“The Numbers” Look Good

May 8th, 2017

Handicapping Riley Bullough

The three guys seemingly fighting it out to play strongside linebacker for the Bucs have combined for two NFL starts — and two of them have never taken a snap in the NFL.

No wonder a Bucs undrafted free agent linebacker likes his odds.

Joe’s talking about Michigan State overachiever Riley Bullough, a 6-2, 226-pounder, whose father and grandfather played for the Spartans, too. Bullough told the Traverse City Record Eagle that several NFL teams were chasing him after the draft but the Bucs linebacker situation was ideal.

Bullough will work under head coach Dirk Koetter, defensive coordinator Mike Smith and linebackers coach Mark Duffner. Bullough said Duffner played a major role in his decision to choose Tampa Bay.

“I’ve gotten close with him over the last couple of months,” Bullough said. “We stayed in contact, and that was one of the main reasons. The numbers with the guys they have there look good. It was kind of a combination of things. We didn’t really know it until the very last minute that I was going to pick the Bucs. But I’m glad I did.”

Smart young skinny linebacker man.

The Bucs have a big hole at strongside linebacker with the departure (retirement?) of 35-year-old Daryl Smith, last year’s starter.

Bucs 2016 sixth-round pick linebacker Devante Bond was injured and done for the season in September. Adarius Glanton was a reserve all season and was solid on special teams but made little impact at linebacker. Glanton started two games for the Panthers in 2014.

Then there’s rookie third-round pick Kendall Beckwith. He’s recovering from ACL surgery in late November. Joe’s not counting on seeing him in training camp.

So Bullough has as a good a shot as he’s going to find in the NFL. The four-year player at Michigan State played plenty of special teams and a little fullback in college. With football in his blood (brother Max is a Texans linebacker since 2014), Bullough likely should settle in quickly and easily.

But does he have the talent? Do the Bucs have anyone with necessary talent at that position?

Sure, strongside linebacker is a part-time job with the Bucs, but it’s a full-time mess without a solid player there.

Don’t think Daryl Smith was valuable? Consider how Dirk Koetter just explained that Smith allowed the Bucs to be “cheatin’ danger” all season.

43 Responses to ““The Numbers” Look Good”

  1. Joeypoppems Says:

    226 is a pretty small SAM backer. I would think he is more depth than anything. Wasnt one thing Licht like about Beckwith was his size?

  2. Oj "I Got The Juice" Howard Says:

    Yea he’s small. But may be a thumped

  3. Lord Cornelius Says:

    Cool. Lotta fun story lines this year for hard knox:

    -Offensive line battles & development of the starting 5 along with Sweezy’s health questions
    -the running back competition & Doug Martin’s questionable future
    -the SAM LB battle – will our 3rd rounder be ready to go in camp as he says and how will guys like Bond play

    Those are probably the biggest questions that will be answered in TC/preseason along with the safety battle. Also real interested to see how the offense looks in general and how quick it will take to gel with all the new guys but not sure we’ll have a good answer or feel for that until the regular season gets rolling

  4. Stanglassman Says:

    I think I’ll definitely be ready for training camp. That’s the goal.”

    Stroud claims the Bucs concur, and expect to have him back for training camp. Which means he’ll get to be featured on Hard Knocks and, more importantly, could win a starting job early on.
    Counting on Beckwith to be ready to hit in training camp and preseason is almost silly. Sorry, don’t care what you’re hearing.–Joe

  5. Rod Munch Says:

    From what I read he profiles more as a weakside linebacker, but it says he lacks athletic ability – which is a must at that position. I guess he had a hamstring issue which kept him running st the combine or pro day. The kid does look like a LB on the field, the kind of guy who can play special teams and could down the road become a contributor, perhaps. Who knows.

  6. Steven007 Says:

    Rod, agreed. Special teams Ace in the first year. Put on 10-15 pounds of good weight in the offseason then perhaps compete with Beckwith. Also an obvious practice squad candidate.

  7. R.O. Says:

    Amazing how everyone forgets we need a backup for LVD.. Someone who can play all 3 spots would be good…

  8. Ez4u2nvthis1 Says:

    Everything I’ve been hearing and reading (including the horses mouth) says Beckwith will be ready for Training camp. So unless your in secret meetings with Bechwith’s doctors and they are all deliberately lying to the man I would have to say you are way off on this one Joe.. Where are these signs you are seeing to say he wont be ready? You reading tea leaves again Joe?? I expect him to win that Sam spot early in camp.

  9. Rrsrq Says:

    I think they will play it safe with Beck, at least the PUP early on, think Bond had a hammy and he was out the whole year and hate to bring up Bell, also a hammy and out for a year, though Chuck Sims came back after an MCL, but I wonder if it wasn’t a playoff push would they have brought back Sims when they needed a receiver a didn’t bring V-Jax

  10. LakeLandBuc Says:

    Adarius Glanton can play all three LB positions. He have done something that most Bucs haven’t done. He actually started a playoff game and played in another one. He played good last season, when given the chance.

  11. Arealbucfan Says:

    he couldn’t be much worse than Glanton, nothing against AG, but we need quality depth… and Koetter and Licht both know by now not to let him step and right away even if he swears up and down he’s ready… injuries have been lurking like the grim reaper over the Bucs.. I want to know how Magliore did

  12. Fred E. Bucs Says:

    On Beckwith. ACL surgery recovery varies per person. Whether you need ACL surgery resulting from a sports injury or what not, the recovery timeline is similar for most people, and it’s six to nine months. Nine months is outside time for a young and healthy guy who isn’t so disciplined, or six months for a healthy guy who is disciplined and of average size. Outside time for a healthy guy to get to pre-injury condition with full range of motion and stability in the knee joint is nine months. Beckwith is likely at six months doing strength/stability, sport-specific rehab at this stage. Now, this timeline is with NO set-backs. Given Beckwith hurt his knee Nov 19th, he has a VERY good chance of getting into camp at 8 months at 100%. Worst case, he should be back to full speed…yes, football shape by late August and game ready on opening day…he just may not be mentally ready as a rookie. For reference, Darrell Revis (a lighter but significantly older guy) tore his ACL in late October and he started in the season opener. He cold have gone in pre-season but the Bucs chose not to play him.

  13. Casual Observer Says:

    What about the UFA LB from Mississippi State?

  14. SB Says:

    I feel like McDonalds with all the competition going on.
    “I’m Lovin’ It”

  15. SB Says:

    Nole on Sat.-Bucc on Sun. Says:
    May 8th, 2017 at 4:00 pm
    Saints just suffered a blow. Unger suffered a injured foot. Supposedly will miss the beginning of the season.
    This is the fun news.

  16. LakeLandBuc Says:

    Adarius Glanton made 16 tackles last season on Special Teams. He logged 308 Special Teams snaps last season, the most on the team. He was even was the Long Snapper on the winning PAT in week 17 against Carolina. The Bucs recently resigned him, I doubt if he don’t make the team. Dirk Koetter value Special Teams play.

  17. FuNkYxMuNkEy Says:

    I love Kwon but Beckwith is made for the MLB position

  18. FuNkYxMuNkEy Says:

    LaVonte better get his butt in gear this year. That’s for certain

  19. LakeLandBuc Says:

    Last season Lavonte was learning a new defense. But he still played good in my opinion.This season, he should be even better. Last season he was 1st in FF, 1st in TFL, 4th in Sacks,3rd in Tackles, 1st in FR.

  20. Argh_M8E Says:

    Hahahahaha!!! I like this guy, just gotta stay on field playa!


  21. SB Says:

    Yeah Lakeland, Just imagine if he were in Schiano’s system for 5 straight yrs instead of having multiple DCs.
    Dude was blasting Luke from day one in GS’s system. One can only think he would get better. Lovie F’d him up and Mike Smith is trying to bring him back.

  22. LUVMYBUCS Says:

    IMHO Red Shirt Kendall Beckwith the 1st year.
    Let the kid dive into his playbook, and get all the mental reps under the sun.
    Next year will be his time to shine. The kid’s to talented to rush back into action.

    I’m sure Jason & his staff are still looking at a few 2016 UDFA prospects at the position. Probably just waiting for one of them to be cut.

    Then there’s also Jun 1st cuts right around the corner. Who know – the Jags could release Paul Posluszny. Or Philly could release Mychal Kendricks.

  23. BigMacAttack Says:

    Just score 50 points per game and forget about defense. Jk

  24. Pit Says:

    Stupid question can Beckwith play as a Strong Safety?

  25. Pit Says:

    Argh_M8E Says:
    May 8th, 2017 at 7:12 pm
    Hahahahaha!!! I like this guy, just gotta stay on field playa!


    thats not playing smart at all.ejected in the first quarter??

  26. Super Selmon Says:

    We need an upgrade from Lavonte….

    Hopefully he’s a third safety, not a LB. Probably Special Team Player. And a really Good One, Not a Fan, if you didn’t know.

    My 2 CENTS

  27. Not there yet Says:

    Beckwith himself already said he’s running jumping and making cuts. Not everyone heals the same. No one is really talking about bond simply because he’s already here but he doesn’t have the learning curve of all the newcomers so why would they need to risk Beckwith or worry about an undrafted guy

  28. ARGH_M8E Says:

    @ Pit… NO s**t but I see something in this guy. We’ll see, dudes got some intensity for sure

  29. Lamarcus Says:

    Super Selman.

    U need to upgrade ur football iq. Lavonte is the man and has been.

  30. LargoBuc Says:

    We definitely better hope one of these guys is a diamond in the rough. To say our potential sam linebackers look underwhelming would be an understatement.

  31. DEFF JEFF Says:

    The numbers look good too when I go out at night however I always seem to go home alone but never empty handed!!

  32. Super Selmon Says:

    I’d replace Will and Sam Linebacker.
    Kwon to Will, Rookie Middle linebacker, He’s Ready and Healthy.

    Competition for Sam. UDFA

    Kwon will wreak havoc from the Will.

    Draft Pick Justin Evans, hope he raps up….. I think our Nickle.

    Jacquies Smith doesn’t make the 53

    My dark horse is George Johnson.

  33. SB Says:

    Nice shock value post JEFF. But step up your game outside of this room though if you ever want to be a father.

  34. dooshlarue Says:


    I guess you’re still carrying the torch for Schiano? Just guessing.
    While I liked some of his coaching skills, mostly on defense, I can never forgive him after he said even though the hurry up offense worked very well for us (against the Rams I think), he then said that it’s not what we practice, so even though it worked, we’re not gonna use it.
    That kind of close mindedness infuriated the hell out of me.

    But yes, he did have LVD playing well and he got rid of Freeman (without tbe “team friendly” contract extension) so he wasn’t all bad, but I sure like where we are now.

    And Joe, kinda surprised you haven’t had anything from Mike Smith since the draft.
    Hopefully you have a big story brewing.

  35. Buccaneer Bonzai Says:

    I’m al for having a young QB as a backup, but I just realized that Robert Griffin III is still out there…isn’t he? Wouldn’t he be a better backup than Glennon was?

  36. Stpetebucsfan Says:

    I just realized that Robert Griffin III is still out there…isn’t he? Wouldn’t he be a better backup than Glennon was?


    I don’t know if he would be better but I certainly take your point. If RGIII had any interest to show up in camp and compete it would be worth seeing if he has anything left.

    I wonder if the reason that Cooper wasn’t offered a deal is because Cooper’s agent thought there should be money in the offer? Wonder if that would be a hold up with RGIII as well?

    I do not believe RGIII is a true franchise QB even when healthy and playing well. But I do believe he could become a franchise backup QB to #3.

  37. Defense Rules Says:

    Sam LB could very well end up being our Achilles heel. If our opponents smell blood in the water (weak Sam LB) we’ll be in serious doodoo. Devante Bond may be the answer, but since he spent last year on IR I can’t see him as anything but a 6th Rnd rookie. Adarius Glanton was an undrafted rookie back in 2014 when he started a whopping 2 whole games for Carolina (the last games he started). Beckwith looks like our best bet right now, but heaven only knows if he’ll be ready for training camp. Not a good situation right now, but lots can change virtually overnight in the NFL.

  38. LakeLandBuc Says:

    Defense Rules, UDFA LB Richie Brown was a good LB at Mississippi State. He has the size and speed to be a good one. He was good in college, I don’t know why he wasn’t drafted.

  39. SB Says:

    Actually Doosh, no I am not carrying that torch. You are correct though in how I AM carrying the torch for LVD if he didn’t have to have 4 DCs in 5 yrs. He was perfect for Schiano’s D! Then told to go passive. Then told to do something in between. Many people just look at a player’s numbers and don’t take into account the schemes and personnel. LVD is an ANIMAL. He just has to be unleashed!

  40. Stpetebucsfan Says:


    He just has to be unleashed!

    Agree and I think that’s true of the entire Defense. VHIII to me has enough “Ronde” in him to blitz on occasion…LVD as you mention could be a beast….I’m looking forward to seeing what Smitty does with the guys this year.

    He now has a year under his belt with the core of this D…they know what he expects…he has some really athletic guys on the defense. I can’t wait to see how they line up. I’m thinking Smitty is going to make unpredictablility a large part of our defense.

  41. LakeLandBuc Says:

    I think the key to our defense is the play of Keith Tandy. If he can play like he did during the last 5 games of the season.We will have a Top-10 defense, he was the top rated Safety during that 5 game stretch.

  42. SB Says:

    Not sure I can agree much more SPBF.

  43. Brandon Says:

    Bullough had one total game tape at draftbreakdown website but in the one game he looked pretty good. He’s a strong pass rusher, puts a jolt on the OG, tries to shoot gaps and does so fairly successfully. Athletically, he isn’t a stud, but he plays quite a bit bigger than his 226 lbs, runs sideline to sideline and gets a little depth in his drops and seems to anticipate routes well in man coverage.

    I really like him, based on his one tape, Magloire, and Richie Brown as well. Either of the three, perhaps even two, is a good bet to make the final roster.