Nate Askew On Lovie Smith’s RadarMay 17th, 2014
If there is an early interesting angle to follow in Bucs rookie minicamp, and likely into the early weeks of training camp and the preseason, it will be how linebacker Nate Askew progresses.
It seems there is something about the man that Bucs coach Lovie Smith likes.
Askew, a former receiver at Texas A&M alongside Mike Evans, was moved to defense his senior year in College Station, partly because he was underperforming as a receiver. But he was such a good athlete and the Aggies were so terrible at defense, that Aggies coach Kevin Sumlin figured he couldn’t go wrong by flipping Askew to linebacker.
“He was the fastest guy on the team until I bulked up and became the fastest,” Evans said of Askew.
Askew had never played any defensive position before, not even in high school. He wasn’t drafted last week, but just after the draft ended he got a call from Bucs coach Lovie Smith.
“He told me how he could help me be a better linebacker,” Askew said of Lovie. “I trusted him and I came here.”
And now, Askew is working as a will-linebacker.
“It happened very quick,” Askew said of the move from wide receiver to linebacker his last year at Texas A&M. “I am learning the position but I progressed. I am trying to pick it up where I left off, learning new things and trying to get better.”
The hardest part of moving to defense, Askew said, was realizing he was no longer a receiver.
“Being able to read and react [was toughest to learn],” Askew said. “I was so offensive-minded. Now I am able to see things from a defensive perspective and I am able to get to the ball quicker now.”
Askew had done his homework on Lovie; he knew he was a Bucs linebackers coach helping build one of the greatest defenses in NFL history. So the fact that Lovie singled him out humbled him.
“Means a lot, means a lot,” Askew said. “Means he saw something in me that I didn’t see.”
If the Bucs can be patient, then Evans thinks they may have a jewel in Askew.
“He’s a great athlete,” Evans said of Askew. “He can run and he can make plays. He can cover guys in the slot.”
To hear more from Askew, click the orange button below, courtesy of Joe’s co-conspirators at WDAE-AM 620.