Monday, November 12, 2007

Bucs Sign Keiwan Ratliff, Release Chas Gessner

With Michael Clayton healthy and able to play this weekend against the Falcons, the Bucs cut wide out Chas Gessner from the roster. They Bucs then signed corner back Keiwan Ratliff to the roster to take Gessner's spot. The move makes sense for the Bucs because they lost Torrie Cox for the season last week and had only 4 corners on the roster. Gessner was a special teams contributer and nothing more, so it made sense to add another corner with Clayton returning to the lineup.

Gator fans will remember Ratliff from his time at the University of Florida. Ratliff was the SEC player of the year two times in his career and was an All-American his senior season. He owns the records for most punt return yards (860), and interceptions in a game (3). Ratliff was a second round draft pick for the Bengals in 2004, but was released earlier this year.

Ratliff has played 51 games in his 4 year career and has 102 career tackles, 3 interceptions, and 2 forced fumbles. He had a nice first year returning punts averaging 12.2 yards per return, but struggled in his next two seasons as he was in and out of the position.

Ratliff offers the Bucs some insurance in the secondary position with Brian Kelly and Phillip Buchanon's history of getting injuries. He has played in the league for 4 years so he has game experience. He also gives them a guy who can return punts, which will allow them not to chance Hilliard, Galloway, or Buchanon getting hurt on a punt return. This reminds me of the move the Bucs made last year when they acquired Buchanon off of waivers after he was released for being soft. Buchanon has been a great find for the Bucs and maybe Ratliff needed to be in a cover 2 type of system to succeed like Buchanon.


Anonymous said...

Wow. Can he pitch? We need some serious help in the bullpen!

TampaBaySportsFanatic said...

oops, was writing two articles and got switched up