No Worries With Linebackers For Mason Foster

May 27th, 2013

mason foster

There is one regular commenter on this here corner of the interwebs who is absolutely stressed about who will be the Bucs’ strongside linebacker. This commenter is freaking out worse than a drinker who bought a house in a dry county and just realized it.

It’s May! There is a reason why NFL teams have training camps and preseason games to determine who will fill open positions.

One person who is not sweating is Bucs middle linebacker Mason Foster. The Bucs’ own version of Ric Flair was corralled by the video crew after a recent OTA practice and Foster said he is confident the Bucs linebackers will be strong this year.

“It’s good to get out here with the guys,” Foster said. “It’s good to actually play football but this is competition. We have a great group of guys. We have a lot of chemistry. We have a lot of athletes in the room. I am excited to see what we do this year.”

Now Joe was highly critical of former strongside linebacker Quincy Black and his subpar play during the Raheem Morris era. But when he got some coaching, Black had the best year of his career and even Bucs coach Greg Schiano believed Black was improving at the time of his injury.

So if Bucs coaches can coach up Black, Joe isn’t sweating bullets about who will replace him.

As for the commenter who nearly daily asks who will start at strongside backer, Joe feels so bad for him, Joe is almost inclined to lie and claim Player-X will succeed Black, just so said commenter can rest at night.

15 Responses to “No Worries With Linebackers For Mason Foster”

  1. BuccaneerBonzai Says:

    Black was a huge waste for the team. Years of trying to get their money’s worth, overpaying him, only to have one “okay” year. Think of how many times the Bucs missed out on a better player because of Black taking a roster spot.

    And strong side is a very valid concern. So is DT.

  2. Kyle Says:

    It’s may dude….

  3. Macabee Says:

    According to a recent article by PR on Quincy Black’s replacement, Schiano and Sheridan don’t emphasize the SLB position as much as some teams as they played their base 4-3 only around 40% of their defensive snaps in 2012. The Bucs spent a majority of the time in a nickel (two LBs and one extra DB) and in dime coverage (one LB and two extra DBs) and in each case the SLB comes off the field.

    Even though they de-emphasize the position, it is still an important part of stopping the run, and the player that fills the role must also be athletic enough to drop into pass coverage at times, especially if the team drops into a Cover 2 or Cover 3 scheme. In the NFC South, QBs are as likely to throw on 1st or 2nd down as they are on 3rd down.

    Jonathan Casillas has never played the SLB position as he was a WLB at the Saints and he’s somewhat small for the role, but may be coached up. Adam Hayward, the perennial jack-of-all-trades LB is an unlikely candidate to be the starter. I read somewhere that Dekoda Watson was practicing with the first team. Maybe this is his year to break out! And it is May, they may bring in another LB to compete for the position. They have not replaced Willie Moseley yet!

  4. john Says:

    sounds good but he is average at best

  5. Illuminati Says:

    Daryl Smith is still a free agent. He’s 31 and coming off an injury, but he’d still be an upgrade for us at SLB. He’s strong against the run, can cover well, can blitz, and can play every LB position.

    I think the reason he hasn’t been signed is he’s still looking for top dollar. Once he realizes that’s not going to happen, I’d like to see us grab him if we could sign him to a reasonably cheap one- or two-year deal.

  6. Dooleymite Says:

    I’m rootin for Foster & David to have productive seasons respectively, SLB isn’t too big of a concern, because when Quincy Black was the “starter” he was rotating with Heyward & Watson throughout the season and when teams decided to air us out, the SLB was on the sideline. Add Casillas to the mix and we’ve got a trio that should be more than capable of handling the SLB duties in Schiano’s system.

  7. gotbbucs Says:

    We have a half a dozen backup LB’s on this team. For less than 50% of the defensive snaps I would hope this staff can find a way to utilize those guys as a whole to fill that position. It’s certainly not a big concern to the organization if they didn’t make one significant move to fill the “need”.

  8. Sgt Mike Says:

    Isn’t Black still rehabbing? Maybe he rehabs and gets resigned at a discounted rate to provide depth. Just a thought, not sure of his status.Go Bucs!

  9. Tampamac Says:

    Not to mention Bucs have 2 safeties in Barron and Goldson who excel in run support.

  10. Pete 422 Says:

    Dakota Watson

  11. BuccaneerBonzai Says:

    Did anyone consider that Schiano did not emphasise SLB because the Bucs were weak at the position? Black was not all that good, and people seem to be forgetting how badly SLB played for the Bucs in recent years.

    Also, it may not have been empasised because the Bucs pass defense was so bad they needed to keep as much help in there as possible.

    Just something to consider.

  12. Mike J Says:

    john , ”he” being who??

  13. Mike J Says:

    Illuminati , I live in Jax & have been pounding Smith’s drum since January. The injury may be scaring teams more than we know, however.

  14. Mike J Says:

    BuccaneerBonzai, a good point;coaches scheme to cover up weaknesses.

  15. Tiny Tim Says:

    Calm down buc fans. How soon we forget. The SLB was not a focal point in the great Tampa 2 days!! We platooned Gooch, Quarles, Singleton, Neece, Rufus Porter (for all you real buc fans), all within a time frame where the bucs finish top 10 in total D for a 10 year period.

    Who ever starts at SLB, whether on the current roster or a FA currently on the streets, will not be the reason the bucs will or won’t make the playoffs.