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Tag:Derrick Ward
Posted on: August 31, 2010 2:02 pm
Edited on: August 31, 2010 2:19 pm
 

Derrick Ward released by Bucs

Posted by Will Brinson

'Tis the season of releasing over-priced, recent free agent purchases -- shortly after the Bengals dumped Antonio Bryant, the Tampa Bay Buccaneers dropped Derrick Ward on Tuesday, the team announced.

Ward was signed to a four-year, $17 million deal after blowing up in New York running behind Brandon Jacobs.

Of course, the Bucs at least got a season out of Ward, but rumblings that he might be cut had been simmering for a while now -- he had a disappointing season last year and the team wasn't thrilled with the shape he was in heading into 2010.

The Bucs had said all along there would be competition at the running back position, and it would appear that Ward wasn't good enough to warrant a spot on the roster.

Now, they've cut him, leaving Kareem Huggins as the backup for Cadillac Williams.

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Posted on: August 27, 2010 9:03 am
Edited on: August 27, 2010 9:59 am
 

Derrick Ward blowing it in Tampa Bay

Posted by Andy Benoit

Raheem Morris isn’t thrilled with running back Derrick Ward. Basically, he thinks the veteran is out of shape.
D. Ward
"When you get a bit older in this league, especially as a running back, you have to realize that you need to come into camp at a lighter weight, not heavier," Morris recently told reporters. "I still have a lot of confidence in Derrick Ward that he'll be ready and in shape to help us this season."

In 2008, Ward rushed for over 1,000 yards as Brandon Jacobs’ backup in New York. But after signing a four-year, $17 million deal with the Bucs last season, he became a very methodical – even sluggish – runner. After averaging 5.3 yards per carry in ’08, Ward produced just 3.6 per carry in ’09.

Ward did not participate in many of the spring workouts. He showed up to camp saying all the right things, but his situation has only gone from bad to worse. Not that he necessarily sees it that way.

"Ask my teammates - I'm not huffing or puffing, I'm not asking to be taken out of games," said Ward. "My weight is good and I'm ready to go. If the first game of the season was this Sunday, I'd be ready."

Yeah, but he probably wouldn’t be playing. Rumor has it, Kareem Huggins is gunning for Ward's job. And coaches could also choose to make third down back Clifton Smith a bigger part of the offense.

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Posted on: August 4, 2010 12:03 am
 

Competition at running back for the Bucs

Last season, the Tampa Bay Buccaneers tried to divvy up carries in a two series-two series-one series format amongst running backs Cadillac Williams, Derrick Ward and Earnest Graham. That resulted in a rushing attack that ranked 23rd in football. C. Williams (US Presswire)

This year, the Bucs plan on giving carries to whoever has the hot hand (or foot). “I think the carries are going to be dictated by the guy who’s in there getting it done,” said Raheem Morris in the St. Petersburg Times. “I think these guys will both have the opportunity to run the football like every team in the league that has two running backs. That’s who we are.”

The two guys Morris is referring to are Williams and Ward. Graham appears fated to the fullback position (in part because he’s such an alert lead-blocker). If it’s truly a simple matter of effectiveness, expect Williams to get the bulk of the carries. He changes direction with good explosiveness and has the speed to at least be a threat on the edges. Ward, on the other hand, is a plodding, mechanical runner. To his credit, he gets the yards that are blocked, and he often falls forward on contact. But the Bucs’ run-blocking scheme is based heavily on movement from the guards, which means quickness is that much more important from the running back. Ward simply can’t deliver in this realm.

--Andy Benoit 

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Posted on: July 9, 2010 8:52 pm
 

Bucs sign vet OG Keydrick Vincent

In the past two seasons, Keydrick Vincent started all 30 games he played with the Carolina Panthers. Now, he’ll get a chance to work with the Buccaneers offensive linemen - and maybe take somebody's job.

The St. Petersburg Times writes Tampa Bay has signed Vincent to a two-year contract, while ESPN’s Adam Schefter reports the deal is worth $4.5 million.

It’s an interesting move for the Buccaneers, who have been using Jeremy Zuttah at left guard. Zuttah is a third-year player, so perhaps the Buccaneers like Vincent and his nine years of experience. Or perhaps the club wants Vincent – a solid run-blocker – to push for Zuttah’s starting spot to try to get more production out of RBs Cadillac Williams and Derrick Ward.

Or maybe the team is trying to buy some insurance in case LT Donald Penn doesn’t sign a new contract. Zuttah, after all, played some offensive tackle while at Rutgers.

--Josh Katzowitz

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