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Receivers take similar route

By RICK STROUD, Times Staff Writer
© St. Petersburg Times
published October 13, 2002

TAMPA -- He starred at Dorsey High School in Los Angeles, played receiver at a Pac-10 college, was a high draft pick and is among the NFL's most productive pass catchers and kick returners.

Keyshawn Johnson? Nope. Cleveland Browns receiver Dennis Northcutt.

Johnson and Northcutt share more than resumes. They have the same agent, Jerome Stanley, and have become close friends and competitors.

"I tried to get (Southern Cal) to recruit him," Johnson said of Northcutt. "He was small, a little skinny kid.

"(Southern Cal) didn't like him because he was small and he played running back in high school. And at the time at S.C., there was a Johnny Morton, a Keyshawn Johnson, a Curtis Conway. Those were the receivers. Big, physical, dominant receivers. So you didn't see him translating him into that. You didn't really have a spot for him.

"When he went to Arizona, I said it was a mistake not to take him at S.C. and just figure it out later on," Johnson said. "Then he went back and torched S.C. and UCLA."

Northcutt has looked up to the 6-foot-4 Johnson since meeting him as a junior at Dorsey while Northcutt's idol starred at USC.

"The Dorsey guys have always given something back and are very supportive," Northcutt said. "But the NFL? At that time, I was just wondering if I could play college football, not whether I could play in the NFL. That was five years down the road."

The road has been cruel to Northcutt and the Browns this season. They are 2-3 and deserve better.

"This team is very resilient," Northcutt said. "We know we have a lot of talent on this team, and I think we'll continue to play hard because it's only a matter of time before the wins come."

PHILADELPHIA FREEDOM: This has the feel of one of those look-ahead games for the Bucs.

Tampa Bay has won four straight and will play its only game this month at Raymond James Stadium today against a struggling Cleveland team.

Next weekend, the Bucs travel to Philadelphia for an important early game against the Eagles at Veterans Stadium, where the past two seasons have ended in a wild-card loss for Tampa Bay.

A win over Philadelphia could go a long way toward homefield advantage in the playoffs because the first tiebreaker is head-to-head results.

The Bucs are on a roll.

Their defense is ranked second overall and first in points allowed at 10.6 per game. Linebacker Derrick Brooks is posting defensive player of the year numbers with three interception returns for touchdowns. He is the subject of a Sports Illustrated story planned for next week's issue.

All the trappings are there for a letdown against the Browns, but it probably won't happen. One reason is that the Bucs are experienced enough to know the Any Given Sunday rule that exists. And after beginning 3-4 the past four years, 5-1 would equal their best start after six games in club history.

One more thing.

The Bucs haven't beaten the Browns in five meetings.


Back to the Bucs
Today's lineup

Bucs
  • Winning Bucs stick to routines
  • Receivers take similar route
  • Chucky's Chalk Talk
  • He's big on Predator, short on planes
  • High Profile -- Anthony Henry
  • Sideline

  • Letters
  • Hey, Chucky, climb aboard the A-Train

  • Rays
  • Piniella starts the ball rolling

  • Lightning
  • Another smashing victory
  • Fedotenko makes Lightning look good
  • Dingman defends penalty minutes

  • Other sports

    College football
  • This 1 left
  • Bulls prove to be ready for prime-time players
  • Tigers keep Gators reeling
  • Orangemen honor deceased tackle
  • Around the state: Golden Knights break into win column in MAC
  • Hybl has tough day in victory
  • Sooners stage comeback to beat Longhorns again
  • Big 12: Buff runs for 309 in win over Kansas
  • C-USA: Second quarter sparks Tulane over Cincinnati
  • Crowd's cheers lift Bulls
  • Despite early frustrations, Dorsey keeps composure
  • 'Canes leave win to fate
  • Jones-led ground attack sustains Seminoles until fourth
  • FSU Quotebook
  • Miami Quotebook
  • ACC: Injured tailback keeps N.C. State unbeaten
  • Big East: Pitt moves but can't score enough on ND
  • Big Ten: Michigan keeps Penn State searching for answers
  • SEC: Dawgs edge closer to SEC goal
  • Pac-10: Ducks outgun Bruins to remain undefeated
  • Gators continue one trend, Tigers end another
  • Called on to carry club, UF defense falls flat

  • NFL
  • NFL Game Day: Week 6
  • Injuries, defense hurt Bears

  • Baseball
  • Giants miss a chance to gain a stranglehold
  • Angels within a win of first World Series berth
  • Thome waits for an offer from Indians
  • Yankees are hoping to build on (insert smirk) early playoff exit
  • NLCS: Benes has new view after injury
  • ALCS: Mays just sticks with strengths

  • NHL
  • Panthers earn win with 10.2 left in OT
  • NHL Slapshots

  • NBA
  • Miami stops Orlando in final minutes

  • Sailing
  • Round-robin 1: a few surprises

  • Gary Shelton
    Gary Shelton
    Gary Shelton
    Gary Shelton
    Motorsports
  • Stewart happy to finally be on top

  • Et cetera
  • Highs & lows
  • Sports briefs

  • Preps
  • Santa Fe overwhelms IRC
  • Plant quiets nemesis with two-game win
  • Big kicks decide races in favor of Raider, Shark
  • Believe the hype: Kerry Allen is fast
  • Amerman emerges and Lyons cruises

  • Outdoors
  • Daily fishing report: Tournament insider

  • Letters
  • Series with no Yankees incomplete
  • Back to Top

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