Bucs Add Special Teams Ace Larry Dean

April 9th, 2015

Dean,LarryRemember when former Bills linebacker Angelo Crowell was Tampa Bay’s big defensive signing in free agency? Thankfully, those depressing days are gone.

However, the Bucs are still looking to Buffalo for help.

On the heels of snatching Bills castoff defensive end Jacquies Smith last season, which turned into a 6.5-sack coup by general manager Jason Licht, the Bucs signed free agent LB Larry Dean this morning. He was a special teams ace in Buffalo last year, after three years of similar duty under Leslie Frazier in Minnesota.

Dean, 26, entered the NFL as a 2014 undrafted free agent out of Valdosta State. He’s been durable, playing in 61 career games, recording 36 special teams tackles.

Joe rarely types up such bottom-of-the-roster signings, but Dean has hung around the NFL long enough to earn the ink. Bills beat writer Mike Rodak even had Twittered that the Bills wanted Dean to return.

Ousted reserve linebacker Dane Fletcher saw a ton of action on special teams last year, and the Bucs might have just replaced him.

22 Responses to “Bucs Add Special Teams Ace Larry Dean”

  1. Patrick in VA Says:

    This is exactly what free agency is supposed to be. Fill the holes with role players at an economical price. I get that we have money to spend and we have needs to fill still, but I don’t have a problem with the approach they’re taking this year at all. We’ll see how it all plays out when we get down to 53.

  2. Lord Cornelius Says:

    Super Bowl

  3. Shayne Says:

    Joe he did not enter the league in 2014 like you said…….. How would he have played in 61 games in 1 season LOL

  4. mac Says:

    Good depth, solid special teamer and an upgrade over Dane Fletcher…

    I like it…

  5. Jolly Bucs fan Says:

    Me likey

  6. Strider #FamousJameis Says:

    Can’t wait for the draft

  7. tmaxcon Says:

    He is the only clear upgrade over the person he is replacing so far this off-season. No people – conte, Melton, Jenkins, Carter and Moore are not clear improvements over players they are replacing. None are consistent

  8. Pickgrin Says:

    Sounds good to me. Our special teams last year were not very “special”. Anyone know which LB position this guy plays? How are his skills as a LB? Does he provide actual depth and potential on defense – or is this strictly a signing for Special Teams?

  9. Stanglassman Says:

    And they sign a Center for depth off the Chiefs PS, Ben Gottschalk.

  10. MadMax Says:

    Backup fodder is needed…..we were 2-14…..competition everywhere and may the best man win out….

    …as backup. Obviously we’re saving for roster cuts after the draft….and Im good with that! Im feeling this draft is going to be heavily focused on O line after Winston 🙂

  11. bucrightoff Says:

    After last years debacle in FA, it appears they’re taking the dumpster diving approach. Maybe they find a treasure, most likely not though.

  12. BucBoy Says:

    O-line should be a priority in the draft…not to save Winston but to promote the running game. First, Winston is not the pick and second, if he was, he is too slow to get out of his own way.

    Mariota is the pick! The young draft picks will be able to grow because of his speed and ability to avoid the rush unlike Famous Garo Jameis!

  13. mac Says:


    1) Melton > Bowers (3DT depth)
    2) Carter > Foster (Carter is far superior in pass coverage)
    3) Conte has injury issues… However he is a much better fit in Lovie’s defense and is a huge salary cap improvement over Goldson…

    You must consider the style of defense and the type of players Lovie is looking for… Fitting square pegs into round holes is never a successful strategy…

  14. BuccaneerBonzai Says:

    “Dean has hung around the NFL long enough to earn the ink” – Joe

    Since all of 2014…one year, lol.

    Tell the truth Joe…Free Agents have been so rare this year that you pretty much have to give ink to anyone signed at this point, right? hehe.

  15. tmaxcon Says:


    I like your optimism but I can’t be excited about free agency

    I considered style and factored in Lovie’s inability to get the best out players that are not exact fits for his antiquated passive system.

    Carter does not have consistent history at MLB he is being asked to switch positions which alone makes him not a clear upgrade

    Conte gets burned more than charcoal when he is not hurt. Wasted roster spot. Dont confuse goldson being overpaid with conte being better.

    Melton takes plays off, injury prone and Cowboys were disappointed in his efforts

    Moore is very inconsistent but might be a upgrade over Johnson if he is consistent.

    Jenkins wasted roster spot period.

    I’m tired of Lovie’s System crap. Coaching is maximizing the abilities of your players not forcing players into a passive outdated scheme that can’t close out games.

  16. Stanglassman Says:


    This is what “When people don’t watch games” say.

    Congrats- Joe just wrote an article on your take.

  17. bucrightoff Says:

    Conte = Sabby Jr. We’ll be hating him pretty badly within about 6 games I would think.

  18. tmaxcon Says:


    You are being generous. I doubt he can stay healthy for 6 games

  19. Bawlmerbucfan Says:

    Remember way back when Curtis Bunkley’s special teams play got the whole stadium rockin’? We need someone like him again….maybe Dean’s the dude.

  20. ARGH_M8E Says:

    Personally (huge bucs fan) I like all the depth signings Dean included. Also check out Ben Gottschalk SMU #72 Offensive Lineman Highlights, our other new signifying… Dude can block! Just watch the vid. As far as the DRAFT is concerned, I’m leaning Winston, but I’ll be happy w either JW or MM, both QBs would b a monumental upgrade. Winston will have a lot of support off the field and can b tought to not force stupid throws… Marcus Moriota the freakish athlete project would b incredible to watch, however I doubt that Lovie and the gang will choose the project, they need to win NOW no matter what anybody

    Keep BEEFING the lines!!!!! Go bucs!!!!!!

  21. drdneast Says:

    Tmaxcon, Conte’s stats over the past two years are way better than the poser known as Goldson.
    Also, the LB we picked up is way better than Mason Foster who hasn’t been able to resign with anyone to my knowledge.
    What does that tell you.
    Our first string MLB can’t get a job anywhere cause no one wants him.
    I don’t know how many games Conte will last this season and the same thing could be said for any NFL player.
    I do know you wouldn’t last five minutes sitting next to me in RJ.
    Of course you don’t have to worry about that because you have never been there and have no intention of going.

  22. Brandon Says:

    Dean is tiny (6′ 230 at most) but extremely fast (4.50 at his college pro day 4 years ago). He’s a big-time special teams contributor with the speed and know-how (3 seasons under Frazier in Minnesota) to possibly add value to the defense.

    BTW, Mason Foster is a Bear, signed last week.