Good Middle Linebackers Still To Be Had

March 2nd, 2012

How pitiful was the Bucs’ linebacker play last year during the grotesque 10-game losing streak? Let Joe explain.

After watching the Bucs play matador defense, sans the red cape, allowing opposing running backs to run at will down the sidelines, there were multiple beer bottles laying at Joe’s feet following games with Joe hoping that somehow the next beer would numb him enough to delete the game from Joe’s memory bank.

Joe is still looking for that Holy Grail of beers.

So to suggest that the Bucs could use an upgrade at linebacker play via free agency is akin to saying it would behoove a Bucs fan’s experience at games if Rachel Watson would sit next to said fan, scantily attired.

There have been hints that rather than making big splashes in free agency, Bucs rock star general manager Mark Dominik will get a slew of decent players because the Bucs roster needs depth.

This led Joe to believe that Lions middle linebacker Stephen Tulloch would be a good fit now that the pride of Seminole High School, D’Qwell Jackson, re-upped with the Cleveland Browns.

It seems someone of the same mind is Pat Kirwan, the former NFL coach and front office executive, and current SiriusXM NFL Radio talking head and columnist. Kirwan believes that both Tulloch and the Dixie Chicks middle linebacker Curtis Lofton would be solid, affordable pickups, so Kirwan Twittered.

@PatKirwanCBS: D’Qwell Jackson deal sets the table for the Curtis Lofton and Stephen Tulloch deals. Both younger and just as productive.

Now Joe really likes the idea of the Bucs getting their mitts on Lofton. The Dixie Chicks’ middle linebacker is entering his fifth NFL season and he’s been calling the defenses for an Atlanta run defense that has been very solid during his tenure. While he doesn’t have a boatload of tackles, he couldn’t be worse than what the Bucs have.

More importantly, which is why Joe is big on the Bucs grabbing cornerback Brent Grimes, is that while the Bucs would be adding to their roster, they are also weakening a divisional opponent at the same time.

That’s what’s called a win-win.

47 Responses to “Good Middle Linebackers Still To Be Had”

  1. Thomas 2.2.. Says:

    Tulloch and Grimes make too much sense for pop star. Hopefully Schiano overrules errand boy and picks up one of these guys and slides Foster over.

    Jane Black and Geno Taze should be fired yesterday, along with Taliban, Win-slow, and THC Jax. (borrowed Taliban from Capt Tim)

  2. Jessup Says:

    Holy Grail of beers? Try Lazy Magnolia.

  3. Jessup Says:

    Pretty sure Grimes will be tagged. If not he would be my top pick over Finnegan or Carr.

  4. Bobby Says:

    These are more the kind of FA deals I see going down. Good value for the money and it allows us to plug more holes. This is probably a two year process.

  5. Brad Says:

    The question is what kind of job can Dominik do? This FA period really is his only shot in proving his worth. If he comes in second to any targeted FA this year, the Glazers need to fire this bum and bring in a GM that can get the good deals done. If Dominik sits and waits or tip toes around deals while other
    teams are landing new players I’m going to go ballistic. He has something 30 of the rest of the league doesn’t have.. 68 million dollars+ to lure even Bree’s away if he wanted. This guy needs to learn how to sell himself, the team, the city… If he can’t then it’s time to move in another direction.


    Holy Grail of beers? Check of Bell’s Hopslam

    Tulloch is definitely intriguing to me. I know London Fletcher is old, but, I would like to see him brought in as a locker room leader (if it’s a reasonable salary). And if you look at his stat lines, he’s still very productive.

    He would be a great Hardy Har Har type player to help change the culture for a few seasons, as the youngins adjust.

    In case you weren’t looking, he led the league in tackles last year, with 166.

  7. Bobby Says:

    Some of these comments show how little the average fan understands about FA and the salary cap.

  8. Mr. Patrick Says:

    Chris Landry’s advice to the Bucs redarding each position in free agency-‘Dont get somebody elses #2 or#3 and make them your #1.’ Smart man.

  9. Scott Says:

    Lofton would be good. I think they target Dan Connor though. Schiano has Penn State ties.

  10. MTM Says:

    Hopefully Schiano is evaluating the free agents and not Matt Millen Jr. uh I mean Pop star.

  11. jvato24 Says:

    Lofton is a no nonsense leader. Very impressed with some of his YouTube interviews. If Grimes gets the tag we might have a shot.

  12. jvato24 Says:

    Tulloch in 4 or 5 years I believe just forced his 1st turnover this season. That worries me but I would take him.

  13. SteveBucsFan Says:

    I found Jack Daniel’s did a good job of erasing any memories of the game. And the rest of the day too.

  14. Joe Says:


    This guy needs to learn how to sell himself, the team, the city… If he can’t then it’s time to move in another direction.

    Ted Thompson hasn’t signed a free agent in three years.

    What a bum of a front office suit he is!

  15. ATLBuc Says:

    Hopslam is a solid choice, but if you want a beer that dropkick your tastebuds and erase the memory bank look no further than Stone’s Ruination IPA or Arrogant Bastard, both are incredible and pack a serious punch.

    Either of these guys would be a solid pickup and a definite upgrade. I like the idea of Lofton a bit more just because it takes him away from the Falcons.

  16. Big Picture Guy Says:

    What about screwing all the FA MLB’s and drafting Luke Kuechly, especially if the Rams who are apparently jonesing for Claiborne trade with the Browns and end up grabbing him in front of us at #4???

    Can he play an outside position? Imagine a LB corps of Foster at Will, Kuechly at Sam and Tulloch at Mike? Instant strength if it were to fall that way, and address the secondary with your FA’s!

  17. Big Picture Guy Says:

    The new Sam Adams Alpine Spring was surprisingly delicious btw… hoppy but still light. My pitcher lasted me all of 30 minutes! lol

  18. Macabee Says:

    I still love ya, Joe!

  19. eric Says:

    Being decent would be a refreshing change.

  20. Tommy Boy Says:

    Joe, Dominik is no where near the level of Ted Thompson. So comparing Dominik to Thompson is idiotic. The reason Thompson doesn’t need to play in FA is because he hits on all his draft picks. Dominik does not and therefore he needs to go balls out in FA. What you did by comparing the two is akin saying Schiano is the next Harbaugh because he was a college coach before coming to the NFL.

  21. tonytwocents Says:


    you mention a lot of players to get rid of which would create a bigger vacuum than what we already have. but what moves do we make to find replacements with equal or greater skill.

    we also need to upgrade the oline and add depth, 3rd down back, true #1 WR w/speed, DT depth, and I have no idea where to begin with the back 7.

  22. tonytwocents Says:

    I think the right beer for you Joe would be some Natty Ice. It seems to be what bums drink to erase the memories of their lives. (too harsh maybe?)

  23. SensibleBuc Says:

    Some of our FA cornerback targets are being tagged today. Grimes, and Finnegan are off the table.


  24. Brain Says:

    Grimes was thankfully tagged. He’s nowhere near franchise caliber and would be an awful signing for us.

  25. ATLBuc Says:

    Falcons just tagged Grimes, which means Lofton is now up for grabs. If the Bucs want him all they cab outbid just about anyone for him.

  26. Joe Says:


    would be an awful signing for us.

    Disagree about Grimes. He’s sure as heck better than Myron Lewis and improving your secondary while weakening your division opponent is a win-win.

  27. ATLBuc Says:

    @ Brain

    Totally agree. Let the Falcons overpay for an average secondary, meanwhile the Bics can draft Claiborne and add a CB like Carr in FA. Instant upgrade.

  28. Stevek Says:


    Ted Thompson spends $$$$ $127 million to the cap this year.

    By that logic the Glazers are only half way commited.

    Does that make Dom a half @$$ GM too?

  29. ALSOTTSMART! Says:

    “Ted Thompson hasn’t signed a free agent in three years.

    What a bum of a front office suit he is!”

    Apples, meet oranges. Oranges, meet apples.

  30. patrickbucs Says:

    ABT12 will sure knock you out and make you forget about the Bucs, sure helped me:) 12.5 pct alcohol I believe.

    Can’t see Dan Connor being a target unless he gets a 1 year vet minimum, guy is always hurt. Tulloch or Fletcher would be great but I can’t see how Black isn’t going to at least be the starter for at least a few games with that contract (hope I’m wrong)

    That sucks about Grimes but will free up Lofton who could be another lb target. I haven’t seen where Finnegan was franchised. Look for a bidding war on Carr (hopefully with the Bucs) and yikes the Cowboys

  31. deminion Says:

    hope lofton makes it out

  32. Joe Says:


    Joe has an inkling that Quincy Black could be benched or gone if he continues to be invisible.

    Dominik has eaten contracts before. Mike Nugent and Michael Clayton to name a couple. Joe can’t imagine Greg Schiano and Butch Davis tolerating Black’s (lack of) play very long.

  33. jvato24 Says:

    I can see Butch Davis, Schiano and Brian Cox sitting around a table eating popcorn watching Quincy Black highlights all laughing like they are watching a comedy at the movies.

    It really was so bad .. I was able to laugh at it all .. Sean Jones was WORSE than Piscitelli ..

  34. Joe Says:


    Sean Jones was WORSE than Piscitelli ..

    Let’s not get carried away.

  35. OAR Says:

    Holy Grail of Beers? Perhaps we will never know… considering its guarded by a creature so foul, so cruel that no man yet has fought with it and lived. Bones of full fifty men lie strewn about its lair. So, brave knights, if you do doubt your courage or your strength, come no further, for death awaits you all with nasty, big, pointy teeth.
    -Is it behind the rabbit?
    -It is the rabbit!
    -You silly sod, I almost soiled my armor I was so scared!
    -That’s no ordinary rabbit! That’s the most foul, cruel, and bad-tempered rodent you ever set eyes on!

  36. ALSOTTSMART! Says:


    Any rumors on the backup QB situation? I haven’t really looked at any FA’s available. I’d say it’s a fairly important signing, although Freeman is a durable guy. But, I’m not sure I’d want to trot Carpenter out there if Josh were to miss significant time.

    Same with FA RB’s. Without restarting the TR topic, it’s clear to me Blount needs a complimentary RB of some sort. To this day, it’s astounding to me that Dominick signed Lumpkin.

  37. jvato24 Says:

    The value of CornerBacks is showing its head this year. There is a major shortage of CBs in the NFL right now. Mo Claiborne is a safe/boring pick that could pay off big time.

  38. Stevek Says:

    And Lumpkin was on Green Bay’s Practice Squad. It goes full circle.

    What’s next? Dom going to sign Samkon Gado?

  39. Steve From Oregon Says:

    Alstottsmart…..What do you think about Mcnabb backing up Josh. I think at this point he understands that he is no longer a starter and the amount of experience that he brings would be very beneficial. With that, we could have a a young 3rd QB to groom… 2 cents.

  40. Steve From Oregon Says:

    For all those fans that continue to crucify Dom, relax people. FYI…Ted Thompson has made drafting mistakes and signing mistakes as well. It was just last year that Dom was a canidate for GM of the Year, give the guy a chance to grow into the position.

    Like most of us, he is learning from his past successes and failures.



    I’m sure he wouldn’t be a bad back-up, but, reading through the lines over the years, McNabb was never known as the hardest of workers (not a gym rat/film rat, etc). He spend his entire career in a West coast offense (something TB is trying to get away from), and, probably most important for me is he has never been very accurate. He is a career 58.9% passer.

    I just think there might be a better influence out there for Freeman. That’s said, I’m being hyper-critical. He certainly produced in Philly, he kept it classy, and overall was a good guy. If they signed him, I wouldn’t mad or anything. I was mad when they signed Lumpkin. I was mad when they re-signed Black.

    ** I just looked at some of the FA QBs. Slim pickings. They could worse than him, for sure….

  42. Stevek Says:

    Trade back, acquire picks and draft a back up QB; Osweiler.

  43. BucFan20 Says:

    We have 4 QB now. Only JJ is a FA. They just resigned the QB we picked up from Dallas when Josh went down. Why would they draft another one?


    Who was from Dallas? I see JF, Carpenter, and a Brett Ratliff on the official roster. I totally missed the Ratliff signing. His stats say he was a non drafted, practice squad type, with little experience. Who was it they resigned from Dallas?

    Regardless, is there anyone there you want playing an extended amount of time is Freeman goes down? Carpenter? Hence my question about an experienced back-up.

  45. BucFan20 Says:

    Ratliff is the one they just resigned and was from the Dallas Practice Squad . He was resigned about week ago when they resigned Gant. My question is why draft another QB ?

  46. patrickbucs Says:

    @Joe, good points about previous cuts. I really think Dom is going to make sure he’s given a chance with this new regime.. well see I hope your right.

  47. js1506 Says:

    LOL.. matador defense.. excelent way to put it Joe… We had way too many matadors… Sean Jones, Aqib Talib, Ej Biggers, Geno Hayes, Black… Heck we need new LBs (except Foster) and a brand new secondary..