Linebackers An Issue?

June 1st, 2016
Spreadsheeter thinks Bucs have an "issue" at linebacker.

Spreadsheeter thinks Bucs have an “issue” at linebacker.

Sometimes, Joe would really like to know what stat geeks drink during games. It must be good stuff.

That’s the only explanation for some of their wacked out findings.

The PFF tribe sure seems to think Bucs AC/DC-loving general manager Jason Licht is tapping into a stash of Stella or something stronger. Spreadsheeter John Breitenbach reviewed the Bucs’ offsesaon moves and thinks Licht is, to be polite, off his rocker.

Joe is going to pick apart the breakdown over the coming days because there is so much to work with. But here is one curious take:

Similarly, while Daryl Smith has had an impressive 12 year-career, he appears on the decline after a poor 2015 (46.9 overall grade, 71st). … The linebacker position will likely remain an issue.

“Linebacker issue” was written when Breitenbach wrote about the three levels of the Bucs defense. Joe doesn’t see an “issue” at all.

Look, Smith is unlikely to play most snaps. Bucs defensive coordinator Mike Smith has stated the Bucs plan to use five- and six-defensive-back sets for a majority of snaps. When the Bucs go to five defensive backs, guess who is the guy off the field? Most of the time that will be Daryl Smith.

Lavonte David’s talent speaks for itself. Had Kwon Alexander not been popped for guzzling a banned energy drink (that’s the story), he very well may have been Defensive Rookie of the Year. So Smith, who is an upgrade over Danny Lansanah, will drag down both Alexander and David? That seems to be a big stretch.

29 Responses to “Linebackers An Issue?”

  1. No_Bucs_Given Says:

    U mean Danny Lansana not Alexander

  2. Largosamim Says:

    Joe…… I think you are overestimating Kwon Alexander. Personally, I thin he is overrated (I watched a LOT of his college tape. I certainly love his attitude and fire. He did get a lot of playing time last year. So, I could be wrong -I hope so. But it will take another good year to convince me he’s as good as Joe (and others) think.

  3. Bird Says:

    Did you guys watch Buc games last year? Kwon overrated. Wow. Keep those idiotic comments coming. Sure , your entitled to your opinion on this site but wow.

  4. Buccfan37 Says:

    On Kwon, Mister Magoo says where did I put my damn glasses.

  5. Largosamim Says:

    I guess everyone drinks the kool-aid.

  6. HFXBUC Says:

    There are 2 starting linebackers on the team… They have more depth at DE or WR than LB….look at what happened last year when Kwon was out.

    Smith is an aging LB but a horse so we’ll get good snaps out of him as long as it’s part time duty. I think the Bond kid from Oklahoma is better than what people think – but he has to stay healthy and is just a rookie. We lack depth at LB more than any other position.

  7. Tampabaybucfan Says:

    With the different sets Mike Smith will employ, I think Spence will also at times be lined up as a LB…..

  8. 1Gr8Buc Says:

    I don’t think anyone is drinking kool aid as much you are drinking something very strong apparently. If you watched any of our games last year you would know what kind of player he is.

    You need one more year to be convinced????? Gotta love how nobodys from largo think that professional athletes need to prove themselves to………. nobodys.

    I have explained this before but the energy drink story can very well be true. Not relating to a red bull or monster but a pre-workout drink from GNC many of which most likely has ingredients on the banned substance list. Not saying its an excuse because he should know but quit trying to connect dots that aren’t there.

  9. tmaxcon Says:


    I actually agree with you. Kwon has not even played 1 FULL season yet some of this idiots are getting his bust made for Canton. Regardless if it was a simple energy drink or he went on a cocaine binge he was still suspended for drug use which hurt his team regardless of what these uneducated fan boys want to spew… Is Kwon a fun exciting player to watch Yes. He is athletic and plays with passion and fire YES. Is the future bright for Kwon I say yes but the same yahoo’s whining about gifting starting jobs etc are gifting Kwon the title of great and professing his drug suspension is nothing to worry about. Kwon needs to earn the title great. I am a huge Kwon fan but he has to prove it. The bucs history is littered with 1 year wonders and would of, could of and should of type players… I wish Kwon all the luck in the world and good health but to say he is a sure thing with no red flags is just fan boy denial….

  10. ATrain Says:

    Kwon is the man…You will see this year when the new coaches take of the leash and let them play football..Kwon and Lavonne will wreck people this year…

  11. BigMacAttack Says:

    Kwon is lightning fast. Speed kills always

  12. BigPoppaBuc Says:

    Kwon should have an even better season simply because he wont be sprinting AWAY from the LOS almost every freakin play. I think the addition of D. Smith was a great move.

  13. SOEbuc Says:

    Agreed BigMac. He gets to the opposing players super fast and breaks their backs when he arrives

  14. Pickgrin Says:

    “Linebacker issue”???? WTF?

    No wonder you hate these stat geeks Joe. This take is ridiculous.

    We have perhaps the best starting LBers in the whole NFL. Top 3 for sure.

    We all know what we have in LD and Kwon. And for those still not familiar with Daryl Smith – he has been very productive his whole career – but in the last 3 years (at ages 31, 32 and 33) Smiths stats are 371 tackles (5th most in the entire NFL), 9 sacks, 5 Ints and 29 passes defensed.

    SMH at this idiot.

  15. AC Says:

    LargoSam/Tmaxcon while there are plenty of fan boys on this site. To say he is overrated is a bit extreme. Simply put after he was suspended our Def was worse, created less turnovers, and the fire just wasnt there. After his performance against the Falcons after the tragic death of his brother he won me over with the intensity and fire that he played with. Hopefully he proves you guys wrong

  16. Fsuking Says:

    Kwon is as good as Levonte David. There I said it

  17. tmaxcon Says:


    It takes time to prove yourself 8 games is not enough time. Your reading comprehension is a little off… I am a huge fan and think he will do fine that being said to consider him a sure thing or just blow off the fact he served a 4 game drug suspension is ridiculous.

  18. AC Says:

    Tmax i’m not sure how a “drug” suspension makes him less of a player? I for one did not say that he is a sure thing i simply said he won me over with his performance against the falcons.. so who’s reading comprehension is off?

  19. Bucsfanman Says:

    I don’t know about the “overrated” comment, but he is learning a new D and like ALL our players on defense, needs to step up his game.
    What I started thinking about after reading this was, after LVD, Kwon, and Smith, what do we have? I’d say at this point that we’re thin at depth. An injury to any of them leaves us in a lurch….at this point, anyway!

  20. Tnew Says:

    I don’t think he was overrated, I just hope people aren’t over expecting. LVD is a stud, but I felt like Kwon was so eager to make splash plays, there were times he ran himself out of position. It looked like LVD was having to keep an eye on him and his own responsibilities from time to time.

    Being said, he is a very nice player. I love what I saw out of him as a rookie calling the plays on defense, but he had a role in all of those slants caught as well.

    Color me as cautious but very optimistic about his future. I am not nearly as worried about linebacker as safety or wide receiver. The bucs are a Mike Evans hamstring away from being in a dire situation there.

  21. BuccaneerBonzai Says:

    Largosamim Says
    “Joe…… I think you are overestimating Kwon Alexander. Personally, I thin he is overrated…”


    Kwon is the new leader of the defense. His fire alone inspires the team to play better. His ball skills? Good…and still developing. He did so well last year that people forget about the whole 3 year development thing. If he was that good WITHOUT development, imagine how he’ll be in two more years!

  22. Buccaneers Says:

    I had never been too PFF until I just used that link. From their first paragraph they make no sense. They recognize Sweezy makes pancake blocks then say his is below average. No credit given to the pancake blocks!! They must have never heard the phrase “soften up the defense” or understand how much it matters.

    Game announcers use that phrase all the time because they understand the game.

    I’ll take Sweezy, tyvm, and I’ll pair him up with fellow maulers ,Smith and Marpet and you let me know how your “grade point ratings” work out as we steamroll you in the 4th Quater.

  23. tmaxcon Says:


    how can you not see how a drug suspension makes him less of a player. When you are suspended you hurt your team simple as that. His next suspension will be longer so it’s very easy to see how it hurts the team. I remember people saying that Tanard Jackson would clean up and his suspension was no big deal… How’d that turn out…

  24. LargoBuc Says:

    These stat geeks must not actually watch much football, let alone Bucs games. Linebacker was a strength for our defense last year.

  25. Bucsfanman Says:

    While I agree that we have a decent LB in Kwon, I would say that there was hardly any position of strength on the entire defense last year.
    He’s a good player that needs to get better. I think he’ll improve in year 2.

  26. Joe Says:

    how can you not see how a drug suspension makes him less of a player.

    Don’t think that makes him less of a player. But it makes him less of a dependable player. There is a difference.

    Kwon gets busted again, he’s out half the season. Then you have a hole and a major question mark.

    There is a big difference between the Tanard Jackson’s of the world and ASJ. Joe doesn’t know of one player who actually wants to be hurt. But the Tanard Jackson types, they want to get stoned/high, etc., knowing full well the consequences.

    That’s selfish as hell because that screws their teammates and the team.

  27. LakeLandBuc Says:

    Last season our LB play was terrible, too many missed tackles, was always out of position on passing plays.

  28. MegaDaveUK Says:

    Lol issues at linebacker.

    Anyone who knows anything about the Bucs could see that Lovie took Larry out of position to be the playmaker that we know he is, to get the sacks / ints / TFLs we saw 2 years ago and we know he’ll give us this year.

    PFF, anything for a click ._.

  29. DemBoyzFromDaBay727 Says:

    Our starting LB’s are one of the best duos in the league but who do we have to step in if one if those guys get hurt or god forbid suspended again? No one. That’s why we should of kept Bruce Carter and played him at sam. It’s not like this team is worried about the cap. I sure hope we pick up a player when releases start coming becase we all seen what happen last year when Kwon went down.