Locked In On Cummings Weeks AgoMay 17th, 2014
Shortly before defensive tackle Euclid Cummings was set to perform at the Georgia Tech pro day, a man shook his hand, introduced himself, and said he’d be calling the shots during his drills.
That man was Bucs defensive line coach Joe Cullen. And now Cummings is a Buccaneer, with any signs pointing to Cummings being groomed as Gerald McCoy’s backup.
Cummings appears to have been handpicked by the Bucs’ brass. Cummings confirmed to Joe that his agent was told the Buccaneers would make him the only undrafted free agent defensive tackle they would sign.
Known as “Yuke,” Cummings also got a signing bonus. Each NFL team can dish out a total of $80,000 per year to all of its undrafted free agents.
Cullen even gave Cummings tips to get ready for the NFL weeks ago. “Coach Cullen always told me to work on my line drills. So, like, I’ll just practice redirecting. Get a friend and have him tell me, “Draw. Screen. Downblock,” Cummings said. “I’ll do that a lot, and that’s perfect.”
Gerald McCoy already has Cummings under his wing. The teachings of No. 93 have begun and addressed a pass rush move.
“[McCoy] told me when I work on my club rips, just the whole emphasis of flipping my hips. I feel like I’m already better from doing that and listening to him,” Cummings said.
Cummings (6-3, 291 pounds) said he wasn’t disappointed about not getting drafted because he didn’t expect to go higher than the seventh round. And he was confident the Bucs would come calling.
Running “stadiums” (all the steps of the first level of Georgia Tech’s stadium) over and over kept Cummings busy before he signed with Tampa Bay. Lower body strength and endurance was a big offseason focus.
Cummings said his familiarity was Cullen has made his first week in the NFL very smooth. “I pretty much knew what to expect, a high-intensity, high-motor guy in Coach Cullen, and that’s pretty much what I am.”
Joe knows the Bucs need a backup for Gerald McCoy, and a raw guy they can groom makes a lot of sense. Cummings only played one season, last year, in a 4-3 defense, where he was an undertackle.
Nice kid. And Joe would wager a few bucks Cummings is in Lovie Smith’s top secret Big 3.