New `Dynamic Duo' Comes Through
When the Bucs reported to Lake Buena Vista for training camp, it's a safe guess Jon Gruden didn't dream his most effective wide receiver combination would be a rookie and a journeyman with 46 catches in five seasons. But Sunday, rookie Michael Clayton and veteran Charles Lee showed the kind of consistency and versatility the Bucs have needed at that position all season. Both had four catches - Lee for 76 yards, Clayton for 61. Clayton also ran twice for 24 yards as the Bucs beat New Orleans 20-17 for their first victory of the season. ``We're the dynamic duo - that's what we call ourselves now,'' Lee said in the happy Bucs dressing room.
Whatever the label, the Bucs will take it. ``They were very adequate today. They did a good job,'' receivers coach Richard Mann said. ``We just executed today. That's two weeks in a row we've had those two on the field and we seem to be in sync.''
Clayton was making his first visit to his native Louisiana since walking out of the Superdome in January after helping LSU win the BCS championship. He had the support of more than 50 family members and friends, and he gave them plenty to cheer about. ``We had a reason to come out here with a little juice,'' Clayton said. ``We had a new quarterback coming into the game, and it was a situation where it couldn't really get much worse if we lost this game. But we knew this was an opportunity for us. We came out with some play action on offense and finally got our identity back.''
Lee, who played collegiately at UCF, stepped up last season after Keyshawn Johnson was deactivated, finishing with a career-high 33 catches. Still, the Bucs drafted Clayton with their first pick in the spring and traded for Joey Galloway to provide more speed, so Lee figured to be a support player at best. With Galloway hurt, however, Lee has made the most of his chance. ``In this league, it's all about opportunity,'' he said. ``Everybody has talent. It's just what you do with your opportunity, and I'm just trying to make the most of it. First and foremost, I want to show my teammates that I'm a guy who can be counted on. I'm going to come here, fight every day, and do my part. I'm going to be a guy you can go to war with. As a team we've started to realize that. If each guy just takes care of his job, we can be successful.''
Joe Henderson The Tampa Tribune 11 October 2004