No Additions To The Linebacker Corps… Yet

March 27th, 2012

See what happens when NFL types get together whether it’s the Super Bowl or the combine or the NFL owners meetings? News happens.

Today’s nugget of news is typed out by Stephen Holder of the Tampa Bay Times who got a few words in with Bucs rock star general manager Mark Dominik this morning at the NFL owners meetings in Palm Beach.

Among the wide variety of subjects Dominik discussed was that Bucs fans should settle and embrace the crop of linebackers currently on the Bucs roster.

In short, Dominik says he’s not going to chase any more linebackers. Not now anyway.

As for the linebacker position – which has been under much scrutiny because the team has elected not to make any linebacker signings – Dominik said the priority is to allow the new coaching staff to work with the current players before drawing firm conclusions. The Bucs will have a new defensive system, which they’ll start learning when coaches and players are permitted to begin working together on April 2.

The Bucs will have a minicamp in mid-April, before the NFL Draft.

“I think they have to get to know the guys a little bit better,” Dominik said of the coaches. “They haven’t even had a chance to be in the classroom to actually learn anything. Until our guys get to line up and actually occupy the three (linebacker) spots, and then we get that minicamp before the draft, that’s going to be an education for everybody. The classroom is going to be the key.”

In Joe’s eyes Dominik is playing a well thought out, reasoned game of poker here. He knows the linebackers need an upgrade, if for no other reason than it appears Geno Hayes won’t be back, unless of course the Bucs are planning on starting pass rushing specialist Dekoda Watson.

The same reasoning Dominik gave for not courting a linebacker could have been said for the wide receiver position, the offensive line and secondary, all areas where the Bucs have made personnel moves in recent days.

Dominik’s words are basically twofold: One is to the London Fletchers of the world: the Bucs will welcome you with open arms but are not going to overpay. Also, not long from now is the second free agent period, the time before training camp when teams cut veterans.

A diamond in the rough very well could be found in May or June. At this point, it doesn’t pay for Dominik to be aggressive for a linebacker.

20 Responses to “No Additions To The Linebacker Corps… Yet”

  1. Jrock Says:

    The more I think about it… the more I think we’re going to trade down in the 1st round and then double dip on linebackers, using our first two picks on them like DT & DE in the previous two years.

    OR we just take Claiborn or Richardson then find some quality depth at LB & TE in the next few rounds.

  2. J 2.0 Says:

    Is Jermaine Phillips available to play LB?

    I guess Rah was the only one with the foresight to know that would be a genius move.

  3. Drew Says:

    Joe… I agree with Dom’s comments. The D scheme is new and should play to player strengths. I’m willing to attribute lasts years catastrophe to the D scheme and D play calling.

    Great players in a bad scheme with bad play calling look like bad players.

  4. thibs5599 Says:

    Look at the bright side, we upgraded the WR, O Line, and CB positions in free agency. There were and still are linebackers out there however we are not going to get them. Black played decent in 2010 and the staff probably wants to see if they can get him back to that form with the amount of money Dom has spent on him. The draft is deep for linebackers and we could have done far worse this off season by not getting anybody like the Bucs normally do.

  5. thibs5599 Says:

    Like your thinking JRock, on both options.

  6. Joe Says:


    I’m willing to attribute lasts years catastrophe to the D scheme and D play calling.

    Sure hope it’s that simple.

  7. Macabee Says:

    The Browns have 13 draft picks and the Bucs have 6. I think Dominik is conceding that we can’t fix everything in one year. We will still be better than the Browns though!

  8. Architek Says:

    Ok Joe now. You said it best. He is gambling and I hope he is willing to risk the house and kisd on this one because bad scheme or not, you have to wrap up and tackle. These LB’s did not and they also quit like many other faucets of the team.

    I have decided to give Dominik the opportunity to right last year’s wrongs from a talent evaluation but if I were wagering I would throw in because you cannot teach heart and fight. Maturity is just that, time will fix that but quitting is a character issue.

    They gambled and failed last year and as long as he is accountable for taking Black into the new season as a starter then so be it. The sword will be awaiting him for the fall.

  9. Bobby Says:

    There’s a difference when there is no accountability. This year’s coaching staff is going to demand that these players perform or they will be either sitting the bench or gone. Schiano said he will find 53 players that will do it the Buccaneer way and I believe him. If players are not wrapping up and tackling then they won’t be playing….period. These coaches won’t tolerate that crap.

  10. Chris FWC Says:

    I told Joe back in 2010, before we went 12-4, that this was the worst group of LBers I’ve ever seen. You can coach all you want and get players in the right spot but if you ain’t man enough to stick your head in the hole and make a tackle then its a lack of ability and heart not coaching. We need 2 or 3 new Lbers. Wish we could cut QBlack. Watch how he tackles. He tackles like someone trying not to get hurt instead of tackling like someone doing the hurting. One day we will finally shed this team of all the Gru rejects. God he couldn’t see/coach talent if it smacked him in the face.

  11. Nick Says:

    Dom will take any chance to justify the contract he gave Black

  12. Capt.Tim Says:

    It’s one of two things
    1) every FA LB, and his agent, know the Bucs are desperate to sign new LBers.
    This has caused them all to inflate the price they ate asking the Bucs.
    Dom is playing Poker. He’s proving that he’s not as desperate as they think, hoping to get the prices down to a realistic market vaue

    Dangerous. Because we are desperate.

    2) he’s really that clueless. He spent all the money he’s Gonna.
    After all, he’s the one who GAVE theses jobs to Hayes, Black, and Foster.
    They never competed to win their spots. He cut Cato June, Derrick Brooks, and Barrett Ruud. He said he cut them, so that we could see what the” young guys” could do.
    We now know. They can’t do anything, and are horrible
    What happened to Earning/ competing for your job

    I hope it isn’t the second option. But then again- thus is the guy he signed Michael Clayton, Quincy Black, Derrick Ward. Byron Leftwich
    He may not be as bright as we hoped

    (sigh!) and to those of you, suggesting that our LBers performance was due to Bad coaching
    No. No. No.
    They have played LBer their entire lives. They know at least the fundamentals of the game. If the issue was being out of position, or being lined up wrong, I’d say it was a factor.
    That wasn’t their problem. They ran FROM the RBs. They intentionally engaged blockers, to take themselves out of the play. They made half hearted attempts at arm tackling.
    Worst of all, they repeatedly gave up on plays. They would stop running in pursuit, and just sorta jog in the general direction of the ball carrier- while the play was live!
    That is not a coaching issue. It is a discipline issue- because it would not be allowed by any coach who has any control of his players
    Raheem sat Quincy Black down for several games, as discipline for Black quitting
    Raheem put him back in the lineup, and Black kept right on walking around.
    He quit. At that point ,so did Raheem
    He never tried to make Black play again. So Hayes, Talib, and Jones joined in on the quitters club
    Quitting never, NEVER, is an option for good players.
    Regardless of the coach

    We have the worst LBers in the league. They better do something!

  13. RichinNC Says:

    16 games worth of film should be more important than a couple days of practice. But we shall see. Dom just wants his resigning of Quincy Black to stick.

  14. Bobby Says:

    Don’t worry about it. If they don’t perform they won’t play. It’s just that simple. They’ll find someone who will perform.

  15. Chris FWC Says:

    Oh I’m worried Bobby. The heart and soul is the D, never forget that.

  16. Papawill13 Says:

    One thing that is not being addressed (as was the case last year) is next year. For all the Doom and Gloom of last year (and it was Doom and Gloom) the Bucs have a clear plan on filling this roster. All that Money that was not spent last year, WAS spent this year (as it carried over, a one time Deal). Its clear to anyone who has watched the Bucs the last 3 years they are Building a Team.

    Lets say the Bucs draft a CB, LB, RB, DT, TE, and another CB. Its clear as day next year will be a LB year.

    I would love an article on the Potential FAs at the LB positions for next year. Maybe just maybe there is a really good and young LB that will be on the market next year. Why spend 5 Million this year on sub standard, if a guy next year can be had for 8 mil and is much better… Sure this year might not be as good, but I rather shoot for greatness (even if it takes longer) than above average (the Gruden years).

  17. So. Ill. Bucs Says:

    I’ve been wondering about the second free agency, there has to be someone who is at least adequate come along during the summer. Kind of a shame that adequate would be an upgrade.

  18. teacherman777 Says:

    I think this is a great move. Patience. If Quincy underperforms, we cut him after next year and sign a stud in the first round.

    Save the money to push over to next years cap.

  19. Capt. Tim Says:

    Hmm- what was clear to me is- they were going as cheap as possible, for years. They didn’t spend any money on FAs or our own vets!
    All they did was draft, and sign undrafted FAs!


    When Raheem managed to win 10 games- they partied like it was 1999!
    Cheapness ruled supreme!!
    Then, last year, they cut to deep. Cut Cadi and Ruud. Left ’em with a bunch of baby faces- no vets that had any leadership skills

    Crash! Boom! Disaster!! Fans revolting like Peasants at a Frankenstein tribute!

    Uh oh! Quick- plan B ! Restore fan faith- spend big- quick!!
    But if they don’t fix CB and LB- we will still lose by 40 points! So they better think this out- quick !

    That about sums up the last 5 years!

  20. Alan Bucs Says:

    I think Bucs fans need to calm down. I will make a very bold prediction that our defense will not even be as close to as bad as it was last year! My theory is that a much improved offense will help keep these guys off the field for most of the game. We seem to forget that everyone on this team looked really bad for a large part of the season. These guys will get coached up and disciplined and will be better in 2012! (Even Quincy Black!)