Grimm survives ‘crazy day’ to earn spot

Going through a job interview is tough enough, but having to watch your competitors slowly leave the room until you get the gig has to be excruciating.

Buccaneers safety Cody Grimm explains the process of how he found out he made the 53-man roster, calling Saturday a “crazy day” in his life.

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Grimm part of Bucs’ 53-man roster

From a seventh-round draft pick to a fringe player to a Tampa Bay Buccaneer.

Rookie safety Cody Grimm has made the Buccaneers, continuing an NFL legacy highlighted by his father Russ’ Hall of Fame tenure as a lineman with the Washington Redskins. Grimm’s retention with Tampa Bay had nothing to do with his bloodlines, though.

The former walk-on at Virginia Tech overcame the odds once again, this time, moving from collegiate outside linebacker to NFL safety and making the transition well enough to be listed as the team’s No. 2 free safety behind Tanard Jackson. Grimm emerged as a solid special teams player in preseason, but he really made his mark on defense, with his sure, open-field tackling and coverage ability.

Coach Raheem Morris said during OTAs that Grimm would make the team if his progression on the field matched his work ethic — and the rookie delivered. From here, Grimm figures to be a special teams’ fixture and possibly work his way onto the defense in certain sub-packages.

Steve Wyche


Grimm’s quiet night might not matter

Cody Grimm didn’t exactly make the biggest bang in his final preseason game Thursday against the Texans, but that might not be an issue as Grimm’s strong preseason has him in a pretty good position to make the Buccaneers’ final 53-man roster.


Last chance to make an impression

We’re winding down the 2010 version of On the Fringe and tonight’s final preseason games could be very important for all, but especially two of the four players we’ve followed. (San Diego wide receiver Gary Banks has been cut and is waiting for his next opportunity). Teams have to trim rosters to 53 players Saturday so the next few days for LeGarrette Blount, Ricky Foley, Alex Boone and Cody Grimm, will be precarious.

Let’s examine where our guys stand:

LeGarrette Blount, RB, Tennessee Titans: He needs to show well when the Titans play host to the Saints. He figures to get some extended playing time, maybe as soon as late in the first quarter or early in the second.

The 240-pound Blount spent most of the preseason feeling pretty comfortable that he was the perfect short-yardage back. Then he got a dose of NFL reality when the Titans signed free agent Samkon Gado, who immediately played well — and ahead of Blount — in Tennessee’s Week 2, preseason victory over Arizona. Gado’s presence (19 yards on nine preseason carries) seemed to spur Blount (16 carries, 59 yards) but the undrafted rookie from Oregon needs to prove he’s more worthy than the fifth-year veteran.

I remember asking Blount during our initial interview for this project if he understood that teams can bring in players at any time to compete with him or replace him. I wasn’t sure if he understood the seriousness of it then. I’m sure he does now.

Chance to make the final roster: Pretty good

Ricky Foley, OLB, Jets: Foley was signed Tuesday after being cut by Seattle, so his knowledge of the Jets’ defense will be minimal, especially since they play a 3-4 scheme and he was working in a 4-3 front in Seattle. That change isn’t as easy as it seems.

I’d expect Foley to only be used on special teams and in some pass-rushing situations against the Eagles. He might get some extended action late. That’s not much time for the former Canadian Football League sack specialist to impress, so he better not waste a snap. He also needs to stay disciplined because Michael Vick can make you look bad on backside bootleg runs.

The Jets are looking for depth with OLB Calvin Pace out so Foley has a chance. The Jets clearly have had their eye on him, seeing as though they claimed him off waivers shortly after being released.

Chance to make the final roster: Questionable

Alex Boone, OT, 49ers: Boone will probably get in the game early and play extended snaps against visiting San Diego. Boone seems in really good position to make the team, having spent much of the preseason working as the No. 2 left tackle. The former practice squad player can’t afford to let down, though. He’s ascended up the depth chart, but a bad outing could show the coaching staff that maybe it doesn’t mean as much to him as they thought and he could get pushed back to the practice squad if there is a numbers crunch when rosters need to be trimmed.

Chance to make the final roster: Very good

Cody Grimm, S, Tampa Bay: Grimm has really turned heads over the past few weeks and is listed as the No. 2 free safety behind emerging standout Tanard Jackson. Grimm (eight tackles, one pass defensed) should play the majority of the game at safety and on special teams vs. Houston, which will test him repeatedly in the passing game.

Chance to make the final roster: Very good

Steve Wyche


Insider takes: Cuts around corner

With teams needing to cut down to 75 players by Tuesday and down to the final 53-man roster right around the corner, it’s crunch time for’s On the Fringe guys.

We’ve already seen one casualty, as the Seahawks released Ricky Foley on Monday. Here’s how the rest stack up, according to the beat writers who have followed them daily during training camp and the preseason:

LeGarrette Blount has the bruising running style the Titans want for a change of pace to the lightning-quick Chris Johnson. Blount has the skills to be an effective runner in between the tackles, and is powerful enough to get the third-and-1 conversions. But the Titans already have a guy capable of doing those things in second-year back Javon Ringer.

Most people figured Blount entered training camp in a two-man battle with Stafon Johnson for a roster spot as the No. 3 back. When Stafon Johnson went down with a season-ending ankle injury, it opened the door for Blount even wider. Yet Blount has a lot to learn as a rookie, especially in pass protection. It’s why his chances of making this 53-man roster aren’t especially good. Blount’s best chance to stick around figures to be on the practice squad.

Jim Wyatt, The Tennessean


Everybody knew Cody Grimm had the name, but what about his game? Turns out the son of Hall of Fame offensive lineman Russ Grimm has played well enough as a rookie to earn his way onto the Bucs’ roster and perhaps in the safety rotation.

“Guys’ seats are always on fire,” defensive backs coach Jimmy Lake said. “There’s always somebody ready to play and replace you.”

Grimm is one of those players. He is sixth on the team with nine tackles this preseason and may see more playing time with the concussion suffered by Sabby Piscitelli Saturday against Jacksonvolle.

Grimm still has room for improvement. Against the Jags, he entered the game in the third quarter and made a touchdown-saving tackle on Jaguars receiver Mike Thomas after an 18-yard gain. He also broke up a pass in the end zone to Thomas on second-and-goal. But on special teams, Grimm had a block in the back that wound up costing the Bucs 26 yards of field position.

Two steps forward and one back, but Grimm is moving in the right direction.

Rick Stroud, St. Petersburg Times


Alex Boone remade himself as a versatile offensive tackle this past offseason, with 49ers coach Mike Singletary calling his transformation “very impressive.”

The easy part? Shedding 40 pounds after being out of shape as a practice squad rookie.

The hard part has been switching sides to right tackle. His 305-pound frame is better fit to handle all the pulling he does in the run game, and he’s playing stronger after a summer spent in the weight room. But he’s up against veteran Barry Sims as the resident swing tackle, which probably spells another year on the practice squad.

David White, San Francisco Chronicle


While Gary Banks has had a solid, productive training camp, it’s been a bit too quiet. He goes about his business in a professional, yet unspectacular manner that helps him blend in when, in fact, he needs to stand out.

Banks doesn’t get chided for mistakes, but he doesn’t get singled out either. That puts him on the chopping block, especially on a Chargers team with so few open spots.

The Chargers do like Banks and his work ethic, which means the wide receiver might get cut on Tuesday to give him the best chance of landing with another team.

Scott Bair, North County Times


Bucs’ Grimm continues to turn heads

Cody Grimm continued to display his surprising speed on Saturday night against the Jaguars, helping out his cause as he tries to make the Buccaneers’ final 53-man roster. Watch Grimm display that speed in preventing a Jaguars touchdown, and listen to what the announcers have to say about him.

Sounds like good news for now.


Grimm making a name for himself

Performing well throughout the offseason program and in training camp is crucial for players trying to earn a roster spot.

Bucs safety Cody Grimm knows that, and has clearly set himself up with a great camp. Bucs coach Raheem Morris recently singled him out for praise, telling The Tampa Tribune, “he has a certain awe and a certain swagger about him. He came in here and he looks like one of you guys (reporters), but he doesn’t play like that.”

Grimm figures to receive even more accolades from Morris following another strong preseason outing. After a solid debut last week, Grimm was even better against the Chiefs on Saturday night.

Not only did he finish with five tackles (four solo), but he also nailed elusive Kansas City rookie wide receiver Dexter McCluster. Ask anyone who has played McCluster and they’ll tell you how impressive a feat it is to get him with a clean hit. Check it out in the video below:


Grimm forces his way into the action

Cody Grimm has shown well during training camp, and while he did not get too many opportunities to make plays against the Dolphins on Saturday night, he did make an impact.

Check out his outstanding tackle on elusive Dolphins returner Davone Bess below.


Grimm moves up Buccaneers’ depth chart

Talk about a whirlwind week for Cody Grimm.

First, his father was enshrined into the Pro Football Hall of Fame. Then, as an added bonus, Grimm moved up a level on the team depth chart.

Such is life at the moment for the rookie defensive back from Virginia Tech.

Grimm — who Buccaneers general manager Mark Dominik said has “shown up a lot out here” — moved up the depth chart to second-team defense after becoming a standout on special teams and steadily improving on defense.

Grimm was excused from Saturday’s Buccaneers practice to attend the Pro Football Hall of Fame enshrinement ceremony for his father, former Washington Redskins offensive lineman Russ Grimm.

“It was truly remarkable,” Grimm said about the ceremony. “It makes me realize what a privilege it is for me to be able to play in the NFL.”


Grimm attends Hall of Fame enshrinement

With a spot on the Tampa Bay Buccaneers’ 53-man regular-season roster on the line, rookie safety Cody Grimm opts to skip practice to attend the Pro Football Hall of Fame enshrinement ceremony for his father, Russ Grimm.