Bucs have high hopes for rookie DE Steven Means

Associated Press  |  Last updated May 21, 2013
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.'' Means impressed the Bucs during Buffalo's pro day in Orchard Park, N.Y., then performed during a personal workout for the team. Although some NFL scouts projected him as a linebacker, Tampa Bay intends to give Means an opportunity to earn playing time as a defensive end. Through rookie minicamp and the start of voluntary workouts known as organized team activities, coach Greg Schiano likes what he's seen. ''Steven has been impressive in his time here so far. He's in good physical condition. He's got a lot of great physical traits, and he's very eager and hungry to learn the system and to work at it,'' Schiano said. ''He's a guy who does extra. If he can continue to keep that mindset, he's got a chance to be good.'' Means was a second-team All-Mid-American Conference selection as a senior, when he was credited with making 77 tackles, including 11 for losses. He had 6 1-2 sacks last season, finishing his career at Buffalo with 18 1-2 sacks - the fourth-highest total in school history - and 29 1-2 tackles for loss overall. Despite not being asked to participate in the NFL combine, Means said just hearing from teams that said they might be interested in bringing him into camp was enough to keep him encouraged. Now that he has an opportunity, he's determined to make the most of it. Defense, special teams - he just wants to contribute. ''I'm willing to do whatever I have to do,'' Means said. Tampa Bay had the NFL's worst pass defense a year ago, and a sagging pass rush was part of the problem. The team drafted cornerback Johnthan Banks and acquired veterans Darrelle Revis and Dashon Goldson to help shore up the secondary, while Means and fourth-round selection Akeem Spence have been brought in to help out on the defensive line. Means is confident he has the skills, work ethic and temperament to be a successful pro, noting there's some nastiness to his game. ''I came up in an environment where it's not easy. I don't like anybody touching me, and that's probably why I'm a decent pass rusher,'' the rookie said. ''I don't like offensive linemen, especially, touching me,'' Means added. ''So I want to get them off me as quick as possible. ... I'm definitely quick-tempered on the field. I get mad at someone just lining up across from me thinking they can block me.''
GET THE YARDBARKER APP:
Ios_download En_app_rgb_wo_45
MORE FROM YARDBARKER

Top 10 takeaways from Super Bowl 50

Was firing Jeff Hornacek the wrong move for the Suns?

Panthers picked wrong day to play worst game of the season

Was Peyton Manning paid for Budweiser mentions?

Cam Newton walks out of postgame press conference

Eli did not look thrilled after Peyton locked up Super Bowl

LIKE WHAT YOU SEE?
GET THE DAILY NEWSLETTER:

Rick Reilly sends awkward tweet during Super Bowl 50

Peyton Manning gives Papa John a kiss after game

Panthers' Josh Norman crying after losing Super Bowl

Peyton Manning ‘going to drink a lot of Budweiser’ after win

Where Peyton Manning ranks among Super Bowl era QBs

Peyton Manning declines to comment on possible retirement

Winners and losers from Super Bowl 50

The best and worst commercials from Super Bowl 50

Aqib Talib wipes out on NFL Network

Six best plays from Super Bowl 50

Five biggest boneheaded plays of Super Bowl 50

WATCH: Cam Newton gives questionable effort to recover fumble

Lions say Calvin Johnson's future still not determined

How Louisville basketball bungled their self-imposed ban

Ted Ginn Jr. whiffs on football twice on one play, results in Panthers turnover

Kony Ealy makes one-handed interception of Peyton Manning

Mike Carey gets another call wrong on incomplete pass in SB

Steph Curry beats Panthers' "Keep Pounding" drum

Did Beyonce almost fall down during Super Bowl halftime show?

NFL News
Delivered to your inbox
You'll also receive Yardbarker's daily Top 10, featuring the best sports stories from around the web. Customize your newsletter to get articles on your favorite sports and teams. And the best part? It's free!

By clicking "Sign Me Up", you have read and agreed to the Fox Sports Digital Privacy Policy and Terms of Use. You can opt out at any time. For more information, please see our Privacy Policy.
the YARDBARKER app
Get it now!
Ios_download En_app_rgb_wo_45

The best and worst commercials from Super Bowl 50

Best and worst from Super Bowl 50

Six best plays from Super Bowl 50

Eli doesn't look thrilled as Peyton wins Super Bowl

Did Beyonce almost fall down during Super Bowl halftime show?

Curry to serve as drummer for Panthers

Report: Marshawn Lynch plans to retire

The 14 biggest plays in Super Bowl history

Five outrageous predictions for Super Bowl 50

QUIZ: Name the winning starting quarterback from every Super Bowl

Today's Best Stuff
For Publishers
Company Info
Help
Follow Yardbarker