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It's been two weeks since former Atlanta Falcons defensive tackle Rod Coleman visited One Buccaneer Place.

No one has really heard much regarding Coleman since he visited One Buccaneer Place on Feb. 28.

The Bucs have a .500 batting average in terms of targeting former Falcons players this offseason. They opted to allow tight end Alge Crumpler to sign with the Tennessee Titans, but were successful in landing running back Warrick Dunn.

Sources tell that Coleman still is up to bat with the Buccaneers, meaning the two sides still are interested in making something happen.

Although Tampa Bay has several defensive tackles on its offseason roster, including Jovan Haye, Chris Hovan, Ryan Sims, Greg Peterson and recently acquired defensive end Jimmy Wilkerson, who can also play inside, it is looking to improve its pass rush from one year ago.

In 2007, the Buccaneers registered 33 sacks in 16 regular season games. While that was a bit of an improvement form 2006 and ranked tied for 16th in the NFL, that sack total paled in comparison to the New York Giants, who led the league in sacks last season with 53 en route to winning the Super Bowl.

Coleman, 31, is no longer in his prime, but is a player the Bucs feel could help improve Tampa Bay's pass rush while working in a rotation with Haye at the three technique spot. He's notched 58.5 career sacks and 10 forced fumbles in 109 career games.

The 6-foot-2, 285-pound Coleman recorded 31 of his career sacks over the last four seasons in Atlanta.

Buccaneers head coach Jon Gruden and general manager Bruce Allen are quite familiar with Coleman, whom they drafted in Oakland in 1999.

While Coleman recorded 31 of his career sacks in four seasons in Atlanta, the Bucs aren't willing to overpay him, especially since he suffered through an injury-plagued season in 2007, notching just two sacks in five games before finishing the year on injured reserve.

Normally the longer a player sits out in free agency the cheaper they get, but that might not be the case with Coleman.

The 2008 NFL Draft class is pretty weak at the defensive tackle position, so Coleman might be able to wait several more weeks or even until after the draft to sign with a team and do it without necessarily losing money since several teams still could have a need at the defensive tackle position.

The Buccaneers, who currently have over $30 million in salary cap room, have extended a contract offer to Coleman, but he appears to be in no hurry to sign it.

Please note that there will not be a Flynn's Focus column published next week as Pewter Report editor-in-chief Jim Flynn will be away on vacation.


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