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  1. #1
    singersp's Avatar
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    Vikings castoff Hovan jumpstarts career in Tampa Bay

    Posted on Thu, Dec. 22, 2005

    [size=18px]Vikings castoff Hovan jumpstarts career in Tampa Bay[/size]

    BY CHRIS HARRY
    The Orlando SentinelTAMPA, Fla.


    - Any Tampa Bay fan who has visited training camp at Disney's Wide World of Sports and been in earshot of Rod Marinelli knows the Buccaneers' defensive line coach doesn't sugarcoat or blow smoke when it comes to his job.

    So you can bet that when free-agent Chris Hovan paid a visit to the Bucs last offseason, he had his would-be role clearly laid out.

    "There was no mistaking the job description," Hovan recalled.

    In the Bucs' one-gap system, the nose tackle is in a meat grinder every play, and his assignment cannot be compromised. He must do everything exactly the way the position coach wants it - all the way down to hand placement and foot position - or else breakdowns will occur.

    And defensive breakdowns lead to Marinelli's meltdowns. The man is hard to please.

    So how is Hovan doing?

    "He is playing tremendous football," Marinelli said. "I mean, he is as good as we've ever had here."

    Look no further than Hovan, a 6-foot-2, 296-pound former first-round pick from Boston College, as a prime reason Tampa Bay's defense has vaulted from 19th against the run last season to fifth this season.

    "Give him credit," linebacker Derrick Brooks said. "He's bought into what we do around here."

    After falling out of favor with the Vikings' coaching staff, Hovan has become a favorite among his new bosses and teammates.

    The feeling is mutual.

    "I love it here," he said.

    Hovan loves being in a postseason push that will have him in the thick of the action again Saturday when the Bucs (9-5) play host to Atlanta (8-6) - and the league's top-ranked rushing attack - in an NFC South clash with playoff implications.

    In a jumbled NFC postseason picture, Tampa Bay controls its destiny with regard to a wild-card berth and will be at home the next two weeks. Pending other games, the Bucs could clinch a playoff berth by beating the Falcons - and maybe even move back atop the South standings.

    "What more could you ask for?" Hovan said. "We're 9-5. Shoot, some teams already have packed their U-Hauls and are ready to go home. Guys around the league would kill to be 9-5 right now and have it in our hands. We're looking forward, not back."

    Hovan, 27, has kept eyes front since arriving in Tampa in March. Hovan fell out of favor with Vikings Coach Mike Tice and was deactivated for the team's final three games and two playoff contests last season. Minnesota released him in a salary-cap move in February.

    A few weeks later, Hovan signed a one-year, minimum-salary contract with the Bucs.

    "Hovan's been great for us," Coach Jon Gruden said. "He doesn't say a word. It's just all business, all the time - and every snap is a personal battle, whether it's a walk-through, pregame warm-up or preseason game. ... If you're good, you're good. If you're not, you're not. He's good, really good."

    One of the strongest players on the team, Hovan's stout presence inside is a prime reason the Bucs have gone from allowing 123.3 rushing yards per game last season to 92.1. His lateral quickness and ability to get pressure up the middle show up weekly and likely has warranted management to start considering a long-term deal after the season.

    "He loves playing football," Marinelli said. "He loves the working, the lifting, the meetings and being out there on the grass. He loves it. Whatever an `A' player is, that's him."

    Marinelli smiles when talking about Hovan. He often smiles.
    But he rarely gushes. About anybody.

    "Not unless you put it on film," Marinelli said. "He puts it on film, so I'll praise him all day."

    "If at first you don't succeed, parachuting is not for you"

  2. #2
    SamDawg84 Guest

    Re: Vikings castoff Hovan jumpstarts career in Tampa Bay

    i still dont know about hovan...........................

  3. #3
    LuckyVike's Avatar
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    Re: Vikings castoff Hovan jumpstarts career in Tampa Bay

    Pat Williams has 58 tackles and 1.5 sacks.

    Hovan has 39 tackles... no sacks.

    I like how they didn't give any of Hovan's stats. They just spoke of overrall defense improvement like it was all him. I also think Hovan is on a better line than Pat and Pat STILL has much better numbers.
    The best part of my day is when I get down on my knees, with my head in my hands, and thank GOD for everything he has given me.

  4. #4
    Del Rio Guest

    Re: Vikings castoff Hovan jumpstarts career in Tampa Bay

    He's been having a good year in Tampa. He has always done his assignments well, so it isn't a suprise.

    He does best when he can just go out there and do his job. He doesn't need big numbers he doesn't need pro bowl stats. He maintains his assignment and it makes his team better.

    Glad to hear his new team appreciates him. He's a hard worker.

  5. #5
    singersp's Avatar
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    Re: Vikings castoff Hovan jumpstarts career in Tampa Bay

    I've always liked Hovan & still do.

    He always disrupted offensive lines despite being double-teamed.

    His tacle & stat total may not be high, but he's always giving 110%.

    "If at first you don't succeed, parachuting is not for you"

  6. #6
    SamDawg84 Guest

    Re: Vikings castoff Hovan jumpstarts career in Tampa Bay

    he plays nosetackle and isnt very big but pat is that is why he has better stats then hovan

  7. #7
    ultravikingfan's Avatar
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    Re: Vikings castoff Hovan jumpstarts career in Tampa Bay

    Too bad he lacked enthusiasm when he played for us!

  8. #8
    gregair13's Avatar
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    Re: Vikings castoff Hovan jumpstarts career in Tampa Bay

    Hovan is a bum. i was sooo happy when he left. he was doing nothing for us for like 3 years.
    We're bringing purple back.

  9. #9
    Mr. Purple's Avatar
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    Re: Vikings castoff Hovan jumpstarts career in Tampa Bay

    Hes no longer a Viking. So i really dont care about him too much. Matter a Fact hes a bum.

    Theres NOTHING greater then a Florida Gator!
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  10. #10
    midgensa's Avatar
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    Re: Vikings castoff Hovan jumpstarts career in Tampa Bay

    Hovan got a bad rap for us no doubt. The guy has always been a hard worker and after a couple of over-achieving seasons we could not live with average productivity. I am glad he has jump started his career and is playing so well in Tampa, but I would not trade either of the Williams twins for him ... so alls well that ends well for all parties.

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