Bucs receivers unheralded, but productive, in opener
Anwar Richardson, The Tampa Tribune, published 13 September 2010

Micheal Spurlock does not have a problem with his group being labeled "No Name Receivers."

Spurlock understands he is better known for returning kicks than catching passes. Mike Williams is a rookie selected in the fourth round. Sammie Stroughter is a small guy with only one year of NFL experience.

"We like being no-name receivers because everybody in the room believes in the next man," Spurlock said. "We hold a high standard of being accountable. You have to be accountable to the man next to you, in front of you, behind you as well as to yourself. When we go out there and play, there are no excuses."

Tampa Bay's receivers took their first step toward recognition during a 17-14 season-opening victory against Cleveland without Maurice Stovall, who was a healthy scratch. Williams, Spurlock and Stroughter combined for nine catches for 111 yards and two touchdowns.

Williams had five receptions for 30 yards and one touchdown, and Spurlock had two catches for 49 yards and one touchdown. "I don't know how many catches they had, but after (Sunday) they will be respected," Bucs coach Raheem Morris said. "They made some mistakes. We've got to correct those mistakes, but they will get better and better throughout the season. I've got a lot of confidence in those guys."

Morris cannot be any more confident in his receivers. Williams, who was targeted nine time by quarterback Josh Freeman, caught a 3-yard touchdown against Browns defensive back Sheldon Brown in the second quarter. Tampa Bay's receiver said he purposely tipped the ball to himself and then caught it in the back of the end zone.

"I hit it into the air and I knew exactly where it was at," Williams said. "Once I turned, I didn't even see the ball. I turned and I looked at the back of the end zone. Once I looked into the air, the ball dropped in my hand. ... That was easy."

Spurlock, who entered the NFL as an undrafted player in 2006, made picking apart a high draft pick look easy. Cornerback Joe Haden, a first-round pick in April, was matched up against Spurlock in the fourth quarter. When Spurlock and Freeman sensed a blitz, they connected on a 33-yard touchdown pass, giving Tampa Bay a 17-14 lead.

"We feel like one-on-one, we can't lose," Spurlock said. "It was a play we saw earlier, we talked about and we felt like we could get this guy. Just give us time to get (him). We hit it and (Freeman) throws it up and threw a perfect ball."

It was a good start for a group of unknown receivers. "We made a lot of mistakes," Williams said. "There are a lot of things we can get better on. Once we start clicking on that level, you guys are going to see a lot more."