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Gruden touts Galloway for Pro Bowl
By STEPHEN F. HOLDER, Times Staff Writer
Published December 13, 2007
[Brian Cassella | Times]
Bucs coach Jon Gruden says it's about time receiver Joey Galloway gets some Pro Bowl love.
TAMPA - Fan voting for the Pro Bowl ended this week, and one player who figures to be a long shot based on early returns is Bucs receiver Joey Galloway.
It's a familiar feeling for Galloway. The 36-year-old in his 13th season has never been to a Pro Bowl despite 10,536 career yards and five 1,000-yard seasons.
He needs just 22 to make 2007 his third consecutive 1,000-yard campaign.
So why no love for Galloway? No one seems sure.
"He's had some physical setbacks," coach Jon Gruden said Wednesdayof some injury-plagued seasons. "He hasn't had a quarterback of any consistency. Guys don't come on this planet like Galloway very often. Hopefully ... our voters went to the computer and typed his name in because he is one heck of a football player."
The Pro Bowl, which also takes into account voting by coaches and players, is not the end-all, be-all, Galloway said.
It doesn't mean "as much as a Super Bowl," he said. "Playoffs are more important. That other stuff I can't control. It is recognition. But if I wanted recognition, I would probably talk more about myself."
Galloway is the oldest receiver among the league's top 15 in yards, tied for 10th with New Orleans' Marques Colston at 978.
HILLIARD BETTER: Gruden said receiver Ike Hilliard is a beaten man but felt good about his chances of playing Sunday against Atlanta. He stopped short of saying Hilliard will start.
"We're optimistic that he'll be ready to go," Gruden said.
Hilliard sustained what the team called an upper back injury against Houston. But the injury raised some eyebrows because of its apparent proximity to the neck.Hilliard sustained a serious neck injury early in his career.
Even before the latest injury, Hilliard was nursing an assortment of bumps and bruises.
"He's had examinations and things of that nature on his ankle," Gruden said. "He's had upper back problems. He's just a sore guy."
ROSTER MOVES: With starting fullback B.J. Askew hurt, Zack Crockett was re-signed. Askew wore a cast Wednesday and has been playing on a badly sprained ankle for several weeks. The staff might choose to rest him Sunday.
Also, running back Kenneth Darby was activated from the practice squad, replacing running back Lionel Gates, who was released. Tight end Zac Herold was added to the practice squad. The additional spot on the active roster arose from tight end Jerramy Stevens' one-game suspension.
SMALL GAIN: Defensive end Gaines Adams picked up a boost on the stat sheet. Greg White was credited with a solo sack with 1:57 left in the third quarter Sunday, but replays showed Adams also getting a piece of Sage Rosenfels. Wednesday, the NFL announced a scoring change, giving each a half-sack. That leaves White with eight sacks and Adams five.