JMU's McCullough Sticking With Bucs; Landers Still in Limbo

By: Damon Dillman Email
By: Damon Dillman Email

Former James Madison cornerback Evan McCullough's time with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers isn't over, and it's possible another former Duke could join him in the defensive backfield.

McCullough said Monday that he had signed a two-year deal with the Buccaneers Sunday, following the team's rookie camp.

"One of the guys told me I'm one of the guys they wanted to keep," McCullough recalled Monday by phone. "I was kind of tired. We had just finished off conditioning. But once things calmed down, I was real excited."

McCullough says he'll return to Tampa Bay in two weeks for the Buccaneers' scheduled organized team activities.

McCullough and former JMU quarterback Rodney Landers both spent the weekend as unsigned rookie free agents at Buccaneers camp, hoping to earn contracts with the team.

Landers said Monday morning that he hadn't received a contract offer, but his agent is still in talks with the Buccaneers.

"He keeps saying the vibe is really good," Landers said by phone.

Landers was invited to Buccaneers camp as a quarterback, and he also worked out as a return man and defensive back. He said he split reps at quarterback with the team's first round pick in last month's draft, Josh Freeman of Kansas State.

Landers said he caught the attention of Tampa's first-year head coach, Raheem Morris during a punt return drill.

"He said, 'I didn't know you could do that,'" Landers recalled of his conversation with Morris.

Morris, who spent last season as the Buccaneers' defensive backs coach, also put Landers through a personal workout at cornerback.

Landers hopes his performance was strong enough to get a contract offer.

"I have no idea," Landers said. "[Morris] just said he liked what he saw."

"Maybe he comes back. Maybe he's the Wildcat quarterback. I don't know. Maybe he comes back and he's a [defensive back] for you," Morris told the St. Petersburg Times on Sunday. "But he can do some things for you. He's interesting."

Since Landers didn't sign a contract, he's free to audition with other NFL teams. Landers says his first choice is to work out a deal with Tampa, "unless a team comes and they say they want to give me a fair chance."

He mentioned the New York Giants as one alternative. The Giants will hold their rookie camp this coming weekend, and Landers says they want to try him at running back and H-back.


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