Evaluating The Roster Through Lovie Goggles

January 23rd, 2014
Bucs icon Derrick Brooks goes into the weeding process

Bucs icon Derrick Brooks discusses the weeding process

Other than calling it the “Rutgers defense,” Joe’s not quite sure what the heck kind of defense the Bucs were playing on many snaps last season. Clearly, Darrelle Revis and Dashon Goldson didn’t think the scheme made a load of sense, and neither did many former Buccaneers chiming in via various media.

That makes the current job of Lovie Smith and his staff that much harder.

Bucs icon Derrick Brooks joined Steve Duemig on WDAE-AM 620 yesterday and talked about how Bucs position coaches are now breaking down 2013 film of the roster and evaluating each player as to how he fits into Lovie Smith’s system, not how they performed with Greg Schiano. It’s an important and challenging detail, Brooks said.

“You can’t go out and improve this team until you understand what you got, and they’re going to go through and evaluate this team according to their rankings, their system of evaluation now that [Jason Licht] has been hired here,” Brooks said. “So you know you got the draft and free agency, all that stuff on one side, and obviously Lovie and his football staff evaluating the current team on this side. That’s what you go through the next couple of months in terms of building this team.”

Brook speculated that about 16 of the 2013 Bucs starters are in safe positions to return. Beyond that, it’s far more unknown.

As Joe has told readers, Andy Reid added more than 30 new players when he took over — and transformed — the Chiefs this season. Joe would be stunned if the Bucs don’t endure a similar house-cleaning, as well as the addition of Lovie’s former Bears players.

(Enjoy Brooks’ full interview below.)

19 Responses to “Evaluating The Roster Through Lovie Goggles”

  1. JT Says:

    Im not sure if Mason Foster can handle the deep zone coverage m linebackers have to do in a tampa 2. As for the line I think Clayborn will be pretty darn effective in this scheme. The man has a great motor and I cant wait to see what this defense can do come September.

  2. The_Buc_Realist Says:

    There will be major changes to the roster. Trade Clayborn while there is still some value, ask for a second rounder, but will end up with a third plus conditional based on play. If you are described as ” high motor” and “relentless” it just means that you can’t get there!

  3. Macabee Says:


    When Leslie Frazier held his first press conference, I think Mason Foster was put on notice. Foster was a perfect fit in Schiano’s defense because he excels in an attack-oriented scheme. The Tampa 2 and variations thereof requires the middle linebacker to excel in coverage against second receivers, and that’s where Foster has struggled.

    He had the second-worst average of yards allowed per snap in coverage last year among all inside linebackers, according to ProFootballFocus, and gave up more touchdowns (four) than all but two inside backers. Frazier was not asked about Foster during his initial news conference, nor did he single Foster out as he did McCoy and David. But he suggested middle linebacker was an area of need while talking about all of the key pieces that make the defense work.

    His words specifically were “The defensive tackle and weakside linebacker along with the pass rusher and a corner that can tackle as well as cover will really help to solidify this defense, and you need a Mike linebacker than can function as well, but we have two pieces in place with Gerald and Lavonte, and that gives you a chance now to add to some of those other areas.”

    I could be wrong but as I remember, Foster came out of UWA as a Sam linebacker and it sounds to me like he may play that position again!

  4. Supercereal Says:

    My predictions for the defense are as follows
    -Bowers will get a shot to start at RE. I feel he can return to his college form if he can just be sent to get the quarterback.
    -McCoy (given)
    -the other DT position will be an open competition
    -Clayborn at LE but will be an open comp as well.
    -David WLB (given)
    -MLB I agree with most that Foster can’t be that deep middle that is required. This is why I believe he will be moved to the strong side. He’s a good football player. Just doesn’t have the coverage skills to play middle. As far as who will replace him…..no idea. (I’m a great football mind, I know.)
    -Corners Revis, Tillman, Banks
    -SS Barron
    -FS Goldson

  5. SAMCRO Says:

    Hopefully all that tape will reveal the real quitters and loafers and Smith won’t play favoritism and get rid of them, even if they are one of those 16 starters. It appears it has gotten to a point that if players don’t like a certain scheme, or a coach, they quit playing hard. That’s ridiculous. Maybe we should let the players run the team since they don’t want to play for anybody. They quit on Morris, now they’ve quit on Schiano. Do we really think they will play for Smith. Maybe at first they will buy in but the first time things get fuzzy, will they quit again?

  6. Nick H Says:

    If clayborn and bowers are out starting DE’s I’ll be sick to my stomach

  7. Tampabaybucfan Says:

    Sounds like we need a CB, LB & DE……not too bad on D.
    But on offense we need a 3rd WR, TE, Depth(younger) Oline & perhaps a QB

  8. NJBucsFan Says:

    This figures….as I just bought myself a Mason Foster Jersey last year. It seems every time I splurge and buy an authentic ersey something happens to that player as if I am cursed.

    First Authentic Jersey I ever bought Alstott at the end of 2005 next year he contemplates retirement but comes back one more year for 2007 spends entire Year on IR and retires…however I wore that jersey religiously for several years after

    I follow that purchase with Brooks and Lynch in 2008, they are cut the following year the only saving grace is that these guys are Legends for our team so I can still wear them…I’ve been tempted to buy a Barber Jersey for the past 5 years but have abstained because it would be too much of a risk.

    So I buy Cadalliac Williams in 2009 hes leaves in 2010

    Bought Barett Ruud in 2010 he leaves 2011.

    After Freemans stellar 2010 season I figure he’ll be the one to break my Jersey Curse… Dead Wrong!

    And now I am left waiting for the axe to fall on Foster!

    I’ll tell you what, if anyone wants to get a collection going to buy me Cam Newton, Drew Brees, Jimmy Garham Jerseys Etc.


  9. Andrew 1 Says:

    @ Macabee

    Well said. If Foster gets moved to SOLB- hallelujah! I’ve been screaming for that to happen ever since he was drafted. It should be a natural fit for him

  10. Mike J Says:

    Macabee, good point about moving Foster to sam. A couple years ago there was a serious debate about whether Mason would be better outside.IIRC he only wound up at mike due to exigency.

  11. The_Buc_Realist Says:


    I said that exact same thing you just said last year and was called a “hater” and other such things. Funny what a year makes.

  12. Macabee Says:


    I hope I didn’t give you the impression that Mason Foster isn’t a good player. To the contrary, I think he’s a very good LB that may even excel as a Sam backer. Keep that jersey, my opinion, he will be a mainstay in the defense, just probably not at Mike.

    Then who knows what these experienced coaches may able to do with him. No, No, No, I look forward to the Ric Flair dance for a long time to come!

  13. John23 Says:

    D brooks just class personified.

  14. AZBucFanatic Says:


    I thought I was the only one that was cursed!

    Bought a Sapp jersey before he went to Oakland.

    Cadillac Williams jersey after his stellar rookie season, right before his career got derailed by injuries and his eventual departure to the Rams.

    I bought my wife a Freeman jersey after his awesome 2010 year. Doh!

    My mom bought my kids a Blount, Barber, and Freeman jersey for Christmas in 2010. At least they can take turns wearing the Barber jersey!

    Figured I’d be safe buying a Revis jersey the week after we traded for him last year. Dude’s not going anywhere and is as solid as they get.

    If something happens to Revis, I’ll buy a Cam Newton jersey (barf) and you can buy a Drew Brees jersey.

    We are the new Madden Curse!

  15. DontBucNH8 Says:

    If we moved Foster to SLB I would like the Bucs to go after a Yawin Smallwood as our MLB.

  16. Bucky23 Says:

    @AZBuc. Funny stuff haha hopefully it’s no curse

  17. Buccfan305 Says:

    NJbucsfan. Holly spit we mush be brothers!!! Have a closet full of players no longer with the team.. (Most recent Josh Freeman) I feel your pain..

  18. pick6 Says:

    didn’t Gruden turn over half the roster in his first year? if so i guess that means Andy Reid won with Romeo Crennel’s team.

  19. pick6 Says:

    @NJBucsfan, AZBuc, Buccfan305….nothing more useless than the jersey of a departed\disgraced player. if you want a nice laugh try selling a freeman or blount bucs jersey on ebay. and unfortunately they are not made of a material that lets you use them as cleaning rags or anything either. just dead space in the closet the you (I) spent $100+ for.

    for the record it’s not you guys. it’s the bucs organization’s failure to find or retain an elite player for more than a decade (lost years in the draft between the ronde barber pick and the gerald mccoy pick, and almost no free agents in their prime between the simeon rice acquisition and the 2012 spending spree). fingers crossed, guys like mccoy and lavonte david seem to have broken the dry spell. i refuse to get optimistic about doug martin right now, and although it’s possible that revis’ tenure here could turn out to be like champ bailey’s in denver (you almost forget he was originally a redskin) i’m not jumping into that purchase just yet. vincent jackson has had and will have some good years here, but i think he’ll be regarded in a similar light to joey galloway rather than being a truly revered player.