Former Vanderbilt Star Ke'Shawn Vaughn Earns High Praise In Tampa

Greg Arias

Ke' Shawn Vaughn is now a member of the Tampa Bay Buccaneers and will spend his first season in the league as a teammate of future Hall of Fame quarterback Tom Brady.

That's not a bad deal for any player in their career, but especially for a rookie third-round running back who joins a team expected to compete for the Super Bowl. 

As a rookie, playing with Brady and the rest of the talented offensive cast assembled by general manager Jason Licht, Vaughn won't be expected to be the focal point of the offense. He should see his opportunities for success improve because he will likely be the fourth or even fifth option and second in the backfield to Ronald Jones II.

Licht shared his thoughts of Vaughn with AllBucs Luke Easterling, publisher of the Sports Illustrated site covering Tampa Bay.

"The idea is to get him here and see what he does best," Bucs general manager Jason Licht said via video conference call Friday night. "We know that he's got good speed. We know that he can catch the ball. We know that he's good in space – he's been very productive there. He's also a very intense person just like Antoine [Winfield] in terms of his demeanor and in terms of his football character and passion – one of the things that we loved about him. He is very smart. I think he's capable of playing on all three downs so you can't have too many good backs. You can't just rely on one good back. If you have a guy who can do multiple things, it makes him even more valuable to your team. We'll see how it goes. We have to get him here, and we'll get him in the mix, and we'll see how it all shakes out. We're excited to have him, as well."

As for Vaughn, he spoke with Bucs media following his selection. 

"I'm happy as hell to be a part of this offense, this team, this organization," Vaughn said "And then, like I said earlier, I believe that I'm an explosive back too, so that's something that will help this offense develop a run game. Then [Tom Brady] can throw the ball based off that. The run and the passing game can work hand-in-hand."

Easterling's concluded with his thoughts on the fit for Vaughn in Tampa, saying, "Jones is still the clear-cut starter in Tampa Bay, but don't be surprised if Vaughn quickly becomes a big part of the Bucs offense, thanks in large part to what he can do on third downs and in the passing game." 

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