Sports Illustrated in a recent interview: "He's (Williams) a starting receiver. I think he's going to start for us at some point this year."

Sounds like love, doesn't it? Almost sounds like Dominik could be the new offensive coordinator, doesn't it?

Last season, head coach Raheem Morris told us he was "married" to rookie quarterback Josh Freeman and after last year's honeymoon, Freeman is firmly entrenched as the team's starter.

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Now Dominik sounds like he's ready to head to the altar with Benn and Williams, although he might have to move to Utah to do that.

Dominik didn't take Benn in the second round to have him play special teams, so look for him to go immediately into the lineup.

As for Williams, Dominik has said, "I expect he'll start sometime during the season." That sometime could be sooner than later.

Both have the size Dominik likes. Benn is 6-1, 219, Williams 6-1, 221. Clones.

Both have ample speed.

Now they need to prove they have worthy hands.

Unlike the incumbent Michael Clayton, who could end up sooner than later on the Buccaneer "endangered species" list, these new guys have shown they can catch footballs.

Two rookie starters for Josh Freeman?

It's certainly not out of the realm of possibility.