Mason Foster EmergingSeptember 20th, 2012
When was the last time a Bucs linebacker had an interception and drilled two offensive players so fiercely their next big moves were on the trainer’s table?
Of course, that’s what Mason Foster did against the Giants — in the first half. (If Ray Lewis accomplished such a feat, he’d be heralded on every major network over and over and over)
It’s clear — at least after two games — that Foster is a new man under the New Schiano Order. He’s playing faster, more downhill and shedding blocks much better.
Foster was a huge X-factor entering this season, on the heels of struggling as a rookie dropped into the middle linebacker role last season without the benefit of much experience at the position or a full offseason thanks to the asinine lockout. Foster still led all NFL rookies in tackles, but the jury was out on whether he was decent linebacker.
Joe’s very excited. Arguably the weakness of the defense entering the season, the linebackers appear to have outperformed the defensive line and the secondary this far.
The talking points out of the Raheem Morris regime included how much the Bucs’ young players suffered by missing the offseason and how much players grow from Year 1 to Year 2, if they have time with coaches. Foster seems to be Exhibit A.