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Tampa Bay Buccaneers

Capsules: Meet the new Bucs


Published:   |   Updated: March 12, 2014 at 05:37 AM

Michael Johnson

POSITION: Defensive end Ht: 6-7 Wt: 270

BORN: Feb. 7, 1987, in Selma, Ala.

NFL HIGHLIGHTS: Third-round pick by Bengals in the 2009 draft out of Georgia Tech. ... Missed only one game in five seasons with Cincinnati, registering 26.5 sacks while playing predominantly on the right side. Posted a career-high 11.5 sacks in 2012 and was franchised by the Bengals a year ago to prevent him from entering the free-agent market. Sack total plunged to 3.5 in 2013 as a torn ACL sidelined Pro Bowl DT Geno Atkins. ... Has a reputation as a sturdy run defender and was credited with 56 tackles as the Bengals went 11-5 and made the playoffs for the fourth time in Johnson’s five pro seasons.

COLLEGE: Played 49 games in four seasons at Georgia Tech and served as team captain as a senior. Played only one year as a starter for the Yellow Jackets, but finished his career with 19 sacks, 10 forced fumbles, three blocked field goals and 30.5 tackles for loss.

PERSONAL: Ran the 40-yard dash in 4.69 seconds at the 2009 NFL combine. ... Played defensive end and tight end in high school and also averaged 16 points and 10 rebounds in basketball. ... Very active in community affairs in Cincinnati and has started a foundation, the MJ93 Fund.

QUOTE: “Mike is a hard-working and a great team player. He’s an outstanding run defender in addition to his pass-rush production.’’

— Vikings head coach Mike Zimmer, who served as Cincinnati’s defensive coordinator during Johnson’s stint with the Bengals.

Clinton McDonald

POSITION: Defensive tackle Ht: 6-2 Wt: 297

BORN: Jan. 6, 1987, in Jacksonville, Ark.

NFL HIGHLIGHTS: Seventh-round pick by Bengals in the 2009 draft out of Memphis. ... Waived by Cincinnati on the brink of the 2009 opener before being re-signed to the practice squad the next day. Played eight games with Cincinnati in 2010 and was traded to Seattle the following summer. ... Played sparingly for two seasons with the Seahawks before emerging in 2013 as a valuable reserve with 35 tackle and 5.5 sacks.

COLLEGE: Three-year starter for Memphis who was selected as team captain as a junior, responding with 55 tackles, four sacks and 9.5 tackles for loss. ... As a senior, tied a school record with four sacks against Arkansas State. ... Started for the East in the East-West Shrine Game.

PERSONAL: Wasn’t invited to the NFL combine, but ran a 4.83-second 40 at his Pro Day, with a 38-inch vertical jump. ... Also lettered in basketball at Jacksonville (Ark.) High, where he threw the shot put in track. ... Listed twice on C-USA Commissioner’s Academic Honor Roll.

QUOTE: “Clinton plays in all the packages and he’s really provided some inside rush for us. He provides a lot of value to our team.’’

— Seahawks defensive coordinator Dan Quinn

Brandon Myers

POSITION: Tight end Ht: 6-3 Wt: 256

BORN: Sept. 4, 1985, in Prairie City, Iowa

NFL HIGHLIGHTS: Sixth-round pick by Raiders in the 2009 draft out of Iowa. ... Made 28 starts in four years with Oakland and broke through in 2012, when he led AFC tight ends with 79 catches for 806 yards. Caught his first two NFL touchdowns against the Bucs on Nov. 4, 2012. ... Tied an Oakland franchise record with 14 receptions against the Browns a month later. ... Signed a one-year deal with the Giants a year ago, but his production plunged in New York as Myers caught 47 passes for 522 yards. ... Like current Bucs TE Tim Wright, Myers is considered a marginal blocker.

COLLEGE: Played four years at Iowa, finishing with 56 receptions for 665 yards and nine touchdowns. ... Named first-team All-Big Ten by conference coaches as a senior.

PERSONAL: Caught 29 TD passes in high school, where his basketball team went 27-0 and won the Class 2A state championship. ... Averaged 10.6 yards per carry as a senior. ... Arrested in 2007 on a charge of public intoxication; pled guilty and was fined.

QUOTE: “If ppl on this team wanna take shots at me and say I have no passion they are mistaken. I give everything I have each an every week.’’

— A post on Myers’ Twitter account after New York’s 23-0 loss at home to the Seahawks in Week 15. Myers apologized an hour later.

Alterraun Verner

POSITION: Cornerback Ht: 5-10 Wt: 187

BORN: Dec. 13, 1988, in Orange, Calif.

NFL HIGHLIGHTS: Fourth-round pick by Titans in the 2010 draft out of UCLA. ... Has not missed a game in four seasons. ... Has started each of the last 32 games he’s played in. Has recorded 11 interceptions and 50 pass breakups during his career. ... Had five picks and 22 pass breakups last year when he earned a berth in the 2013 Pro Bowl. ... Does not possess top-end size or speed, but is very physical and has the ball skills necessary to be a top-level starter. ... Has good short-area quickness and recognition skills. ... Has ability to quickly diagnose a route and stay with a receiver downfield. Good tackler.

COLLEGE: Was named co-Freshman of the Year for the PAC 10 Conference alongside Jairus Byrd and Taylor Mays and first-team Freshman All-America by College Football News. ... Played in 13 games as a sophomore, was fourth among Bruins with 75 tackles.

PERSONAL: Attended Mayfair High in Lakewood, Calif., where he played wide receiver, defensive back, linebacker andspecial teams. ... Held a 4.17 GPA and achieved a 1740 SAT score. ... Considered a three-star recruit by Rivals.com,

QUOTE: “I feel more compelled to go to a team that I think can win. I haven’t had that experience for the past four years in Tennessee. Money is [a priority] but it isn’t. I look at it differently. Some look at it tangibly. I look at it as more of a respect value.’’

— Verner speaking on the Mad Dog Radio wit Adam Schein on Monday.

Ira Kaufman, Roy Cummings

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