“Force The Issue” With Luke StockerFebruary 12th, 2013
After 11 years in the NFL and the 2012 season with the Bucs’ radio team, former Bucs tight end Anthony Becht has great insight into the Bucs’ tight end play.
Speaking on 98.7 FM Sunday afternoon, Becht made it very clear he believes in Luke Stocker and wants to see Mike Sullivan force himself to get the ball to No. 88.
“I like Luke Stocker. I think he’s a guy that can be productive,” Becht said. “I saw signs of him being a good point blocker as the season progressed and moved on, and I think that’s great. In the passing game, they need to force the issue with him. I mean, listen. He’s their guy. They can build off him. He’s shown signs of improving in blocking, you gotta get this guy the rock. Now is a he a game-breaker tight end? No. But can he run routes properly with good technique and get 40 catches a season? There’s no question in my mind. But they’ve got to make a conscious effort to do that.
“He’s young. He’d building. He’s learning. Get him the rock. He definitely needs a complement. I don’t know if they bring Dallas Clark or not. I think maybe they might look for a younger guy. There might be free agents available. But I think Stocker he’s got to be part of the offense. You gotta force him the ball. They gotta find continuity. He and Josh need to come together and find ways to get him the ball. Mike Sullivan needs to draw some things up. But I think he came along during the season and became a productive blocker. He can be a good tight end, but you got to make sure he’s involved every game, because if he’s not, he’s going to fade out. Just to ask the guy to block, he’s buy into that, he’s a professional football player, but I think he’s good enough to do both.”
Joe knows Bucs fans hear the words “force” and “tight end” and immediately think of the disastrous Freeman-Kellen Winslow relationship of 2012. That’s not what Becht is talking about.
Joe agrees that the Bucs would be well served by diversifying their offense as much as possible, and Stocker, 24, certainly qualifies as a guy on the rise. He stayed healthy last season and looked improved in his second season.
The Bucs, however, would have to commit to working Stocker into the passing offense, otherwise he’d remain a grounded weapon, similar to LeGarrette Blount.