Calling For Mason Foster’s Ousting

November 12th, 2014

FosterThe unexpectedly steep learning curve for the Bucs defense seems to be personified by Mason Foster.

He’s a big part of that woeful, 31st-ranked Bucs pass defense, and former Bucs defensive end Steve White (1996-2001), a coaching intern this season under Lovie Smith, has seen enough of Foster.

White took to Twitter to break down the coach’s film of the Bucs-Falcons game yesterday, and among many takes, he was detailed and harsh on Foster.

Here’s the string:



Off because I saw him flip his hips and turn and drop in that direction deep. Then I just couldnt believe what I was seeing but just for


White’s a seasoned and astute football mind. But Joe doesn’t always agree with him. That written, Joe can’t disagree with much here. Foster has looked lost in coverage consistently.

And we all know Lovie needs a stout Mike linebacker in this defense.

Foster is in his fourth season. His rookie contract is about to end, and it’s hard to believe the Bucs will embrace his return.

The Bucs linebackers consistently rave about position coach Hardy Nickerson and his passion, intensity and knowledge. Are we to believe Nickerson isn’t teaching well? Or is Foster just not cut out for this defense? Joe suspects the Lovie will roll with the latter this offseason.

55 Responses to “Calling For Mason Foster’s Ousting”

  1. biff barker Says:

    Foster’s ability to cover was one of the biggest question marks in the beginning of the season.

    It’s not a question any more. He’s a downhill thumper best suited for SLB.

  2. SAMCRO Says:

    Again, square peg round hole. Instead of possibly moving him to maybe OLB or whatever, we’ll just run him off so he can help the enemies, and make a few probowls. Makes sense to me <-sarcasm

  3. Greg Says:

    Good coaches coach to the strength of the players they have rather than try and shove there agenda down there throat.
    Im not saying Foster is an all pro but why not try and get the most out of the players you have and coach them to the talent they have.
    Thats right I forgot we have Lovie.

  4. BucTrooper Says:

    Another Dominik pick that is it worth keeping. Remember, all the people who fault the Buccaneers about taking Mark Barron over Luke Kuechly forget that the year before Dominik drafted Mason Foster. He wasn’t about to undo his draft pick immediately. And this is what madehim such a terrible GM. His bad moves are compounded by more bad moves.

  5. Architek Says:

    Great – yet another hole left to fill and another opportunity for Lovie to misevaluate a player and set is back further!

    I agree with Steve White and trust his approach more than others.

  6. Louis Friend Says:

    The only player we won’t be hoping gets benched. Since Dane Fletcher makes Foster look like an All-Pro.

  7. ak427er Says:

    we should slide foster over to sam linebacker. he is a solid tackler and would do well there. i think thats what he played in college.

  8. D-Rome Says:

    Joe suspects the Lovie will roll with the latter this offseason

    As he should. I think Mason is a good LB but he’s not good enough for this scheme. He’s never been good in pass protection and there’s no reason to resign him at this point.

  9. Mike10 Says:

    Then move him across from David and draft a true MLB – but I don’t think he should be ousted just because he’s not good up the middle.

  10. Tampabaybucfan Says:

    I agree we should keep Foster if he is affordable…..but every team has burned us over the middle with their passes… many times have you seen a reciever wide open with about 4 of our defenders in the general area?
    Where are our interceptions?…….defended passes over the middle?

  11. Pickgrin Says:

    Foster has been playing out of position ever since he got here. He was a good outside linebacker in College. MLB? Not so much…

    We need to draft or sign a stud MLB and move Foster over to the SAM spot. That move alone would make a big difference for the effectiveness of this defense.

  12. RastaMon Says:

    STOP It Joes….this is too painful…..until there is anything meaninful to talk about ,insert off topic Buc threads….best vacation locations…big breasts…medium…small…all other female body parts….Ford vs Chevy vs Toyota etc….please we need an escape from this dismal abyss….some sunshine from the light deprived depression…..

  13. Robert 9 Says:

    i said a month ago when he was hurt that the defense was better without him. they were still awful, but i felt his replacement was better and got slammed for it

  14. pick6 Says:

    foster will make a pro bowl elsewhere, as he nearly did under his previous coach. one more talented player lost in the organizational shuffle

  15. pick6 Says:

    maybe we can trade him and a 6th rounder to the patriots for a 7th rounder. seems like the type of backwards deal that is the norm for us these days

  16. Patrickbucs Says:


    As you should of

  17. pick6 Says:

    and yes, i realize that is negative trade value. i’m being petty and irritable

  18. Mike J Says:

    Er, how much experience did Hardy have as a coach when he got this job?? Back in August, I expected Smith to be ”hands-on” with the ‘backers, & Nickerson along to help & learn.

  19. Warrenfb12 Says:

    Which is too bad because last year Foster really came on and had a pro bowl type year. Just another casualty of this archaic Tampa-2 defense. I’m sure somebody will pick him up and he will flourish in a different scheme. People can say it’s too knee jerk to want Lovie out,
    But I was never on board with this hire and I don’t want to see him return. How do u justify bringing a 1-15 or 2-14 coach back that has spent almost to the cap and failed so horribly. Let licht find a new guy I can’t stomach this hc.

  20. RastaMon Says:

    Hardy..playing and coaching are 2 different things…..I posed yesterday how all of the assistant coaches are strangley out of the press….just monotoned Lovie dronig

  21. Destinjohnny Says:

    Took so much heat in the past for calling out foster – thanks steve for backing my play-‘did we make a mistake firing Greg?

  22. buccinfan Says:

    We got to make mason our strongside backer. Hes physical enough to play just need to free him from thinking

  23. Jonny 2.3 Says:

    The popularity of Foster is unbelievable. People act like he is a solid tackler when he isn’t. He often overpursues and leaves his gap open. He also takes bad angles at times, aims feet especially which is bad for a MLB, only to be juked easily and other players don’t have a chance on the runner for the next 10 yards as he cannot even slow them with his poor tackling technique. Just like Davin Joseph was, Foster is one of the most overrated players on the roster. I really like him when he is attacking the LoS on run downs or is blitzing, he does it with authority. But when he is a few yards away from LoS, needs to maintain his gap discipline, read the play develop and close in at the right time, he becomes a liability.

    He isn’t going to magically get better as a SLB unless he is attacking LoS on every damn play.

  24. Brandon Says:

    BucTrooper Says:
    November 12th, 2014 at 10:05 am
    Another Dominik pick that is it worth keeping. Remember, all the people who fault the Buccaneers about taking Mark Barron over Luke Kuechly forget that the year before Dominik drafted Mason Foster. He wasn’t about to undo his draft pick immediately. And this is what madehim such a terrible GM. His bad moves are compounded by more bad moves.

    No, Foster was drafted two seasons before AND Foster was an OLB almost entire time during college. I was one of those people hoping for Keuchly and there isn’t a damn thing anybody could say to make me think Barron > Keuchly.

  25. Brandon Says:

    Why has nobody mentioned that Foster constantly falls for play-action and hard. A simple fake hand-off and Foster starts barrelling towards the LOS while TEs and WRs laugh untouched and uncovered over the middle. He is awful and always has been in coverage.

  26. Nick2 Says:

    Foster gets burned deep over the middle more than any linebacker we have had. I think hes a step to slow myself and its not about want to or will to. We need someone with speed like a Derrick Brooks type to roam the deep middle part of the field not a clunker like Foster. The numerous problems we have with tight ends I believe can be traced to Foster as well. Lovie just assumed some of these guys were good because of where they were drafted, Barron was one and Foster is another.

  27. Tomcin Says:

    Bring Urlacher out of retirement.

  28. Greg Says:

    It was never a question! I have been watching him for years. Hes a run stopping strong side linebacker which is what he did in college. I also saw we had no depth at O-line before we got rid of Zutah and joseph and nicks. We have one D-lineman worth a crap. The most aggravating part of this organization is the amount of failed 1st round picks. There is no excuse to miss in the first round every year. We either trade it away or cut the player after the rookie contract. Yet the media was calling Dominick a “Rockstar”. I could draft better with a draft magazine, a plate of wings, and a beer.

  29. Matt Says:

    Foster isnt intelligent enougg or athletic enough to play ILB in a 4-3, but he’s more like a 3-4 ILB. He would get embarrassed as an OLB in either scheme bc of his tight hips. He does hit hard when he connects but he often time makes Ruud-like tackles 4-5 yards past the LOS. And yes he is arguably the worst LB we have at playactions.We took for granted how gifted Nickerson, Duncan and Quarles were bc of Brooks and Sapp but make no mistake, that Tampa 2 doesn’t work without an instinctive athletic ILB. Lansanah shows more potential than Foster but even he appears to be a serviceable backup. We need to address this position asap.

  30. FanOfBucs Says:

    Foster can only blame Foster. Study tape and be where you’re supposed to be. It’s not over his head, he’s just not committed.

    Foster knew coming into this season that the Bucs were unlikely to re-sign him, so gm guess is that he’s taken the low road, rather than play his ass off.

  31. Shawnbucfan Says:

    Barret ruud ?

  32. FanOfBucs Says: my guess..

  33. bucs4lyfe Says:

    I said he should have been moved back to SLB which is where he led the nation in tackles coming out of college but what can you say because it’s lovie smith evaluating the talent of the team so theres no telling how long it will take for him to realize a player isn’t cut out for a certain position….Steve white watches tape and knows what this defense should look like better than most so how could you really ever disagree with anything he says about this defense joe?

  34. Jack Burton Mercer Says:

    People here commenting on his intelligence is insulting. His aptitude for this position in this defense is the question. He seems to be lacking. I agree with those who want him at SLB; that is worth a try. Move Lansanah in MLB at least on passing downs. He has shown some aptitude for pass coverage.

  35. Architek Says:

    We jumped on you because Fletcher graded our horrifically and we didn’t want you to have to eat excessive crow from making such outlandish statements.

    Foster = average against run to bad in coverage
    Fletcher = Abomination

  36. DB55 Says:

    It’s like you guys expect peyton manning and Ray Lewis at every position. Yet everyone who we cut starts for a better team. Hmmmmm

  37. Pickgrin Says:

    Matt Says:
    November 12th, 2014 at 11:43 am
    “We took for granted how gifted Nickerson, Duncan and Quarles were bc of Brooks and Sapp…”

    Jamie Duncan was “gifted”??? – LOL – That’s a good one. Talk about selective memory

  38. Lamarcus Says:

    Well White is a part of this debacle also…. since he was an ” intern” too. Thanks White for your sideline opinion there is a reason your not coaching the bucs now!!! Maybe ur worse than the coaches we have now. So move on. Stop picking on the obvious.

  39. Jim Says:

    Imagine if we had take Luke Kuechly instead of Barron

  40. Matt Says:

    When we talk about intelligence we are talking football IQ. We are of course always talking on JBF about said man’s skills as it pertains to tackle football and in no other context of his life. If we were debating my abilities to design clothing, my intelligence of fashion would undoubtedly be poor. I would be a “faggot” (as we uses to call other kids who could give criticism but not take it in return) if I were to say hey I’m no retard, i can tie my shoes and make a peanut butter jelly sammich by myself. Also, this is beer and wings talk, not scholarly admissions so llet’s not take stuff so seriously.

    The more I think this thru (one of the few sober times I have as a Bucs fan), we simply cannot name drop players from.the past anymore. Its like driving in a car looking in the rearview mirror at men in rocking chairs who were once in front of us. The game has changed drastically and all we can do is focus on what we can control and continue to have a detailed plan, stick to fundamentals and inspire our players to strive for improvement. We are stuck in thepast because we have no leadership in the present.

    And yes Duncan had a much higher football IQ than Foster. I think it’s a very fair comparison, St Louis had a great defense with Lovie and who do you think helped the team steepen the learning curve? Ask London Fletcher what he thinks of Duncan.

    Anyhow back to subject at hand. Yeah, Mason Foster is a 2 down 3-4 ILB and/or backup. I wouldnt mind keeping him on tbe roster at 2.5-3m/ but anymore than that is too much for a marginal player.

  41. Jim Says:

    Why is White watching football? Doesn’t he have a child to beat?

  42. ElioT Says:

    Something is wrong with Foster…

    Vikings game:
    He was standing in the hole, watched the hole develop, the Vikes RB run right through the hole, then decided to run after him for a 30+ gain.

    It was very weird that he would have reacted so slow and not stepped up to stuff the hole right in the middle of the line.

    To make matters worse he was trailing the RB all the way down field, never attempting to tackle and ended up getting blown up on the sideline by the Tight End.

    It was like Mason was in outer space.

    What the hell is HARDY teaching?

    This kid has shown talent to play in this league. I suspect the Bucs let him walk (another 3rd Rd pick no longer on the team) and he will play good ball somewhere else for a coach who can maximize his talent.


    Go Sucs!

  43. ToesOnTheLine Says:

    “did we make a mistake firing Greg?”

    @ Destinjohnny

    Trust me I know first hand what an unpopular sentiment that was PLF (Pre Lovie Failure), as I had voiced similar. The mistake wasn’t necessarily firing Greg but rather not giving him a third year to implement his plan without the horid 2013 drama. Then if the team floundered in mediocrity he abdolutely should have been fired. I still suspect his firing was less about the Glazer’s not liking the ‘culture’ at One Buc Place and more about trying to bring in fan favorite/Dungy Part II in hopes of selling season tickets and all that ‘wonderful’ new uniform merchandise.

  44. Shaneamarco Says:

    Joe- would it be too much to try to switch Lansanah and Foster around mid season…Danny is tied for the team lead with 2 picks, he may possibly perform a little better…It’s not like we have much to lose at this point?

  45. Zam Says:

    I’m pretty sure the TD everyone blamed Verner for in the loss to Cleveland was Foster’s man who he lost (they were in man coverage). Watch the film.


    I don’t understand why our version of this defense apparently requires the elitist of elite players at EVERY SINGLE POSITION in order to be successful. Our coaches and/or this scheme are obviously terrible. Move Mason to the Strongside before getting rid of him. Although Lansanah is pretty good. I honestly don’t think Lovie will be here after next season, but I wish he would get the boot after this one. I’ve never been so over a coach so quickly in 30 yrs as a fan. SMDH.

  47. Capt.Tim Says:

    I’ve said it all season
    In every game he’s played(and even one he didn’t)
    He REFUSES to I the correct drop

    It’s so god awful simple- most of us could do it. You set up 5 yard behind the line. When the ball is snapped – you immediately back pedal 10-12 yards- and cover The middle zone.

    Foster runs 6-7 yards and stops.
    Leaves a hole in the Zone
    It’s crazy, but he does it consistently.

  48. Ralph Phillips Says:

    Haha. This fanbase. NOBODY on this team has been playing good. NOBODY. Even our $100 million dollar man. But damn if people cannot stop from wanting to cut players. It is like we enjoy punishing our team. I have seen Foster make some great plays during the season as well as some crappy ones. To point him out as a reason we are sucking is simply ignorant. The whole offensive line, the quarterback, the running backs, the linebackers, the pass rush, the secondary, the punter, etc. have all played bad. Yet every week I keep reading who we need to cut. It is so and so’s fault. He needs to be cut.

    As fans, are we ever going to learn that getting rid players is never the solution? Penn has not given up a sack in Oakland this year, Zuttah is killing defenses in Baltimore, Barron had a crucial third down sack against the Cardinals that took Palmer out for the season, Gorrer had a great interception last week, and on and on and on. We get rid of guys and they go somewhere else and play great. That has been the story of the Bucs since they have been a franchise. We have got to stop calling for players to be released. We are perpetuating a cycle of failure.

  49. Mike J Says:

    I have never seen much in Foster’s play, & don’t really understand the acclaim or whatever he garners.

  50. Buctebow Says:

    There are only so many players that you can cut. Our problem is that we don’t retain any players. Lets get one that actually performs better before cutting the ones we have. We need consistency. Keep him and move him to a back up role, or the strong side.

  51. buc4lyfe Says:

    Is there a gag order in place for talking against a guy who just got almost 100 million and can’t today the passer? I remember warren sapp talking about stunts and games to get to a passer and we do it too especially if your triple teaming which only happens a few times in a game. The weak pass rush exposes the entire defense, is much rather someone explain that nonexistent pass rush, they’ve been seeing that in film study of mason foster since Greg schiano

  52. Lou. Says:

    The Mike has been and is now a huge hole in this team.

    Back when Domenik drafted Foster, he was projected as a Sam. He played out of position under Raheem.

    I thought Kuechly was an obvious pick of need — it would have been a two-fer allowing Foster to slide over to his natural position. And that would not have p-to-back revented us from drafting David — Domenik was known for drafting positions back-to-back (see McCoy and Price; Clayborn and Bowers; Been and Williams). At that time the Little Dog was barking that “MLB are not drafted so high.” But the Mike is foundational to the Tampa Two and is generally essential to most defensive schemes.

    This year, I was hopeful we could get Shazier (especially if we traded down out of our slot). was pessimistic since Lovie would hate to turn that position over to a rookie. But while D-line talent may be harder to find, our D lives or dies by the Mike.

    Foster can be an impactful player; I just don’t see him ever making that impact as MLB.

  53. Capt.Tim Says:

    We have terrible players. Foster is just one of many. That’s why this team has SUCKED for 9 years.

    Lovie knew it, after 3 weeks here.
    He needs to quit jerking around. Just walk to the podium, at tell the truth
    ” this team has 6 NFL caliber players. The rest are crap. It’s why they keep losing double digit games. I’m gonna have to burn it down, and rebuild it.
    I didn’t screw it up- but with a couple years- I can fix it. It’s gonna take a bit, but I’m willing to stay til it’s done”

    He might as well. It’s what they are doing. All that’s missing is the confession.
    Foster is one of many highly touted, yet lowly producing guys that fill this roster.

  54. MTM Says:

    Another Dominick draft pick soon to be playing elsewhere. Foster can’t cover the middle of the field and is not a very good run stopper. The Bucs should resign him for 5yrs with a ton of guaranteed money. That’ll fix it!! Dominick passed on Kuechly that says it all.

  55. Trubucfan22 Says:

    F that. Foster is a good player. He obvious has work to do, but if you give up every time a young player struggles, then you’ll never have a good team. You have to be able to develop talent. Foster is in the first year of this defense. Let the guy just feel it out. If he can physically do everything, then all the other stuff is teachable. You really think dumping Lavonte David’s best friend on the team is gonna help us resign LVD? Foster is a good linebacker. He’s always been best suited at Sam, but this team just needs to find the right fit for its players. And don’t dump talent just because they struggle early on.