|Tuesday, July 2
Bucs sign end Pittman, linebacker Ortiz
By Len Pasquarelli
The Tampa Bay Bucs took another step Tuesday toward finalizing the team's training camp roster by signing two experienced defenders from the Scottish Claymores of NFL Europe.
Added to the Bucs roster were defensive end Cedric Pittman and outside linebacker Tony Ortiz, both of whom have been in past NFL training camps. Pittman and Ortiz were two of the better free agent players from NFLE, in a year when most of the best performers from the springtime league were allocated from NFL teams and already under contract for the 2002 season.
Pittman, 25, actually began his professional career with the Detroit Lions in 1998 and the former Nevada-Las Vegas standout was in the New York Giants camp in 2000 and 2001. He also played last year for the Birmingham Thunderbolts of the ill-fated XFL.
At 6-foot-3 and 266 pounds, Pittman has good upfield burst and closing speed. While he was not a starter for the Claymores this season, Pittman led the team with four sacks, and he had 27 tackles overall. Tampa Bay coaches feel he has some potential as a situational pass rusher.
The 25-year-old Ortiz played collegiately at Nebraska, was signed by Dallas in 2000 as an undrafted free agent, and spent the past two springs with the Claymores.
Ortiz registered 37 tackles, two sacks, two interceptions and three passes defensed. He is best noted for his coverage ability.
Len Pasquarelli is a senior writer for ESPN.com.