Sarcasm And Riches Of Linebackers

October 13th, 2017

“What’s another word for ‘thesaurus?'”

Joe is just stoked thinking of the possibilities.

Did anyone believe rookie Kendell Beckwith would blow up the way he has? Joe doesn’t even think Beckwith’s mother would have expected the LSU product to go damned near full-blown Ray Lewis at middle linebacker. This guy is special.

Adarius Glanton? Strong against the run.

And, yeah, we’re all waiting for Pro Bowler linebacker Lavonte David and last year’s NFL leader in solo tackles, Kwon Alexander, to get back on the field.

Have you ever seen a Bucs linebacker unit so friggin’ deep?

So yesterday, Joe tried to pick the brain of winning Bucs coach Dirk Koetter to see if he might show his hand as to what might happen when David and Alexander are back healthy and on the field. Koetter didn’t really bite but did have an interesting comment.

“I’m still waiting to be on that team that has too many good players,” Koetter said. “I hope I get a chance in my career, but I still haven’t been on it yet. I think we will figure something out – maybe we will be playing 3-4 the whole time. We will have to see.”

Now of course, Joe’s sarcasm filter caught Koetter deadpanning right away about a 34 defense full-time. The Bucs are a 43-front base. Gerald McCoy is not a 34 nose tackle (though he might be able to play a 34 defensive end with his skillset). Swaggy Baker did play some defensive end in a 34-front at Washington.

The Bucs are not going to a 34 defense full-time. Joe appreciates the Steven Wright line from Koetter.

Now Joe vividly remembers Koetter this past offseason talking about how, on the offensive line, he wanted the best five blockers on the field and he would find a place for them. This is, in part, why Ali Marpet was moved to center.

Koetter is a big believer in getting his best players on the field. The way Beckwith is playing, how can one reasonably want to decrease his snaps?

The Bucs have played some 34 defense this season. With linebackers coming out of their ears, Joe expects to see more of a 34 defense once Alexander and David are healthy — unlikely it would be 50 percent of the time, but more than we have seen thus far.

Oh, by the way, one could argue Noah Spence is more suited as an outside linebacker in a 34 front than a defensive end in a 43.

But think of the delicious possibilities for Mike Smith. He could run a hybrid or an Amoeba defense and blitz the hell out of David on passing downs with Spence rushing as well. Best wishes to any running back trying to slow down a blazing David.

Since edge rush of the Bucs (what edge rush?) is virtually non-existent, Smith is going to have to craft creative ways of getting heat. With so many linebackers to tinker with, why not use David, not so much as a defensive end, but as a pass-rushing linebacker?

28 Responses to “Sarcasm And Riches Of Linebackers”

  1. Pelbuc Says:

    Even losing tonight, Panthers are light years better than the Bucs. Also, Wentz is much more accurate than Winston and doesn’t zero in on one receiver.

  2. LakeLand Says:

    I said it after the daft and I say it again. Kendell Beckwith should be the Bucs Mike LB. Kwon Alexander is too small to play MIKE in Mike Smith defense. He’s better suited at Sam or Will.

  3. Cometowin2 Says:

    We have not played anywhere close to our best game. Patience. Go Bucs!!!

  4. Joe Says:

    Kwon Alexander is too small to play MIKE in Mike Smith defense.

    Yet Kwon led the NFL in solo tackles last year. #C’monMan

  5. DayOnePaul Says:

    Let’s not put Beckwith in Canton quite yet. Yes, he played well in Kwon and Lavonte’s absence. But let’s be honest. Most all of his 14 tackles were rugby tackles. Virtually all chasing a guy down from behind. Not a game changing play in the bunch, as we might have expected from the missing stars. Let’s let him grow into the NFL before we anoint him.

  6. Capt.Tim Says:

    Ive been saying this for weeks

    McCoy and Gholsten at DE, Baker at Nosetackle
    Kwon and David at OLB, Spence and Beckwith at ILB.
    Now thats a front 7!

    Then only need to replace Hargreaves from our highly touted, 30th ranked Defense.
    When you are 30th in the league- you damn better change something!!

    If only we had a DE . . . And a CB. . .

  7. Pelbuc is blind Says:

    Pelbuc what game were you watching? “Also, Wentz is much more accurate than Winston and doesn’t zero in on one receiver.”

    Wentz went 16/30 last night, on what planet is that accurate? He was missing throws all game. And considering he rarely throws the ball further than 7-10 yards, that’s pathetic.

    In a west coast offense Wentz is completing 61% of his passes. In a vertical offense Jameis is completing 61% of his passes. Jameis is just as accurate and makes much more difficult throws, with a worse oline and running game. I’ll take jameis 7 days a week and twice on Sunday.

  8. Jack Burton Mercer Says:

    Smith hasn’t shown much inclination in his career to get wacky on defense. He does need to get creative now though to get to the passer.

    GMC, btw, would be the best 34 defensive end in the league.

  9. Defense Rules Says:

    GMC at DE sounds intriguing. Actually built a lot like ‘The Minister of Defense’ Reggie White who’s one of my favorite players of all time (57 sacks in THREE years with Philly in the middle 80s … incredible). Baker & McDonald holding down the middle, Ayers & Gholston at the other DE, and then FOUR LBs including Spence (our strongest grouping). I think it’s workable, in certain defensive situations of course.

    And Lakeland, I agree with you about Beckwith & Kwon. Smitty has to find a way to keep all 3 on the field for the majority of snaps. Personally like the idea of using the 2 of them interchangeably at ILB depending upon the defensive situation & blitz intentions.

  10. BucEmUp Says:

    I hope so

  11. Bird Says:

    Captain Tim

    Is right. Throw in glanton for Spence on running early downs and see what happens. Worried about which receiver will be matched up against Hargreaves this weekend

    Pelbuc too. Those teams last night looked pretty amazing

  12. USFBUC Says:

    @Capt Tim – I have been hoping we would see that front you described since the offseason. I posted during the offseason that there was actually a picture of Gholston, Baker, and McCoy in a three man front on the Bucs website and social media. We could have a really solid 34 defense

  13. Capt.Tim Says:

    That puts our very best guys on the field.
    And All four of those backers can rush the QB. Makes the offense guess which one is coming!

    I loved John McKays 3-4 defense. They were monsters!
    And McCoy could play the same position as the Great LeeRoy Selmon!
    McCoy would thrive at De

  14. WyomingBucsFan Says:

    All this Beckwith hype is premature. He filled in nicely for Kwon but where are the turnovers? Also where are the TFL’s ?

  15. LakeLand Says:

    I’m not saying that Kwon isn’t a good Mike. But he’s too small for Mike Smith defense. Last year the Bucs gave up 4.4 YPC, this year they’re giving up 3.4 YPC. Kwon was drafted to be a Cover-3 Mike, similar to Shelton Quarles. But in Mike Smith defense, it requires a big, fast, strong Mike, similar to Kendell Beckwith. Last season, it was hard for Kwon to get off blocks against the run, because of his size and strength. He made a lot of tackles, he also missed a lot of tackles or couldn’t get off his blocks.

  16. LakeLand Says:

    It seems weird to have a 6’2 250 lb Will LB, and a 6’1 225 lb Mike LB. I have no doubt that Kwon can make more plays at Sam or Will.

  17. darin Says:

    Lets find a way to get em to the qb this week. Carson gets time he is gona pull a case montana. These lbs are something special. Cant wait to get kwon back. He seems to be one of the only guys who is creating turnovers. Anyone who thinks he is too small must have missed him running down julio jones last year n stripping the ball out. Big game. Go Bucs

  18. LakeLand Says:

    I said too small at Mike, I never said too small for a LB. He’s fast in open field. But what good is that at the LOS on running plays? When you have 310 LB O-Lineman putting a body on you.

  19. sorryitriggeredyou Says:

    On the first series when GMC blew up the run against the Giants, Spence was over the tight end not in 3 point stance. Not quite a 3-4 but if you take the injured Spence and put in Beckwith whos just as big and more importantly healthy, you have your best players on the field for 50% of the snaps. I’d love to see a Beckwith closer to the line blasting TEs and stuffing runs, even blitzing. He’s big dood with speed. They’d be smart to keep him in the game as much as possible.

  20. Dusthty Rhothdes Says:

    Watching eagles last night reaffirms how poor of a GM Licht is and he has no clue, the eagles were a dumpster fire 3 years ago, built a defense got an undrafted kicker a 2nd year qb and now the path to super bowl runs thru philly, the bucs defense is bottom 3rd and not sure on 17 pt game offense, defense wns championships licht has failed miserably at building that

  21. Dusthty Rhothdes Says:

    Lakeland you are spot on with the beckwith/kwon comps, too bad neither is a DE or secondary player

  22. 813bucboi Says:

    running that 34 seems like it would get more pressure on the qb….GO BUCS!!!

  23. bucsfaninchina Says:

    I sure hope Mike Smith is reading this. Almost makes too much sense.

  24. bucsfaninchina Says:

    David (Sam) – Beckwith (Mike) – Kwon (Will) – Spence (Jack)
    McCoy (DE) – McDonald/Baker (NT) – Ayers (DE)

    Pretty mean-looking if you ask me

  25. LakeLand Says:

    Dusthty Rhothdes….I agree about the Eagles. I don’t like the Eagles, but they have put together a tough team in the last few years. And Rookie CB Sidney Jones has yet to hit the field.

  26. Joe Says:

    Kwon was drafted to be a Cover-3 Mike, similar to Shelton Quarles.

    In the almost three years Kwon has been with the Bucs, Joe has honestly never heard that before, but what does Joe know? He only talks to Bucs players, coaches and suits damn near on a daily basis.

    However, Joe was told once that Kwon was an “accident” because if anyone in the NFL knew how good he would be, he wouldn’t have lasted until the fourth round.

  27. Brian Says:

    If Beckwith continues to play well.. either David or Alexander wont be around long after this year. One of them will NOT be getting paid (David would be AGAIN).

  28. SB Says:

    Best article you have written in a while Joe!!! Awesome stuff to think about there. GMC as a DE in a 3-4 with Spence on one side and David on the other taking their shots when it’s there!!!! Whoooooh! Chills man. Chills.