Nickerson, Quarles Not Studs?

October 23rd, 2010

Joe is perplexed.

Hardy Nickerson had four Pro Bowl seasons as a Bucs middle linebacker (1996 through 1999), with an All-Pro year mixed in. Later in 2002, Shelton Quarles earned a Pro Bowl honor of his own as the Bucs brought home a Super Bowl.

But it seems highly acclaimed NFC South writer Pat Yasinskas, of, a man who has been around the Bucs since his days as a Bucs beat writer for The Tampa Tribune in the 1990s, has forgotten all about these great Bucs studs of years past.

In his Friday chat on, Yasinskas expained in multiple posts that he’s confident Barret Ruud won’t return to the Bucs next season because he’s not worth the money. And Yasinskas went on to explain the Bucs defense doesn’t really need a star middle linebacker because they never had one back in the day.

Kevin (Omaha)
You have said that you don’t know if it is worth having a high price MLB in Tampa’a defensive scheme but doesn’t Chicago run the same scheme (I am not saying Rudd is as good as Urlacher because clearly he is not)

Pat Yasinskas
Look back at Bucs glory days. They didn’t have a stud in the middle. Brooks was the stud at WLB. That’s the big position on this defense.

Joe doesn’t know where to begin.

First, it was less than two years ago when Yasinskas wrote a feature about how Ruud was being tabbed as the best middle linebacker in football. Funny there was no mention in that about the allegedly not-so-important middle linebacker position in the Bucs defesne.

Second, what Bucs fan/observer/reporter could possibly forget or downplay what Nickerson and Quarles were to the Bucs? Joe can not forgive such heresy.

27 Responses to “Nickerson, Quarles Not Studs?”

  1. MVPFreeman Says:


    We call it BSPN for a reason.


    That guy is a real DICK!!! Which gives the penis a bad name!!!!!!

  3. Fire Greg Olson! Says:

    “Hardy Nickerson is a bad man, man” – Dennis Hopper RIP

  4. JimBuc Says:

    the traditional Tampa-2 requires a stud WIL, but the MLB is very important and Hardware and Quarles were both great players. Hardware was also a great leader and an ass kicker in the locker room, something we are sorely lacking

  5. Jacob Says:

    Nickerson was a stud, no doubt. Quarles was a fit for the system and played like a borderline Pro Bowler for a few years there, but I wouldn’t really call him a stud. I kinda agree with Pat that MLB isn’t really a premium position in the traditional Tampa 2….but we aren’t just running that anymore. A beast MLB would give us some more versatility.

  6. MichiganBucsFan Says:

    I’m surprised this Yasinskas guy has a job…

  7. BigMacAttack Says:

    The Ravens just released Edgar Jones, LB 6-3, 265, when they activated Ed Reed. I don’t know if he’s any good, but he isn’t old, and he is big, something that the Bucs don’t have right now, a big LB. May be worth a looksee, and we do play the Ravens later in the season. I would think the Raven’s defense is pretty tough to make with so may good players.

  8. JDouble Says:

    I kinda agree with Pat to be honest. Quarles was a very smart and dependable player, but he wasn’t a freak athlete or a big time game changer. The thing is, this isn’t 2000 and we don’t run that defense anymore, so you really can’t follow that blueprint.

    What we need is a bigger, more physical MLB that has intensity and a mean streak. He also needs to be a natural vocal leader. Ruud is none of these things and needs to go away.

    I think the WLB is still the most important spot in the LB corp, and Geno Hayes just isn’t cutting it. The dude is built like a freshman in highschool and gets his scrawny arms ripped off by RBs every Sunday. That’s why he lead all WLBs in missed tackles last year. We need a new Brroks just as much as we need Price or McCoy to be our new Sapp. Maybe Dekoda Watson can be that guy, but I doubt it. We are going to have to spend a couple high draft picks on some top LBs if we really want this defense to quite being so soft.

    The SLB isn’t a very important position in our defense. We have always just plugged in anyone over there and been fine. I think maybe we could have Watson start over there next year, or a rookie LB, and have Black move to MLB or WLB. He has shown flashes and is the most complete package out of our current LBs. I’d really like to see what he could do.

  9. JDouble Says:

    BigMac….I’d sign him just hoping that the smell of Ray Lewis might linger on him and spread to our LBs. Seriously though, he has been with the Ravens for four years. He must be a good football player to have spent that much time there, and if they didn’t need the spot for Ed Reed, he’d probably still be there. So yeah…I’d sign him. Couldn’t hurt.

  10. BigMacAttack Says:

    JD, that’s what I was thinking. He’s a big guy and may be a good pass rusher on the end or run stopping LB. I’m sure if the Bucs have interest that they’re on it. If it was anyone other than the Ravens, I wouldn’t give it another thought.

  11. JimBuc Says:

    He only plays on special teams

  12. gitarlvr Says:

    Well Nickerson was a superstar. But he’s right on Quarles. Quarles was just a solid MLB nothing spectacular. But when Quarles was playing MLB, Brooks was playing HOF ball next to him. The point being that the Bucs always had at least one superstar somewhere in the LB core. The Bucs don’t necesarily need a Jonathan Vilma at MLB but they need a star backer somewhere in the group. That being said I think Ruud is still getting a lot of blame he doesn’t deserve. He played well early in his career when he had decent d-line play in front of him. I really don’t understand how people expect Ruud to “put his face” on people when the d-line isn’t even getting a sniff on running backs as they come through. There was a period of a couple years after the Ravens won the super bowl that they did not have stud d-tackles in front Ray Lewis anymore and his production went down and people were starting to think he was past his prime. Then they go and draft run wrecker Haloti Ngata to play in front of him and all of a sudden Lewis is the most feared man in football again.

  13. FIRE GREG OLSON! Says:


    Though you make some valid points, there’s a world of difference between Ruud and Lewis.


    You say “we don’t run the 2000 version of Tampa 2 anymore so you can’t use that blueprint. Then you go on to use that blueprint in the rest of your analysis: “The SLB isn’t a very important position in our defense. We have always just plugged in anyone over there and been fine.” Doesn’t really make sense. Either you can use the blueprint or you can’t. Can’t have it both ways.

  14. gitarlvr Says:

    Oh yeah Olson I wasn’t actually trying to say Ruud was in Ray Lew’s league(LOL!). Just that I don’t think you can accurately evaluate the run stopping ability of LB’s and DB’s when Offensive linemen are consistently tossing d-tackles aside like ragdolls.

  15. JimBuc Says:

    Quarles may not have been a “stud” but he was one hell of a person and a success story. I had dinner with him when he first got here. That shows you that he was an absolute nothing at the time. LOL. He was hoping desparately to make special teams. From that he went on to be a very good MLB on one of the best defenses of all time.

  16. gitarlvr Says:

    Oh and as to the point of whether or not the Bucs are still running the “Tampa 2” defense any more. I think its safe to say at this point that we really don’t know what the hell scheme the Bucs defense is running any more. Im tempted to call it the Frankenstein defense since it was developed by mad scientist Raheem Morris “in the lab”:)

  17. Eric S Says:

    I will say that Hardy was a star and was the catalyst for the D being turned around. Without him it wouldn’t have been possible. One day he should be in the Ring of Honor. Great player.

    I will agree with Pat on Quarles. He was a good player, but not a stud. He was good for the system. I think sometimes people overrate players if they were nice. It happened with Clayton. People just looooooovvvved him as a person and didn’t criticize him as much as he deserved. The guy was terrible and deserved all the criticism in the world. Has he even signed with anyone yet?? I don’t think he has. And this after several teams had injury problems at WR. What a waste of talent he was.

  18. Jameson Says:

    Barrett Ruud get blamed for tackling far behind the line of scrimmage. But, in the Tampa 2, the MLB drops back, almost far enough back to be a third safety. It’s up to the WLB and SLB to make the tackles up by the line of scrimmage, or in the flats. If Ruud is making tackles, that means the rest of the front seven aren’t doing their job. Ruud is the type of MLB the Tampa 2 needs to be successful. On the other hand, I don’t think Geno Hayes or Quincy Black are the OLBs the Tampa 2 needs. We’re not looking at them enough, in my opinion. I don’t know when it became automatic that Hayes and Black would be the starters… remember that these guys backed up Cato frickin’ June (and Derrick Brooks, but I think anyone would back up Derrick Brooks). We need to get some better talent at OLB… and I DON’T mean Dekoda Watson (no offense, Dekoda).

  19. the rhymenoceros Says:

    everything yasinskas writes is pure garbage

  20. Tampa2 Says:

    when you think of the Best of the Bucs on defense, you have to think of Nickerson. he was a great MLB, A leader in the Lockerroom, and a teacher to the young players. You aalso have to think of Lynch, Sapp, Brooks, and Barber at their positions.
    I think that the turnaround on Offense was Keeshawn Johnson. He was an Egotistical SOB. But I cannot remember any receiver in Bucs history actually blocking until Meshawn came to Tampa. I still remember that run by Dunn down the right sideline when Meshawn blocked one, then got down field to block another DB to allow Dunn to get to the end zone.

  21. McBuc Says:

    Tampa 2…I agree! Key was an arse off the field, but he was an all around player on the field. He also made some sick catches being hit and flipped around.

  22. REALbucsfan4life Says:

    @jameson You really dont know what your talking about because in the tampa-2 defense everyone plays in one gap, including the MLB. So its everyone has a responsobility in stopping the run, not just the two OLB’S. I believe that the defense is going to com back strong because they are going back to the basics and are not goin to run a bunch of different coverages to where there confusing themselves. I hope we go back to the basic Kiffin defense and put 8 in the box and run cover 3 and just mix in some tampa 2 and some blitzes.

  23. REALbucsfan4life Says:


  24. admin Says:

    Joe here,

    REALbucsfan4life – If you go back to listen to Ruud on the radio last week, you’ll hear him talk about how he is doing a lot of 2-gapping. Shows easily on the tape, as well

  25. JimBuc Says:

    Joe, I did not hear Ruud. Did you take his comments to mean that he was doing that by design or in compensation?

  26. JDouble Says:

    That’s the problem. Ruud only looked good when he had good players all around him and was dropping back in coverage most the time. Now that he is being asked to step, fill gaps, stop the run, and stand out as a leader on a young team….he can’t do any of it. He gets plenty of chances and fails miserably everytime. I don’t know if it’s because he didn’t get the contract extension he wanted, or if it’s really just the player he is, but he is noticeablly smaller this year and is not playing with any sort of intensity. He looks like he’s just trying to get thru the year without getting hurt.

  27. oar Says:

    Most of our good defensive players were products of our scheme, but there were exceptions. Hardy being one. He was a beast/stud and a lockeroom presence! Brooks, Lynch, and Sapp being some recent others. That said, I have to agree with the majority of the comments.