The telephone rang on the second day of the NFL draft a little bit earlier than Steven Means anticipated.
The 6-foot-4, 250-pound defensive end wasn't highly recruited coming out of high school and didn't receive an invitation to the NFL combine following a standout college at Buffalo either.
So when the Tampa Bay Buccaneers called in the fifth round last month, Means understandably was thrilled and surprised.
The Bucs believe they selected a player who has a chance to develop into an effective pass rusher.
Means thinks so, too.
''I didn't know if I was going to be drafted ... Some teams were talking to me about signing me as a free agent,'' Means, the 147th overall pick, said..
''I've always had that tough road to go through. I've always had to sneak through the back door,'' he added. ''It wasn't alarming for me to not go to the combine because I've been going through this my whole life.''