Ayers May Be That Defensive Tackle

May 4th, 2016

Defensive tackle, too.

In what would have been his final story for the now defunct Tampa Tribune, Woody Cummings typed a piece on why the Bucs may not have drafted a defensive tackle.

Cummings was ready to file this story when he learned he had no newspaper to file it to. So instead, Cummings posted the story to his Facebook account.

Yes, a good number of Bucs fans pined for a defensive tackle. Joe never understood this — unless those banging the drum hoped by drafting a defensive tackle it would lead to a release of Gerald McCoy — apparently, neither did Bucs AC/DC-loving general manager Jason Licht.

But that defensive tackle those fans wanted so much may already be on the roster, Cummings types.

The Bucs had Ayers working mostly at right defensive end during their first voluntary minicamp under new coach Dirk Koetter last week but his versatility is something the Bucs are eager to take advantage of.

“We’ve followed Robert throughout his career and have … done a lot of research,’’ general manager Jason Licht said. “He brings a lot of versatility to our defense and with what we plan on doing he was the right kind of guy and right kind of fit for us.’’

Ayers talked about how when he was first drafted by Denver, the Broncos only wanted him to be an edge rusher, which seemed to irritate him as he felt he could also help in other areas.

When Ayers was acquired by the Giants, Tom Coughlin had him playing plenty of defensive tackle. Joe wrote all about it here and shared a breakdown of every Ayers sack last year, many inside.

One thing Joe has heard through the grapevine many times is that Bucs defensive coordinator Mike Smith finds ways to put guys in the right positions to make plays and take advantage of their talents.

Perhaps Ayers at defensive tackle is one example?

30 Responses to “Ayers May Be That Defensive Tackle”

  1. BuccaneerBonzai Says:

    Frankly, Roy is the better writer, and the most honest. Woody is known for making things up every year…so I have no pity for him. Maybe it’ll teach him a lesson.

  2. Scurvy Dogs Says:

    I would love to see McCoy/Ayers at DT and Spence/Smith at DE on passing downs…no more third and long conversions. Imagine Grimes and Hargreaves playing pressing man in this situation. Wow!

  3. BigHogHaynes Says:

    Why would any football fan want to get rid of GMC, all he needs is a little help, from the inside, from the outside, a linebacker bliss, a corner bliss, players that make playes by being in position, by reading the offense, this defense has to be a top 5 if the Bucs gonna win a playoff spot! Mr (Coach) Smith you are on the CLOCK!!

  4. Jason Parker Says:

    I can’t speak for others Joe, but the biggest reason I was hoping for a defensive tackle was because of our lack of depth. Now that I know this I feel a whole lot better, but before the draft all we had was McCoy, Spence and McDonald and last time I checked Spence and McDonald were both in the final year of their contracts. Now this just my opinion McDonald is a bridge player, he is getting up there in age and will eventually need to be replaced. As for Spence he hasn’t proven to me yet that he is a unquestionable starter that might change, but than again it might not. Again thanks for this new development

  5. SB with Jameis Says:

    BigHogHaynes Says:
    May 4th, 2016 at 8:37 am
    Why would any football fan want to get rid of GMC, all he needs is a little help, from the inside, from the outside, a linebacker bliss, a corner bliss, players that make playes by being in position, by reading the offense, this defense has to be a top 5 if the Bucs gonna win a playoff spot! Mr (Coach) Smith you are on the CLOCK!!
    Any ‘body’ that wants to get rid of GMC is not a fan at all. Not of the Bucs and not of football either. Just a plain idiot.

  6. Jason Parker Says:

    Clinton Mcdonald has two years my bad

  7. Leighroy Says:

    I think this post and comments above illustrate that the Bucs need multiple drafts to continue to address depth at DL and secondary. these 2 position groups w all these “bridge players” are going to need 2 more years of draft attention. And that doesn’t even count sprinkling in all the other positions.

  8. Bucsfanman Says:

    “Any ‘body’ that wants to get rid of GMC is not a fan at all. Not of the Bucs and not of football either. Just a plain idiot.”-well said!

    I said it yesterday, and it bears repeating: You have to seriously question your loyalty if you’re not behind this team 1000% at this juncture. We’ve weathered the off-season of woeful retrospect (aka Lovie’s firing) and brought in a brand new class of draft picks. Enjoy the ride or get the heck off the train! NOW IS THE TIME FOR OPTIMISM!

    Ayers’ versatility should serve us well. I can’t wait to see what this is going to look like.

  9. pick6 Says:

    i think another thing that will help our DT depth is that we will opt to only put 1 on the field from time to time in favor of an alignment that puts kwon and daryl smith at MLB with guys like LVD and Noah Spence setting up as rush OLBs

  10. Nole on Sat.-Bucc on Sun. Says:

    I agree Scurvy.. Wow.

  11. brian4bucs Says:

    Steve or Lee, any chance we could still work a next year’s draft pick for Muhammad Wilkerson? Would love to see that beast next to McCoy with Ayers,Spence,and Smith as rotational pass rushers with Goldson and McDonald on earlier downs…I know it would be alot of money tied up into tackle but I think it would be a nightmare for opposing offenses.

  12. Jason Parker Says:

    pick6 I understand where you are trying to go but until I see it with my own I can’t for life of me think on our line is a starting nose tackle

  13. Nole on Sat.-Bucc on Sun. Says:

    Parker was that your sentiment after 2014. Top ten 3 major defensive categories. Ring a bell.

  14. Fsuking Says:

    No chance he plays DT anytime but obvious passing downs. Even though he’s a pretty good anchor in the run game, he’s only 275. Put that next to Gerald McCoy, who’s listed at 300 but more like 290 by the time the season comes around, we will have people asking “where’s the beef”? Our run defense won’t be top ten I can tell you that. He can rush from the inside like Will Gholston, but he’s no DT. And we can’t use him like JJ Watt, who has lined up at every position but CB in his career.

  15. Jason Parker Says:

    My only issue is our best defensive tackles are McCoy and McDonald. One is coming back from a pectoral muscle tear and the other can’t stay healthy

  16. ElioT Says:

    I wanted to see the Bucs get a stud DT in the draft to pair with McCoy and Noah Spence.

    All I’m saying is if McCoy, A. Spence or McDonald go down with an injury (all three were injured for most of 2015), this D-line is in trouble.

    I would feel much more comfortable if the Bucs manage to add another bona fide D-tackle for depth and create a nasty rotation.

    It’s a long season and If/when the sh*t hits that fan, we can’t count on Will Gholston or Ayers to be a full time DT.

    Unless you guys are comfortable with pulling Bowers of the buffet line again?

    Call me crazy.

    Go Bucs!

  17. ATrain Says:

    I thought a Big DT would be nice to jam the middle and help McCoy..

    A little help for McCoy so we can see if he is truly an Elite Player worth the 100 mil contract.

  18. Bucsfanman Says:

    Anybody know anything about this UDFA DT we signed?

  19. The Buc Realist Says:

    Its funny, Carolina drafted a DT and they have 2 very good DT’s and they did not have to trade anyone!!! But the Bucs have 1 good DT and it makes no sense to draft one?????? SMDH!!!!

  20. salish_seamonster Says:

    They still needed to draft DT. They need a big body to line up next to McCoy to form a dominant middle. Still wonder if Rankins might’ve been a smarter pick than Hargreaves…

  21. Tiny Tim Says:

    I and a few others during the draft and after that both ayers and gholson can play DT. I guess it went on death’s ear or some just got to whine and cry about something.

  22. Mike Johnson Says:

    I still say we will regret missing on Rankins. But we picked butterfinger Evans over a beast named Donald who is kicking but for the Rams now didn’t we? Still we had a decent draft though. Can’t wait. We shall see. To be sure, there is no faking in this NFL. its either you do/you don’t..You will/you won’t! You are what your record says you are. Cry Havoc!…..Let loose the Dogs of War baby!!

  23. Nole on Sat.-Bucc on Sun. Says:

    But Realist!!! you left out the part they drafted 3 CBs right after said DT why,Norman left a gaping hole. One thats making them shake they’re d@$! heads.

  24. Scurvy Dogs Says:

    I’m not really concerned about what we didn’t address in this draft. There is only so much you can do in the offseason; especially being a small market, losing franchise.

    I’m in a wait and see mode, with a hint of optimism

  25. LordCornelius Says:

    Realist by the sound of it they wanted a DT to fall to round 4 but all the ones they liked were gone at that point. I wanted DT in round 3.

    I’d be surprised if we don’t sign 2 DTs for depth before the year starts.

    But even when our DTs were hurt; we still played the run well it seemed. So I’m not that worried since pass rush was priority 1 and we added Spence/Ayers at least.

  26. The Buc Realist Says:

    Great point Lord Corn!! with over 20 interior DLineman drafted there will be some practice squad and old has-beens that will hit the open market during training camp and preseason!!!

  27. Floridaboybill Says:

    The only positions I’m worried about on defense is safety!

  28. Floridaboybill Says:


  29. Tally Buc Says:

    I guess I kind of feel like and idiot fan when I came across this post. Who is “GMC” and who want to get rid of him. I love the Bucs, and I am very optimistic for the future. Picking up these kids like OG Leonard Willams and far as I am concerned this entire draft. Have you looked at some of these undrafted prospects!! Awesome and right now this team is positive and it is good to have coaches that can actually say meaningful things in an interview.

    Go Bucs!!!!!!

  30. Brent bull/buc Says:

    Be nice to have a rotation of dt to play. Right now all we have is McCoy and McDonald. McDonald iis coming of and injury. Akeem isn’t a good player yet. So we’re thin there. I’d say the same about receiver and safety. Everywhere else we have a decent backup. Even de. We have Jack smith and William gholston. Decent..