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Sunday, April 26, 2009
Buccaneers fill big need in middle


Posted by ESPN.com's Pat Yasinskas

TAMPA, Fla. -- When I spoke to Bucs general manager Mark Dominik Saturday after he used his only first-day choice on quarterback Josh Freeman, he closed the conversation with a pledge.

"We'll get to the defense,'' Dominik said.

That is what the Bucs just did by taking Texas defensive tackle Roy Miller in the third round. The need for a run stuffer probably was Tampa Bay's biggest need. They let Jovan Haye go in free agency. They still have Chris Hovan, Ryan Sims and Jimmy Wilkerson, but those guys were part of an interior that collapsed late last season.

Hovan was banged up during that stretch and a return to health should help. But Miller is the kind of big defensive tackle that coordinator Jim Bates has been wanting to add to the middle of the line. Although Miller is listed at 295 pounds, word is he has been working on adding some weight in the last few weeks and he's now well over 300 pounds.

Miller is not much of a threat as a pass rusher, but the Bucs weren't looking for that here. They can use Wilkerson as their inside pass rusher and let Miller focus on stopping the run on the early downs.