Lovie’s Defense? Fast And Physical

April 5th, 2014
mason foster 0405

Mason Foster is looking forward to playing fast and furious in Lovie Smith’s defense.

It was apparent former Bucs commander Greg Schiano was so insistent on keeping his defenders working in a rigid format that the players were frustrated.

In 2012, after begging and pleading with coaches, Gerald McCoy was turned loose somewhat midway through the season and since that time is widely regarded as the most feared defensive tackle in the game.

Last year, clinging to a late-fourth-quarter lead at home against Miami, linebacker Lavonte David also begged for his coaches to turn the dogs loose. Schiano and his staff relented. What transpired next was the only consistent time an opposing quarterback feared for his safety last season. Ryan Tannehill was dropped on consecutive plays and, on the third (and final) play of the series, was forced into throwing an interception to Darrelle Revis that the Bucs’ first win of the season.

So when middle linebacker Mason Foster heard Lovie Smith was taking over, he did some research and found, as Warren Sapp would say, Lovie is going to let the dogs hunt.

When Joe caught up with Foster at a recent fan event, Foster told Joe that, no, he has yet to talk to Brian Urlacher, who played middle linebacker for Lovie in Chicago, but Foster’s other research educated him on what fans can expect to see this fall.

“From what I am hearing from other players around the league, and from what I have seen and talked to coaches about, they feel like [Lovie] is going to let us play — [so] me and Lavonte can go make plays,”Foster said. It is a defense with “less thinking. Just playing fast and physical and making plays. That is what you want to do as a linebacker. You want to have things be simple and just go make plays. I am excited.

“In any sport, if you take the thinking out and the hesitation out, you are going to see guys flying around and being physical. [Lack of thinking] makes you quicker, makes you faster.”

Foster also explained to Joe that the lack of thinking he referred to doesn’t mean the Bucs will play stupid and not study opponents, only that Lovie’s defense is less complex.

Foster didn’t deny that what fans witnessed in the final plays of the win over Miami could very well be the defensive norm this fall, rather than the exception.

27 Responses to “Lovie’s Defense? Fast And Physical”

  1. Mike Says:

    Hey Joe! I love your D posts as normal…… But, can you give me an article about the O that gives me hope? I know our D is gonna rock the NFC South. I just feel that the O has been left out to dry. I know MW wasn’t great,but he was good. Now we have McCown and VJAX….. I’m a bit worried we gonna continue to lose. Gimme something good that isn’t JF sir! Please?

  2. The_Buc_Realist Says:


    Sure, Glennon is still on the roster! and seeing how McCown has never played 16 games in a row, we might be thanking that Glennon is still on the roster.

  3. Chef Paul Says:

    K.I.S.S. Keep it simple stupid. That phrase didn’t come about for no reason.

  4. StPeteBucsFan Says:

    Ok I can tell from Mike and Buc Realist that we are all feeling pretty good about the defense. And I agree with their point. Not so sure I share all the fear about the offense. But I certainly understand their concerns.

    I think too much angst over the Q.B. is distracting us. Glennon played well against Seattle. McCown played well last year as well. No neither of these guys is going to be Drew Brees or Peyton Manning. But is it really that hard to see them being as good as Matty Ice or Joe Flacco?

    My fear about the offense is the OL and receivers. Watkins or Evans ease some of that fear. My next fear is WR. VJax is VJax and we can count him he is a true gamer. If we get Evans and one of the free agent speed burners works out or Owusu has a breakthrough year we are still a slow team.

    My two greatest fears about our offense…we are very, very slow..our stars..Doug Martin and Vjax don’t scare anybody. And offensive line will have ZERO continuity. So first of all are they talented enough? Secondly how long will it take them to jell as a unit?

  5. Mike Says:

    @ Realist,
    I don’t have a problem with Glennon. I didn’t think he did a bad job driving with the keys handed to him. The OL and WR is what’s worrying me right now. I’ve liked the D signings, but the O signings, cuts, & trades haven’t made me jump for joy

  6. Mike Says:

    @ StPete,
    I agree with everything you said, except about Martin. When healthy, he is an absolute beast of a RB. I loved that pick when we got him. Had several arguments with people about Martin being so much better then Blount.

  7. Cody Says:

    I’ma big fan of Foster, David, and Casillas… I’m excited to see what Lovie does with this defense…Front to Back Lovie has every component he needs to make this a top 5 defense…

  8. BFFL Says:

    I know Lovie isn’t high on foster because he’s hoping fletcher can beat him out. This is a bad offseason for mlb talent.

  9. sunny Says:

    Wr is the biggest hole right now on Offense, I still can not make sense of trade MW for a 6th and replacing him LM. . . even if we draft sammy it will not make our offense better right we still lack a number 3 but with everything L&L is doing give it time

  10. Mike Says:

    I’ve never been sold on Foster, but Cassillas is a sleeper/thumper. Hated when he got hurt last season. But I agree on top 5 with the D moves we’ve made

  11. Mike Says:

    I think Watkins or Evens will be better then MW. Just my opinion. But I would’ve kept MW just because I’ve already stated….. He wasn’t great, but he was good

  12. Chef Paul Says:

    Maybe, just maybe when they watched the film from last year, Tedford said “Holy cow, this offense is good. Every single person is being used all wrong. Just swap out a few O-linemen, and we can get 30 points a game.” Then Lovie said, “Great! I’ll make it so you only need 10. Give you a buffer.”

    I know, I know, that probably never happened. But a guy can day dream, cant he?

  13. StPeteBucsFan Says:

    I’m glad the Bucs dumped Mike Williams. Not just because of his off field troubles, although that was enough, but because of his physical skill set.

    MW made acrobatic catches, the spectacular play. Vjax already does that. Both Vjax and MW have inconsistent hands. They are not possession receivers.

    MW was never fast. He’s coming back from a torn hamstring! MW doesn’t have a half step to lose. If he becomes even slower……

  14. joseph mamma Says:

    I like the concept of smaller, less complex schemes that player’s can master and hesitation is minimized. I mean we had a safety (Goldson) who was calling out coverage’s from his prior scheme in San Francisco supposedly last season. So for player’s like Goldson’s sake, the less complex the better.

  15. Buc the Haters Says:

    If we had a game this sunday, I’d be worried about our lack of receiving weapons and a weak guard position(other than Nicks). But, it’s obvious that we’re going to get a stud #2 receiver in the draft and I’m sure we’ll also grab a stout guard early (and prob a future franchise QB). So, no reason to worry, buc fans. L & L aren’t stupid, they know they can sign a couple drafted receivers for a fraction of the cost that these veteran wr’s in free agency.

  16. Harry Says:

    @Mike says:
    “…I know our D is gonna rock the NFC South. I just feel that the O has been left out to dry….”

    Exactly. The only notable FA signing was McCown; although I do find that to be a significant signing, as Joe said, would we have thought a McCown signing at the beginning of 2013 to be a big deal? NO. If the MGMers thought MG8 had not help around him, poor McCown has signifcantly less. ONE WR, a very unproven O-line, etc.

  17. Tomcin Says:

    If the Bucs are looking for a good possession type receiver look no further than Dane Sanzenbacher a RFA with the Bengals. A poor man’s Wes Welker.

  18. Vincente Says:

    I was at that game, the defensive bench was in fire! You could see their attitude change immediately. I’m sure that’s what our defense will be like this season and the next 5 seasons.

  19. biff barker Says:

    There is no real mystery here. Warren the Sapp has said simply play the run on the way to the QB and let the back 7 play the ball.

    Thus we will see the Bears defense which is a child of the T2.

    What I am most curious about is how Gholston, Bowers and Spence will fare going straight in. Spence and Gholston supposedly never were coached up to pass rush, but both have some skill. Also, what is to become of Steven Means who played with Mack at Buffalo?

    The secondary will be good maybe very good with pressure, the LB corps is not without talent either.

  20. owlykat Says:

    Right now Tedford has five burners on the roster that will play in his Offense including the fastest wide receiver in the country. His right tackle, center and left tackle are all proven from prior NFL play. If he gets Nix back in good health, he will have one of the best Guards in the NFL that can play in any system. He has Meredith who has already proven he can play right guard well in the NFL and has played tackle in the past so you know he can pass block too. For his two TE Offense which Tedford has studied with New England, he has two proven pass catching Tight Ends. He has three proven NFL running backs from last year and now has two fullbacks on the roster who can both run in short yardage situations far better than Lorig. He has a 280 lb blocking TE too. And he has his number one receiver, Jackson, who he knows is excellent. With lots of good receivers available yet in this coming draft and we now have all our draft picks back except the 4th round, and all the defense needs in this draft is a MLB and a backup DL to play the 3 technique, so what are you worrying about? On Offense all we have to have is a future Franchise QB,
    and a backup Guard/Center who can play, and a wide receiver for the no. 2 position to compete with Murphy for the job. Chase Daniels, a tackle from a small college, showed flashes of brilliance last year, and had all year on our Practice Squad to develop, and I believe he can be taught any
    position on the OL this year to be our premium backup. Also, we should be able to pickup a Veteran Backup in Free Agency for OL too with the last cutdown. There are always good players that get caught up in a numbers game at the end and we have the scouts and Licht to find what we still need. NOT TO WORRY! Oh yeah, and there are many Free Agents out there we can sign anytime if after the draft we didn’t get what we needed.

  21. Bucfan#37 Says:

    Like sand through the hourglass, the Bucs past success has defense written all over it. Offense, not so much. These are the days of our lives.

  22. bigpoppabuc Says:

    I think Foster will surprise some fans this season. I’m a fan of his passion and toughness and he’s got a knack for making big plays. He’s not the greatest athlete in the world but I do believe he’s an all around good football player, who’s done nothing but improve every year he’s been in the league.

  23. Couch Fan Says:


    I think your definition of proven and my definition of proven are distinctly different. Nobody on offense is proven except V-Jax

    QBs? Glennon & McCown? No neither are proven.
    RBs? Only Martin, and I dont consider him proven until he has a 2nd good season.
    WRs? Only V-Jax
    TEs? Myers… who? Exactly. Wright was a good season for a rookie WR converted to TE but nothing special.
    O-Line? Only the Center has started for a full year, and Dotson.

    Not a lot of proven players in the bunch.

  24. Quick66 Says:

    I like Foster but I’m not so sure he can cover the deep middle like Hardy Nickerson or Shelton Quarles could.

  25. Poo Bear Says:


    T Wright balled out last year!! Look at his #s!! James and Rainey proved they can get it done. Lou Murph and Demps have 4.3 speed. Shepard and Streeter can break out like T Wright did this year. Tedford will use players in their strengths. View you tube highlights of Keenan Allen, DJax, Lynch, Best and Vareen!!

  26. $acbuc$ Says:

    I’m worried about Mason now. Everytime Joe flashes a pic of a player they get traded or cut. Then the whack fans in town come to bash the players character or field performance.. Watch out Mason the want you Gone!

  27. BoJim Says:

    I think Foster is a pretty good LB and I think he will be a beast next year.

    As to VJax dropping some balls last year. I think anyone would do that if he were thrown to a MILLION TIMES!! Bet he goes over 1000 this year.