“I Love To Get Back There And Mix It Up”

June 21st, 2016
Luke Stocker wants to hit people. (Photo courtesy of Tampa Bay Buccaneers)

Luke Stocker wants to hit people. (Photo courtesy of Tampa Bay Buccaneers)

Dirk Koetter drafted a fullback in the sixth-round, but that doesn’t mean he’s the most likely guy to line up in the backfield alongside Doug Martin this season.

Veteran tight end Luke Stocker, the Bucs’ No. 1 tight end, has played his share of fullback over the past few seasons, and the 6-6, 270-pounder is all smiles at the thought of getting more shots there this season.

Stocker knows Dan Vitale, the rookie sixth-rounder, isn’t a true fullback like Tampa Bay had last year in Jorvorskie Lane.

Joe asked Stocker if he’d enjoy getting off the line of scrimmage more often. Stocker had a big smile in his voice.

“Definitely. I love to get back there and mix it up, you know, and get the lead block,” Stocker said. “It’s always fun at fullback because you’re at the point of attack. So you can make a big difference in the run; you can be very impactful at the point of attack as fullback. I like to be in those types of positions.”

Of course, Stocker in the backfield has its advantages. He makes things unpredictable for defenses. Vitale, of course, with his speed and explosiveness, would be more of a weapon, assuming he can prove to be an NFL-caliber player.

17 Responses to ““I Love To Get Back There And Mix It Up””

  1. Defense Rules Says:

    Vitale may ‘be more of a weapon’ Joe, but the Bucs have a lot of weapons who’ll all be vying for touches this year. Martin & Sims for starters, plus VJax & Evans, and oh ya, ASJ if he can get his head on straight. A few other folk like Murph & Humphries & Brate, not to mention that Jameis isn’t opposed to tuck-and-run once in awhile. Point is that Vitale will need to be more than another weapon to stick … blocking better be a huge part of his game if he expects to get on the field regularly in Coach Koetter’s offense.

  2. Bucsalltheway Says:

    @defense rules
    I mean no harm but stocker has been by far the best blocking tight end we have had…so blocking hasn’t been his weakness

  3. Big Marlon B Says:

    @ Bucsalltheway

    he was talking about Vitale, not Stocker.

  4. dave Says:

    theres room to use both if vitale lives up to the hype. I have more trust in stocker at fb now because he’s actually been a pro for several years

  5. Defense Rules Says:

    Bucsalltheway … Agree with you 100% on Luke Stocker; he’s by far our best blocker. Only intended to focus on Vitale, in that if he expects to get good playing time he’ll have to be a great blocker in addition to being a ‘weapon’ to rush or catch passes. I’d be mighty surprised if Stocker gets cut but Vitale sticks (personally think that both will make the final 53 if Vitale turns out to be as good as folks think he is … only time will tell).

  6. Espo Says:

    If Vitale is able to block, he’ll be a pain in the ass for opposing defenses for years.

  7. Pickgrin Says:

    We know what Stocker is – a very solid blocker who can catch a few passes but you don’t want to have to count on him to do so.

    We know almost nothing about Vitale other than the “superback” hype coming out of College. The one thing that Vitale was obviously very good at in College was catching passes and special teams. His blocking ability at the NFL level remains to be seen.

    The only reports I have heard about Vitale so far are mostly that he is doing well on special teams – which he excelled at in all 4 phases while in College.

    I for one am anxious to see what Vitale can develop into. Dude runs a 4.6 which is pretty damn fast for a bigger guy and appears to have power to go along with the athleticism.

  8. DB55 Says:

    Yup! If vitale expects playing time he better be fearsome on Special Teams.

  9. Dewey Selmon Says:

    Espo is spot on about Vitale. He could be Dallas Clark for Jameis. I also like Stocker at FB and Pamplhie as the 6th lineman jumbo package. Dirk is going to hav a lot of options in the comming years.

  10. LakeLandBuc Says:

    Is this the best Bucs news ?..I guess it will be a LONG wait until Training Camp.

  11. biff barker Says:

    Having multiple targets is big, but having versatile guys like Sims and what Vitale is supposed to be, is even better.

    Not only can you spread the ball around, but some targets assignment is unpredictable too.

    Causing a defense to guess assignments is another way stretch it out.

  12. Kevin Says:

    So far everything I hear is exactly what I expected from dirk koetter in his first head coaching gig. Hes going to come out of the gate full throttle and put the fear of god in the rest of the league.

    This will if not this year, next year consistently become the best offense we have ever seen in Tampa for years to come!!! Its finally here I can feel it GO BUCS!!

  13. StPeteBucsFan Says:


    Agree with your observations and I’m pumped. I LOVE offense. Sorry Defenserules. 🙂

    When the AFL burst onto the scene my father and I used to debate…he favored the NFL where “they play some freaking defense”… I can still hear that…lol…and me for the AFL with Broadway Joe and Darryl the Mad Bomber Lamonica.

    Those of you who remember those old AFL years can understand why I’m jacked beyond belief at the possibilities…we have the most important part…the QB…IMHO we have the second most important part…an HC/OC…we have a variety of targets for #3 from various positions on the field and a solid running game. I can’t wait for Labor Day!!!

  14. Defense Rules Says:

    Hey StPete I love offense too, it’s just that the Bucs bread-and-butter for many years was defense and I loved that even more. Guys like Sapp and Brooks and Lynch and Barber grow on you with the intense defense they’d throw at everyone. And by the way, can remember the ‘early days’ living in New England when the Boston Patriots started (different stadium about every year?) and can also remember the hot rumors that the Patriots were going to move to someplace called Tampa, Florida unless they got a stadium built up there for them. They ultimately built one in this little town called Foxboro way outside of Boston, and Tampa ended up getting a new team called the Buccaneers. Strange world.

  15. StPeteBucsFan Says:

    Yea DR it’s hard to be a Buc’s fan without being a fan of defense…it’s our tradition. I have a feeling that is about to change.

    One of the thrills of watching Jon Cooper’s Lightning teams has been the fearless, aggressive posture…pay attention to defense for sure..that starts in goal for the Bolts…but score.

    I think Koetter will embrace the philosophy of score.

    There is one thing in any sporting endeavor that I simply loathe…playing to not lose instead of letting it rip and playing to win.

    With #3 and the support of Koetter behind him I just gotta believe sooner or later…and by later I mean the second half of THIS SEASON…I expect the guys to be freaking lighting up the new scoreboard!!!!

  16. StPeteBucsFan Says:

    BTW DR thanks for that cool story about the Pats/Foxboro and the birth of the Bucs. I did not know that about the Bucs.

    I grew up across the Ohio river from Cincinnati. Early on we got the Browns games pumped in from Cleveland until we got the Bengals.

    My only connection to the Bucs before I moved here and became a fan, was working with a really good friend who was from Lakeland. It was Upper East Tennessee not Bucs or Bengals territory. He did the weather and I did sports and he’d always come in asking for the latest on the Bucs. We’d each make fun of each other’s teams. The Bengals had their own periods of futility. Hard to imagine back then that one day I’d become a Buc’s fan myself.

  17. Buc76 Says:

    I think the offense in its second year under Dirk/Jamesis will improve greatly this year.
    Don’t forget we are getting Kenny Bell as well and he has looked great in camp.
    You Tube his Nebraska highlights, there pretty promising!