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Rick Stroud, Greg Auman and Matt Baker

As Bucs seek sacks, Simeon Rice, 43, offers to help out

Former Bucs great Simeon Rice, who last played in 2007 and is 43 years old, offered his services Tuesday as the Bucs seek a spark for their pass rush. Rice is shown in the preseason, working with current ends Noah Spence, left, and Ryan Russell after a practice.

LOREN ELLIOTT | TIMES

Former Bucs great Simeon Rice, who last played in 2007 and is 43 years old, offered his services Tuesday as the Bucs seek a spark for their pass rush. Rice is shown in the preseason, working with current ends Noah Spence, left, and Ryan Russell after a practice.

25

October

For years, we've been writing about how the Bucs haven't had a player get 10 sacks in a season since Simeon Rice in 2005.

And since the Bucs are still trying to get 10 sacks as a team in a season -- they have seven in six games, three fewer than the next NFL team -- they had a tryout Tuesday, opting to sign former Seahawks pass-rusher Darryl Tapp, who is 33.

With fans curious about a roster opening on Tuesday afternoon and lots of wild possibilities -- Dwight Freeney, 37, worked out for Seattle and ended up signing with the Seahawks, and NFL Network's Rich Eisen teased that DeMarcus Ware, 35, had been offered a job from an unnamed NFL team on Tuesday as well.

And after news that the Bucs had signed Tapp, Rice himself offered his assistance with the Bucs' struggling pass rush.

"If they call me I will comeback this year and show them how to get it done," Rice tweeted, adding the hashtag #stopplayingandcalltheunstoppableSimeonRice.

Rice was hanging out at the team hotel in Arizona two weeks ago, and stopped by training camp in August, working with Bucs ends Noah Spence and Ryan Russell after two practices. But he is 43, and hasn't played in nearly a decade, finishing his career with the Broncos and Colts in 2007. Still, he posted a workout video Tuesday night if anyone had any doubts what kind of shape he's in.

"I stay ready if Tampa Bay wants a dominate (they) will call the dominator," he wrote.

How rare would it be for a 43-year-old to play defensive end? The sack has only been an official statistic since 1982, but the oldest players to get one are Clay Matthews, who had 6.5 at age 40 in 1996, and Bruce Smith, who had five in 2003 at age 40.

Even a tackle at that age is rare -- the only 43-year-old to get a tackle in a recent NFL game was Giants punter Jeff Feagles, who had one at age 43 in 2009. Tackles at even 40 are rare -- the oldest you find is Junior Seau, who was three weeks short of his 41st birthday when he got his last tackles in 2009.

But if the Bucs continue to struggle to find the next Simeon Rice, the last Simeon Rice is ready and waiting.

[Last modified: Wednesday, October 25, 2017 8:50am]

    

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