Beefing Up The Line

April 14th, 2017

Defensive tackle beef.

More and more Joe gets the sense the Bucs will use a 34-front defense more this year.

There have been subtle hints. When defensive coordinator Mike Smith was hired last year, he was quick to advise against pigeonholing his defense as a four-man front.

After drafting defensive end Noah Spence in the second round, who played outside linebacker in a 34 in college, Joe often saw Spence line up at that very position in underwear football. Rarely did we see this in games.

Then last month, Bucs AC/DC-loving general manager Jason Licht went out and signed hulking nose tackle Chris Baker. Peeling the onion skins back, Joe learned Baker played some defensive end when the Redskins were in a 34 front (not often).

So the plot thickens a little bit here when Greg Auman of the Tampa Bay Times notes the Bucs brought in a college guy who seems to be popular with NFL teams, a 334-pound beast of a defensive tackle — Grover Stewart of the noted football powerhouse Albany State.

Let’s say the Bucs do draft this guy, or someone like him, a hulking, beefy defensive tackle. That’s sort of what one is looking for in a 34 nose tackle, no?

No one has stated this to Joe on or off the record, but the bread crumbs seem to reveal Bucs fans may see more 34-front defensive looks this season.

30 Responses to “Beefing Up The Line”

  1. 813bucboi Says:

    I think we have solid depth at dt for a 34 front…but we’re lacking depth and quality players at our linebacker position weather its 43 or 34….that is what needs to be addressed….GO BUCS!!!!

  2. USFBUC Says:

    I wouldn’t mind a move to a 34 defense, it seems that the players we have might do better in this defense.

  3. USFBUC Says:

    813 – I don’t see any reason why we couldn’t stand up Jac Smith and Spence to be our extra LBs. Then use Baker, GMC, Ayers, Gholston, Mcdonald as our Dlinemen. We might need some depth but the quality is there.

  4. 813bucboi Says:

    maybe spence but relying on j.smith would be troublesome….he’s never on the field….if he or spence goes down, who else do we have?…GO BUCS!!!

  5. Lord Cornelius Says:

    If we draft a LB high then it means we’re going to likely move on from Lavonte when his contract is up in 4 years.

    I guess that really isn’t that insane since he’ll be like 31; but I’d still be a bit shocked to see us go LB that early.

    A 3rd CB or another DE makes way more sense than a 3rd LB right now in terms of the value of the position in general and how it would impact the team. There’s a reason LB is basically paid like the RB of the defense right now in the NFL… they’re easier to find/replace and more expendable

    We also drafted Davonte Bond last year and he will be competing for that spot and the team seems high on him

  6. tnew Says:

    Thanks for teeing this one up for me. I’m going to keep beating this drum. Malik Mcdowell. Check out the comparison between him and Solomon Thomas on utube and see what you think. The young man offers positional flexibility in that he can play in a 43, on the right side opposite Gholston on running downs, switch him with Gholston on Passing downs, or play either side as a 34 DE. And he will most likely be available in the second round because of his “character concerns”

    Someone please tell me the character concerns. I’ve heard the following:
    1) not a good family guy, due to his experience with his Mom regarding signing day.
    2) Locker room cancer, not a good team guy. He played every position along the defensive line almost every game. How is this not a team player? Plus most of the time he played 0 or 3 technique which he game up stats for production. Every interview I’ve heard the kid is looking to be coached and says he wants it. He could be another ASJ, but he hasn’t had the legal issues. I will say this, most really good DE’s have been a bit eccentric and borderline misunderstood.
    3) inconsistent effort.. check out the game film. not the highlights and tell me what you see.

    Don’t be sheep and listen to Kiper. Look for yourself. There is a weird narrative on him that just doesn’t match the tape

  7. Eightonetree bucs Says:

    Hello Tim Williams!!!!!

  8. DB55 Says:

    Jarrad Davis – LB – Florida is looking better and better by the minute. Especially in a 3-4.

    Do you think GMC would go outside in a 3-4? I still say he would ki11 at DE. There’s not a Tackle in the league that can block him.

  9. Joeypoppems Says:

    If they pick Jarrad Davis or any LB early, I would think a transition to a base 34 defense is in the works. Not just 34 looks.

  10. briandorry55 Says:

    No…it doesn’t seem like that at all. We have Sealver Siliga who is the same body type player. He’s not very good. They want an early down run stuffer.

  11. Eric Says:

    Roderick Henderson, Ala. State … A BEAST

  12. Bucsfanman Says:

    @DB55- That statement is bordering on a complement! From you?! All kidding aside though, it would be pretty nasty to see him off the edge.

    @tnew- I don’t know what Kiper’s beef is with Malik. Truthfully, Kiper is one of my least favorite talking heads anyway. Malik is a beast. H ewould definitely bolster this line.

  13. Joe Says:

    j.smith would be troublesome….he’s never on the field…


  14. Pa Privateer Says:

    Don’t forget Davonte Bond. He played DE/Edge in college and is very comfortable rushing the passer from the edge.

    The bucs have actively scouted OLB and big DT. As a matter of fact that have scouted just as many LB as DE.

  15. Louis Says:

    I am not overly impressed with Grover Stewart. He was washed out of most of the plays from the game shown in the clips. He was handled by the o line too easily and was not dominant against small school players…camp meat at best as an undrafted free agent….

  16. Pa Privateer Says:

    The Bucs have scouted some very big DTs. They also have shown a lot of interest in DTs who are ranked to be drafted in the second round.

    These are the DTs the Bucs have scouted. Notice that Grover Stewart is listed.

    Josh Tupou, DT
    Grover Stewart, DT
    Larry Ogunjobi, DT
    Caleb Brantley, DT/NT
    Daniel Awoleke, DT
    Josh Augusta, DT/NT

  17. bucs_365 Says:

    I’m all for extra beef up front. I’ve felt for a long time that the old lightweight model of Tampa D-linemen was no longer a recipe for success. And flexibility to switch to 3-4 in certain situations can only help.

  18. Mike Evans GOAT Says:

    I doubt they switch to a full time 34 or even 40% 34. Just seems kinda stupid to switch to a 34 just for a year or two and then switch back after Smith leaves. And I HIGHLY doubt we draft a 2nd round Florida lber at 19. How much 34 did Smith run in ATL? Not much as I recall. And it was after he hired a new D.C. That said HE wanted to run SOME 34 LOOKS. No solid evidence that he wants to run a 34. Just some jibber jabber, he said she said, read between the lines crap

  19. Capt.Tim Says:

    I remember John McKay’s 3-4 defense
    LeeRoy Selmon, Dave Pear, Wally Chambers
    And the biggest, Meanest collection of Lbs, Until the 85′ bears
    Richard”Batman”Wood, David Lewis, Dewey Selmon, And Cecil Johnson.

    Those guys were a fierce defense!! I loved watching them as a kid.

    Pardon my Maudling! Im getting old.

    I wont mind a 3-4 defense, as a change of Pace.
    Noah Spence is well suited as an edge rusher, from the LBer spot.

    Joe, any word on Daryl Smith?
    Has he made up his mind to retire, or is he pulling the veteran card, and getting out of scorching hot Traing camp?

    Id like to see him back. Still got the passion!

  20. bucs_365 Says:

    Nobody said they’d switch to a 3-4 defense… Only that they’d line up that way situationally. Mike Smith has indicated that he’d like that flexibility… still running out of a base 4-3.

  21. Bucnut2 Says:

    Bucnut would love to get some of what Joe is smoking. You don’t run a 3-4 with a 3 technique like GM and the Linebackers we have. Joe knows football, NOT!!! This is the latest in a long line of really questionable off-season posts from the Joes. Perhaps the pressure of posting 7-8 times a day is catching up??

  22. Bucnut2 Says:

    Joes don’t like me comment??

  23. LifeOfABucFan Says:

    Eric Says:
    April 14th, 2017 at 1:29 pm
    Roderick Henderson, Ala. State … A BEAST


    Now YOU”RE talking my language!!! This kid is a beast indeed!!!!!!!
    Bucs better keep their eye on him…

  24. Joe Says:

    Bucnut would love to get some of what Joe is smoking. You don’t run a 3-4 with a 3 technique like GM and the Linebackers we have. Joe knows football, NOT!!!

    Joe saw the Bucs running some 34 defense using Noah Spence at OLB plenty of times in practice last year with his own eyes, as did every person who covers the Bucs. Don’t try to tell they can’t when they’ve spent valuable time in practice doing just that. Mike Smith is on record saying they want to run some 34.

    Not saying they have the right personnel to be effective nor did Joe write they are switching defenses. Those are totally different subjects.

  25. bucNation Says:

    if daryl smith came back i think we could actually run this as our base defense kwon and daryl at the middle spence and lavonte rushing with devonte bond rotating.. plus our d line would have crazy depth with mccoy ayers and baker and you add in gholston spence could play some down de too itd be a nasty front but i don’t think gerald is the type of tackle to thrive in that system u need more of the 330 pound massive dt in the middle

  26. DEFF JEFF Says:

    Can you say Jabril Peppers anyone….He’s a young troy polamalu. Guy can play like 6 defensive spots on the field.

  27. DEFF JEFF Says:

    He’s not a safety, he’s not a linebacker, he’s not defensive end….He’s a Jabril Peppers!

  28. Buccaneer Bonzai Says:

    Bucnut2 Says
    “Bucnut would love to get some of what Joe is smoking. You don’t run a 3-4 with a 3 technique like GM and the Linebackers we have. Joe knows football, NOT!!! This is the latest in a long line of really questionable off-season posts from the Joes. Perhaps the pressure of posting 7-8 times a day is catching up??”

    Um, did you not watch the Bucs last year? They ran some 34.

  29. Cover Deuce Says:

    34 or 43, I don’t care. As long as the best 11 guys are out there making an impact.

  30. Capt.Tim Says:

    McCoy would be a DE in a 3-4