Slot Receiver Battle With The Tampa Bay Buccaneers

By John Beauchamp
Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports

Receivers Tiquan Underwood and Kevin Ogletree are currently battling for the slot position on the offense. Ogletree was acquired by the Tampa Bay Buccaneers this offseason through free agency. Ogletree was with the Dallas Cowboys last season as he had 32 receptions, four touchdowns and over 400 receiving yards. Underwood, last season, had 28 receptions, two touchdowns and over 400 receiving yards also.

Both of these players are remarkably similar, both have been in the league for four seasons as well. However, Ogletree spent his years at Dallas before moving to Tampa, as opposed to Underwood, who has flipped from team to team the past four years going from the Jacksonville Jaguars to the New England Patriots and then finally to the Buccaneers.

Underwood and Ogletree are both 6-foot-1, but the latter weighs about 15 pounds more at 198 compared to Underwood’s 183. Underwood’s 40 time says that he has the speed advantage as he ran a 4.31 and Ogletree ran a 4.46, but on the field, it is difficult to tell a difference.

I think that Underwood does have the advantage to win this battle as he and coach Greg Schiano have been together for over five years since Underwood played receiver at Rutgers the same time Schiano was coaching there. The coach likes Underwood; he knows his work ethic and he knows what he is capable of.

In my opinion, the Buccaneers have a receiving corps that should be ranked in the top 10. This consists of Ogletree and Underwood with Pro Bowl alternate Vincent Jackson and Mike Williams, who was recently signed to a new contract with the Buccaneers. Quarterback Josh Freeman shouldn’t have any excuses as all of these receivers have the capability to go after the ball and even get some yards after that.

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