Bucs tight end Luke Stocker is ready to perform. He's been out since the start of camp with a calf injury, but he's now back on the field trying to hold onto passes and a starting role.
"I'm feeling very good right now," Stocker said. "I'm very excited where my calf is right now. I'm real excited to get back into the swing of things."
For the first time in his career, Stocker is on top of the depth chart. There's no longer a Kellen Winslow or Dallas Clark to play understudy to. The 2011 4th round pick believes this is his year.
"This is absolutely my shot," Stocker said. "They're handing it to me and saying, 'It's yours, you have to take it and run with it.' That's why this injury has been so frustrating."
Stocker believes the starting job is his to lose. After listening to Greg Schiano, Stocker's grasp on the starting job may not be a strong as he thinks.
"Well, he certainly has the skill set to do it," Schiano said. " This injury doesn't help, You look up now and you're into the preseason schedule, so you miss that grind, that chunk of time that I think really, that's what he needed. I don't know what that's going to do to his progress. We're going to have to see. It's not the optimal way to go about it, that's for sure."
As long as he stays on the field and healthy, Stocker believes the Bucs know exactly what he brings.
"I think I've shown promise," he said. "I've shown them that I can do things. It's a matter of consistently doing good things and the things that they need me to do. That's this league. You show promise, you stick around. But the thing is, if you want to be a great player, you have to do it and you have to do it consistently."
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