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Tampa Bay Buccaneers intrigued by USC linebacker

MOBILE, Ala. — Southern Cal LB Rey Maualuga, who won the Bednarik Award as the nation's top defensive player, is one of the most coveted players entering the NFL draft.

But that hasn't stopped the Bucs, who own the No. 19 overall pick, from getting to know him better at the Senior Bowl. Maualuga saved his last interview Tuesday for the Bucs, who project him as a middle linebacker. That position is currently manned by Barrett Ruud, the team's leading tackler.

"They're focused in on the middle linebacker position for myself and asking me if I'm comfortable with the 4-3 scheme or the 3-4," Maualuga said. "I'm comfortable with both."

Catching eyes: USF linebacker Tyrone McKenzie has been impressive in workouts. He is projected in a 4-3 scheme as a strongside linebacker because of his coverage abilities. McKenzie had a slow start but played faster the past two days and interviewed well.

O.C. opening: The Bucs were scheduled to meet with former Rams coach Scott Linehan, but agent David Dunn did not know the time. General manager Mark Dominik and coach Raheem Morris were not spotted at the morning workout for the North squad.

Apology: Bears defensive line coach Rod Marinelli, fired after an 0-16 season with the Lions, apologized for brushing off reporters the day before by saying "Goodbye, ladies." The Association for Women in Sports Media had expressed concern to the NFL.

Information from Times wires was used in this report.

Tampa Bay Buccaneers intrigued by USC linebacker 01/21/09 [Last modified: Thursday, January 22, 2009 3:28pm]
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