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Rick Stroud, Greg Auman and Matt Baker

Bucs young defensive line is meshing -- but there's room for Suh or McCoy



The Bucs are excited about the impact their young, Big 12  defensive tackle could have in 2010.

Not Nebraska's Ndamukong Suh or Oklahoma's Gerald McCoy.

It remains to be seen if either of those players will be available to the Bucs with the No. 3 overall pick.

Meanwhile, the expectations already are building for defensive tackle Roy Miller, their third-round pick from Texas last season.

"Those guys are great players, Suh and McCoy,'' Miller said. "I've had the opportunity to watch them just watching other teams during the season. I definitely know what they can do and know they can help any team that they become a part of. But at the same time, we've got young guys who feel they have something to prove this year.

"Being around the guys that you go out and grind all the time, that's something a young team needs. We're all young, so being around everybody, you felt, "I kind of know that guy.' But this year, we've all been busting our butts together and there's just a lot of trust being built right now, especially with the young guys. It's exciting, because you're starting to see personalities emerge that you didn't know they had.''

Despite battling ankle, knee and hamstring injuries, Miller was extremely productive as a rookie. He had 54 tackles, just three less than Chris Hovan and six more than starting defensive tackle Ryan Sims. He also was tied for fourth on the team with two sacks.

Like many players, Miller struggled trying to play at 325-pounds, which was nearly 30 pounds more than his collegiate playing weight.

"There was some production, but just as a competitor, you see things how you can work on and you never become satisfied,'' Miller said. "Losing the weight will enable me to open up my hips more. AI just felt sluggish last year. For me, it was a 30-pound difference from what I played in college. I didn't really notice at first. It took me awhile to figure out the difference of my body.''

[Last modified: Wednesday, May 26, 2010 3:58pm]


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