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Bucs release 13; place McCown on PUP

The Tampa Bay Buccaneers placed backup quarterback Luke McCown on the physically unable to perform list and released 13 other players to trim their roster to 75 for the final preseason game.

TAMPA, Fla. (Aug. 29, 2006) -- The Tampa Bay Buccaneers placed backup quarterback Luke McCown on the physically unable to perform list and released 13 other players to trim their roster to 75 for the final preseason game.

McCown began last season as the No. 3 quarterback and moved up on the depth chart when Chris Simms replaced the injured Brian Griese during the sixth game.

He partially tore the anterior cruciate ligament in his right knee during a workout June 15 and has been unable to practice during training camp.

The third-year pro was obtained from Cleveland in a 2005 draft-day trade. As a rookie with the Browns two years ago he made four starts and completed 49 percent of his passes for 608 yards, four touchdowns and seven interceptions.

Placing McCown on the PUP list means the 24-year-old will have to sit out a minimum of six weeks of the regular season before he can be activated. The Bucs then have 21 days to place him on the roster, on injured reserve for the rest of the season, or cut him.

With Jay Fiedler still unable to practice while recovering from shoulder surgery, Tim Rattay and rookie Bruce Gradkowski are competing for the No. 2 job behind Simms.

A sixth quarterback, Jared Allen, was among the players released. The cuts also included one draft pick, seventh-round cornerback Justin Phinisee, and receiver J.R. Russell, who spent much of last season on the practice squad.

Kicker Xavier Beitia, punter Brina Simnjanovski, fullback Robert Douglas, defensive end Jordan Hicks, tight end Matt Kranchick, running back Jacque Lewis, defensive end Kevin Lewis, guard/center Daniel Martz, receiver Derek McCoy and linebacker Jermaine Taylor also were let go.

The roster must be reduced to 53 players on Sept. 2,two days after the Bucs finish their preseason schedule against the Houston Texans.

Sometimes the debate among assistant coaches can become heated on cutdown day.

"Just because you might not be the No. 1 linebacker or No. 1 fullback or the No. 1 wide receiver on the board, you might be the No. 1 linebacker or wide receiver on the board at special teams," coach Jon Gruden said.

"Certainly our coaches will get animated because there is a strategy involved in who are the men that make the 53-man roster and who you have active each and every Sunday."

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