CFL products, two others work out for Bucs
The Tampa Bay Buccaneers worked out four players — including a pair with ties to the Canadian Football League — at their practice facility on Tuesday, according to a league source. While the Buccaneers, who are preparing for the postseason, do not have any pressing depth issues, they could be planning to make some signings during the offseason. The most intriguing player is RB Tyler Ebell, a 5-foot-9, 185-pound scat back who once starred at UCLA before he transferred to UTEP and played one season for the Miners in 2005. At UCLA Ebell rushed for a UCLA freshman record 994 yards as a redshirt in 2002. After failing to catch onto a NFL roster in 2006, Ebell joined the Edmonton Eskimos for the 2007 season where he ranked in the Top 15 in the CFL in rushing yards and receptions. He finished the season with 650 rushing yards and 67 receptions for 1,071 total yards. Scouts felt coming out of college that Ebell possessed a darting running style and an ability to sidestep defenders, but needed to work on his blocking. The other CFL player is DB Shannon James, who played his college football at Division I-AA Massachusetts. With the Minutemen, James was a First Team All-American by six outlets including the Associated Press, Sports Xchange, Sports Network, The Sporting News, I-AA.org and Walter Camp All-America teams, as well as an All-ECAC All-Star, All-New England and first-team All-Atlantic 10. He left UMass as the team's all-time leader in interceptions with 20. After a brief stint with Baltimore last year, James signed with the Calgary Stampeders and earned a starting job in 2007. He made 60 tackles, 4 sacks and 2 interceptions in the just-completed CFL season. The Bucs also took a look at converted fullback A.J. Schable (6-foot-4, 285), a former Division I-AA all-America defensive end at South Dakota who left with the school with a record 19 sacks in 2005. The Cardinals turned him into a fullback and special teams performer in 2006, where he carried the football one time for five yards. He suffered a broken foot in June and didn't make the Cardinals' active roster. DT Steve Williams of Northwest Missouri also has NFL experience. He spent 11 games with Kansas City in 2006 after being signed as an undrafted free agent. The 6-foot-2, 306-pound tackle made seven tackles for the Chiefs before the Chiefs waived him on Feb. 21. Carolina signed him on March 16. The Panthers put him on injured reserve on Sept. 2 and later released him. Listen to Bucsblitz.com's Matthew Postins every Tuesday with former Buccaneers linebacker Scot Brantley on WHBO 1470 ESPN Radio in Tampa and Clearwater from 3-6 p.m. If you miss the show, check out Bucsblitz.com's exclusive team media center for Postins' archived appearances. Matthew Postins covers the Buccaneers for Bucsblitz.com and the Charlotte (Fla.) Sun-Herald. He is a member of the Pro Football Writers Association, and his coverage of the Buccaneers has won numerous state and national awards.