Nate Askew On Lovie Smith’s Radar

May 17th, 2014
Bucs rookie LB Nate Askew caught Bucs coach Lovie Smith's eye as a first-year linebacker at Texas A&M.

Bucs rookie LB Nate Askew caught Bucs coach Lovie Smith’s eye as a first-year linebacker at Texas A&M.

If there is an early interesting angle to follow in Bucs rookie minicamp, and likely into the early weeks of training camp and the preseason, it will be how linebacker Nate Askew progresses.

It seems there is something about the man that Bucs coach Lovie Smith likes.

Askew, a former receiver at Texas A&M alongside Mike Evans, was moved to defense his senior year in College Station, partly because he was underperforming as a receiver. But he was such a good athlete and the Aggies were so terrible at defense, that Aggies coach Kevin Sumlin figured he couldn’t go wrong by flipping Askew to linebacker.

“He was the fastest guy on the team until I bulked up and became the fastest,” Evans said of Askew.

Askew had never played any defensive position before, not even in high school. He wasn’t drafted last week, but just after the draft ended he got a call from Bucs coach Lovie Smith.

“He told me how he could help me be a better linebacker,” Askew said of Lovie. “I trusted him and I came here.”

And now, Askew is working as a will-linebacker.

“It happened very quick,” Askew said of the move from wide receiver to linebacker his last year at Texas A&M. “I am learning the position but I progressed. I am trying to pick it up where I left off, learning new things and trying to get better.”

The hardest part of moving to defense, Askew said, was realizing he was no longer a receiver.

“Being able to read and react [was toughest to learn],” Askew said. “I was so offensive-minded. Now I am able to see things from a defensive perspective and I am able to get to the ball quicker now.”

Askew had done his homework on Lovie; he knew he was a Bucs linebackers coach helping build one of the greatest defenses in NFL history. So the fact that Lovie singled him out humbled him.

“Means a lot, means a lot,” Askew said. “Means he saw something in me that I didn’t see.”

If the Bucs can be patient, then Evans thinks they may have a jewel in Askew.

“He’s a great athlete,” Evans said of Askew. “He can run and he can make plays. He can cover guys in the slot.”

To hear more from Askew, click the orange button below, courtesy of Joe’s co-conspirators at WDAE-AM 620.

11 Responses to “Nate Askew On Lovie Smith’s Radar”

  1. Tampabaybucfan Says:

    Hopefully…he can contribute on Special Teams and make the roster….Always nice to have a couple of players “under development”….Tim Wright comes to mind….

  2. pablo Says:

    Joe I am really proud of you man BRAVO dir. You mentioned Texas A&M with out mentioning Manziel ..

  3. StPeteBucsFan Says:

    Time will tell but this exactly the kind of situation where draft steals take place.

    Evans is the real deal, the TE is a beast, now if one of those OL picks works out and Askew keeps progressing this could be one of the best drafts since the famous Sapp-Brooks draft. Notice I said “since”. IMHO the Bucs will never have a draft like that one. But who aside from the Steelers perhaps has ever scored to HOFer’s in one draft. That’s a feat Bucs fans can celebrate forever!!!

  4. mark2001 Says:

    Pablo…if he could only name Illinois State University occasionally…… 🙂

  5. Buccaneer Bonzai Says:

    Something is missing in the comments section this year. Can’t put my finger on it. Ah well.

    Anyway, I hope Nate is great because if he is they will find room for him. If he isn’t, I don’t want him.

    This is the time of year when all is smiles and rainbows and every player looks good more than they look bad. Joe does a great job covering it all, but honestly, I’m tired of hype. I want to see improvement on a game level.

    I know the season isn’t even near. It’s just that the past half decade has gotten to me.

  6. Buccaneer Bonzai Says:

    I just remembered what is missing.

    BucFan1987‘s QB supporter list. How about it 1987….where’s the list of MGMers?????

    I know you did it last year!

  7. Buxfan Says:

    pablo Says:
    May 17th, 2014 at 9:57 am
    Joe I am really proud of you man BRAVO dir. You mentioned Texas A&M with out mentioning Manziel ..


    One day at a time. 12 step program. Occasional shock therapy.

  8. BamBamBuc Says:

    I’d rather see them bulk this kid up a bit more and work with him as a SLB. His height matches up well against TEs, and the former WR in him should allow him to track the ball well. If he can learn to shed the TE’s blocks to make a run stop, or learn gap assignments well enough to plug the running lanes, he might find a role on the team. He can start on the practice squad, learning from NFL coaching staffs, maybe move to active roster as a backup & special teams player. With a little luck, good coaching and time, we may have a LB better than Casillas as the SLB (don’t get me wrong, Casillas is fine, a ST warrior that is adequate at SLB, but it would be nice to have upgraded SLB play that ALSO excels on ST).

  9. teacherman777 Says:

    Dekoda Watson clone.

    I hope he can do it.

  10. Tristan Berry Says:

    LB able to cover guys in the slot? That’s pretty huge.

  11. owlykat Says:

    Askew with his speed should be able to cover passes down the middle and be a playmaker having been a WR. I think his best position will be at MLB as a backup. Foster cannot provide good coverage deep downfield, and at 230 lbs. he will be run over by Charlotte’s big back running attack in the first game and our Patriot’s MLB at 145 lbs. will replace Foster and Lovie will need a MLB backup–Askew! Foster then will have to retool to play SLB or be trade bait and will have to put on weight. Pitty Foster hasn’t been made the SLB to begin with because he can be a perennial all pro at that position since he played there in college and was the top rated OLB in the draft when we got him according to Lindy’s Draft Magazine that year.