Mason Foster Takes Over Defensive Play Calls

April 25th, 2014

mason foster 0404One thing that blew Joe’s mind about the greatness of Lavonte David was him calling defensive plays as a rookie, and playing like a madman on the field, literally everywhere the ball was.

Well, under Lovie Smith’s defense, the weakside linebacker no longer calls defensive plays. That responsibility has been handed off to middle linebacker Mason Foster.

The task is nothing new for Foster, who himself called plays as a rookie. Foster is looking forward to the new duties.

“It is going to be good,” Foster said. “I did it my rookie year. Takes a lot to do, but I love it, being in front of the team making the calls. It is something me and Lavonte always did together. So I know he has my back and we will keep working through it. I love it.”

This will be about as smooth of a transition as there can be. During David’s rookie year, Foster told Joe how he and David would spend the better part of the night before a game sitting in the team hotel going over plays, reviewing the opposing offense’s plays and tendencies, and bouncing ideas off each other’s heads to mentally prepare for the next day’s game.

In fact, Foster said in practices the past couple of seasons, he too wore a headset in his helmet to prepare for calling plays, just in case David was out of action for some reason.

“Will [lean on David] a lot,” Foster said. “We always bounce ideas off of each other, talk about everything off the field. I did it my rookie year. This is part of the game. I’m in my fourth year. I am ready. Smooth transition.”

While playing outside linebacker at the University of Washington, Foster called defensive plays for the Huskies as well, but used only hand signals and wrist bands to decipher what coaches wanted.

“Speakers are a lot easier than hand signals,” Foster said.

Foster noted that communication is the most difficult hurdle for him to leap in calling plays. “You are out there running and breathing hard and trying to talk to everybody.”

David admitted that fewer responsibilities for him will make things a bit simpler in doing his job.

“It kind of frees me a little more and gives me some time to digest what I have to do and help everybody else get lined up,” David said. “It’s a little pressure off of me. ‘Mase’ will do a great job.”

10 Responses to “Mason Foster Takes Over Defensive Play Calls”

  1. flmike Says:

    So, by this we should infer that Foster is our starting MLB and not Fletcher, and, this is solely based on his anointment of McCown as out starting QB, I would have assumed he would have anointed Fletcher as the starting MLB and given him the green dot, but he hasn’t and he’s not.

  2. Macabee Says:

    Sounds like a seamless transition to me. Nothing to worry about here. Might even improve depending on who’s at the other end of the microphone!

  3. DaMayan Says:

    @flmike – not necessarily, Lovie only said the MLB will call the plays. If that’s Foster then yes it’ll be him.

  4. 1Gr8Buc Says:

    Hopefully this puts to rest any of you irrational people, joe included that think Fletcher will be taking over this position. The guy is in better shape (wasn’t in bad shape to begin with) is now calling the defensive plays, really did well in his role last year. He’s going nowhere. Idk why some people say he lacks coverage skills when the dude had two pick 6’s last year….. One of the them will probably go down as the second best in franchise history behind Ronde’s against Philly.

  5. biff barker Says:

    I’m curious to see how well David will do in the Tampa two and get a fair comparison between him and Brooks.
    I do believe the more physical nature of the linebackers being called on the stop the run in Lovie’s D may take its toll. Brooks was the ultimate iron man!

  6. Josh P Says:

    ^^^ and HOF 55’s against The Crows that same year.

  7. BucFan20 Says:

    It only means Fletcher and Foster would rotate anyway. So either way Foster would call the plays.

  8. Buccaneer Bonzai Says:

    It also makes it clear that the Bucs will not be drafting a MLB. Not much of a leap, but it does clarify the picture a little.

    I foresee Mason sometimes moving outside and Fletcher handling the middle. Just every once in a while to send a different look at the opposing QBs.

  9. bigpoppabuc Says:

    I don’t see why Foster wouldn’t be the starter. I love this dude. He plays hard, plays with passion and really seems to be thrilled with his PRIVILEGE of playing pro football. He’s prone to mistake or two every so often but otherwise he’s a very suitable MLB. I had my doubts when drafted him and put him in the middle, but I’ve seen him improve every year.

  10. Cody Says:

    Great! points pappabuc…I Love Fosters genuine passion for the game…(Love the Ric Flair strut)…Not only has he been solid, He’s also been durable his entire career so far…Had he not been taken out by the “friendly fire” of Desean Goldson he wouldn’t have missed the 2 or 3 game he missed this last season …I absolutely love our LB’s even down to Nickerson; I expect big things for this defense big things…