LBs Depth Not That Thin

May 9th, 2016
No need to frown over linebacker depth.

No need to frown over linebacker depth.

During the wildly-popular Hour heard weekly on WDAE-AM 620, hosted by Joe’s good friend, “The Big Dog,” Steve Duemig, a caller last week admitted he is an SEC homer and was outraged the Bucs drafted a former Big Ten defensive end and an ACC kicker over Alabama linebacker Reggie Ragland.

He wanted to know why.

Well, that was one of three questions the caller had and this particular question was unanswered until now: There’s this middle linebacker the Bucs some may have heard of, a guy by the name of Kwon Alexander.

Oh, and if the caller hinted Ragland could play outside, there’s another guy who finally made a Pro Bowl, Lavonte David. At strongside linebacker is Daryl Smith, and when the Bucs go to a nickel formation, which is more than half the time, Smith will be off the field. Kind of hard to spend a second-round pick on a part-time player unless said part-time player is a kicker.

This subject of poor linebacker depth leads Bucs fans to start sweating in the middle of the night. On face value, they don’t have depth. But as multimedia maven Scott Smith of explains, not many teams do.

That sort of linebacker depth chart is not unusual, by the way. Look at the Carolina Panthers of last year, who featured two Pro Bowlers and a first-round rookie in their starting lineup, running out of a 4-3 bases like the Buccaneers. Luke Kuechly, Thomas Davis and Shaq Thompson gave the 15-1 Panthers a very strong front line, but the team only carried one other linebacker who had ever started an NFL game. That was A.J. Klein and his 10 previous starts over two seasons.

There aren’t a whole lot of linebackers with starting experience that cannot find another job somewhere and continue to start, even if they have to do so with a lousy team.

Joe is not basing the following on underwear football because underwear football is not football. But Joe is going to keep an eye on this Devante Bond in training camp. With his speed and athletic ability, he just might sneak his way onto the field. We shall see.

19 Responses to “LBs Depth Not That Thin”

  1. Sir clicks a lot Says:

    Hey Joe, I’m not sure how Bond’s “seed” will affect his football abilities. I’m also curious as to how you obtained information about his “seed.”

  2. Birdman Says:

    Joe is impressed by Devante Bond’s seed. Did you take him to dinner first at least?

  3. Dwe Says:

    Thought it was common knowledge that “seed” is an acronym for speed, energy, effectiveness and determination.

  4. R.O. Says:

    Better wear goggles if you’re watching his Seed…!!

  5. uckinator Says:

    I believe it means he came from good stock (Parents). You really wanted to know that, right?…right?

  6. salish_seamonster Says:

    I would not be surprised if we carry the following rookies as LB backups: Bond, Cassanova McKinzy (UDFA Auburn), and Luke Rhodes (UDFA William & Mary)… All three have some skills and perhaps more upside than any of the other backup LBs we’ve got. I think we got better at LB in the draft and post-draft.

  7. Brent bull/buc Says:

    We could have had carter for probably a million and lansanah too. Why would licht not sign those 2? Cap space not an issue. They played well too.

  8. salish_seamonster Says:

    We could have had carter for probably a million and lansanah too. Why would licht not sign those 2? Cap space not an issue. They played well too.

    Lansanah didn’t do anything last year, and Bruce Carter may not be the kind of LB they want in the new defense. There’s a couple of possibilities. Another possibility is they wanted to bring in some young guys and develop them. Bond, McKinzy, and Rhodes could be those guys. Go to YouTube and watch some of those 3 rookies. I think they’re upgrading the depth.

  9. Brent bull/buc Says:

    Hope your right Salish. I think carter is a keeper at the right price. Lansanah seemed like an ok backup.

  10. BuccaneerBonzai Says:

    I think its a little hard to say they should have signed this guy or that guy when the defense isn’t even known yet. I mean, we might have a rough idea, but that’s it.

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

    A- from Daniel Jeremiah. The dust has setteled and they are taking a closer look at things. People are starting to take notice y’all.

  12. David Says:

    Speed….didn’t Bond run slow at the combine. Like a 4.71 or sumthin like that?

  13. K2 Says:

    I think it makes sense to try to develop a few new linebackers. There is always the possibility that one will exceed expectations. This coaching staff isn’t about doing the same thing and expecting different results. It’s all about finding the right guys and coaching them up.

  14. Pickgrin Says:

    It’s important to remember that back-up LBers usually form the core of your Special Teams units. If you are a LBer in the NFL who doesn’t start – you better be damn good at special teams. It’s possible that factors into the Lansanah and Carter decisions. Hell – either could be back. Neither is signed as far as I know. Carter was due $4.5M I believe. I’d have been pissed if we DIDN’T cut him for that. I’d way rather have Daryl Smith for less $ anyway.

    I know basically nothing about our 6th round LBer pick – Surely Licht and the LB coach see potential in him to try and develop. But I bet his College tape shows he’s good at Special Teams.

  15. salish_seamonster Says:

    David Says:
    May 9th, 2016 at 7:25 pm

    Speed….didn’t Bond run slow at the combine. Like a 4.71 or sumthin like that?

    There’s nothing wrong with 4.7 for a LB, especially a SLB. Go watch some film on him. He gets where he needs to be in plenty of time. Only in the Lovie Smith school of LBs is sub-4.6 necessary to be effective. That’s why our LBs have been so shrimpy. New scheme might emphasize other things besides stopwatch speed, which is a positive development. Would be nice to be a little more stout.

  16. Brent bull/buc Says:

    Carter signed somewhere for 1.5 mil I think.

  17. Berdj Rassam Says:

    It’s important for any team, especially the Bucs, to have a solid quartet of backers. You can never have enough depth at that position.

  18. DemBoyzFromDaBay727 Says:

    I think Bond and cassanova McKinzy will be our potential backups as sealish monster pointed out. Most certainly bond. After watching highlights and checking out his stats at Auburn, McKinzy stood out to me as well. Hope he makes the roster. As of right now I think he’s probably our best option besides Bond at backup LB. Don’t know much about the other guy that was mentioned.

  19. Lee Says:

    Carolina is a poor comparison. They have four starter-quality LBs. Klein is capable of playing all three spots. Three of those are young LBs. The Bucs aren’t terrible, but one injury would be crippling. Carolina would be ok.