Tiquan Underwood thrives after the Bucs grant him a second chance

5:20 PM, Oct 23, 2012   |    comments
On Oct. 21, Tampa Bay Buccaneers wide receiver Tiquan Underwood (11) reacts after he scored a touchdown against the New Orleans Saints during the first quarter at Raymond James Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Kim Klement-US PRESSWIRE
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Tampa, Florida -- Tampa Bay Bucs wide receivers have been exceptional the past few games. Vincent Jackson set a team-record with 216 receiving years against New Orleans on Sunday. Mike Williams has been steady all year and is second only to Jackson in touchdown catches and yards.

But, one guy that's beginning to blossom in Tampa Bay is a player that didn't come with high expectations.

Fourth-year pro Tiquan Underwood has played for three different teams in his short career. After stops in Jacksonville and New England, he's finally starting to make an impact.

"I've been places where I've taken advantage of opportunities and I've been places where I haven't," said Underwood. "In this league, if you're not getting the job done, they'll find someone who will. When the opportunity presents itself you have to take full advantage of it."

Underwood struggled early in his NFL career. Coming into this season, he had just 114 receiving yards to his name. He surpassed that total in past three weeks with the Bucs. He also caught his first career touchdown Sunday against the Saints.

His story is a story of second chances. Underwood was cut by the Bucs after training camp. The team called him back before Week 3 of the season and he's fit in nicely. He's third on the team in receiving yards (149) and fifth in catches (8).

"I'm definitely very happy with Tiquan," said quarterback Josh Freeman. "The guy is a great guy and great teammate to have. You're happy with how he works."

The seventh-round draft pick back in 2009 is finally starting to make a name for himself in the NFL.

"I have full confidence in him being able to rise up and make plays for us," said Bucs offensive coordinator Mike Sullivan.

Underwood and the Bucs travel to face the Minnesota Vikings this Thursday in a nationally televised game. The Bucs will try to improve on their current 2-4 record.

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