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Rick Stroud, Greg Auman and Matt Baker

Call from Bucs a pleasant surprise for USF's Joyce



TAMPA -- Former USF safety Mark Joyce woke up Monday morning expecting to enjoy his last day off before beginning a new job Tuesday with an advertising company in Wesley Chapel.

Then his agent called with another job offer ... from the Bucs.

"I'm just sitting on my couch, watching TV, and I got a call from my agent, so I got right over there," said Joyce, wearing a No. 45 jersey and carrying the pads of several teammates after his first practice.

Joyce, who had 181 tackles and three interceptions in his Bulls career, had participated in Bucs rookie minicamp in May as a tryout player but wasn't signed, and while he was working out to stay in shape, he hadn't talked to his agent in a month or so. 

"This is really cool, just to have a chance to live out my dream once again, to be around all these great guys," said Joyce, who found himself in meetings with starters Mark Barron and Dashon Goldson just hours after the phone call. "It's a brotherhood and I love it. It's a lifestyle I could always get used to."

The Bucs have added three defensive backs in the first 10 days of camp to offset injuries to three cornerbacks, but Joyce said his goal is to make a quick impression with the hopes of sticking around as long as possible. He could have a chance to play in Friday's preseason opener at Jacksonville. His plans?

"Just make some plays, show them I can pick up the system really fast, do what I always do," he said.

[Last modified: Monday, August 4, 2014 8:03pm]


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