Bucs DLs Russell, Coe get homecoming against Cowboys
They've been with the Bucs long enough to feel at home in Tampa, but defensive linemen Ryan Russell and Rodney Coe spent the summer and preseason with the Cowboys, sticking with Dallas until the final cuts were made on Sept. 3.
And the Bucs go to Dallas on Sunday, they're grateful for a new chance with Bucs and say they saw the potential for the Cowboys' success back in August.
"I'm definitely looking forward to going back home, to play against guys I spent a lot of time with, that welcomed me into the league and taught me a lot," said Russell, a fifth-round draft pick of the Cowboys in 2015.
Russell, who is from the Dallas suburb of Carrollton, played in only one game with the Cowboys last year and was among Dallas' final cuts in September. He was briefly on the Cowboys' practice squad, then spent six weeks on the Bucs' practice squad before being promoted to the active roster. He has two tackles including a sack in five games, playing a total of 112 snaps, mostly as a third-down pass-rush specialist in the Bucs' nickel package.
"I'm blessed. I thank the Lord every day for just waking me up and giving me the opportunity and the talent to play," Russell said. "I thank the Buccaneers for seeing something in me and giving me an opportunity. I'm a lucky guy to be here, and it's just an added bonus I get to go back to Dallas, home for me, and play."
Coe, a defensive tackle, is in his second stint on the Bucs' practice squad, has been tasked with simulating his former teammates on the scout team this week, familiar with the personnel the Bucs will be going up against.
"I would love for this to be one game I could be active for," he said. "Just to prove myself, to let Dallas know what they missed out on and let Tampa know what they gained. I know what both teams can bring to the table."