Minutes after Head Coach Tony Dungy met with the press on Saturday, his Bucs signed two new players
Antony Jordan definitely has good timing. Yesterday, Jordan was a free agent not bound to any NFL team. Today, he's 60 minutes from the Super Bowl.
Jordan, a 25-year-old outside linebacker, was one of two players added to the Tampa Bay Buccaneers' roster on Saturday, one day before the Bucs play in the NFC Championship Game in St. Louis. Tampa Bay also elevated rookie T DeMarcus Curry from the practice squad to the active roster. Neither move required the team to cut a player; Tampa Bay had previously placed T Paul Gruber and G Ken Blackman on injured reserve on January 5 and had operated at 51 players since. The NFL roster limit is 53 players.
However, neither Jordan nor Curry will play in Sunday's game against the Rams. Both were added to the team's inactive list immediately after being signed. NFL teams are required to place four players on the inactive list two days before each game and another four on game day. Because the Bucs' roster stood at just 51 players, they originally had to put just two players on the inactive list on Friday.
Jordan entered the NFL in 1998 as a fifth-round draft choice of the Indianapolis Colts. He made the Colts roster following his rookie training camp and remained on the team throughout the season, playing primarily on special teams. Jordan was then waived during the 1999 pre-season when Indianapolis made its roster cutdown to 60 players. He was claimed off waivers the next day by Chicago but waived again when the Bears cut down to their final 53 players. Though Jordan did not play in 1999, he did visit the Buccaneers in December for a tryout.
Buccaneer Head Coach Tony Dungy explained on Saturday that Jordan is most likely to help the team in the 2000 season. "Antony's a player we've had our eyes on for a little while," said Dungy from the team's hotel in St. Louis. "This is more of a move for next year than right now. He's our type of player, a lot like the guys we have at that position, like Al (Singleton) and Shelton (Quarles)."
Dungy indicated that, like Singleton and Quarles, Jordan is capable of playing on either the strong or weak side and is also an effective special teams player. Also like Quarles and Tampa Bay middle linebacker Jamie Duncan, Jordan is a product of Vanderbilt. The 6-3, 239-pound Jordan hails from New Jersey.
Curry has spent all but one week of the 1999 season on the Bucs' practice squad after a strong showing in his rookie training camp. Curry is a sizeable prospect (6-5, 332 pounds) and is capable of playing either side of the offensive line, as he has in practice throughout the season. With original starting tackles Paul Gruber and Jason Odom out, the Bucs had been reduced to three players on the active roster for the two tackle spots: starters Jerry Wunsch and Pete Pierson and back-up George Hegamin, who joined the team in early November.
Curry was a two-year starter at Auburn, though he played primarily at guard. He hails from Georgia.