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Now under contract, Means is on the move

Posted May 14, 2013 by Roy Cummings

Updated May 14, 2013 at 12:26 PM


BY ROY CUMMINGS
Tribune Staff

TAMPA – The signing on Monday of fifth-round draft pick Steven Means left some Buccaneers fans wondering just where it is the Bucs plan to play Means now that he is officially under contract.

It’s a valid question, largely because a lot of scouts projected the 6-4, 250-pound Means as an outside linebacker, which is the role he usually played during his four years at University of New York at Buffalo, where the Bulls mostly worked out of a 3-4 alignment.

The Bucs, though, have every intention of working Means as a defensive end, and they have been saying so ever since they went off just about every draft-nick’s radar and made the All-MAC second teamer their own.

“He’s going to be a defensive end,” Bucs coach Greg Schiano said shortly after the conclusion of the draft. “And where he lines up, you’ll see, he’s going to have an opportunity to rush the passer.”

Rushing the passer is what Means is all about. He finished his career at Buffalo ranked fourth all0-time in school history with 18.5 sacks and that skill was clearly what caught the Bucs eye.

“We’re really excited about him being a developing pass rusher,’’ Bucs general manager Mark Dominik said of Means. “We think he’s got tremendous traits at that ability and that’s why we were excited to bring him in.

“Anytime you can draft a pass rusher you don’t want to pass him up. We spent a lot of time with him and (researching him) before the draft and we thought he was one of those guys for us and so we’re really excited about him.’’

Means is even more excited than the Bucs. He flew so far under the radar at Buffalo that he didn’t get an invitation to the scouting combine. He flashed across everyone’s radar as his pro day, though.

Means ran a 4.6 40 at his pro day and his solid build forced scouts to look back at his career, both on paper and on tape, and what they found was a player that had slipped through the cracks.

Now that his slide is complete, Means is anxious to prove himself worthy of the draft choice the Bucs spent on him and says he’s willing to play anywhere they want him to, even if it’s on the other side of the ball.

“I see myself being whatever [the Bucs] want me to be,” Means said. “If it’s standing up, if it’s down, even if it’s snapping the ball. Whatever I can do I want to contribute where I can.”

For now, and probably for the foreseeable future, he’ll be contributing at defensive end.

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