Thursday, October 25, 2007

Stovall's Time to Shine

With the Bucs injuries mounting and having only 3 healthy wide outs on the roster, Maurice Stovall finds himself in a position to shine. Stovall was the star of OTA's and training camp, but did not look good in preseason and has been relegated to special teams during the regular season so far. With Michael Clayton and Mark Jones going down the Bucs are going to need someone to step up and that should be Stovall.

Stovall had some good games towards the end of last season and Bucs fans were excited about him going into the off season. Stovall looked very good in training camp and OTA's and found himself as the number 2 wide out on the depth chart going into game one of the preseason, but had only 4 catches for 40 yards in the preseason. No one has come out and said why Stovall was not used more in the preseason, or during the regular season, but somehow he made his way into Jon Gruden's dog house. The Bucs are forced to let him play now and if he wants to be a starter in this league this is the time for him step up and play well.

Stovall has great size and is a very physical receiver. His attributes will help him make up for the loss of Clayton not only in the receiving game, but also in blocking down field. If you do not get good blocking down field, you will never be able to have runs that go to the house, or great runs after the catch by other receivers. Stovall has shown that he likes contact and likes to get physical, much like how Clayton plays. He is also a tall receiver with good hands, but is not overly fast. The Bucs do not need him to be the big play guy or the clutch third down guy, they have those with Galloway and Ike, but what they do need is another option that will catch the ball and help open the field.

Stovall made his presence known quickly last week when he caught a 4 yard touchdown pass to get the Bucs back in the game. Hopefully that was a preview of things to come for him in the Bucs uniform. There has to be a reason he was not playing earlier, but lets just hope it was because the Bucs are a bad judge of talent in practice. He is in his third year and it is his time to live up to his 3rd round pick.

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