Herm Edwards Says Foster Fits Bucs’ System

April 30th, 2011

As Joe hammers out more research on linebacker Mason Foster, the Bucs’ third-round pick out of Washington, Joe keeps seeing a common thread: Foster has a high football IQ enhanced by his time switching from defense to quarterback during his senior season in high school and playing multiple linebacker spots in college.

Former Bucs coach Herm Edwards and Foster come from the same Northern California coastal neighborhood (Foster’s going to get a rude awakening from the Tampa humidity and heat) and it seems Edwards knows the kid, so he told their hometown newspaper, The Herald of Monterey County, Calif.

Foster, among his other comments, thinks he flew under scouts’ radar and his savvy can make up for his physical shortcomings.

“Honestly, I kind of got overlooked playing on the West Coast,” said Foster before the draft. “On the big stage, I raised my game to another level.”

Foster’s versatility was an attraction. The 6-foot-1, 245-pounder can play the run inside, or line up on the outside and blitz or drop back into coverage.

“You don’t have to be a big linebacker to play in that system,” Edwards said. “You have to be instinctive. That’s what Mason is. He’s going to get a shot right away.”

Foster’s stock began to rise at the Senior Bowl. During the NFL combines, he was praised for his understanding of defenses during meetings with teams. What might have hurt Foster was his 40-yard dash time, which was 4.75 at the NFL combines. He had a best of 4.65.

“Some players are workout warriors,” Foster said. “But can they play?”

Per the Seattles Times, UW coach Steve Sarkisian said [Friday] that he thinks Foster will be “a great pro.”

“He’s such a versatile guy. He’s got the ability to play in space but yet play hard-nosed football. He’s an excellent pass rusher, and he’s got ball instincts. I don’t know how many times in two years, the ball gets tipped into the air and it finds its way into No. 40’s hands. He’s just got great instincts, and in the NFL he equates to a three-down linebacker, meaning he can play first- and second-down football, but even in nickel situations, he can rush the passer or cover people – he can do that really well too.”

Joe likes Foster’s legitimate versatility. Hopefully he can light a fire under the asses of all the Bucs’ starting linebackers, assuming they’re still wearing pewter when the dust settles on free agency.

13 Responses to “Herm Edwards Says Foster Fits Bucs’ System”

  1. Apple Roof Cleaning Says:

    Cody Grimm and Blount have “average 40 times” and look how they play. Foster will be just fine in our system. I can’t wait to see who Tampa picks today. Mark Dominick for Mayor of Tampa!

  2. Capt.Tim Says:

    Foster will prove to be a steal! Great football I.Q., and an absolute monster against the Run. He will replace Black, and be our starting Sam LB for ten years! This guy is what Black and Hayes aren’t. A hard hitting Run stopper! This guy is just a perfect fit, and answers a need perfectly. Our run defense just improved dramatically! Welcome Mason, you will be appreciated greatly here!

  3. chrisfwc :) Says:

    Awesome article Joe!

  4. Mauha Deeb Says:

    After watching about an hour of video of Foster last night, I noticed a lot of good and some bad.
    He is quick of the get go, can shed blocks like a snake, a great tackler, and can read defenses and blocking schemes well.
    On the other hand, he does not have great pursuit speed, sometimes takes bad angles, and tends to tackle with his head looking down(See Blount jumping over safeties).
    The angles can be corrected. When they are, he won’t need to pursue as much. Tackling with the head down will be fixed quickly.
    Over all, I am more than excited about this kids future. Already looks like the best LB on the team. Just hope he can put on a few lbs and really lay some wood.


    Apple Roof Cleaning,

    Uh, Cody Grimm had the fastest 40 time of any LB at the Combine in 2010…

  6. MDeezy Says:

    Just for info, Mason didn’t switch to offense in high school….. he started at middle linebacker and quarterback… The last person to successfully do this at the same high school (Seaside High School) was Ron Rivera (Panthers head coach)…Mason was part of a team that made it to the Central Coast Section finals three years in a row…. He is an absolute Beast in the middle and has a level of athleticsm during “gametime” that extends way beyond his measureables… In my opinion he was/is the best linebacker in the draft and will prove it on Sundays…

  7. grasshopp427er Says:

    i like the picks so far. a little worried about bowers but time will tell. if he can be a pass rush specialist maybe that will extend his career. but hey if we blew our 2nd screw it NO/ATL/CAR didnt even have one. foster will be a nice upgrade immediately i think. tackle machine who won’t be pushed around by blockers. i wouldn’t mind seeing us take a shot at romeus..figure between him and bowers one should be healthy on game day. take the citadel corner, mybe one more LB or TE and it’s a nice haul. atlanta really mortgaged for j.jones. thats more than we gave up for keyshawn for a rookie? the will be dangerous on O but hurt in the future. carolina smothered their future with newton @ #1 IMO. but the saints got a lot better. i personally wanted jordan and wilson as bucs. now we play them twice a year and i think ingraham will be very good which is a little scary matched with brees and co. but we have a pretty studly offense too. feels like coming up back in the day, we’re getting back but it is a tough division.

  8. Amar Says:

    “Some players are workout warriors,” Foster said. “But can they play?”

    Reminds me of the goat.

  9. Joe Says:

    Thanks for the info MDeezy.

  10. Funky Munkey Says:

    I like this pick. Don’t know alot about him, but he is versitale and high IQ.

    Now…I think we have to be aggressive in the 4th round and get three players.

    1. Kendrick Burney CB UNC
    2. Jacquizz Rogers or Kendall Hunter RB
    3. Quan SturdivantOLB UNCE

  11. Funky Munkey Says:


  12. Funky Munkey Says:

    That would give us two future starters and a great compliment to Blount. IF I was GM that would be my moves. Trade picks this year and some from next season to get it done!

  13. Funky Munkey Says:

    AND…if Foster will be playing Sam, then Sturdivant is maybe the best Will in the draft. Those two with a (hopefully) resigned Barrett Ruud. Our DLine and LB core would be set for years.

    If we could get Burney. He would fit in lovely with Myron Lewis to be our future CB’s and have Biggers as our #3. Our D would be ultra talented and an amazing thing to watch grow over the next several years!!!