Foster To Oustide Linebacker?

June 10th, 2014
Photo courtesy of

Shrinking Mason Foster could be on the move, writes a local beat writer. Photo courtesy of

Veteran Bucs beat scribe Woody Cummings, of The Tampa Tribune, served up five things to keep an eye on during the Bucs’ mandatory minicamp, which starts this afternoon.

One suggests Mason Foster could be on the move before opening-day kickoff.

Cummings says he will have his eyes focused on newcomer Dane Fletcher, a Bill Belicheat linebacker the past handful of years. Fletcher played about 15 to 20 percent of the snaps in New England’s defense last year, and he played his share of middle linebacker.

The linebackers

Lavonte David will man the weak side, Mason Foster the middle and Jonathan Casillas the strong side. That is, unless Dane Fletcher steals a job. Versatile and good enough to start, Fletcher is a player to watch in this camp and again in training camp. He’s going to get a chance to unseat either Foster or Casillas. And if Dane unseats Foster, Foster could eventually unseat Casillas. The only lock here is David. Everyone else is fighting for playing time.

Joe doesn’t disagree with Cummings, but Joe thinks the odds are quite slim that Foster loses his starting middle linebacker job, especially given that Lovie Smith said he’s turned defensive playcalling duties over to Foster at the “mike” linebacker position. Linebackers coach Hardy Nickerson also said great things about Foster last week.

However, Fletcher is Lovie’s “prototype” linebacker and Lovie strongly implied months ago that Fletcher is here to compete for a starting job, like all the free agents he targets early in an offseason. So Cummings is not writing anything outlandish.

A potential move of Foster to outside linebacker could be seamless. He played there as renowned tackling machine in the Pac-12.

18 Responses to “Foster To Oustide Linebacker?”

  1. kristofer Says:

    no way

  2. The 300's Says:

    I think he could be a Pro Bowl caliber SLB, but does not have the mental makeup to play Mike. That is the only way Dane would be able to unseat Foster at Mike and the reason he was brought in for competition.

  3. SAMCRO Says:

    At this point if we got 4 to 5 guys that are truly interchangeable and can play in a rotational role, then it’s at our advantage. Plus this has to be the most depth this franchise has ever had in the LB position, where basically everyone of them can be the starter. Nice problem to have.

  4. The_Buc_Realist Says:

    I thought it was a stretch he would play middle linebacker. unless his coverage vastly improved.

  5. Buc Neckid Says:

    Would anybody have missed Barron if we had drafted Kuechly instead?
    Imagine David – Kuechly AND Mason Foster …

  6. StPeteBucsFan Says:

    Buc neckid

    Totally understand your post but that cow has left the barn long ago. And yes I agree with you that in hindsight Kuechly was probably a better pick.

    But somewhere a couple of decades ago there were NFL fans in dozens of cities who bemoaned passing up Warren Sapp for whomever they did draft.

    It works both ways. That’s what makes the draft so exciting. Yeah experts have a better shot than we amateurs but it’s still pretty much a crap shoot.

  7. tonybuc Says:

    That’s actually what I want, move him to the outside, and have david, Fletcher, and foster our starters, I think thats a pretty solid group and have casillas rotate and play special teams he’s really good at, we got to have somebody replace Watson’s role and Casillas is that guy imo.

  8. Sneedy16 Says:

    @Buc Neckid

    Kuechly is irrelevant at this point. We don’t have him, so who cares? To be honest we would lose one of them in a few years due to salary anyways. There is no way they would keep all three unless Foster comes back cheap.

  9. Seth B Says:

    I see Mason starting at Middle in the base Defense and then coming off the field in the nickel for Fletcher. But who knows, maybe Foster losing the weight will add more speed and he can stay on the field.

  10. Mike J Says:

    Buc Neckid, I was all for drafting Luke before the draft!! I hate to think about it….
    Up here in NE Fla, they have to agonize over the Jags’ taking Blaine Gabbert ahead of J.J. Watt.

  11. biff barker Says:

    If Fletcher unseats Foster then we will have a better team.

    Foster is more of a thumper, Fletcher reputedly can cover. He’s here to win a starting job not just be a special teams ace. Well see.

  12. Bear the Bucs Says:

    With the rule changes favoring the passing attack, having a “Dick Butkus” thumper style linebacker doesn’t work anymore. Foster losing weight is a good thing. I miss the “THUMP” in football.

  13. BigMacAttack Says:

    Lovie is missing his Urlacher.

  14. 1bucfan88 Says:

    Luke Keuchly? Is he the guy who those schmucks from the AP voted DPOY over far superior candidates? *cough*Lavonte*cough*

    Lost in the chatter of everyone bellyaching about Barron-over-Ruud 2.0 is the fact that if we draft Ruud 2.0 in the top 10 there’s little to no chance that David ends up here. Sure they MIGHT have doubled down, but that’s not a good look when your defense desperately needs help in the secondary.

  15. MTM Says:

    Glad to see there is some depth at linebacker because one is bound to get hurt at some point.

  16. Kevin Says:

    Not gonna happen…although I do like the signing, won’t happen.

  17. Trubucfan22 Says:

    Keuchly is good, but not dpoy good. He gets ran over far too often for a MLB. And he is terrible in coverage. He doesn’t play at the line if scrimmage, most o his tackles are assist 5+ yards down field. I’ll take foster over keuchly. I’ll take David over ANY linebacker in the league though.

  18. BuccaneerBonzai Says:

    Dane Fletcher will be a floater between mlb and solb.

    Cummings starts this topic EVERY YEAR just to generate talk.