View Full Version : Bucs cut steussie

Mr. Laz
07-29-2005, 09:25 AM
Steussie Chapter Closes

Published: Jul 29, 2005

CELEBRATION - The Bucs made it official Thursday, releasing veteran T Todd Steussie to close a regrettable chapter in their free-agent history.

Steussie, 34, signed with Tampa Bay on March 15, 2004, receiving a $4 million signing bonus amid plans to shift him to right tackle after 10 distinguished seasons at left tackle for the Vikings and Panthers.

The two-time Pro Bowl selection beat out Kenyatta Walker and opened Tampa Bay's first five games at right tackle last fall.

Walker regained his starting job at St. Louis Oct. 18, a week after Steussie was beaten for a sack at New Orleans that resulted in a shoulder injury to QB Chris Simms.

"It's unfortunate that whole situation didn't work itself out, but he's a good man and we still feel like he's a good football player and we wish him well," Coach Jon Gruden said of Steussie, who was relegated to spot duty and special teams assignments for the final 11 games.

The Bucs advised Steussie not to attend the club's mandatory minicamp last month, and Gruden declared him a salary-cap casualty Thursday. Steussie was slated to count $2.6 million against the cap in 2005.

In May, Steussie acknowledged he was cooperating with NFL investigations examining the extent of steroid use in pro football.

Steussie was named in March by "60 Minutes" as one of three members of the 2003 Panthers who received prescriptions for banned steroids shortly before playing New England in the Super Bowl.

"Last season was difficult for the entire organization," Steussie said in May. "The saying, 'You can't teach an old dog new tricks,' is maybe more realistic than I first envisioned it."

INJURY UPDATE: Gruden indicated veteran RB Charlie Garner, coming off knee surgery, will be placed on the physically unable to perform list. Garner, 33, was placed on injured reserve after hurting his knee at Oakland in Week 3.

If Garner is placed on the active-PUP list, he will be unable to practice with the team.

The Bucs would be able to activate him at any point during camp.

C John Wade, who missed the last half of the season because of a dislocated knee, said he is cleared to practice beginning today.

Wade and several other players returning from injury may be limited to one session per day while their progress is monitored.

Rookie WR Larry Brackins, nursing a hamstring injury, is also a candidate for the active-PUP list.

HOW SOON THEY FORGET: When the Bucs reported to the Celebration Hotel as defending NFL champions two years ago, they were greeted by a massive turnout as hundreds of supporters endured sweltering conditions.

On Thursday, no more than 35 sweaty fans stood behind barricades to greet arriving players.

"There were a lot more people here last year," said 11-year-old Braden Canlas of Celebration, who was waiting for an autograph from his favorite player, LB Derrick Brooks. "I expected more people today."

LOCKED UP TIGHT: As usual, the Bucs are delighted by the accommodations at the Celebration Hotel.

All 115 rooms have been taken over by club personnel, and hotel GM Roger Ploum said some lobby furniture was removed to make room for a pool table. A ping-pong table and several whirlpool tubs have been placed on the back terrace, overlooking a lake.

"These people have gone out of their way for us once again," Bucs security director Andres Trescastro said. "Our security is seamless, and there's a brand new chef here who is off the hook."

UNDER THE RADAR: Most preseason publications pick the Bucs to repeat their last-place finish in the NFC South, but veteran LT Derrick Deese isn't losing sleep.

"Everybody has a bad taste in their mouth from last year, and the fact is nobody is picking us to win anything and we could care less," Deese said. "What you want to remember is that 5-11 isn't acceptable."

BUCS BITS: New WR Ike Hilliard took two steps toward the hotel lobby before doubling back to the barricades to sign autographs. "I just need to do what I can do to be the best teammate I can be," said the veteran free agent from the Giants. "I'm here to make some plays and try to find a way to help this team." ... P Josh Bidwell checked in early Thursday and promptly made arrangements to visit a local hospital, where he spent time with a half-dozen patients. ... Brooks said he looks forward to the competition of training camp. "The beautiful thing about camp is every team is 0-0," said Brooks, who has earned a trip to the Pro Bowl every season since 1997. ... In addition to Steussie, the Bucs released TE Robert Johnson, who spent a few weeks on Tampa Bay's practice squad at the end of last season.

Ira Kaufman

Rain Man
07-29-2005, 09:27 AM
I had no idea that entire articles are written about the Buccaneers.