Happy With Hayward?

May 12th, 2013

The only holdover from the Monte Kiffin years on the Bucs defense, linebacker Adam Hayward, managed to earn — and hold onto — the starting the strongside linebacker starting job after Quincy Black went down injured last season.

Joe found this significant for two reasons: Dakoda Watson couldn’t beat Hayward out, and the New Schiano Order didn’t punish Hayward (on the field) for aggressively shoving coach Bryan Cox along the sidelines.

So Joe must wonder, are the Bucs simply happy with Hayward?

The Bucs’ 2013 plans at strongside linebacker have been the subject of much speculation, especially with the recent addition of former three-year Saints backup Jonathan Casillas. But he’s no hidden Pro Bowler.

Hayward hits hard, has a wealth of experience and is only 29 years old, and he may very well be an upgrade over the improved 2012 edition of Quincy Black. It’s also his second year in the Schiano system. The more Joe considers the situation, the more Joe thinks there may be no real question at all what will happen at strongside linebacker.

26 Responses to “Happy With Hayward?”

  1. jvato24 Says:

    No way Casillas is a SLB. He is a special teamer Nickel pass defender. It would be like putting Lavonte David at SLB.

  2. 4everBucsFan Says:

    I’ve always liked Adam. He’s a team guy and a presence in the locker room. He should at least get a shot at SLB after years of being a back-up. It’s ironic really, out of all the starters that have been at SLB only Hayward, who was buried on the depth chart, is still here. I know he excelled on special teams but this is testimony that Adam has always been a hard worker and has worked his way from the bottom to the top on his own. Nobody gave him his position. Good Luck Adam!

  3. 76buc76 Says:

    Hayward is not a good LBer. He’s a backup for life. I mean if you can’t beat out Quincy Black. What does that tell you. We’ve been thin at LB for a long time yet. Hayward can’t win a spot. We’ll see lot’s of dime set’s with 5 DB’s.

  4. PRBucFan Says:

    I remember when he was inserted last year he played like a beast, np with that if he keeps it up 🙂

  5. Fish Says:

    Joe, on this very site you posted a transcript from Dominik not too long ago – probably a post-draft interview. I can’t remember exactly which transcript it was nor do I have the time right now to look, but at the very end of this transcript, Dom mentioned that they were excited about what Watson could do at SLB as if he were the plan all along. There was also no mention of Hayward.

    I specifically remember that comment and NO ONE ELSE noticing it, or at least commenting on it. It seems as though you may have also missed it.

  6. Fish Says:

    Ok, so I made myself curious. Here’s the post. Check Dom’s second to last comment at the end:



  7. Rrsrq Says:

    I wonder will we see Najee Goode or is he just ST, is the draft at LB better next year, even if it is we need to be looking at the tackle position.

  8. Youpeoplearesodumb Says:

    Nice recall Fish

  9. DC Says:


    Just a week ago, you wrote an entire article bashing my comment on espn about having dakota watson or hayward starting this yr. I’m glad you came to your senses 8)

  10. BucsFan007 Says:

    He’s only 29 ….

  11. CanadianBucsFan Says:

    Joe, I don’t know what all the love for Hayward is. Yes he is a solid special teamer, starting linebacker? HELL NO. Hayward is a GARBAGE linebacker, he should only be on the team for his special team ability.

  12. Andrew 1 Says:

    @ 76buc

    it means they paid Black a big fat contract so they had to start him. no way were they going to have someone with that kind of contract sit on the bench.

    we will be just fine if Hayward gets the start at SOLB.

  13. Stanglassman Says:

    I’m a Watson fan, he was hand picked by 55 and is great at getting pressure on the QB but Hayward played solid last year and made it difficult for the coaches to take out mid-season. Come training camp its open competition and I think that’s what Dominic meant by the comment regarding the Sam spot, “Watson who will do everything he can to be the SAM linebacker” just like Glennon will do everything he can to be the starting QB or Spence unseat Landri.

  14. Picaroon Says:

    Anyone remember who was the starting SAM on the 2002 Super Bowl defense? Jamie Duncan left in 2002 and Shelton Qualres moved to MLB. Career ST standout and backup LB Al Singleton started at SLB. http://www.bucpower.com/al-singleton.html

  15. Architek Says:

    Either Watson or Hayward will fit the bill

  16. Illuminati Says:

    C’mon, Joe. It’s your job to write about the Bucs every day, and you still misspell the name of a player going into his fourth year?

    Dekoda. D-E-K-O-D-A.

  17. john Says:

    foster is on his best day average hayward is below average. I said it on draft day we could have had keackly but mark didnt draft him cause he drafted foster high and didnt it look like a wasted pic. to be elite you HAVE TO DRAFT WELL

  18. Joe Says:

    Dear Illuminati – Perhaps Joe will misspell his name again just to piss you off.

  19. Joe Says:

    @DC – Don’t kid yourself. Joe isn’t glowing over Hayward. Joe’s simply pondering where the Bucs’ mindset is.

  20. Joe Says:

    @Fish – Appreciate your scrutiny of Dominik’s words, but the fact remains Hayward beat out Watson for the starting gig last year.

  21. Joc Says:

    We need better talent evaluators. They are okAy not good

  22. Monday morning one-liners « Sports Greatest Rivalries Says:

    […] Adam Hayward hold onto a starting job with the […]

  23. BuccaneerBonzai Says:

    john Says:
    “Foster is on his best day average…”

    Completely untrue. Foster, from the start, has done nothing but improve himself. Yes, he started poorly, but he has improved year-to-year. He is nearly as good or better than Barrett Ruud was already, and will likely be much better in the long run.

  24. Tom Says:

    SLB is the least important position in the defense. It’s a 2 down job with a limited role which is even smaller when playing teams like the Saints and Falcons that want to throw the ball like there’s no tomorrow. Heyward, Watson, Casilla it doesn’t make much of a difference so long as they don’t tackle like a certain former “goat.”

    It’s a position like SLB where Dominik is going to go cheap to save money on more premium positions, like everywhere else, for example.

  25. Ross Parker Says:

    I’d really like to see Najee Goode get a chance. Heard the Bucs really like the guy, would be interested to see him play.

  26. Bucchanalia Says:

    Maybe the Bucs are going to man the SLB position by committe. When Watson is in, he could give us a five man front with the intent to get in the backfield, like hybrid LB/DEs Von Miller in Denver and Bruce Irvin in Seattle. Hayward could play traditional SLB against run-first and read option teams on 1st down and in short yardage situations. Casillas could play occasionally when we need to cover a joker tight end. Casillas seems like he would basically be a third safety to play in the box.