Mason Foster Getting Force-FedAugust 12th, 2011
On any normal NFL season, Mason Foster would have gone through multiple OTA sessions, a rookie minicamp, and hung out at One Buc Palace not just working out but poring over film for months before training camp even began.
But the rookie middle linebacker, who has been handed a starting job virtually from the moment he put pen to paper on his contract, before he could memorize the names of his teammates no less, didn’t have that luxury this year thanks to the asinine lockout.
Now, with the Bucs first preseason game just hours away, Foster will start his first game. He knows he has had to cram a lot into his cranium in just a scant amount of days and he’s happy there’s a game to prepare for, so writes Woody Cummings of the Tampa Tribune.
“It’s been tough not having the offseason work with the coaches and the time with the playbook that you would normally have, but at the same time, there’s a game plan now and that makes it easier,’’ Foster said. “Once you get a game plan you can lock into certain things and certain play calls, because in certain situations you know exactly what you’re going to be calling. So, that makes it a lot easier. So, I’m ready to go.’’
Well, there’s already been a hiccup on Foster’s all too steep learning curve. Raheem Morris said earlier this week that Foster will not be playing on pass plays, which sort of reinforces to Joe his heightened fears that no matter how much the haters shrieked over the alleged worthless departed Barrett Ruud and his annual 100+ tackles, that a third round pick from the PAC-10 who played outside linebacker was not going to fully be prepared to play middle linebacker in the NFL and call defense plays with only five weeks to absorb everything.
Joe, of course, hopes he is wrong. But to ask all of the above from Foster is putting a helluva lot of pressure on a young man that nobody knows what to expect.
This will be one of Joe’s focal points in watching the game tonight: How will Foster play? And will he be in the game longer that usual as the Bucs have put Foster on a fast track to starting?