Donald Penn Helping Steven MeansAugust 4th, 2013
The Bucs thought they had a steal when they drafted defensive end Steven Means out of the football factory known as Buffalo. Means played outside linebacker there but the Bucs thought Means possessed the pass rushing skills they sought in a defensive end.
With an injury to right defensive end Adrian Clayborn, Means has been getting a lot of work the past couple of practices with the first-team defense. On Thursday, with pads on, Means was actually getting penetration on left tackle Donald Penn of all people; not so much Friday and on Saturday, thought he sort of rebounded to make a few plays, even batting down a Josh Freeman pass.
Joe caught up with Means after practice to discuss going mano y mano against one of the better left tackles in the game, Penn.
JoeBucsFan: Talk about how much it has helped you playing on the first team and going against an All-Pro like Donald Penn.
Steven Means: Oh, he’s real good (laughs). Probably the best I have gone up against. That helps out a lot going up against the best. Just listening to him as a leader and him telling me what I go good and what I need to work on, things like that. We are all a family here. We are all trying to get better.
Joe: (Thursday) in pads you were flashing. You got past him a few times. Did you surprise him?
Means: I was just working hard. I took some of the advice he gave me but he showed me I was still a rookie. I have gone back out there – we have gone at it a few times in practices but I am sure that has helped us both.
Joe: Does Penn like to run smack?
Means: Yeah, yeah, yeah (laughs). He tells me to just keep moving my feet. One time I had him and I stopped my feet and he recovered. He told me to keep moving my feet and to attack his shoulder instead of going upfield and other stuff to help me better myself.
Joe: Can you tell an immediate difference in the things he told you and then you went out and executed that?
Means: Definitely. Everything that everybody tells you out here – Bryan Cox, Randy Melvin, even Gerald McCoy, Adrian — they all tell me, they all give me feedback on what to do more and what I need to stop doing and what to improve on.
Joe: One thing the coaches must love is you batting down passes, you got a couple on Freeman. The Bucs haven’t had that many from their defense in recent years. Talk about that.
Means: It’s just that last minute effort.
While Chris Owusu has been the (sort of) unexpected star of camp, and Rashaan Melvin has been opening eyes big time, Means is quietly getting noticed. Bucs coach Greg Schiano is big on competition. Joe thinks there is good competition underway for reserve defensive ends with Means, Daniel Te’o-Nesheim and William Gholston.
For the full interview, click the arrow below courtesy of WDAE-AM 620.