The QB Blast: Replacing Ronde Tops D-Line Need

March 19th, 2010
Former Bucs QB Jeff Carlson

Former Bucs QB Jeff Carlson


Former Bucs quarterback Jeff Carlson (1990 & 1991) writes the weekly QB Blast column here at Joe is ecstatic to have him firing away. Carlson is often seen as an analyst on Bright House Sports Network, and he trains quarterbacks of all ages via his company, America’s Best Quarterback.

I applaud the Bucs’ move this week to get a proven entity at safety in the former Eagle Sean Jones. It downgrades their need to improve at safety through the draft and that is good for the team.

I’m not wrong very often, but I must admit that Ronde Barber outplayed my expectations for him last year (and most other’s expectations, I assume). 

Most lengthy careers of even the greatest players end in much the same way Derrick Brooks’ did.  The end usually comes as a gradual decline in performance that coined the phrase “He’s lost a step.”  But in Barber’s case, he played much better in ’09 than in ’08.

That said, this is the season that a regular replacement for Barber that complements Aqib Talib’s all-star abilities must be found, and the Bucs should plan on Barber to be a situational specialist. He has been playing on a gimpy knee for more than one season and expecting high level execution as an every-down player is probably a bit too much. Being able to go hard on a lesser workload would be much more realistic for the future Hall-of Fame candidate.

As a general statement, defense is a “6 one way, half-dozen the other” proposition. Pressure on the quarterback makes an average secondary look good. And a strong secondary makes an average,  defensive line look better and helps them put up some prettier stats, if they get an extra second to get in the passer’s face. The concept is the epitome of the word TEAM.

And while a standout player added to the defensive line is always wanted and needed, finding a long-term answer to the right cornerback position is of the highest priority.

13 Responses to “The QB Blast: Replacing Ronde Tops D-Line Need”

  1. DAve Says:

    Personally, I think Haden is clearly the best CB in the draft and would be awesome in the Tampa 2. I would love to see them trade down, get a few extra picks (a 2nd and a 4th), and draft Haden.

    They could take a DT, a DE, and a WR in round 2. All those positions are very deep and there is going to be great talent there in round 2 and later.

  2. Louie Says:

    I’ve been thinking the same thing — Ronde can’t last forever. It would be nice if Ronde could train the new guy while he’s still got something left in the tank. They should be able to pick up a pretty good corner in one of first 3 rounds.

    Keep up the good work Ronde!!!

  3. Jeff Carlson Says:

    Train the new guy to take his multi-million dollar job? I thought we went over this with the QB mentor thing.

  4. Christian Says:

    Good one. … ….It’s an interesting chicken and egg thing. I’d go for the corner too. If they find another Talib, it gets ugly real quick for Ryan, Brees and whoever Carolina throws out there.

  5. Eric Says:

    No matter how good the secondary, doesn’t it suck without decent pressure from the DL?

  6. jvato24 Says:

    Im on board with gettin a Stud CB in the first 3 rounds .. Add a little more coverage and a bit more Pass Rush our Defense could grow before our eyes ,…

    I dont think ROnde needs to train any young Bucs .. But if the player has half a brain he should be able to absorb and take in how to prepare like a professional by being around Ronde and put time into being great in the film room .. Thus the tradition carries on

  7. Kyle Says:

    CB is far deeper than DT they need to get suh or mccoy then look to the 2nd round and get a CB

  8. Eric S Says:

    That’s why signing D. Robinson would have been a good idea. Eliminating the need to go CB early in the draft. But of course the draft will fix all our problems.

  9. Jonny Says:

    Jeff Carlson Says:
    March 19th, 2010 at 12:04 pm

    Train the new guy to take his multi-million dollar job? I thought we went over this with the QB mentor thing.


    Haha, That was a good one Jeff. How ever Ronde’s case could be different. Ronde himself has said in the off season that he could play may be one more season if Rah remained the HC or he is done playing. May be he would be willing to train, may be he is considering it as his following career.

  10. Louie Says:

    Sorry, “train” was a poor choice of words. I meant “mentor”, as in show the kid how to be a profession and what it takes to play and win in the NFL. I know Ronde doesn’t HAVE to do that, but being the class act I feel he is, I think he’d embrace the role. PLUS, if Ronde continues to play well for a year or so, the pressure wouldn’t be on the new kid to start so fast. I’ll try to be more careful in my choice of words next time.

  11. Cody Says:

    If one of the two DT’s is on the board when our time starts it had better be a dead sprint to the podium. Do not over think this pick, the Tampa 2 can function perfectly with corners that do not need to be drafted in the 1st round, however it does require D-Lineman that are high draft picks. This may be a somewhat deep draft for D-Linemen but there is a pretty big drop off after Suh/ McCoy. On the flip side, this is a very deep draft for DB’s, so we can still find starting CB’s well into the 3rd round.

  12. BIGNICKJA Says:

    that picture of Carlson is creepy he looks like a bad version of Ted Bundy

  13. Radio Mushmouth Says:

    You could trade REALLY far down to get Haden now … he ran a 4.6 at the combine.

    He might even slip into the 2nd round.