TAMPA — Tampa Bay Buccaneers wide receiver Chris Owusu didn’t have a very memorable 2013 season.
After an ankle injury forced him to start the year on the practice squad, Owusu caught just 13 passes for 180 yards and no scores during the nine games (four starts) he played after earning his way back to the active roster.
There is something about Owusu that the Bucs must like, though. So far, he has survived the roster shakeup and last week was working opposite Vincent Jackson with the first team during Tampa Bay’s first minicamp under new coach Lovie Smith.
“Well, he does have good size, and I’ve been impressed with how he catches the ball,’’ Smith said of the 6-foot-2, 200-pound Stanford product. “Again, I don’t know a lot about (him), but he is a guy that you notice.’’
What Smith notices most about Owusu — a former all-state sprinter in California who set a Ventura County record by running a 10.65-second 100 meters while in high school — is his speed.
“I did see on his chart before we went on the field that he ran a 4.36 (40-yard dash),” Smith said. “That will get your attention a little bit. But he’s also running good routes, and he’s caught the ball well here.
“He’s done some good things, so there’s an opportunity for him. If I’m a receiver I would just be doing everything I could to show the coaches exactly what I have.’’
Owusu is probably just keeping the seat warm for a receiver the Bucs take in next week’s NFL draft, but if he can avoid the injuries that have nagged him throughout his first two years in the league, he could be a contributing factor during the Bucs’ 2014 season and beyond.