Linebacker Not A Need… YetJanuary 18th, 2013
One Bucs bright spot to celebrate this past season was the transformation of the rush defense and the front seven.
Just by adding a second round draft pick who appears to be a major NFL star in the making, Lavonte David, Bucs linebackers went from wretched to remarkable all in the span of 16 games.
Even when outside linebacker Quincy Black, who was having his best NFL season by far, went down with a scary upper body nerve injury, the Bucs’ rush defense didn’t fall back much.
So it struck Joe to read a missive in the TBO Bucs Q&A stump for Bucs rock star general manager Mark Dominik to draft and/or add a linebacker via free agency.
Q: Don’t you think the Bucs need LB help either in free agency or the draft?
– Michael Stanley, Columbus, Miss.
A: I do indeed. I believe they could use a little depth there at least. May even need to start looking for a new SLB. We’re still not sure how Quincy Black is after suffering that neck stinger.
– Woody Cummings
Need help at linebacker? No.
Could the Bucs use help at linebacker? Yes, of course.
The last time Joe heard Bucs coach Greg Schiano speak of Black, there was no assurance that Black would be 100 percent by the time training camp rolls around in roughly six months — yes, six months to training camp. Black is seeking all sorts of feedback from medical specialists across the country, if not beyond borders. The fact the Bucs and Black have even gone international in seeking advice about Black’s injury tells Joe this is a very serious injury Black suffered.
So if Black remains a question mark to return by the time the draft rolls around, then sure, Joe can live with drafting a linebacker, say in the third round.
As the Bucs stand approaching late January, Joe isn’t ready to anoint linebacker as a priority need for the 2013 season.