Backup tight end Hudson fights the odds

by Gary Shelton on August 24, 2021

in general

Tanner Hudson fighting to make roster./TIM WIRT

Tuesday, 4 a.m.

So this is what Don Ho meant when he sang about Tiny Bubbles.

Let's be honest. You could trim the roster of the Tampa Bay Bucs in the dark, and they could spin you around three times first. Between the returners and the draft, it's pretty much a closed shop. We're down to auditioning for special teamers and practice squatters by now. There aren't many household names who are at risk.

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Ryan Griffin? Maybe. He's been in jeopardy since the Bucs drafted Kyle Trask in the second round.

Tanner Hudson? The return of O.J. Howard, drops and all, has put Tanner at risk.

Jaydib Mickens? The drafting of Jaelon Darden has put the kick-returner on notice.

But all in all, the reaper isn't so grim around here.

"There [are] three or four guys still fighting." Bucs' coach Bruce Arians said Monday.

Around most camps, there are three times that many. But the Bucs brought back most of the roster that won the Super Bowl last year. They're not going to cut many headlines.

Hudson might be one, although he's hardly a household name. Hudson has only five catches in his stay with the Bucs. He's been a preseason mainstay, however, and people know him. But Arians has said that he's in a fight for his job.

"Ever since we've been here he's been able to catch the ball," Arians said. "He gives our defense fits on the card team. When he's had opportunities in ball games they haven't quite been the same. I want to see him do something besides preseason and do something besides catch the ball. He's not a wide receiver. He's a tight end, so you've got to be able to block a little bit. But just see him grow in that regard and be a physical presence on special teams with his size and his speed."

According to Hudson, Arians paying attention to him is a good thing.

“The way I look at it, he’s a coach and if he is still talking to me and coaching me up that means he still cares," Hudson said. "That’s kind of the way I look at it. I just have to keep improving on the things that he says and go from there.

“I’m just working on it every day and trying to get better at it. Working with some of the older guys and trying to see little techniques that might help them out. Just every day trying to listen to coaching and older players that have been there and done that.”

Hudson said that he used to feel more pressure in his situation

“Back in my rookie year, it did get to me," Hudson said. "It bothered me. That’s all you’re thinking about as a rookie, but I had a couple of the older guys tell me to just control what you can control. That just stuck in my head throughout the couple of years. I’m going to out there and do what I can. If they need me, they can keep me, if not we’ll move on from there, but I love this place and I’m just trying to get out there and get better every day.”

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