Todd Bowles “stood on the table” for Steve McLendon

Todd Bowles "stood on the table" for Steve McLendon

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With Vita Vea out for the year, the Buccaneers needed help at nose tackle. Enter Steve McLendon, who played for Tampa Bay defensive coordinator Todd Bowles in New York.

“They asked me, and yes, I stood on the table for him,” Bowles told reporters on Thursday regarding McLendon. “We need depth down there. Like I said, it’s a long season. You rarely get through the season with the guys you have. It’s a long season, he’s a quality player, he can help us, if not now, then down the line [and] he was a good guy to get for us. Any time you can get a good player and a good person, you try to get him.”

Bowles believes McLendon can help the Bucs in many ways.

“He’s not just a great locker room guy — he has a great motor,” Bowles said. “He’s a very good nose tackle. We need some depth down there at that position because it’s a long season. He brings energy, he brings toughness [and] he brings strength to us. He’ll fit in quite well with the guys.”

McLendon, who was playing in Miami with the Jets when the trade occurred, immediately drove to Tampa after the trade.

“That’s the kind of guy he is,” Bowles said. “He’s a heck of a teammate, he’s a heck of a guy, he’s a heck of a leader and when he goes after something, he goes 100 percent. That’s what you appreciate about him.”

If he can shore up a defensive line that’s already pretty good even without Vea, the Buccaneers and their fans will appreciate that very much.

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