While the focus of yesterday's NFL preseason was on former UB Bull great and current Oakland Raider Khalil Mack, his former partner in crime Steven Means had a solid night for the Tampa Bay Buccaneers in their matchup against the Jacksonville Jaguars.
With the arrival of new head coach Lovie Smith, formerly of the Chicago Bears, and new general manager Jason Licht, from the Arizona Cardinals, Means has no ties to the new regime; and coming off of a rookie season where he was very quiet, only registering 3 tackles and 2 assists, Means was on the roster bubble entering the offseason. Means would need to prove in game action that he belonged on a Buccaneers defensive line that has a lot of name power, including Gerald McCoy, Michael Johnson, and Adrian Clayborn, just to name a few.
In the first Jaguars possession of the second quarter they ran three consecutive run plays with Storm Johnson before going for it on 4th down. The snap sailed over Chad Henne's and Means was the first one to down Henne as he scooped the ball up before a Buccaneer could get a hold of it; the play, however, did not count as a sack.
On the second Jaguars' possession of the quarter Means had a stop in run defense as he chased down rookie running back Storm Johnson from behind.
His final and best play of the night came on the final Jacksonville drive just before halftime when he stormed past Jaguars offensive tackle Cameron Bradfield and spun 3rd overall pick Blake Bortles down to the ground for the Buccaneers' only sack of the evening.
Means had a solid outing, and while he's listed on as the primary backup to right defensive end Michael Johnson he will need to show much of the same in rest of the Buccaneers' preseason games if he wishes to make the roster and compete for more playing time during the regular season.
The Buccaneers take to the field next Saturday taking on the Miami Dolphins at home with kickoff at 7:30, before a homecoming for Means as the Bucs head to Buffalo to take on the Bills at Ralph Wilson Stadium the following Saturday.