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Tuesday, Sep 26, 2017
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  • Rick Stroud, Greg Auman and Matt Baker

Short list: Bucs match NFL high with 13 players under 6 feet

The NFL has sorted up the opening-week rosters for all 32 teams, and the Bucs have the honor of leading the league in having the most players who are shorter than 6 feet tall.

We've written about the Bucs' penchant for shorter, faster defensive backs -- of their 13 players under 6 feet, eight are defensive backs, including starting cornerbacks Vernon Hargreaves and Brent Grimes (both 5-10), nickels Javien Elliott (5-11) and Robert McClain (5-9) and safeties T.J. Ward and Keith Tandy (5-10). The group includes running back Jacquizz Rodgers -- at 5-6, the shortest Bucs player -- and Peyton Barber (5-11), as well as speedy receivers DeSean Jackson (5-10), Adam Humphries (5-11) and Bernard Reedy (5-9).

If it makes you feel better, the other team with 13 players under 6 feet tall is ... the New England Patriots, your defending Super Bowl champions.

Six NFL teams -- including both Super Bowl teams from last year -- have a shorter average height than the Bucs do at 6.17 feet: the Eagles (6.13), Falcons (6.14), Bills (6.15), Cowboys (6.15), Patriots (6.16) and Titans (6.16).

-- The Bucs have only seven rookies and first-year players on their 53-man roster -- only the Patriots (five) and Bears (six) have fewer out of 32 NFL teams.

-- The Bucs have 10 players who are 30 years and older -- only the Cardinals (14), Ravens (14), Panthers (13) and Dolphins (11) have more.

-- The state of Florida continues to fare well in NFL roster representation -- while Alabama and LSU had the most former players on opening-week rosters with 39 each, all three major Florida programs ranked in the top eight, with Florida having 35 players and FSU and Miami with 34 each. USC (37), Clemson (35) and Ohio State (35) rounded out the top eight. ...

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