Mason Foster Tough On QBs

May 29th, 2014

mason foster 0405

For reasons unlclear, some Bucs fans just have never warmed to Mason Foster as an inside linebacker.

Now as a rookie, Foster, who was an outside linebacker in college, was part of the worst linebacker unit in the NFL, flanked by then under-performing Quincy Black and erratic Geno Hayes. Starting as a rookie and getting zero help on either side of him, not to mention the big guys up front, Brian Price and Gerald McCoy, were hurt, Foster was simply lost. Overwhelmed.

That changed the next year when Foster began the season looking like he was going to eat pineapple. For reasons unknown, Foster’s play slipped a little later in the season. After Black was lost for good with nerve damage to his shoulder (he was having his best season by far in the NFL), Foster was never the same that year.

Foster, in Joe’s eyes, has been undervalued, aside from his rookie season. Joe even fielded a call yesterday when he appeared with his good friend, “The Big Dog,” Steve Duemig, on WDAE-AM 620, from a fan who wanted Foster benched.

Joe doesn’t see it and, apparently, neither do the stat nerds at Pro Football Focus. In fact, they really like how he rushes quarterbacks from his middle linebacker position. Pro Football Focus rates Foster as the ninth-best inside linebacker for getting after the quarterback, with two sacks, six hits and 10 hurries. Surprisingly, the stat geeks have Foster rated higher than Bobby Wagner and Patrick Willis on quarterback pressures and believe Foster is NaVorro Bowman’s equal.

That’s some tall cotton there.

Foster is going nowhere soon. How much does Bucs coach Lovie Smith like Foster? He’s taking over the defensive play-calling duties from Lavonte David.

79 Responses to “Mason Foster Tough On QBs”

  1. Tampabaybucfan Says:

    Lets see what new coaching brings to Foster…..he is a solid, but not spectacular, player….maybe this is his year!!!

  2. Oahubuc Says:

    I don’t get the Foster hate either. How many pick sixes, quarterback hurries, and heads-up plays does a guy need to make under two Ray Perkins-quality coaches to get some love?

  3. INDYbucsfan Says:

    Dudes a beast has been one of my favorite players since we drafted him. I wish he were a little faster but a beast nonetheless.

  4. Buc The World Says:

    I still think about that pick 6 he had against Brees at home last year. It took him like a week to get to the end zone with the player convoy but dammit he got there! He read that play like a book

  5. Destinjohnny Says:

    Joe the guy has zero coverage skills and zero instincts in pass coverage. Other then that he is solid

  6. Hawaiian Buc Says:


    Really? So he got 2 pick 6’s last year, yet has zero coverage skills? Uh, ok? That makes perfect sense. If you want to say something like he struggles at times in pass coverage, I wouldn’t argue with you. However, when you start with idiotic over-exaggerations, you sound like a complete moron. Sorry he wasn’t able to cover the likes of Darren Sproles in the flat, or Jimmy Graham with no help, but that’s what happens with a Schiano coached team. You go ahead and tell me a MLB in the NFL that can cover those guys under those circumstances.

  7. SAMCRO Says:

    Here, JOE and I can agree. I also don’t get the disdain for Foster at ILB

    JOE says,

    “For reasons Joe isn’t quite clear on, some Bucs fans just have never warmed to Mason Foster as an inside linebacker”

    I wondered why JOE would say such a thing when I remembered JOE suggesting that Foster would probably be moved to strongside when he penned this little jewel.

    .What’s Happened To Mason Foster?
    December 23rd, 2012

    Maybe they are saying it because they read it from you guys. ya think?

  8. Buccaneer Bonzai Says:

    Destinjohnny Says
    “Joe the guy has zero coverage skills and zero instincts in pass coverage.”

    Bullspit. Mason Foster is a very good MLB. He has improved each year. Some people just don’t understand it takes player time to develop.

    People like you would have given up on Barber. He didn’t do well until his 5th year. Turned out to be a future HoFer.

  9. pablo Says:

    Pablo loves him some Make man pick 6 Foster. He will stick in Lovie’s System.

  10. Destinjohnny Says:

    Film don’t lie people- pull up a random bucs game watch it and then talk to me. Also a friend of mine is a scout for a nfc south team and he backs me up 1000% – but on another note he does say that the guy didn’t have much help with a pass rush.’he is solid in every other area

  11. Buxfan Says:

    Mike Glennon has hope here. When it comes to the Tampa media killing rookies. They not only bagging on Foster, they also labeled McCoy a bust.

  12. Hawaiian Buc Says:

    Oh, the old “a friend of mine” saying! That makes your comments even more hilarious! Correct me if I’m wrong, but wouldn’t a scout be scouting college kids, as opposed to kids already in the pros??? Nice try though. I have a friend that once served a drink to the guy that washes Lebron’s dog, and he told me that Lebron can’t shoot going to his right.

  13. Tyrone Says:

    We need someone with elite coverage skills to play mike backer. Tyrone is still shocked that we lasses up on cj mosley and ryan shazier in the first round. But Tyrone is confident there is a plan in place to replace foster next off season..

  14. JOC Says:

    Found this online___Bucs coach Lovie Smith anticipates MLB Mason Foster blitzing more in his version of the Tampa-2 this season.
    “The position will blitz,” Smith said. “Brian Urlacher will tell you that. Man coverage is also a part of what we ask. Bucs DC Leslie Frazier expressed concern over whether Foster has the coverage-skills to remain at middle linebacker. Foster could also see his snaps increase with the Bucs expected to use fewer dime packages. Apr 19 –

  15. JOC Says:

    Mason Foster isn’t the best coverage linebacker ever, but he had a grasp of what the defense was looking to do as a starter and regular contributor. It will be interesting to see if the defense struggles with mistakes and breakdowns with two backups in the starting lineup.

  16. Luther Says:

    I love Foster. His attitude among the best. He always looks like he loves his job and plays like it. Not everyone can be an allpro

  17. buc'd Up Says:

    I thought using the whole third person deal was played out when Pablo started with it. Now its just irritating. Be original, drink Dr. Pepper!

  18. Hawaiian Buc Says:

    Well said buc’d Up. Joe has a good thing going by using the third person thing. It keeps it interesting, and makes him money. The others that do it are just cheap imitations.

  19. Andrew 1 Says:

    No hate here. Just think his skill set would be best served playing strongside lb like he did in college. If the guy switched to SLB, he would be Hawaii bound imo. But, Lovie knows best. And, for the record, its not like he is a terrible MLB, he is just solid.

  20. Destinjohnny Says:

    You are right Hawaii buc -teams don’t scout other teams ever. what was I trying to slip that teams scout other teams by you. You are way to smart for that.

  21. Hawaiian Buc Says:


    But you said he was a scout, did you not? Scouts do not watch film and put together game plans, now do they? It’s very convenient that you wait to get called out by a few guys to invoke the whole “I have a friend” line, don’t you think? Forgive me for taking unnamed sources with a grain of salt, especially when you’re late dropping these “sources”.

  22. gatrbuc17 Says:

    Been hanging out over at another site I post on and it is an NFCN/NFCS blog. Got some Panthers fans discounting us. LOL they must not realize that we are gonna have a much better pass rush than before and their best WR is Tiquan Underwood. Not to mention how pathetic their secondary will look against VJ and Evans

  23. Hawaiian Buc Says:

    I love watching people squirm when they get caught in a lie. It’s so much more fun than them just disappearing. It’s so much better to watch them dig themselves even deeper.

  24. Destinjohnny Says:

    Other teams watch every move other teams make. That’s why they close off practices when they practice for real.’nfl is a for real league and they look for advantages any way they can. Same cat also said nicks toe had issues coming in.

  25. Destinjohnny Says:

    I 1000000% said he was a scout

  26. gatrbuc17 Says:

    You guys just fight and get it over with

  27. Destinjohnny Says:

    Why would u close off a practice? That’s a easy answer for you as u seem to have all the Answers.

  28. Hawaiian Buc Says:

    “Other teams watch every move other teams make. That’s why they close off practices when they practice for real.’nfl is a for real league and they look for advantages any way they can. Same cat also said nicks toe had issues coming in.”


    Ahhhh, I get it now. So now this scout was able to determine a toe injury, even though Nicks never missed a game, passed his physical, and played like a beast until actually injuring his toe. So aside from being a scout that studies Mason Foster, he also is a doctor, as well as a fortune teller. Man, you sure do have some friends in high places. You should try to lure him to Tampa, because he sure seems like he would be a valuable addition to our staff.

  29. Hawaiian Buc Says:

    What exactly does closing off practices have anything whatsoever to do with Mason Foster and/or your imaginary friend?

  30. Tampabaybucfan Says:

    @ Hawaiian Buc

    Heading to Kona Monday…15 days…will be on your time….glad not to be watching Bucs at 7am on Sundays!!!

  31. gatrbuc17 Says:

    Amen TBBF. Amen

  32. Hawaiian Buc Says:


    Yeah, that 7am kickoff is rough in the beginning, but after a while, you start to really like it. You wake up, watch the Bucs, and still have part of the morning to complain if they lose or party if they win! But have fun in Kona. Weather has been pretty crappy by our standards lately, but that never lasts for long.

  33. Destinjohnny Says:

    Because u said teamss don’t scout each other hoele. That’s insane to even think that- teams scout each other so hard that is why they close practices. Was my point.

  34. Destinjohnny Says:

    So u so a about his toe. Saints signed Ben for right about that same money. Why let a stud guard and sign another one for right about that same $$

  35. Hawaiian Buc Says:

    No that’s not what I said. I said that SCOUTS normally scout college players. You go ahead and re-read, because apparently comprehension is a struggle for you. I also said scouts don’t put together game plans. The reason I said that is simple: because they don’t.

  36. Kevin Says:

    I like that they took play calling duties away from David to let him fly around and play with his instincts more…less thinking. Let’s see what happens

  37. Hawaiian Buc Says:

    “So u so a about his toe. ”


    I don’t know what this means, but they got rid of Nicks because they couldn’t afford to keep him. They wanted him back badly. But when you have the luxury of having his backup as another stud for considerably less money and you are in salary cap trouble, you go with the cheaper and younger guy. Surely your scout friend could tell you that, that is if he’s not too busy scouting NFL players.

  38. Richardtyson Says:

    Kelvin Benjamin is their #1.. After all he came from the top university in Florida.

  39. J. Says:

    Destinjohnny loses IQ points, as well as common grammar usage points, with each post.

  40. Hawaiian Buc Says:

    Nicks tore the plantar plate in his foot. So are you really, in all seriousness, trying to tell me that he tore it while in New Orleans. Keep in mind that he played in a Pro Bowl after the season as well. I’m sure as an upcoming free agent with a torn plantar plate, he went ahead and toughed it out and played in the Pro Bowl, as opposed to just sitting it out like half the healthy players do. Yep Destinjohnny, I’m totally buying what you are saying!

  41. Destinjohnny Says:

    This is what u said -Correct me if I’mWrong but wouldn’t a scout be scouting college kids as opposed to people already in the pros….. My answer to that is there are area scouts for regions that each team has.also there are some scouts that just scout other teams for Various reasons free agency etc. You should go back and read what u wrote mate.

  42. Hawaiian Buc Says:

    Ok, so are you saying that your friend is a scout that scouts other teams? Is this what you are saying? So he’s not a regional scout, or a director of college scouting, but he’s a free agency scout (you put etc., which is a common term people use when they can’t think of another example)? What exactly is his job title? I’m going to need a little more info, because I just re-checked my drivers license, and my birthdate wasn’t yesterday.

  43. Hawaiian Buc Says:

    Funny how you now ignore the bad toe accusation. Lies on top of lies – great stuff buddy! Keeping me entertained on a boring Thursday.

  44. Destinjohnny Says:

    He sent me a text when we signed him and said when healthy the best guard in the league but don’t be surprised if he has foot/toe issues down the road. Maybe it was just a coincidence. He didn’t elaborate and maybe It was another issue and not this one at all. All I know is he had issue and they let him go and yes they saved money by signing Ben but why take the chance. You also can’t tell me dom didn’t like to take medical chances

  45. Jason mobsby Says:

    I saw Nicks today at a gas station. Wearing flip flops revealed a big toe not bearing weight ( held higher than the rest on that foot). Looked extremely out of shape. It is very doubtful this man will play again.

  46. Hawaiian Buc Says:

    the LMAO was directed at DesinJohnny and his ballooning lies.

  47. Destinjohnny Says:

    Any sport go to will have scouts in the stands from other teams . I’m sorry if this offends u

  48. Hawaiian Buc Says:

    I could be a NFL scout, because I already knew that Nicks was the best guard in the league, even before we signed him. And they didn’t actually let him go, he was a free agent. They wanted to sign him, but they didn’t have the money to do so. This is all documented, so no matter how you try to twist facts and make up imaginary friends, it doesn’t change reality. But please keep it up.

  49. Hawaiian Buc Says:

    Again, what kind of scout is your special friend? How does he have access to medical reports that no one else does? What is his exact job title. If you don’t know, you can just send him over a text and ask him.

  50. gatrbuc17 Says:

    OK……………to the point of Childishness now.

  51. Destinjohnny Says:

    Just called my boy and he said the proper term is advAnce scout – or pro personal advance scout – and he said foster was below average in coverage and there were hard rumors about carls feet in the street but he had no personal knowledge but heard it from good sources – I’m out

  52. buc89 Says:

    I love how pissed off this destin Kid is getting

  53. Hawaiian Buc Says:

    “Just called my boy and he said the proper term is advAnce scout – or pro personal advance scout – and he said foster was below average in coverage and there were hard rumors about carls feet in the street but he had no personal knowledge but heard it from good sources – I’m out”


    Yep, totally believe every word of that.

  54. Hawaiian Buc Says:

    I want you to read this sentence that I initially wrote to you, and read it very carefully: ” If you want to say something like he struggles at times in pass coverage, I wouldn’t argue with you.” This was in response to you saying he had “zero coverage skills and zero instincts in pass coverage”. Sounds like your “friend” just said he was below average, which is a far cry from “zero skills”, wouldn’t you say? So as I originally said, “when you start with idiotic over-exaggerations, you sound like a complete moron”.

  55. Hawk Says:

    Buccaneer Bonzai Says:

    ” Some people just don’t understand it takes player time to develop.”

    Except QBs? :^)

    FWIW, I agree that Foster is a ‘solid’ MLB, and there’s nothing wrong with having a ‘solid’ player at MLB. This year, the Bucs’ defense just might get a ‘group rate’ on plane tickets to their Pro Bowl appearance.

  56. K1ngadroc Says:

    Dude can ball. He’s a hard worker, never complains or makes excuses and he’s been steadily getting better. With consistent coaching/scheme he should thrive and go to Hawaii. I thought he would be a perfect Mike but I trust lovie will get him into the right spot. Hmm mm, I wonder who called the D for da Bears?

  57. b.Bruce Says:

    my cousins aunts cousins uncle knows Jeff Tedford, and told me they’re thinking about bringing Testaverde back.he also told me he’s best friends with Lovie Smith second cousin and he said Doug Martin is the quarterback of the future.tampaaaaaaa

  58. Eric Says:

    In the greater scheme of things, Foster is one of the least of our worries.

    One thing Lovie Smith damn sure can do is coach up the linebackers. And if he is satisfied with Foster that even trumps advance scouts……

  59. k1ngadroc Says:

    or advAnce scout – or pro personal advance scout or whatever

  60. Warren Says:

    Defensive play calling being taken away from Lavonte David seems like a repeat of Freeman being stripped of his captaincy. First whiff of the coach’s preference for “Lovie men”? Does anyone else view it as a slap at David or am I reading too much into it? How important is the function of the person who does the defensive play calling? I would think that since they are probably the one to call a defensive audible, you would want one of your proven team leaders and playmakers filling that role?

  61. owlykat Says:

    I happen to like Foster and want to see him make All Pro, but he will never make it at MLB in the pros. He does not have the speed to cover deep down the field, required for Tampa Two. He does all the rest well and has a great attitude, but I suspect David calling defensive calls would be better than Foster but we’ll see. What bothers me is his losing down to 230 to increase his speed, and the big backs of Carolina will target him in the first game with their big back running offense and embarrass Foster and put him on the bench. Lovie will bring in his fast 245 pound MLB from the Patriots who will do better than Foster and keep his job. That will be a shame because if moved to his best position of SLB in this off season Foster could be an All Pro there this year. I don’t want him cut or traded. When he was drafted Lindy’s had him rated the top OLB in the draft, but he was needed at MLB and has played out of position ever since. We cut the perfect Tampa Two type MLB last year, Named Goode, which proved to me Schiano was no judge of talent. He was 245 and showed he could cover passes deep down field, and runs sideline to sideline, and hit running backs hard in the hole.

  62. stanglassman Says:

    He also said the other day that Nicks had injured ‘TOE’ prior to the Bucs signing him not toe/foot, foot problems or might have foot problem down the line said on the street. The guy’s a BS artist I smelt his work the other day.

  63. Hawk Says:

    I don’t understand the ‘issue’ with the Mike calling the plays/audibles. Folks, he’s in the MIDDLE of the field. He has the best view of the entire offense. He can also call the plays/audibles without the need for them to be relayed to the other side of the field. I do not see this as a ‘demotion’ for Lavonte. This is logical, as long as the Mike can handle the job.

  64. Max Says:

    I am not worried about LB’s, they will be among the best in the NFL for a 4-3.

  65. Back, from Davie Jones Locker Says:

    As usual – most of you continue to stumble around clueless.
    Foster sucks in coverage. In the cover 2 the middle linebacker is primarily in mid- coverage.

    Look for Dane Fletcher to be our MLB on passing downs, and Foster to be in a SLB “rush backer” position.
    Or on the bench.

    And, just so the really slow ones can have something to float around in their heads-
    Interceptions ussually are the result of you being somewhere the QB didn’t expect you to be.
    You can surprise him by being in the wrong place, as easily as by him “not seeing you” in the right space.
    He had a couple- he wasn’t setting the league on fire

    A few of you will discount this entirely accurate analysis.
    You will also forget that one of Lovies first comments was that we need to “improve production at the MLB position”.

    So you’ll argue. But as often as you’ve looked stupid- what have you got to lose? Lol

    Most of you are still members of the “Trent Richardson is the best RB in the history of the league” club!

    Keep laughing it up.

  66. Back, from Davie Jones Locker Says:

    Oh, futher enlightenment.
    A” scout that scouts other teams”
    That is called a pro personnel scout.
    We just hired Scott Cohen, from the Jets, to head that Department.
    There are ussually 4-6 scouts, plus the Data assemelation guys, data storage, etc.
    It’s about a 20-30 person department. It is dedicated solely to scout the personnel of the other 31 teams.

    And no, the knock on Nicks was his dedication. New Orleans stately quiet clearly, that they were concerned about Nicks motivation- once he got his huge contract.
    Especially considering that his agent was demanding a guaranteed contract- with no incentive clauses.
    Dom felt comfortable signing him to guaranteed money.
    How’d that turn out.
    I think he’s done. Played 3 or 4 games- and set for life.
    The comments by the saints are in a Free agency statement New Orleans issued concerning his impending free agency.
    It’s on Wikcompanion. Look it up.

  67. biff barker Says:

    Foster is a thumper, above average player moving forward, below average going backwards.
    Also, he wears down in the back half of the season due to nagging injuries.
    Big hitters all succumb to the pounding. Ask the Hawk.

  68. BuccaneerBonzai Says:

    Hawk Says
    “Except QBs?”

    If you think that scored a hit on me you are wrong. I’ve been consistent in saying Mike Glennon need true, valid competition. I’ve even spoken against him being traded. I just don’t want the job or props handed to him without him earning it, and unless there is a QB of equal potential to be a long term solution, it isn’t really competition.

    Also, Mason Foster has improved enough to earn props. When David was drafted, there was talk of moving him outside and making David the MLB. This talk increased when David called the plays.

    But Mason played his possition well enough to earn it.

    Mike Glennon has not. Nowhere have I said we should cut Glennon. I have always said, “Two chances are better than one.”

    Meaning have two young talented guys fight for the job.

    The problem with MGMers is they want to hand the job to him and see how he does. I want to make him earn it and double our chances of getting a franchise QB. Otherwise we may be wasting time.

    You would get this if you spent thousands of dollars on the team each year. Wasting time wastess money.

  69. Jim Walker Says:

    Foster is solid. He is as good as, or better than Alshermond Singleton was.

  70. Jim Walker Says:

    Or Sheldon Quarles for that matter.

  71. Hawk Says:

    Sorry, BuccaneerBonzai. That wasn’t a jab AT you. I was just using your statement to make a point.

  72. BFFL Says:

    Foster has poor instincts and coverage skills. It’s also a red flag when the MLB cannot call the plays. I guarantee you that Lovie is worried but he had no better option this offseason. Perhaps Dane Fletcher can emerge. Foster just doesn’t have what it takes to be a good Tampa 2 mlb.

  73. Back, from Davie Jones Locker Says:

    Jim Walker
    Well, that’ll be your little secret!
    Our coach stated, after less than two weeks on the job, that we needed to improve our Middle linebacker production.

    And then signed a Middle linebacker that is a coverage specialist!

    But, ah, what does he know, right?

  74. Back, from Davie Jones Locker Says:

    Might not wanna share your opinions about Foster being superior talent, when compared to our Super bowl winning, pro bowl linebacker- Mr. Shelton Quarles.

    He’s either gonna laugh at you so hard, that you’ll start crying,
    Or demonstrate this Probowl tackling technique, which would require someone to come untie the knots he knocked you into.

    Quarles anchored one of the best defenses in league history. He went to the ProBowl- and helped us win the Super Bowl!!
    The greatest season, and game, the Bucs have ever played!!

    And you dare diminsh that, but saying he wasn’t as good as some guy who is just about to lose his position?!?!


    If you could see how hard I’m laughing at you, you’d cry!!!
    Lucky I’m not Joe! Those two post would get your posting put in “time Out” for 10 days!! Just so you’d learn to think before you post!

    And never insult the men who won Tampa the championship

  75. pick6 Says:

    unfortunately for foster, he will spend more time pedaling away from the LOS than rushing towards it in this system. i’ve been a fan the last 2 years of his work blitzing and stuffing the run, but he will have to flash a different skill set to thrive here now.

  76. Destinjohnny Says:

    Davey joe locker u are the man. Love the handle too. Wanna give u a heads up in here, if u think foster has bad coverage skills and that nfl teams have scouts that scout other nfl teams you will get chrushed in this site haha

  77. Brandon Says:

    Blitzing the Mike LB is way down the list of priorities in the T-2. What Mason does NOT do well, is cover a lot of ground, show he’s able to get to the middle 3rd when playing T-2, and show up in coverage. I still look for Dane Fletcher to unseat him. Mason Foster is a lot like former Mike for Atlanta that jumped over to the Saints, Curtis Lofton. MEH!!!

  78. cobraboy Says:

    Not a huge Mason Foster fan.

    He seems slow and not particularly quick.

    He’s been semi-OK on a bad defense.

    He knows it, too. Didn’t he just shed a bunch of pounds?

  79. Back, from Davie Jones Locker Says:

    DestinJohnny- right is right.
    Listen, the whole point of this site is to discuss football, and throw out your opinions.
    These guys were dead wrong, as usual, yet acting like they were some kind of ultimate authority on the Bucs!!


    Unfortunately, I’ve been around here longer than most of them. I’ve seen, and argued against, some of their Bone headed delusions.
    And to be fair, they’ve been right once or twice, when I wro . .
    Wro . . Um, misinformed. Which is fine.

    But if they wanna start sounding all knowning, just ask which ones of those brain surgeons actually suggested we trade our top 4 picks , to aquire the failure known as Trent Richardson! ( still makes me love- I told’em he was a to slow cow- they almost blew up my phone with Trent love)
    Ask which ones argued against signing Vincent Jackson( we have Mike Eilliams and Arrelious Benn- Jackson will just sit on the bench- lol)
    Or thought Shiano would have us in the playoffs in two years.
    Eric and I both thought it was Crazy to hire a dictator type career .500 coach, from a lil piss ant sized college. The masses here wanted us burned at the stake for Blasphomy!!
    Two entirely wasted years later . .

    Yeah, the more they team up on ya- the more stupid B.S. In the pile.
    Including me sometimes! Lol