“Every Once In A While He Looks Hesitant Or Confused”

March 14th, 2015

New Bucs linebacker Bruce Carter

Joe already brought you the insightful, fresh take of former Bucs defensive end Steve White about the Buccaneers’ pass rush.

And now Joe’s got White’s fingers-crossed look at brand new Tampa Bay linebacker Bruce Carter.

White joined Tom Krasniqi of WDAE-AM 620 on Friday and explained that Carter might be a work in progress.

“I’m a Cowboys fan, so I’ve followed his career quite a bit,” said White, who was a D-line coaching intern under Lovie Smith in 2014. “He came out like gangbusters in a 3-4 defense as an inside linebacker, kind of didn’t really transition to an outside linebacker in a 4-3. Has all the physical tools, though. You’re going to love this kid as far as he’s fast, he’s athletic; you know he had the five interceptions last year. But every once in a while he looks hesitant or confused.

“Those are the kinds of things that kind of gave the coaches headaches when he was a Dallas Cowboy. I think that Lovie and the GM, Mr. Licht, probably see him as a middle linebacker because he is so fast and athletic and he as a lot of playing experience. But it’s going to be somewhat of a transition for him, because he’s been an outside linebacker for a while.”

White went on to say he’s hoping Carter can move to middle linebacker smoothly for a guy who’s never played the position in the defense.

Joe remembers when the Bucs moved Jermaine Phillips from safety to weakside linebacker in 2009 — to replace Mr. Derrick Brooks. The team realized Phillips was no linebacker and moved him back to safety quite quickly.

If Carter can’t cut it at Mike linebacker, then he could always move back to his comfortable role on the strong side, and defensive wizards Lovie Smith and Leslie Frazier can figure out how to maximize his talent.

(You can hear all of White’s Bucs takes below, via the 620wdae.com audio player.)

18 Responses to ““Every Once In A While He Looks Hesitant Or Confused””

  1. Dick2111 Says:

    Steve White … “Has all the physical tools, though. You’re going to love this kid as far as he’s fast, he’s athletic; you know he had the five interceptions last year.”

    Seems to me that Bruce Carter has a lot going for him as the Bucs try to use him at MLB. At best he provides an answer on the inside for a number of years. At worst he gives us an experienced LB to handle the outside. Looks like an excellent signing.

    So why lead with the one negative that Steve White mentioned? Much too much negativity, for no good reason, since Bruce Carter hasn’t even played a single down for us yet. I’m sure that in Tampa 2 coverage even Lavonte looked ‘hesitant and confused every once in awhile’ last year.

  2. thunderchunkyPA Says:

    This is the same Steve White who blocked me from twitter for telling him McCown was a terrible QB.

  3. Keith Says:

    Dick2111, Carter was in the system for two years in Dallas. They drafted him and let him walk. The choice of headline was fair.

  4. Scotty in Fat Antonio Says:

    Hesitant and confused?…He will fit right in.

  5. StPeteBucsFan Says:

    “But every once in a while he looks hesitant or confused.”

    Dang then he’s a year late. He would have fit right in on our 2014 Bucs. Nah not really…they looked confused or hestitant and lot more often than once in awhile.

    Still I think White gives us some reason for hope. Jermaine Phillips was just not a linebacker but White gives me hope it’s reasonable to hope for another Shelton Quarles type. Remember Quarles got cut by the Dolphins, played two years in the CFL, played all three LB positions and then blew up when the Bucs moved him to the Mike.

    Could history repeat itself?

  6. Dave Pear Says:

    Hesitant and confused is a perfect description of our whole team last year.

  7. Tampabaybucfan Says:

    This guy…for now….replaces Foster……Mason was good but not great….should have never been MLB…..odds are….he’s at least as good.

    We need a MLB that will keep us from getting torched with short & medium passes over the middle….we have plenty of players to stop the run….we need speed with this defense & I think he provides some.

  8. ddneast Says:

    If he has 5 INT’s last year and he was occasionally hesitant and confused because he was adjusting to a new offense, I can”t wait too see what he looks like now that he has been in the system for a year.

  9. bucgator Says:

    Look. None of us get paid to hire Football players. I am Way less than excited so far with the FA. If I could make the kind of money in Tampa that I make here I would still be there and still buying season tix. But I can not so I am not. We should try to see the positives. I know , I know, not many lately. Just wait until preseason to get too hyped eh?

  10. LargoSamIM Says:


    Good point about Quarles….if Carter can provide the kind of spark thqat Quarles did – great. Also, a shout out to Tampabaybucfan: I hadn’t thought about it like that…. I do think he will/can be as good as Foster was (who was never fitted to play MLB) – maybe even better, he is faster. I was kind of disappointed to read that the thinking (by Joe(s)) was they got him to replace Foster in the middle – as I am real high on Eric Kendricks (Butkus winner at MLB)… but, oh well… I am almost over Kuechly so I guess I will just hope for the best.

  11. Andrew 1 Says:

    Ahh, Quarles… probably one of my favorite bucs of all time. He was very underrated. I would even be willing to say that we havent had a MLB as good as him since he retired. Thats a pretty long time… dont much about Carter, but I think giving him a chance at MLB is worth a shot. We’ll just have to wait and see.

  12. LargoBuc Says:

    He played in a similar system under Rod Marinelli in Dallas. That puts him way more ahead of the curve than any rookie we could draft. I say try Carter at mike and draft a rookie to sit and learn for a year or two. David/Carter/Lansanah we have a very athletic, fast linebacker group who have a knack for the big play.

  13. LargoSamIM Says:

    Just one more post on this linebacker thing (its about the only thing I ever post about)…. coming out of college, Carter was most compared to an ex-Buc, Quincy Black…. about the same size… same combine measurables,,, etc., was projected as an OLB (even given big money on his re-up contract…. now, I ask, how’d that work out ? … all the potential in the world, but never could quite find how to tap it… there is a reason that Dallas did not resign him (right, Joe(s)?.. a young guy, good measurables.. not a break-the-bank resign……just sayin’… all linebackers are NOT created equal…. and MLB in the Tampa two is one of the most difficult positions to find a match for…(if not THE most difficult)…. okay,, I’ll get off my soap box and hope for the best…. (still hoping/dreaming for Kendricks though)…

  14. Thibs5599 Says:

    @Dick211 – they let him go because Sean lee is coming back from injury and McClain played well last year, and with the signing of Dez Bryant they weren’t going to put money into a guy who could possibly be a reserve. From what I have read Dallas wanted him back but was too focused on the Demarco Murray debacle.

  15. delson Says:

    Who is our lb coach?? Pretty sure hardy nickerson can teach this guy a few things about playing mlb. Lansanah played decently last season. So did mason foster. Still wondering how watson would’ve done with this coaching staff but yeah looking forward to a more stable n decent all around defense. With michael johnson n goldson gone only way is up from here.

  16. Owlykat Says:

    Carter will be a great upgrade over Foster who should have been moved to SLB at the beginning of last season, but nobody listened to my warnings that Foster was never going to be a Tampa Two MLB.

  17. Chris@Apple Roof Cleaning Says:

    Let’s all hope he works out, with better coaching. The Tampa 2 requires a Middle Linebacker with great speed and athletic ability, or it does not always work very well.

  18. Jack D Says:

    I used to respect his opinion until he said he was a cowboy fan. He needs to keep his comments trying to help Tampa to himself.