Extra Points

Buc stuff

Today is a travel day for the Patriots, and there is no media access to the team. We’ll also be traveling to Tampa Bay today.

As the Patriots prepare to face the Buccaneers in the preseason opener, here are three New England connections on the Tampa Bay roster:

  • 1) DE Greg Spires — Class of ’98. The Patriots made 10 selections in the 1998 draft and only one of them — Spires — is still playing in the NFL. A third-round choice (83rd overall), he’s outlasted the likes of Robert Edwards, Tebucky Jones, Tony Simmons, Rod Rutledge and Chris Floyd, other top Patriots picks. Spires was a nice fit for Pete Carroll’s 4-3 system from 1998-99, but when the Patriots wanted to employ a 3-4 under Belichick, the fit wasn’t as good for Spires. After spending the 2001 season in Cleveland, he’s found a home in Tampa Bay, creating havoc at left defensive end.
  • 2) Chris Hovan — Boston College. After five years with the Vikings, Hovan landed with the Buccaneers as a free agent in 2005. That seemed to boost his career, which had stalled a bit toward the end of his Minnesota tenure. He’s a starter at defensive tackle for Tampa Bay.
  • 3) Jeremy Trueblood — Boston College. Selected in the second round of the 2006 draft, Trueblood is the Buccaneers’ starter at right tackle. Tampa Bay has focused on rebuilding its line in recent years and Trueblood is a big part of the team’s plans, playing next to first-round pick Davin Joseph (right guard).
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