“Force The Issue” With Luke Stocker

February 12th, 2013

After 11 years in the NFL and the 2012 season with the Bucs’ radio team, former Bucs tight end Anthony Becht has great insight into the Bucs’ tight end play.

Speaking on 98.7 FM Sunday afternoon, Becht made it very clear he believes in Luke Stocker and wants to see Mike Sullivan force himself to get the ball to No. 88.

“I like Luke Stocker. I think he’s a guy that can be productive,” Becht said. “I saw signs of him being a good point blocker as the season progressed and moved on, and I think that’s great. In the passing game, they need to force the issue with him. I mean, listen.  He’s their guy. They can build off him. He’s shown signs of improving in blocking, you gotta get this guy the rock. Now is a he a game-breaker tight end? No. But can he run routes properly with good technique and get 40 catches a season? There’s no question in my mind. But they’ve got to make a conscious effort to do that.

“He’s young. He’d building. He’s learning. Get him the rock. He definitely needs a complement. I don’t know if they bring Dallas Clark or not. I think maybe they might look for a younger guy. There might be free agents available. But I think Stocker he’s got to be part of the offense. You gotta force him the ball. They gotta find continuity. He and Josh need to come together and find ways to get him the ball. Mike Sullivan needs to draw some things up. But I think he came along during the season and became a productive blocker. He can be a good tight end, but you got to make sure he’s involved every game, because if he’s not, he’s going to fade out. Just to ask the guy to block, he’s buy into that, he’s a professional football player, but I think he’s good enough to do both.”

Joe knows Bucs fans hear the words “force” and “tight end” and immediately think of the disastrous Freeman-Kellen Winslow relationship of 2012. That’s not what Becht is talking about.

Joe agrees that the Bucs would be well served by diversifying their offense as much as possible, and Stocker, 24, certainly qualifies as a guy on the rise. He stayed healthy last season and looked improved in his second season.

The Bucs, however, would have to commit to working Stocker into the passing offense, otherwise he’d remain a grounded weapon, similar to LeGarrette Blount.

13 Responses to ““Force The Issue” With Luke Stocker”

  1. Macabee Says:

    Becht better get the word to Dominik because everything I’m reading is that the Bucs are going to get a TE in FA (maybe Martellus Bennett) or early in the Draft (maybe Zach Ertz or Travis Kelce). I don’t think they believe that Stocker can be that guy!

  2. Have A Nice Day Says:

    Stone Hand Luke needs some stick’em.

  3. Curmudgeon Says:

    So far, the talk about TE is coming from writers and commenters, not from OBP… so we have no idea what they’re thinking. They may not see TE as a big component of the offense they wanna play, so the speculation about getting a FA or high draft pick at TE has no basis in fact, yet. Did they spend time interviewing TEs at the Senior Bowl? How much $$$ does Martellus Bennett want? You can’t afford to devote big money at every position on the team, and it’s possible they may not view TE as worth that investment. Also, some recent numbers show that they are the most unbalanced team in the NFC South in terms of spending on offense vs. defense. They’ve gotta devote cash to the defensive side now. So, I think we can live with Stocker and a draft pick… They also have some developmental guys like Danny Noble and Drake Dunsmore who might develop into contributors. We’ll see.

    I say spend the money on DEFENSE!

  4. Bucfan20 Says:

    One of the main problems is they went out and got Freeman all the new toys. Then allthey wanted to play with was all the new toys. Think back to the whole season and look where most of the plays went. I am not a big Freeman fan but not hard to see 3 and out when all the defense has to watch for is VJ, MW or Martin. Everyone else was used very little. And when they were Freeman woud hang them out to dry like he did Underwood to get his head taken off because the ball was so far off where it should have been.

  5. pick6 Says:

    stocker has missed alot of time with injury in his brief career, if i were a coach i’d be worried about relying on him in the gameplan and i’m sure it hasn’t helped his chemistry with his QB either.

  6. Keith Says:

    Huh? Stocker played every game last season.

  7. 4everBucsFan Says:

    He doesn’t get targeted enough to make a fair evaluation on him as a pass catching TE. They were committed to using Dallas as a receiver more and even he wasn’t targeted much. Last year, Sullivan’s offense didn’t include the TE much in early progression reads. Hopefully, this year we will and Stocker can step up and show he’s a more complete TE.

  8. Andrew 1 Says:

    I see what Becht is saying, and kind of agree with him. The plays that are called that have him listed as the primary receiver are few and far between. He is always the last resort to get the ball on almost every passing play. I would like to see Sullivan get him more involved in the passing game next season if we decide not to replace him during the off season.

  9. Macabee Says:


    At this point, your opinion is just as good as anybody else’s when it comes to deciding what the Bucs will do. But, like yours, there are other opinions, some respected, that differ. I am simply stating the fact that I’ve read some of them!


  10. Adam Says:

    Ugh.. forget it. And remember, Dominik TRADED UP for him.

  11. Curmudgeon Says:


    Only thing I’m saying is take everything you’re reading with a grain of salt, since all the information out there is 100% speculative, unless someone out there has penetrated the lockdown at OBP. Just because all these commenters are speculating that the Bucs are going after a TE doesn’t make it so. Could it be? Sure. It wouldn’t surprise me that much. Again, my only point was to draw a distinction between the speculation machine and what we *actually* know from OBP, which is nothing.

    By the way, I’d be totally happy to have an additional threat in the passing game that could also block. But if it came down to an economic either/or between a TE or a defensive player, I’d take the defense hands down.

  12. john Says:

    2 things… one it’s an another crappy draft pick for our administrator of a gm who cant draft his way out of a paper bag. He traded a 4th to move up to get him strong work mark. the other is if 5 is the qb does it matter?

  13. scubog Says:

    As far as I’m concerned, when a 4th round draft choice is a part-time starter depending on formations, it’s not a “crappy draft pick”. However, selecting Arrelious Benn in the 2nd round is beginning to qualify as one if he cant stay healthy. Regarding the debate as to the media’s accuracy of the mindset of the Bucs brass when it comes to Luke Stocker and the collection of developmental TE’s; the proof will be how they address the position in free agency or early in the draft. I agree with Becht that he has been somewhat of a forgotten man to this point.