Tuesday, July 28, 2015, 8:35am
Tampa Bay has one of the league's best tandems of starting receivers with Vincent Jackson and Mike Evans. Each of them had over 1,000 receiving yards last season, which came despite some shaky quarterback play.
With the arrival of rookie quarterback Jameis Winston, Evans and Jackson could put up better numbers than last season. They developed good chemistry with Winston during offseason workouts and they should make life easy for the rookie.
Camp figures to be a wide-open competition for the other roster spots. Veteran Louis Murphy enters with a slight edge over rookies Kenny Bell and Kaelin Clay and second-year pro Robert Herron. But all three of the young receivers will have a chance to compete with Murphy for the third receiver spot. Clay has added value because he is expected to be the primary kickoff and punt returner.
Our bet is on Murphy at this point, but he only comes in 84th on our WR list. He got some attention in Weeks 4 and 5 last season when he had back-to-back TDs, but the rest of the way had just one game over 18 yards receiving.
Wednesday, July 22, 2015, 3:11pm
Louis Murphy, who served as the Buccaneers’ No. 3 receiver a year ago, should be the leading candidate heading into training camp, but fifth-round draft pick Kenny Bell, among others, will compete for the spot.
Bears beat writer Michael C. Wright was asked how the team intends to cover the Lions' receivers:
Wright: To me, that's one of the most significant concerns for the Bears entering this game. As you already know, rookie cornerback Kyle Fuller's availability for this game is uncertain with him suffering a knee injury in the win over Tampa Bay. Fuller had been playing with a broken hand and a hip pointer prior to his latest setback. Fuller's injury didn't appear to be significant initially. But if Fuller can't go, the Bears would likely go with undrafted rookie Al Louis-Jean, who possesses similar size to Tillman (6-foot-1, 187 pounds). But would you want to put an undrafted rookie on Johnson? Tim Jennings (5-foot-8) would likely struggle matching up with Johnson. So Chicago would be in a tough spot if Fuller isn't able to play. If the Bears are forced to go with Louis-Jean, more than likely, the corners would probably stay on their respective sides with the defense giving the corner to Johnson's side safety help over the top, along with extra help underneath whether that's from a linebacker or the nickel.
Friday, October 24, 2014, 6:26pm
Buccaneers WR Vincent Jackson (rib, questionable) took limited practice reps all week and is questionable for Week 8. Jackson is still dealing with a rib injury, though he should be able to play through it against the Vikings. Tampa plays early on Sunday. If V-Jax happens to sit, Mike Evans and Louis Murphy would both get a bump against a so-so Minnesota pass defense.
Tuesday, October 7, 2014, 5:55pm
“I was thinking about 100 things at a time instead of playing and going out and making plays like I know I can,’’ Herron said.
The sixth-round pick out of Wyoming made the roster, but he was buried on the depth chart -- until Sunday. One week after being inactive for a game at Pittsburgh, Herron played a key role for the Bucs in Sunday’s loss to New Orleans.
Herron caught a 9-yard touchdown pass from Mike Glennon to give the Bucs a 31-20 lead with 13:28 remaining. It was the kind of play Herron wasn’t making in the preseason.
Herron is getting more comfortable in the offense and is looking to take advantage of Mike Evans missing time. Herron was active in large part because Evans was out with a groin injury. But Herron made the most of his opportunity and that might help him stay active for the remainder of the season. Ideally, the Bucs would like to use Herron as their slot receiver. That’s what he was drafted for the story pointed out. He's at least behind Vincent Jackson and Louis Murphy at this point but could stick around when Evans returns if he continues to play well.
Friday, October 3, 2014, 6:19pm
Buccaneers WR Mike Evans (groin, out) missed practice all week and is out for Week 5. Evans is expected to miss a couple of weeks with the injury. Louis Murphy saw big playing time in Week 4 and produced. He should be the biggest beneficiary from Evans’ absence.
Thursday, October 2, 2014, 6:31pm
Buccaneers WR Mike Evans (groin) missed practice again Thursday. Evans is expected to miss a couple of weeks with the injury. Louis Murphy saw big playing time in Week 4 and produced. He should be the biggest beneficiary from Evans’ absence.
Wednesday, October 1, 2014, 6:31pm
Buccaneers WR Mike Evans (groin) did not practice Wednesday. Evans is expected to miss a couple of weeks with the injury. Louis Murphy saw big playing time in Week 4 and produced. He should be the biggest beneficiary from Evans’ absence.
Bucs WR Louis Murphy made the most of his opportunity on Sunday, and he’s likely to have more chances in the future. Rookie starter Mike Evans has a groin injury that’s expected to keep him out two to four weeks. Murphy should get some of Evans’ playing time.
“It’s a big opportunity,’’ Murphy said. “I’m going to take full advantage of it. That’s part of football, if one guy goes down the next guy has to step up. That’s been happening across the board for the entire team. Guys have been stepping into roles that they’re not used to. I’m ready for this and prepared for it.’’
Murphy was with the team in camp and preseason before getting cut and then coming back. He had a huge day last week against the Steelers, including a big catch-and-run on the final drive that set up the game-winning TD. QB Mike Glennon seems to have sparked this offense a bit so Murphy could have deeper league value at least.
It would make a lot of sense for the team to keep him out right through the bye in Week 7 and then return in Week 8 against the Vikings. Evans caught his first TD in the NFL from Mike Glennon Sunday as the Bucs showed some life on offense for the first time this season. Louis Murphy, who had six catches for 99 yards Week 4, could see more time as a result of Evans being out. Robert Herron and Russell Shepard could also seem more snaps.
Tuesday, September 23, 2014, 8:51pm
The Buccaneers are bringing back a wide receiver whom they released just before the start of the regular season.
The club has re-signed receiver Louis Murphy, a sixth-year pro from Florida, the team’s website said Tuesday. Murphy, 27, spent the preseason with the Bucs, but the club released him one day before the opener vs. Carolina.
Friday, September 5, 2014, 5:45pm
Buccaneers WR Louis Murphy (back, out) missed practice all week and is out for Week 1.
Thursday, September 4, 2014, 6:23pm
Buccaneers WR Louis Murphy (back) missed practice again Thursday.
Wednesday, September 3, 2014, 7:02pm
Buccaneers WR Louis Murphy (back) did not practice Wednesday.
Tuesday, August 26, 2014, 12:11pm
Vincent Jackson and Mike Evans are the clear WR starters and appear headed for great things with the Bucs. Who comes into the game when the Bucs want to go to a three-receiver set, however, is far less clear.
Head Coach Lovie Smith has said on several occasions that this slot receiver is usually a smaller player, one with quickness and shifty moves. That would seem to describe rookie Robert Herron, and indeed Smith mentioned that as a possible role for Herron when he was drafted out of Wyoming in the sixth round in May.
Chris Owusu began the preseason listed as a starter opposite Jackson, which would seem to indicate that he had separated from the pack a little bit in the early part of training camp. He has just two catches for 15 yards through three games, however. After Jackson and Evans, it's veteran Louis Murphy who has the highest receiving totals in the preseason, with five catches for 66 yards. In truth, there hasn't been too much evidence in the three warm-up games to suggest any one candidate has seized control of the slot job.
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