“Shape Of A Linebacker”

May 14th, 2016

WonderTwinsJoe confesses to being a very little dude obsessed with baseball, basketball, the NFL and the Wonder Twins’ powers back in the late 1970s.

And yes, this ties to the 2016 Tampa Bay Buccaneers.

Those superhero twins had it down. They bashed their clenched fists together and could transform themselves and work together to save the day. Zan, the dude, he became any form of water. Jayna turned into any animal you could imagine. One would always shout, “form of a ___,”  while the other shouted, “shape of a ___” and then become whatever they called out.

Joe had this second-grade flashback at One Buc Palace on Thursday.

Joe asked new Bucs special teams chief Nate Kaczor what he liked on film of rookie fullback/tight end/”superback” Dan Vitale, Tampa Bay’s sixth-round pick. Vitale was known as a college special teams monster.

Kaczor said he likes how Vitale uses his body to transform into a linebacker type in coverage.

“Right off the bat working with him, he’s an intelligent football player and when you watch his tape – just like his offensive film – he’s a very versatile player as a bigger body, almost a linebacker body type,” Kaczor said. “He runs well, make plays – made a couple of plays in the Senior Bowl when you’re comparing apples to apples so to speak and for me, on special teams, any time you get help on the special teams roster from the offensive side of the ball, whether it’s a fullback, the second tight end, the fifth receiver, the third and fourth running back – and you get that in the shape of a linebacker body, that’s really, really good. I’m happy to have him as a body-type and a smart football player that can move right now because you can’t have too many linebacker body-types on special teams.”

Vitale ran a 4.6-second, 40 yard dash this winter, but he is big enough for fullback, and athletic enough — with soft hands — in the passing game. It’s why he was dubbed “superback” at Northwestern.

Now we learn more about how he’ll bust heads and get in a defensive mentality on fourth down.

Jason Licht sure is drafting a new breed of Buccaneers. The majority of Licht’s picks not only want to perform all the dirty work in the NFL. They ache for the chance.

Watch Mike Evans block one day. Study how Ali Marpet plays to the whistle and sometimes beyond. And who could forget what cornerback Vernon Hargreaves said about playing special teams?

35 Responses to ““Shape Of A Linebacker””

  1. feelthepewterpower Says:

    I love the mentality. The teams that win….are usually very physical (see Denver, Carolina), play through the whistle…will do anything at all costs to help their team win, even if it means crosstraining at multiple positions.

  2. feelthepewterpower Says:

    Buccs have been too soft over the years without the depth…things are finally changing!

  3. The Buc Realist Says:

    “almost a linebacker body” !!!

    Mark Dominik would have drafted him in the first round!!!!!

  4. Buc1987 Says:

    Vitale intrigues me.

    lol Joe I have the Superfriends on DVD.

  5. Dooshlarue Says:

    Always had you pegged as an Ace and Gary type of guy Joe.
    Not that there’s anything wrong with that ; )

  6. salish_seamonster Says:

    Wonder Twin Jayna is hot. Joe might be more of a Zan type, not that there’s anything wrong with that.

  7. Tampabaybucfan Says:

    @ Realist

    You simply can’t help yourself……turned a Vitale article into a “Pop Star” bashing…..

    You could have thrown in Lovie ruining him to top things off…..

    As for Vitale…..I hope what we think we have in him transfers to the NFL…..if so, we really have a great 6th round pick…..

  8. Espo Says:

    This is cool. I haven’t seen one of those ambiguously gay duo skits in a while.

  9. BuccaneerBonzai Says:

    “Joe confesses to being a very little dude obsessed with baseball, basketball, the NFL and the Wonder Twins’ powers back in the late 1970s.”

    I still am!

    They did, after all, invent the fist bump!

  10. BuccaneerBonzai Says:

    I’m excited about Vitale…but Props When Props Are Earned.

    That goes for very member of the team. I’m tired of hype. I want substance.

  11. The Real Malloy Says:

    I don’t know if anyone caught the Ace and Gary reference….

    The ambiguously gay duo? Come on people…

  12. SB with Jameis Says:

    Dam Joe….If I didn’t know better I would swear that you got into my legal medication with the intro theme on this article. 🙂 Nice angle.

  13. Tampabaybucfan Says:

    Speaking for Pablo

    “Pablo is not a small man…..Pablo is shaped like a Greek God….Pablo keeps his body in great shape. Pablo excelled at Baseball, Football, Basketball, Track & Field (all sports), Hockey, Wrestling, Skiing, Surfing, Lacrosse, Diving, Boxing, Handball, Raquetball, Fencing, Cricket, Golf, Tennis, Pickleball, Rugby, Mountain Climbing, Curling, Swimming, Rowing and Alligator Wrestling. Pablo is a real stud.”

  14. Tampabaybucfan Says:

    @ Pablo


  15. ruggyup Says:

    Am reading about many teams signing draft picks to contracts. How are we doing. Seems like news is sparse or is my head under a pillow?

    Newsflash: Since 2011, every team signs its draft picks because there’s a rookie salary cap and slotted salaries per round. Players have no leverage to hold out, and everything is largely pre-negotiated.. Joe thinks it’s only news when someone doesn’t sign.–Joe

  16. Louis Says:

    In three years, it will be very tough to make this team. We will have an average age of 27, young hungry players. I like the creativity of how this team is being constructed. Most teams have decent starters, but have garbage for depth. We are building young strong backups and ST players.
    Akeem Spence better play like a deamon this year, his neck is on the chopping block when we pick a DT in the early part of next years draft. He has a contract to play for, and it will be fun to watch him persue his payday.

  17. Buccfan37 Says:

    “Here he comes to save the day, that means that Mighty Mouse is on the way”, that was my fave when little. Maybe Martin should exchange for that nickname, nah a mouse is smaller than a hampster.

  18. LUVMYBUCS Says:

    Spaaccccce Ghost

  19. LUVMYBUCS Says:

    “Joe confesses to being a very little dude obsessed with baseball, basketball, the NFL and the Wonder Twins’ powers back in the late 1970s.”

    What no Black Vulcan??

  20. SB with Jameis Says:

    For what it’s worth Helmet hair Kiper put out his 30 UDFAs most likely to make it in the NFL and the Bucs had 3
    Cassanova McKinzy, LB, Tampa Bay Buccaneers

    Needs to go to school watching Lavonte David. McKinzy has good size and athletic ability, but he gets lost too often.

    Peyton Barber, RB, Tampa Bay Buccaneers

    Powerfully built and with a season of solid production in the SEC, he has decent agility for a compact runner.

    Luke Rhodes, LB, Tampa Bay Buccaneers

    A good athlete at linebacker, he could make his mark on special teams and develop into something more.

  21. Buc1987 Says:

    SB with Jameis….the Super Friends are more important. 🙂

  22. Stanglassman Says:

    I don’t feel too bad taking this thread off this serious subject.

    I just watched UDFA RB Russel Hansbrough highlights and come away thoroughly impressed. 5’9″ 195 with a 4.3 forty.


  23. BigMacAttack Says:

    Butt Scratcher?

  24. SB with Jameis Says:

    After a little research with the Helmet’s article I am really liking this Peyton Barber kid. Not that we need a RB but dam. What IF.

  25. salish_seamonster Says:

    Hansbrough is interesting. He’s not a 4.3 guy though. Various sites have him listed as a 4.6 guy. He’s also < 5'8" and not terribly athletic. However, he's seems to be quick to the hole, accelerates well, and is pretty creative getting out of traffic… but a lot of those highlights I watched had him running through gaping holes. Will be interesting to see if his skills translate to the NFL. I think Peyton Barber has a better chance at a roster spot… of course, all of this is incredibly speculative and premature.

  26. salish_seamonster Says:

    Watching those Peyton Barber highlights, I don’t know why he wasn’t drafted. He’s a tough runner with a little shake-and-bake to him.

  27. Buc1987 Says:

    I watched Peyton Barber highlights the other day when my mother told me about his mom being homeless. Dude’s a hard runner. Liked his bursts through the line, got some moves to him and not afraid to take hit.

  28. SB with Jameis Says:

    Yeah…..I will be keeping an eye on the kid. It would be nice to have two Barbers to talk about in Bucs’ lore one day.

  29. Stanglassman Says:


    Hansbrough stats were 5′ 9″ 195 Lbs His forty is listed as 4.38.

    Watch the tape he is clearly not a 4.6 guy.

  30. Stanglassman Says:

    Where I read his stats.


  31. Stanglassman Says:


    I see where some sites have him running a 4.6 and others 4.3. Below is another that has him in the 4.3s. He sure looks faster than 4.6 in those highlights.


  32. godzilla13 Says:

    Peyton Barber had the lowest “stuff rate” (rushes for 0 yards or less) of any of the top runners in the SEC (10.1%). At (5-19 228) and with 13 TD’s (4.2 yards per carry) some of his best work may be in the “red zone”. Remember the 3rd and goal from the one vs Washington? This kid could be a go to type player in goal line situations. I like the fact he does well at the LOS and keeps from getting stuffed. I am looking forward to watching special teams coach Nate Kazor work his group on kick-offs. When Robert Aguayo does his “mortar” kick-offs and pins the return man in the corner at the 2 yard line and we send our speed special team players to cover in the 4.09 second hang time, it will be something to see. Players like Josh Robinson (4.33 40 time, 1.48 10 yard split) combined with Dan Vitale, Devante Boyd and some of the other UDFA’s, will be on top of the returner before they have a chance to take two steps. Ball on the 8 yard line.

  33. Buc1987 Says:

    Joe’s sleeping in today…


    Finally took a day off?

  34. BuccaneerBonzai Says:

    “Joe thinks it’s only news when someone doesn’t sign.–Joe”

    That’s a cop out. News is news, Joe. You may not think that is news, but fans do. Would you rather we spend our time looking at other websites to get the information, giving those other websites the opportunity to impress us enough to stay there?

  35. Buc1987 Says:

    LOL Joe…Bonzai’s threatening you.