St. Petersburg Times Online: Sports
Place an Ad Calendars Classified Forums Sports Weather

printer version

Packers hope Reynolds will pressure passers


© St. Petersburg Times, published April 22, 2001

It figures the Lombardi Award winner would end up in Green Bay. Now the question is how often Jamal Reynolds will end up in the Buccaneers' backfield.

Bucs will get two good looks in 2001 at the Florida State defensive end, voted the top college lineman last season.

Then they'll probably say farewell for a while to Reynolds. And Vikings rookie running back running back Michael Bennett of Wisconsin, who replaces the retired Robert Smith. And a couple of former Michigan teammates, Bears wide receiver David Terrell and Lions offensive tackle Jeff Backus, NFC Central first-round draft picks Saturday.

Barring a sudden reverse, the NFL's black-and-blue division no longer will have black, red and pewter. With the realignment expected for 2002, the Bucs will leave the NFC Central for the new NFC South Division with Atlanta, New Orleans and Carolina.

That will be then. This is now. And the Packers picked Reynolds to strengthen a pass rush whose sack leader was defensive end John Thierry with 61/2 sacks. The consensus is that Reynolds may have been the best pass rusher in the draft, but is not an every-down player.

The Packer picked 10th in the first round because of the trade that sent No. 2 quarterback Matt Hasselbeck to Seattle, where former Green Bay coach Mike Holmgren plans to start him. With their second pick, the Pack gave No. 1 quarterback Brett Favre another potential target, wide receiver Robert Ferguson of Texas A&M.

At No. 8, two places ahead of the Packers in the first round, the Bears' attention was on their offense -- what there was of it last season. Chicago got into the red zone (inside opponents' 20-yard line) a league-low 26 times and scored a league-worst 11 touchdowns from there.

In his final two seasons, Terrell scored 21 touchdowns -- once every 61/2 times he caught the ball.

"He brings some red-zone production to our football team and that was an area we were going to focus on going into the draft," Bears personnel chief Mark Hatley said. "We'll be able to get more points on the board and that'll help us on both sides of the ball."

Chicago coach Dick Jauron added: "We wouldn't plug him in right now as the starter on Day 1. We fully expect him to compete. Clearly we drafted him that high (because) we think he's got the ability to take the job."

The Bears stayed with offense in the next round, taking Anthony Thomas, who set Michigan career records for rushing (4,472 yards) and touchdowns (55).

He could become the successor to James Allen, an unrestricted free agent after 2001.

Allen gained 1,120 yards last season but scored just two rushing touchdowns.

Backus is the fourth offensive lineman taken in the first round by the Lions in the past five years. At Michigan last season, he anchored the offensive line that allowed just 18 sacks and opened the holes for Thomas to break those records.

With the retirement of Smith, a speedy running back, the Vikings drafted Bennett, one of the fastest players on the board when their first-round turn came at No. 27.

"We got a gift," coach Dennis Green said. "We're always ready for that gift. Fortunately, this year that gift was a position we needed."

-- Information from other news organizations was used in this report.

Back to Sports
Back to Top

© 2006 • All Rights Reserved • Tampa Bay Times
490 First Avenue South • St. Petersburg, FL 33701 • 727-893-8111
Contact the Times | Privacy Policy
Standard of Accuracy | Terms, Conditions & Copyright

From the Times sports desk

Bucs/NFL draft
  • At left tackle: Walker is the 1
  • Jacksonville Jaguars
  • Miami Dolphins
  • Trades abound in the first round
  • Stately showing -- again
  • Bucs may face Vick in South
  • Third-round pick doesn't look the part of cornerback
  • Ex-Rams linebacker Jonesfinds new home: Pittsburgh
  • NFC Central picks
  • Packers hope Reynolds will pressure passers
  • NFC Central picks
  • NFL draft
  • The best, the worst, the Jets

  • Devil Rays
  • Relaxed Rays win first for McRae
  • Segui irked at umps after Maier-like play
  • Cash crunch keeps LaMar's hands tied
  • Another victim of the daily grind
  • WHO-RAY?

  • Baseball
  • Baseball this week on TV
  • Baseball briefs
  • First-place Phils get to Maddux
  • OF's return adds to Twins' good news

  • Letters
  • Rays elicit questions, support

  • College football
  • Reserve hot in spring game

  • Storm
  • Last-minute TDs propel Storm

  • Mutiny/MLS
  • Mutiny rallies on N.Y./N.J.

  • NBA playoffs
  • Optimism not high for Magic
  • Another Miller 3 saves Pacers

  • NHL playoffs
  • Dallas erases a 2-0 deficit in OT victory
  • Sabres send Flyers home

  • Motorsports
  • Labonte wins on late pass in IROC
  • Information, unity important for safety
  • McLaughlin rises above fray to break BGN skid
  • Force wins No. 7 at Gatornationals

  • Outdoors
  • Captain's corner
  • Solid hunch delivers winner

  • Et cetera
  • St. Anthony's Triathlon
  • Sports briefs
  • At 43, Smith still has the fire

  • Preps
  • Zephyrhills' Pickett celebrates first-round selection by Rams
  • State tennis capsules
  • District softball
  • District baseball
  • Florida-Georgia game to move to Knoxville
  • Bear thinks his way to championship

  • From the wire

    From the state sports wire
  • Jacksonville's Spicer placed on IR after leg surgery
  • FIU-Western Kentucky game postponed because of Jeanne
  • Brown anxious to face old team for first time
  • Dolphins' desperate defense readies for Roethlisberger
  • Former Sarasota lineman sheds tough-guy image with Michigan
  • Rothstein rejoins Heat as assistant
  • No. 16 Florida has history on its side against Kentucky
  • FSU and Clemson QBs both off to slow starts