Sad news on a Saturday as former Buccaneers workhorse running back from the early 90s, Reggie Cobb, has died unexpectedly at the age of 50.
Cobb had been an NFL scout for close to the past 20 years, including with the San Francisco 49ers since 2009.
— San Francisco 49ers (@49ers) April 20, 2019
49ers GM John Lynch said of the news,
“We are devastated by the sudden loss of a tremendous teammate and loyal friend, Reggie Cobb. Reggie was an enthusiastic and passionate person who had a special ability to brighten up a room with his personality and infectious smile. For 10 years, the 49ers were better because of Reggie and these unique qualities that he possessed. He was a top-notch scout and an exemplary man whose years of service to this organization and the National Football League will not be forgotten. Our thoughts and prayers are with his family and friends in this time of mourning.”
Cobb was a second-round pick of the Bucs by coach Ray Perkins in 1990 out of the University of Tennessee. He ran for 480 yards and two touchdowns starting 13 games his rookie year.
Cobb’s best season came in 1992 under then, first-year coach Sam Wyche, when he finished with 1,171 yards on the ground and a career-high nine touchdowns. Cobb went on to play for the Green Bay Packers, the Jacksonville Jaguars and the New York Jets before retiring after the 1996 season.
Cobb got into scouting first with the Washington Redskins in 2001, then came back to the team that drafted him, Tampa Bay, as a scout for six years before joining the 49ers where he’s been for the past decade.
Cobb actually played his final season in Tampa Bay with Lynch, who was a rookie in 1993.
Tributes began to poured in very quickly from those around the league that have been around Cobb, including ESPN analyst and former NFL scout and personnel executive, Louis Riddick:
The passing of Reggie Cobb in a word is devastating. The amount of time I spent w/him as a scout & friend over the past 18 years simply talking ball & laughing as hard as I have ever laughed is what I will keep with me forever. Rest easy RC & prayers to his family. I love you.
— Louis Riddick (@LRiddickESPN) April 20, 2019
Cobb had been honored, as the NFC Scout of the Year in 2011 by the Fritz Pollard Alliance.
Cobb had a checkered college career at Tennessee that included him rushing for over 2,300 yards and 26 touchdowns. He left the Vols program in 1989, as its third all-time leading rusher.
Here was one of the big moments of his career with a lengthy TD run breaking tackles in the rain in Knoxville, as Tennessee knocked off Auburn in September of his final season:
— Trey Wallace (@TreyWallace_) April 20, 2019
However, Cobb battled drug problems, including failing four different drug tests before eventually being kicked off the team for good in late in his final season.
Injury concerns for Bucs RB Jones and WR Evans
The start of fourth week of training camp has a couple of concerns for Buccaneers offensive stars, receiver Mike Evans and running back, Ronald Jones.
Neither player participated in the Bucs latest workout Monday, and now there’s some doubt as to whether either will play in Friday night’s third preseason game with the Cleveland Browns at Raymond James Stadium?
The Bucs are not required by the NFL to give any update on injuries at this point, unless they choose to, but head coach Bruce Arians provided a brief one after practice.
“Ronald’s knee swelled up a little bit and just trying to take it day to day with him. Mike tweaked yesterday…it’s nothing serious.”
Traditionally, the third preseason game is the final time where starters for the regular season play significantly.
When asked if both would be held out Friday night, Arians briefly said:
“We’ll see how it is. We still got a few more days. I think Ronald’s gonna be ok. I’m not sure about Mike.”
First, on Evans, the Pro Bowl wide receiver from a year ago pulled up on a pass drill Sunday during practice and although the Bucs aren’t saying anything, there’s concern that he may have sustained a hamstring injury of some type. Tampa Bay is heavily counting on Evans to be their go-to weapon, especially on third down. A year ago he caught for 1,524 yards and a career high 17.7 avg with 8 TDs.
Evans previously dealt with a hamstring injury in the 2015 preseason and missed the season opener with Tennessee but returned the following week.
As for Jones, he appeared to have suffered some kind of left knee hyper-extension returning the opening kickoff on a rain-slicked turf against the Dolphins Friday night. That’s what can be seen this photo on social media from Tampa Bay sports reporter Kevin O’Donnell showing Jones knee clearly in an awkward spot when he planted.
Wondering why #Bucs runningback Ronald Jones knee is sore? This is the opening kickoff Friday night against the Dolphins. Rojo didn’t practice yesterday. Looks like a hyperextension to me. pic.twitter.com/mVmW86E96x
— Kevin ODonnell Fox13 (@ODonnellFox13) August 19, 2019
Jones did carry the ball twice for 7 yards leader in the first quarter of the game before being shut down for the night.
Jones has been one of the standouts of the Bucs offseason and training camp with glowing updates repeatedly from Arians about his progress and his chances of seeing significant playing time. Jones missed three games with a hamstring injury in a disappointing rookie year.
Now, we wait to see how long he and Evans will be out.
Positive injury update news for Bucs DT Vita Vea
Bucs coach Bruce Arians gave another positive update Sunday on one of his star defensive players he’s counting on to come back from injury. It looks like hulking defensive tackle Vita Vea is still on track to potentially play in the season opener September 8th.
After the Buccaneers Sunday morning training camp workout, Arians was asked, if there was any new news on Via resting and rehabbing the sprained ligament in his left knee? He told the media:
"Obviously, when you’re put in game-winning situations and your young players perform, you’re proud of them, and they did exactly that."
— Tampa Bay Buccaneers (@Buccaneers) August 18, 2019
“He’s getting better and better everyday. No pain (in the knee). So, I’ve got my fingers crossed that he’s gonna be ready (opening day),” Arians said plainly.
The former first-round pick a year ago out of the University of Washington was injured almost two weeks ago in a one-on-one pass blocking drill, crumbling to the ground with the Bucs and their fans holding their breath. However it turns out it was only a sprain ligament that did not require surgery and Vea could still possibly play at the beginning of the regular season, including the opener with the 49ers.
Vea was seen walking on the sideline Friday night during the Bucs preseason game with the Dolphins with the aid of a heavily braced left knee.
This is the second straight training camp that Vea has been sidelined with a significant injury. Last year, he suffered a torn calf muscle on the second day of workouts and missed all of the preseason and the first three games of the regular season recovering from the injury and getting into playing shape.
When he did comeback, Vea came on strong in the second half of the season and began to show signs of promise, as to why the Bucs had picked him in the top 15 of the draft. He had a career high nine tackles in a December game in Baltimore and was all over the line of scrimmage and the backfield causing disruptions.
Then, in Dallas the following week, he was once again making plays early in the game. Although, he had a first-half sack Cowboys quarterback Dak Prescott nullified by a face mask penalty, he got another one that counted by blindsiding Prescott on the final play of the first half.
Vea finished with three tackles, the sack and one tackle for loss in that game. And, in the second half of the season, he ended up with 28 tackles with three sacks and five tackles for loss in eight games.
Vea is being heavily counted on to help the interior of the Bucs defensive line in new defensive coordinator Todd Bowles’ 3 – 4 defense. He along with new free agent pro bowl veteran Ndamukong Suh are going to be the guys relied upon to get pressure up the middle for the defense.