Stocker Passing On Winslow Torch To Vitale

June 15th, 2016
Luke Stocker weighs in on Dan Vitale

Luke Stocker weighs in on Dan Vitale

Joe gets hit with a lot of questions about rookie sixth-round pick Dan Vitale, the fullback/tight end/superback out of Northwestern.

A lot of fans are obsessed with this guy. Joe has not written much about him since rookie minicamp, because Vitale hasn’t done much. That’s not necessarily a bad thing. Chances are limited during underwear football season.

Today, Luke Stocker weighed in on Vitale, and Vitale fans will be pleased.

Stocker is the Buccaneers’ No. 1 tight end and happily says he wants to be an NFL coach one day. Entering his sixth season, Stocker is now helping groom Vitale and says he’s undeniably impressing.

“He’s a real curious guy,” Stocker said of Vitale. “He’s always asking, trying to get a better understanding of what’s going on. And he’s off to a good start. I think everyone on the team, the coaching staff, has to be encouraged by his progress so far.”

Back when Stocker was a fourth-round pick in 2011, he was under the wing of Kellen Winslow. That’s not a punchline of a Vaseline joke.

Stocker credits Winslow for passing on knowledge that Stocker is now flowing through the ranks.

“The players on defense understand tendencies differently, and they know what to watch on offensive players,” Stocker said “So just learning [from Winslow] an understanding of what they’re looking for, what they’re keying on, and how to defend that as an offensive player. So the defense isn’t knowing what you’re doing before they actually do it. Just the little things of the game, the details of it and the type of thing you learn as you get reps and play through the years. Just trying to pass that on.”

Of course, with Austin Seferian-Jenkins getting mud thrown at him from all angles, Vitale has more of a spotlight on him. Stocker says Vitale’s “speed and explosion,” hands and “good football IQ” should “correlate into a good football player.”

21 Responses to “Stocker Passing On Winslow Torch To Vitale”

  1. LakeLandBuc Says:

    Luke Stocker passing on knowledge to a rookie? hmm ok

  2. tmaxcon Says:

    I’m cautiously optimistic Vitale is going to be a game changer. Hopefully koetter gets the most out of him.

  3. Rich Says:

    I don’t understand why everybody seems to hate Luke Stocker. He was a 4th round pick who has been embraced by 4 different coaching staffs now. Every time I focus on him on the field, he is playing with a high motor, following through on his blocks, occasionally getting to the second level on running plays. He isn’t used frequently as a receiver, so the criticism can’t be based on his receiving. What’s the deal? Does anybody know?

  4. LUVMYBUCS Says:

    Dan Vitale > Drake Dunsmore

  5. unbelievable Says:


    the frustration with Stocker has been a combination of his health and his productivity, especially when we see the other tight ends in our division dominate so much for so many years (Gonzalez, Graham, Olsen).

    Obviously a few of those guys are gone now, but Stocker has just never had a big impact on the game. He has turned into a pretty decent blocker when healthy over the last 2 years, which is why he has stuck around.

  6. unbelievable Says:

    Re: him as a receiver- He’s not used much that way because he doesn’t have great speed or hands.

  7. Tampabaybucfan Says:

    Correct me if I’m wrong….but we spent 2 4th round picks on Stocker….

    Then he was our “hot-tub TE” for a couple of years……he has never been much of a receiver so doesn’t stack up with the other TEs in the division….his blocking is good but goes somewhat unnoticed by fans…..
    He’s a decent TE but not a star & probably won’t be…..

    And…as far as “passing on knowledge”…..since when did a player have to be a superstar in order to do that effectively…..the NFL is loaded with great coaches who were mediocre players…..

  8. Pickgrin Says:

    Excited to see how Vitale can be used in this offense and if he can make an impact as a rookie. Its rare for a 6th round pick to have “expectations” based on ability – but this “superback” is definitely intriguing.

  9. Couch Fan Says:

    But this article isnt about Lukes production, its about passing on his knowledge. You can know whats coming but if you dont have the talent to beat it, you most likely arent. The 2 dont go hand in hand. Plenty of good coaches failed as players. Stocker is great for Vitale.

  10. The Buc Realist Says:


    Terrible headline!!!! No one should be talking about passing Sgt, win-slow’s torch… not at least until they legalize it!!!!! (allegedly)!!!!

  11. Defense Rules Says:

    @Rich … “I don’t understand why everybody seems to hate Luke Stocker. ”

    Agree totally with what you’re saying Rich because Luke’s been a solid TE for us. In his 5 years with the Bucs, he’s played in 59 games (average 12 games per season) and started 42 of those. He’s been targeted very little actually (68 total in 5 years) but has caught 44 of those for 359 yds. That means that he’s caught 65% (almost 2 out of every 3 thrown to him) and a high percentage of those were probably going for first downs. That’s pretty reliable I think. And oh ya, in 5 years Luke has exactly 0 fumbles. ‘Course he is used much more as a blocker, which is probably one of the reasons he got dinged up so much in his first 3 years. He may not shine like ASJ when he’s hot, but then again, he probably doesn’t tweet as much either.

  12. Another J Says:

    Dude Luke Stocker hasn’t been the #1 TE since Ever!
    Thanks for the Laugh though 🙂

  13. Buccfan37 Says:

    On the job training is the best kind of training.

  14. Dewey Selmon Says:

    Brate, Stocker, ASJ, Vitale. Don’t understand how Stocker leapfrogged Brate.

  15. CL Bucs Says:

    Wow Joe you’re advertising for trump now? That’s low for JoebucsFan.

  16. BuccaneEric75 Says:

    CL Bucs, you haven’t been able to tell that the Joes were Trump fans?

  17. pick6 Says:

    i wonder how much knowledge ASJ tries to pick up from more experienced teammates?

  18. gotbbucs Says:

    The starter at TE is just a pre-game honor at this point. Once the games actually start it will end up being a situational rotation. Stocker is an in-line TE, ASJ and Brate are oof the line TE’s, and Vitale is a in motion H-Back. There’s a role for all of them.

    On the subject, Vitale is intriguing, I see a Chris Cooley type of skill set. Maybe not his rookie year, but in the near future I could see him becoming very productive if they choose to design some of the offense around him.

  19. DemBoyzFromDaBay727 Says:

    The ONLY reason Stocker is listed as the no. 1 TE right now is because of his blocking skills, and u can bet that most of the time we’re handing the ball to Dougy Fresh on 1st and/or 2nd down. And on passing downs u will probably see Brate & ASJ sub in.

  20. Gerald McRuud Says:

    “Stocker says Vitale’s “speed and explosion,” hands and “good football IQ” should “correlate into a good football player.”

    ASJ shows good speed going from the practice field to twitter. He showcases elite explosion, although only on twitter and only in reference to his temper. He tweets with his hands, presumably…and those tweets showcase “bad life IQ”.

  21. Gerald McRuud Says:

    …and should “correlate into a bad person”