Bucs give WR Jordan Shipley a chance
TAMPA, Fla. (AP) — Jordan Shipley has some catching up to do.
“It’s a totally different system as far as terminology,” the wide receiver said Tuesday after his first workout with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. “I’m going to have a busy night tonight and the next several days, just learning everything.”
The former Texas star might have to learn quickly just to make the roster of the Bucs, who claimed him off waivers Monday. Shipley will have two ways to impress the coaching staff — as a slot receiver and as a punt returner.
“I got a phone call yesterday and I’m practicing this morning,” he said four days after the Bengals placed him on waivers. “It’s a pretty quick turnaround and I’m just excited to be down here playing football.”
Shipley was the AFC’s leading rookie receiver in 2010 with 52 catches for 600 yards and three touchdowns. After being drafted in the third round, he was Cincinnati’s No. 3 receiver behind Terrell Owens and Chad Ochocinco. But his second NFL season ended in the Bengals’ second game when he tore ligaments in his left knee.
After surgery and a couple of weeks in the Bengals’ training camp, Shipley says he is “full-go right now.”
“It’s one of those deals where I spend extra time warming it up and I will be icing it afterwards. It feels good, ready to go,” he said of his knee. “I am honestly not sure what (the Bengals’) thought process was. I’m just glad to be in Tampa. I think this is a team where there is a lot of discipline going on, and this team is going to get better and better.”
Coach Greg Schiano said claiming Shipley was not in response to a need.
“It’s just if you have a chance to investigate a player that you liked, you do it,” he said. “Now is a time when we can do it.”
Shipley ran back punts at Texas, where he also set records for career receptions (248), receptions in a season (116) and touchdown catches in a season (13). But after returning a punt 63 yards in his first preseason game with the Bengals, Shipley has yet to return a punt in an NFL regular-season game.
“I love punt returns,” he said. “Any chance to get out there, I will go out there.”
NOTES: The Bucs will have joint practice sessions with the New England Patriots on Wednesday and Thursday mornings before they play against each other in Friday night’s preseason game. “They’ve been the most consistent team in the league, and so of course it’s going to make us better,” said guard Davin Joseph. … While insisting it would be unfair to compare rookie running back Doug Martin to Baltimore’s Ray Rice, Schiano went ahead and did it. “I haven’t had a guy like him since Ray (at Rutgers),” Schiano said. “He’s got some skills that are similar. I don’t think it’s fair to compare him to Ray, but sometimes I look at him and go: `I remember that feeling. That looked good.'”