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Tampa Bay Buccaneers

McCaslin Comes Home

Tampa native Eugene McCaslin steps into the fifth practice squad spot vacated on Tuesday by CB Anthony Midget


LB Eugene McCaslin (56) played in four preseason games and one regular season contest (against the Bucs) with Green Bay in 2000

Eugene McCaslin has probably made the Bay-to-Bay trip many times before, but never quite like this.

On Wednesday, McCaslin was signed to the Tampa Bay Buccaneers' practice squad after spending most of the offseason with the Green Bay Packers. It's a homecoming for McCaslin, who was born and raised in Tampa, where Bay-to-Bay is a major Hillsborough-Pinellas Counties thoroughfare.

McCaslin fills the fifth spot on the team's practice squad, one that was vacated on Tuesday by the release of cornerback Anthony Midget. Again, it is a move apparently motivated by injuries on the active roster.

On Tuesday, second-year linebacker Nate Webster was given further examinations on his bruised ribs, an injury suffered Sunday in Detroit. While no fracture has been found, Webster is experiencing significant discomfort and is not expected to practice on Wednesday He is the only player listed as 'questionable' or worse on the Bucs' official injury report.

The 6-1, 228-pound McCaslin also spent 10 days on the St. Louis Rams' practice squad earlier before being released last Friday.

A star running back/safety/outside linebacker with outstanding speed at Jesuit High School and Chamberlain High School in Tampa, McCaslin took a scholarship at the University of Florida as a running back. He spent his first three seasons as a Gator (1996-98) in that position, rushing 134 times for 704 yards and six touchdowns, then converted to linebacker for his 1999 senior campaign and immediately was named a defensive co-captain. He finished that final collegiate campaign with 60 tackles and 5.5 sacks.

McCaslin was thus talented but somewhat inexperienced at linebacker when the Packers made him the fourth of four seventh-round draft picks in the spring of 2000. He spent most of his first season on Green Bay's practice squad but was signed to the active roster in time to see action in one game, against the Buccaneers in the season finale.

McCaslin will wear jersey number 56.

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