Penn, Schiano Talk Steven MeansAugust 5th, 2013
Last week Joe noted a right defensive end getting pressure a decent amount of time on Bucs quarterback Josh Freeman. Naturally ,with the Bucs franchise quarterback wearing the troublesome green jersey, defenders were not allow to touch him, or risk catching the wrath of Greg Schiano.
With starting right defensive end Adrian Clayborn on the shelf due to the ever problematic groin injury, rookie Steven Means has been getting a lot of reps with the first team defense.
And Means has been giving Bucs left tackle Donald Penn a battle. So much so that Penn raved about Means to Joe and others this morning after practice.
“That dude is coming along real well,” Penn said. “I think he can be a great pass rusher. Me and him are going back and forth; we have been going at it since Clayborn has been down. [Means] has stepped in and we have been battling. He is real good. I feel like he is getting better and better every day. He is hitting me with new moves each day.
“I sit down and talk to him in-between practices to critique him on some stuff and tell him what I saw and the good thing about that is he wants to listen. He wants to learn. There are a lot of guys you have to force them to [listen]. He wants to listen, he wants to learn. I have been on him and [William] Gholston. I have been talking to them. Gholston is coming. He just has to get his head a little more focused. But Means, I am really liking what I am seeing.
“When you stop the first move, you have to be ready for the second. that is all I tell my man. He’s working and to tell you the truth, I really like what he is doing.”
Schiano, when asked about means, was a bit more guarded and a tad less effusive than Penn. But he believes Means is making quality headway in learning the NFL ropes.
“He’s getting better,” Schiano said. “He needs to go out there and play Thursday night at a high energy level and let it go. I can still see a guy who’s thinking too much. I’m sure he’s gaining information. Usually there’s that spike you see right away, just pure ability when they come in in rookie mini-camp, and then, as they learn, it kind of slows them down. Now I hope he’s coming out of it, and I can see that, but just how far out will he come and how fast? That’s usually the rookie struggle. That d-line game is such a right now, bam bam, in your face [thing], at this level, you learn a lot of tricks as you go, especially when you’ve got a guy like [tackle] Donald Penn, who has been doing it for a long time. I’m sure Donald has taught him a few things.”
Joe knows pass rush is a major area of concentration for the Bucs. If Means is as good as advertised, and with William Gholston coming along and when Clayborn gets healthy, along with the secret rushing skills of rookie tackle Akeem Spence, and of course, Gerald McCoy, perhaps the Bucs could dirty a quarterback’s jersey say, oh, at least twice a game?