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May 25, 2014 @ 10:02 am
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Means Ready To Prove He Belongs In 2014

Written by Mark
Mark Cook


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2013 fifth-round draft pick Steven Means was kind of a forgotten man in 2013, but believes the new coaching staff, and addition of some new players will help him make an impact in his sophomore season in the NFL.
When being selected in the fifth round of the NFL Draft, the odds are usually stacked against a player even making the team, much less having an impact on the football field. For Bucs defensive end Steven Means, who was drafted in 2013 out of Buffalo, that was certainly the case. Means made the team out of training camp, but played sparingly over the course of the 2013 season, seeing action in just 10 games and collected only five tackles all of last year.

Means however thinks 2014 is the year where he makes the proverbial jump and can contribute every week.

“I feel like I am a lot further ahead of the curve, especially mentally,” Means said. “God strengthened me and gave me the strength to keep grinding and pushing me. He kept my head straight and he brought in a great coaching staff.

“It was tough last year. After you lose focus it gets frustrating but I am happy it happened because I feel like it was a test. He allowed me to go through it to now be able to tell the testimony, and that is going to happen this year.”

Bucs head coach Lovie Smith sees potential in the Buffalo native.

“If you just look at size, speed, long arms, you notice him on the hoof a little bit,” Smith said. “He’s that prototype guy that we’re playing with, with that speed. He’s not the biggest guy around we don’t care about really, so much size, but want to have a lot of fast guys that can come off the edge and rush the passer. He’s been here working extremely hard, we’re just getting the guys all in position right now.

"We have excellent defensive line coaches in Joe Cullen and Mike Phair working with the guys, but I can’t wait of course to see those guys go against them. Our one-on-one battles offensive versus defensive lines should be something to see.”

Means, who collected 19.5 sacks in college, admitted last season’s scheme was a little more complicated than he had played in previously and believes defensive coordinator Leslie Frazier’s defense will allow him more success.

“This is only my second year on the job and in the league, but I just feel like it is God, bringing this coaching staff here, with this type of scheme that will allow us to roam around free,” Means said. “He is going to bless me with a lot of opportunities to get on the field this year.

“Right now we are just trying to learn the base fundamentals. The thing I have to focus on and hone in on is flipping my hips. They want us to, right now, just go hard in everything we do. We can clean up everything else later.”

Means went onto to explain the detailed parts of football the new staff, that includes defensive line coaches Joe Cullen and Mike Phair, are stressing as they work with their linemen.

“Flipping your hips is the difference between getting a sack or not getting a sack sometimes,” Means said. “When you have to close in on a sack, that could be the difference between a quarterback hit or a sack. You have to be able to torque your body away – like tight to the offensive linemen – but keep your body away from him so he cant get his hands on you. Create a smaller target area from the offensive linemen.”

Some players might feel threatened when new players are brought in during free agency, but Means said the addition of defensive tackle Clinton McDonald and Michael Johnson were welcomed.

“Two more professional football players added to our meeting room,” Means said. “Clinton is just a professional. I could see it in him, and Gerald [McCoy] of course. Even [Adrian] Clayborn is stepping up. Mike [Johnson] is a vet, and that brings professionalism to our room.

"I'm just going to keep God first. Keep Him first and He will take care of the rest."

Last modified on Sunday, 25 May 2014 11:33

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  • avatar

    He is another player that's fits Lovie Smith Team mold.He deserves a chance to prove he is a buc's Go Tampa
  • avatar

    God blessed us with a good team.
  • avatar

    @owlykat: I agree with your comments about tolerance for freedom of speech & freedom of religion. And, as my father who fought in 2 wars always said "that includes having tolerance for not only freedom of speech & freedom of religion, it also includes tolerance for freedom FROM religion". I don't care what religion the players are as long as they entertain us on Sundays. We're all Bucs fans here, & I'll always be a Bucs fan...even if the team is not in line with my nonbeliefs.
  • avatar

    You guys are right. My intolerant comments were inappropriate. I think I was in a particularly foul mood yesterday. My apologies.
  • avatar

    BuccaneerNW posted similar garbage after hearing Evans was a Christian. And I quote "Oh yaaa another Kreistophile" Evans said he thought he was blessed and his talents came from god. This kid is mature and can play. I for one am thrilled he's a buc and could care less who or what he worships. I guess having a belief different than buccaneerNW makes everyone else an idiot? Owlkat is correct many of teammates and most of coaches are Christians so I guess they are all idiots too. Must be nice to have it all figured out and be so much smarter than everyone else. Supposed to be a football board no place for politics or religion. Or "calling someone out" as you put it.
  • avatar

    Yeah, the call outs are unnecessary. This is not really the forum to discuss disagreement over religious belief, and I've used the anonymity of the internet to hide behind while venting the worst parts of myself. Apologies to all.
  • avatar

    Thank you Horse for your comments! On a day when we honor our Veterans for their sacrifices to preserve our freedoms, which all Veterans on Pewter Report, like Horse and myself, appreciate, the intolerance of some posters making fun of Means exercising his Right to Freedom of Religion, and Freedom of Speech, guaranteed to him by the Constitution of the United States is particularly inappropriate and offensive. Mean's beliefs are shared by many members of your Bucs and especially by this Coaching Staff, so if hearing such statements turn your stomachs and result in such hate, maybe you need to follow a team more in line with your nonbeliefs.
  • avatar

    Now that was funny kyop. I always liked the dilemma faced by the almighty one when Notre Dame plays Boston College. All of the wars over religious beliefs, starvation, child molesting, senseless killings, not to mention having to play match-maker on Christianmingle.com, and the creator of all things is focusing on coaching hires. Now that's a stretch. Divine intervention would seem more likely to focus on the bigger issues of the day than a football team. Then again there was that Colts game in 2003. I know a lot of religious phrases came out of my mouth that night. I hope the joy stick that his lordship is using to control Means' life makes him a better pass rusher. He can worry about the Ukraine later.
  • avatar

    Jeez bucNW... please respect other people's beliefs even when you do not agree with them. Calling someone's faith for stupidity is very disrespectful! And for some reason you have to do it in five separate comments?!? You have the right to be an atheist (or whatever you are), but no one is calling you stupid for making that choice. And for those of you that think that this is not the place to discuss religion (me for one) - well... don't then...
  • avatar

    He's mixed up the strength and conditioning coach and the Glazers with God. Of course, he also has mixed up an interview about football with a church service. I can find this stuff at the lower end of the FM dial if I want to hear it but I don't. Unfortunately, when cults get enough members, kooky ideas like the notion that the universe was created by a male entity with huge gonads must be taken seriously. When will everyone figure out that the universe was created by a female entity with huge boobs? Sheesh!
  • avatar

    “This is only my second year on the job and in the league, but I just feel like it is God, bringing this coaching staff here, with this type of scheme that will allow us to roam around free,” Means said. “He is going to bless me with a lot of opportunities to get on the field this year." Well yea, of course. Because clearly, if God is real, (1) He is a Bucs fan and (2) He wants good things to happen for Steven Means more than he wants them to happen for all of the rest of His children that he loves. Questioning peoples' religious beliefs is one animal. But this isn't that. The idea that some Christian have that God blessed them with a win, or personal success, or whatever...it blows my mind. In order for YOU and your team to succeed, Christian athlete x (some random Christian athlete), another person had to fail. if you're giving God credit for that, then you're directly implying that He chose you over them. Does that sound like the infinitely benevolent, loving God you claim to believe in? It doesn't to me. If there is a God that has favorite teams or players, then I want nothing to do with him anyways.
  • avatar

    lmao surferdudes that was my thoughts exactly!
  • avatar

    Thank God, pardon the pun, Scott Reynolds didn't say that.
  • avatar

    buccaneerNW; I remember being at that age as having a strong belief in a lot things. Nothing wrong with what Means believes because it is working for him. His choice, his smile, his belief.
  • avatar

    I think we need one speed rusher for third down. I hope Means makes the team, and he should be important to special teams too. He has kept a good attitude .
  • avatar

    What's the story on Michael Johnson? There is no mention of him lately by Lovie Smith. Clayborn has to really step it up and that will be tough because he already is trying his best. I think he is good trade bait; same for Martin.
  • avatar

    Johnson is fine Horse. They feel they know what they have in him. He has been out there. Giving some younger guys more reps to see what they can do I believe. Some tough choices on the D-line this year.
  • avatar

    PewterReportMC; I agree about the DL. Thanks for responding and have a good Memorial Day with your family.
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