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High profile -- Simeon Rice

By ROGER MILLS, Times Staff Writer
© St. Petersburg Times
published November 17, 2002

THE ROUGH START

Two offseasons ago, the fact that Simeon Rice signed a five-year contract that paid $1-million with no signing bonus and gave the Bucs an option to pull out after one year was evidence that there was some doubt as to how he would fit in with the one-gap scheme. Through his first five years in the league, all with the Cardinals, Rice thrived in a two-gap scheme. And through the first 10 games of the season, he had only three sacks. "I keep stressing that was more an introduction of myself to the Bucs," said Rice, a Chicago native who played at the University of Illinois. "You can ask (former Cardinals coach) Dave McGinnis and he'll tell you Simeon is a player he would live and die for. They understood what I was there as a player."

THE TURNAROUND

The 6-foot-5, 265-pounder, who has 70 career sacks, experienced a turnaround in Cincinnati on Dec. 2. Rice recorded two sacks and never looked back. He recorded six more sacks over the next four games. He had two more sacks in the playoff loss at Philadelphia.

THE VOTE OF CONFIDENCE

Realizing they finally had a true speed rusher who could torment quarterbacks and still stop the run -- Rice finished first among the defensive tackles with 64 tackles -- the Bucs opted to accept the option on his contract and pay him a $2-million signing bonus in March. He is scheduled to earn $2.5-million this season, then $4.6-million, $5.9-million and $6-million in 2005.

THE UNMATCHED OUTPUT

Rice has been a machine, and entering today's game he has 15.5 sacks in his past 15 games. He is tied with defensive tackle Warren Sapp for the team lead in sacks with 7.5. "I'm the best in the game. The best. I am. I know that," Rice said. "I always emerge. It's to be expected from my ability. It was never any doubt. What it was in the past (in Arizona) was an inconsistent defense, so things showed up with me because I was the guy. Now, with the players I have with me on this defense, they're stella, great players on this defense. I'm able to show my ability even more."

THE FUTURE

Rice, 28, said that he is happy with his progress through his first 25 regular-season games with the Bucs, but he is convinced that he will get better and records will fall when he's finished. "I'm not at that point yet. I'm still on the building block of something great," Rice said. "I have great expectations. My expectations far outgrow any thoughts anyone has for me or any plan that anyone sees for himself. The things I see for myself is to be the best ever. For anyone else, you can either ride with me or ride against me. But I'm going to ride. I'm going to hunt."


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Today's lineup

Bucs
  • Bucs prepared to face tough times
  • Assistants set new standard
  • High profile -- Simeon Rice
  • Chucky's Chalk Talk
  • ''It's not all about biceps (or triceps)

  • Letters
  • Athletes can learn a lot from Alstott

  • Lightning
  • A big shot at legitimacy
  • Andreychuk keeps focus on No. 600

  • Other sports

    College football
  • One season later, Seminoles exact revenge
  • Gators' win bittersweet
  • A prime time
  • Iowa fans storm Minnesota field
  • SEC: Georgia clinches East with fourth-down TD
  • Big Ten: Bigger scare than usual for Ohio St.
  • State: Golden Knights top Flashes, stay alive in MAC
  • Unknown Gators have banner day
  • Injuries hit Gators' top wide receivers
  • Florida by the numbers
  • Blackwell leaves home a big winner
  • Falcons get desperate in search of offense
  • South Florida by the numbers
  • Big East: Late field goal lifts Owls past Rutgers
  • C-USA: Black Knights break two losing streaks
  • Pac-10: Huskies humble Ducks
  • Nation: Colorado State wins 5th straight
  • Boldin returns to best form at last
  • Injuries put freshmen in backfield
  • Florida State by the numbers
  • Big 12: Red Raiders outgun 'Horns
  • ACC: N.C. State falters 3rd straight week

  • College hoops
  • The madness comes to Tampa
  • March to Madness
  • Nos. 1, 2 get early matchup
  • ACC to discover its stars
  • FAU survives Cleveland St.

  • Preps
  • Federenko leads Falcons to state
  • AHN girls, Jesuit boys in state meet
  • Bucs not their best in final
  • Seminole finally gets past Largo
  • 3 from Pasco Co. collect five titles
  • Forry outlasts Lyons for title
  • Mustangs dominate yet again
  • Panthers refuse to lose
  • Final doesn't go Berkeley Prep's way
  • Indian Rocks girls nip Berkeley Prep

  • More sports
  • New NASCAR poster boy won't pose for honor
  • Highs & lows
  • Change of heart clears way for Hampton deal
  • Baldelli carries breakout into AFL
  • Mavericks stay perfect
  • Division-leading Flyers, Bruins play to tie
  • Palmer sparks a Warburg rally
  • Slap shots
  • Wimmer passes dried-up Keller to win BGN finale at Homestead
  • Rejected appeal keeps Martin a title longshot
  • Stewart bumps photographer, apologizes
  • New rescue system may save lives
  • NFL Game Day: Week 11
  • Packers making early run
  • Taylor hit with fine for gesture

  • Outdoors
  • Daily fishing report

  • Letters
  • Paterno column a disgrace
  • Back to Top

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