The underdogs are lifting the Bucs to win games - FOX 13 News

The underdogs are lifting the Bucs to win games

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TAMPA (FOX 13) -

They are the unknown, the undrafted, either a free agent or long shot draft pick. Players resigned and released, resigned and released -- again and again.

Players passed over or passed by are winning games for the Bucs, and Greg Schiano may owe them his job.

"We always talk about one guy's misfortune is another guy's opportunity. The other thing we often say around here is, 'there's no such thing as missed opportunities in the National Football League, because someone's there, they're going to take it, so let it be you.' Some of these guys have done that," Schiano says.

But it's more than just stepping in or filling a hole. Names like Tandy, McCray, Rainey and Underwood have talent. But what they really have is heart, hustle -- and a slight chip on their shoulders.

The Bucs' Kelcie McCray agrees.

"A lot of those guys have sort of a chip on their shoulders. They always feel like they have something to prove. Not only me, but a lot of guys felt like they should've been drafted or drafted higher or whatever," he said. "So when they do get an opportunity, it's like they've got something to prove. I want to prove all these coaches and all these players wrong. I think that's why a lot of guys are excelling that were undrafted."

Tiquan Underwood agrees. He has been cut and resigned at least six times by three different teams. He tells us he knows it's just business.

"When you're cut, it's part of this business. You can either lie down or continue to work hard and fight. The way I was raised, I just continued to work. I trust in God, and I trust in the abilities that he's blessed me with, and to finally get an opportunity."

Underwood is still pushing to play. A team captain with Rutgers, he knows his connection with Schiano gives him a chance, but not a guarantee.

"I think Tiquan is an incredible story," Schiano says. "An unselfish, humble guy who just [has] persistence. We let him go twice; he battles back."

Schiano points out that Underwood was released from Jacksonville, and was cut from New England the night before the Super Bowl.

"It's all part of the business. There's nothing bad about it. It's just the way it goes sometimes. But this guy just keeps coming back. That I'm really proud of, because I've known him since he was probably 14 years old. He's just an incredible person," Schiano said.

Incredible people, talented players who have won three in a row for the Buccaneers.

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