Secondary Solidification

The Bucs drafted S Will Allen out of Ohio State, and made deals to bring in three other defensive backs. Last year the secondary was banged up. Add that memory with the departure of John Lynch and it is easy to understand why the Bucs have been so active in secondary acquisitions.

CB Will Hunter spent this past spring playing for the Cologne Centurions of NFL Europe. He was named to the All-NFL Europe League team while playing on the league's top-ranked defense by posting 32 tackles and 11 passes defensed. Hunter originally entered the NFL as an un-drafted free agent with the New York Jets in 2003. He played collegiately at Syracuse where he totaled 150 tackles, three interceptions, six sacks and four fumble recoveries in four seasons.

S John Howell has played three seasons with the Buccaneers; 38 career games with two starts. He has totaled 46 career tackles and three passes defensed along with 31 special teams tackles. Last season, Howell played in eight games before being placed on injured reserve on November 11, 2003.

CB Mario Edwards has four NFL seasons under his belt. He has played in 58 career games with 47 starts for the Dallas Cowboys. His numbers are impressive, 178 career tackles, four interceptions, 28 passes defensed and two fumble recoveries. In each of the last three seasons, Edwards has seen action in more than 90 percent of Dallas' defensive plays.

"Mario is a proven NFL starter and an excellent addition to our football team," said Buccaneers head coach Jon Gruden. "He is a talented player who will add depth and experience to our secondary."

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