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It was pretty tough to talk positively about what game-changing moves the Bucs had made this offseason a few weeks back.
No such problem this time around.
As indicated, the Bucsused last the draft to collect a few big pieces to their puzzle. With a run defense ranked last in the league in YPGA in 2009 and a pass rush that ranked tied for 26th with 28 sacks generated, selecting a pocket-collapsing, disruptive DT like Gerald McCoy made plenty of sense. Following McCoy's selection, many mused over what direction the Bucs would go early in Rd 2. To some fans' surprise, the Bucs went DT again...this time selecting UCLA DT Brian Price, another interior prospect that can get in the backfield in a hurry. Considering he got a first-round grade from some teams, getting him in the second round, and thus collecting 2 of the top 3 rated DTs, made perfect sense, especially given the seemingly shrewd moves the team made later in the draft to address other needs.
Although some wondered initially whether Price would work with McCoy in the 3 spot, there is talk that the team is mulling over putting the 300-pound Price at the nose next to McCoy. In fact, he started working out of the position at the start of camp on Friday. Of course, Roy Miller will be a factor in the race for the starting NT position and certainly has a shot to win he position, but Price's explosion and playmaking ability hasn't gone unnoticed by a former Buccaneer great who knows a thing or two about getting after the QB....Warren Sapp. Sapp recently spoke about the importance of having a talented linemate:
"The thing is he's not by himself. This kid Price can play, too," Sapp said. The former Bucsstar said he flourished, in part, because of the relationship he developed with tackles he played beside - including Brad Culpepper, Anthony McFarland and Chartric Darby.
"It wasn't just me. They wanted to make it out to be me," Sapp said. "I was a pretty good player, but I had some people in there who were willing to do grunt work, too. And now, (McCoy) has somebody in there who's more than a grunt and can do some great work for him."
So there it is. The Bucs have not just a pair, but a triumverate of young and talented interior defensive lineman in McCoy, Price, and Miller. Time will tell who makes the biggest impact down the line, but it's pretty certain that the 2010 draft changed the game for the Tampa Bay Buccaneer defense.