Mason Foster Sensing The End

December 26th, 2014
Bucs MLB Mason Foster discusses his uncertain future with the Bucs.

Mason Foster discusses his uncertain future

Yes, there will be significant roster changes next season. Bank on it.

How could there not be?

When you are 2-14/3-13 and have one of the worst offenses imaginable, change is inevitable.

The defense? Not many. One position may be middle linebacker. Mason Foster has disappointed the Bucs. They believe they may be able to find an upgrade.

That doesn’t add up to a warm and fuzzy conclusion for Foster. Drafted in 2011, Foster wants to keep playing for Tampa Bay but his contract runs out after the season.

Foster has been hurt of late, suffering from a bad Achilles, which was re-injured Sunday. Foster said Wednesday he didn’t know if he could practice this week or not, much less play.

“I definitely want to stay in Tampa,” Foster said. “Both of my sons [were] born in Tampa. I have a lot of ties down here. I love Tampa. It would be great. It would be amazing to stay here. It is a business so you know there is a chance you won’t be here. I just, you know, just keep going. We’ll see what happens.

“[Bucs teammates] are my good friends. They are big brothers to me. They are family to me. Even trainers, strength coach, everybody here. I definitely want to stay in Tampa but I am thankful to Tampa matter what.

“I love the scheme. It is cooI. It took us a while to get used to it. As the year went on, you saw the defense progress. It was tough, just getting into it and getting hurt and then getting hurt again. I feel this is a great defense. Whether I am here or not here, this defense will be successful.”

Yeah, it would be a shame if Foster left. Joe asked Bucs defensive coordinator Leslie Frazier if Foster has it in him to play outside linebacker. Foster was largely an outside linebacker at the University of Washington.

Frazier said in the defense the Bucs want to run, Foster is best suited for middle linebacker. Frazier gave no hints whether the Bucs would bring him back.

The Bucs not being wholly satisfied with Foster and his pending free agency doesn’t add up to a storybook Tampa ending.. For a good guy like Foster, the biggest Ric Flair fan in the Bucs locker room, that’s rough. But that is life in the NFL.

19 Responses to “Mason Foster Sensing The End”

  1. Newbucsfan!!! Says:

    Bring on that tough Bucs defense and let those qb’s throw to their recievers in the soft spots. After they get hit through 3 quarters they’ll be hesitant and have alligator arms. Can’t Wait!!!

  2. Eric Says:

    Mason Foster is good and isn’t a huge problem at all…could only get better in this scheme

  3. Pickgrin Says:

    Incorrect Eric. Mason Foster is OK at best (playing MLB) and his lack of ability to cover medium to deep over the middle (which is a big responsibility of the MLB in T2 Defense) has definitely been a problem.

    Surprised to hear Frazier say Foster is “best suited” to play MLB as I have always thought he would be a much better strong side LB.

    MLB is not the biggest hole on our team – but the position definitely needs an upgrade from Foster’s play. I wouldn’t mind having Foster re-signed if the price is right to provide competition and a solid back up for 1 of the LB spots though.

  4. The Buc Realist Says:

    If foster is smart. He should ask to share a u-haul with Clayborn.

  5. louden Says:

    If Leslie says that Mason is best suited in the Middle – i am pretty sure he would be good as the SAM

  6. OB Says:

    I would do both, resign him and look for an upgrade. Worse case scenario he plays MLB, worst case, he is moved or the backup which we also need.

  7. RachelWatson'sthong Says:

    If we don’t offer him a contract he will be but another failed draft pick. What’s new?

  8. Matt Says:

    Lol Realist..

    Yeah been saying since Foster got here that he’s too slow and tight hipped to be a good MLB. He bites really hard on playactions and doesn’t have the athleticism to recover. You would really embarrass him at OLB since he’d play even closer to the line of scrimmage and RBs and TEs would run around him. At ILB at least he plays deeper and that angle covers up his weakness.

    He is best suited as a 3-4 ILB. Off to the Patriots, Bengals, Steelers or Texans he goes to be a solid starter. Watch how Cincy uses ole Larry Foote.

    He’s a great guy and a punishing hitter at times but it’s flat out best for both parties to go their separate ways.

  9. Jim Says:

    Mason Foster is not the problem. He is quality depth at the least and his 1.5 million salary cap hit is not over the top!

  10. Rob Says:

    3rd coaching staff. 3rd system. There’s a reason he’s still here. It’d be a shame to see a guy with potential be moved on.

  11. Tampabaybucfan Says:

    Like Foster….but not as a starter….we can do better….

  12. SAMCRO Says:

    Mason Foster has disappointed the Bucs. They believe they may be able to find an upgrade.

    Who are “They”? Who is your source? Was this actually said by someone on the Buc’s staff, or another player?

  13. knucknbuc Says:

    I get this Jeremy zuttah feeling when I hear about mason foster not being here next year.

  14. BuccaneerBonzai Says:

    Pickgrin Says
    “Incorrect Eric. Mason Foster is OK at best (playing MLB) and his lack of ability to cover medium to deep over the middle (which is a big responsibility of the MLB in T2 Defense) has definitely been a problem. “

    That is complete inaccurate. Go back and study the Dungy defense again, because none of those MLBs covered deep.

    In the Tampa 2, MLB operates as a 2nd level online, QB Spy or short mid field coverage. His key role is run stopping and QB rushes as well. NEVER has a Tampa 2 MLB covered deep.

  15. DallasBuc Says:

    Our woes on defense do not begin or end with Mason Foster. Everyone acts like they know the scheme Lovie is running like the back of their hand and exactly who is responsible for what. Rubbish. Sometimes the mike covers deep, sometimes mid range and sometime short. Everyone has an assignment on every play called and it will vary based on the offense. People on here should stop trying to educate the rest of us with their BS expert analysis. Foster is a solid mike and has been in 3 defensive systems in 4 years. I am fine with him. Let’s talk about that RDE position if you want to complain about something.

  16. BuccaneerBonzai Says:

    Mason Foster is a good enough MLB, at least for 2015, when it comes to talent and ability. It’s his injury issues that are the problem. There isn’t a lot of point to starting him if he is injured much of the time.

    For that reason, I think he’s best as depth. The problem there is too much overhaul.

    I specified 2015 because we simply cannot do a massive overhaul again. That’s why we did so poorly this year.

    I don’t know the specific numbers, but I would hazard a guess that only 1-2 out of 5 players replacements work out. Think about it, and it adds up. We had what? 19 replacements? How many have worked out?

    So it stands to reason, the few replacements, the higher the rate of success overall. I’m not saying ignore areas of need, I’m saying don’t create NEW areas of need if it can wait a year. We already have too many positions to address:

    Quarterback, Center, Offensive Guard, Offensive Tackle, 2 Safeties (because they’ll have to cut Goldson for cap money to resign David), Defensive End and a Punter.

    If we just address those areas properly, this team can be turned around.

    Foster has not done so well that he should get a big contract. So resign him and demote him when we can get better at the spot. He’ll be great depth, and God knows Tampa needs quality depth.

  17. buccinfan Says:

    Why cant we just sign him to compete and if anything hell be a better backup than dan fletcher

  18. Pickgrin Says:

    Bonzai – you are the one who needs to “go back and study the Dungy defense again”. You will see quite a few pass plays where Nickerson or Quarles were defending 10-25 yards downfield over the middle – usually with safety help over the top.

    Along with lack of pass rush – this is the reason that Lovie’s defense struggled quite a bit this year with plays over the middle to tight ends and slot receivers. The lack of coverage ability from both MLB spot and from safetys this year was obvious. The Bucs need better players who can actually cover well at those positions.

    There was marked improvement once Barron was replaced by Wright and even more improvement in these situations when McDougal was in there. You will see even better pass defense from the Bucs when Foster is replaced by a MLB who can do it all – tackle from sideline to sideline, be an enforcer over the middle vs runs and short passes – AND be able to effectively defend passes over the middle 10-20 yards downfield. Getting pressure regularly from the DLine is what really makes this Defense work – but what I just talked about is a key component to success for a T2 base defense.

  19. Bob in Valrico Says:

    mason foster and Adrian clayburn have been slammed repeatedly by people on this site. my take
    is they are both solid players that at least play to their ability. The effort is there,which is more than can I say for Anthony Collins the or Michael Johnson. Lets fix what really ails us first, the offensive offense.
    The weakness of the tampa 2 to defend deep passes over the middle is a known weakness of this defense. Only a very few elite linebackers have the ability to keep up with the new hybrid tight ends that have the speed and pass catching ability of a wide receiver.