LB Dustin Cohen has played in both the Super Bowl and the World Bowl
Linebacker Dustin Cohen played the entire 2004 NFL Europe League season without an NFL team affiliation, but he didn't have to wait long for that decision to pay off.
On Tuesday, the Tampa Bay Buccaneers announced the signing of Cohen, a second-year linebacker who, in addition to his two NFLEL seasons, has spent time with the Buffalo Bills, Chicago Bears, St. Louis Rams, Detroit Lions and Kansas City Chiefs.
Cohen recently played in World Bowl XII, which his Frankfurt Galaxy lost to the Berlin Thunder, 30-24, on June 12. He was the Galaxy's second-leading tackler during the season, with 50 stops. The World Bowl wasn't Cohen's first championship-game experience, though; he also competed in Super Bowl XXXVI for the St. Louis Rams, contributing three special teams tackles against the New England Patriots.
Cohen will use one of the Buccaneers' NFL Europe roster exemptions during training camp. The Bucs have an exemption to fill while guard Kevin Breedlove, who played for the Rhein Fire and earned that exemption, recovers from an injury suffered during the NFLEL season.
A Miami of Ohio product, Cohen originally entered the NFL in 2000 as an undrafted free agent with the Bills. He spent portions of the 2000 and 2001 seasons on practice squads in Chicago and St. Louis, and also made appearances on the Rams' active roster, playing during the 2000 playoffs and in four games during the 2001 regular season. Cohen went to training camp with the Lions in 2002 and was later signed by Kansas City and allocated to NFL Europe in 2003. He returned to the NFLEL in 2004 after the Galaxy protected his rights from the season before.
The Buccaneers will initially try Cohen at the middle linebacker position.
The Buccaneers had 87 players swarming over their two practice fields to start the day on Tuesday. Though the NFL's roster limit for this time of the year is 80 men, that number can be exceeded thanks to exemptions earned by players participating in the NFL Europe season. In addition, unsigned rookies are allowed to practice with the team after signing waivers but do not count against the limit until they have signed a contract.
A handful of players who took part in practice were limited during the more crowded drills, such as 9-on-7 and full-team. Most notably, wide receiver Joe Jurevicius and defensive end Greg Spires stayed on the sideline during these periods.
Still, there were more than enough players in action for both practices on Tuesday, and several points of interest regarding the lineups and rotations. Such as: