Depth At Linebacker Just Fine

May 10th, 2018

Doesn’t miss many tackles.

It warmed Joe’s heart to learn last week that Bucs starting linebacker Kendell Beckwith was at One Buc Palace working out the best he can despite having ankle surgery due to an April car crash.

That tells Joe the injury/surgery isn’t that awful.

Despite Beckwith’s surgery, Joe wasn’t sweating a whole lot. Why? Because linebackers coach Mark Duffner has done an outstanding job of developing one of the deepest linebacker units in the NFL.

Joe has been particularly impressed with Devante Bond, who stepped in last year on various occasions to play strongside linebacker. Joe just loves his tackling technique. It is as textbook as it gets.

In fact, Joe had a Bucs defensive coach tell him back in January at an East-West Shrine practice in St. Petersburg that Bond will only get better as he was playing too close to the line last year. Why was that? Because the Bucs were so horrid at rushing the passer the team needed him close to the line. As a result, he was out of position.

Now the well-trained orangutans at the PFF tribe believe fellow reserve linebacker Adarius Taylor is a pretty good tackler, too. Taylor (formerly Adarius Glanton) played in 14 games last season before breaking a leg in Week 15.

The tribe documented Taylor’s tackling, claiming he only missed one tackle in 99 run plays by opponents.

Yes, the Bucs are deep at linebacker. And for this reason, Beckwith should be allowed every moment he may need to fully heal his damaged wheel.

36 Responses to “Depth At Linebacker Just Fine”

  1. Trench War Says:

    What about that new linebacker out of Wisconsin Jack Cichy. The guy has put together some good film of him playing against some top quality NCAA schools. Like USC, LSU, Notre Dame, Nebraska etc… Maybe he can find his way onto the 53 man roster. ….or the ps

    Joe do a workup on this young fella 🙂

  2. SB Says:

    We are better at DL for Sure. Good at LB to say the least. We beefed up the secondary on paper. Defense will be better. Good times hopefully.

  3. Joe Says:

    Joe do a workup on this young fella

    Maybe Monday. Might talk to him this week.

  4. Trench War Says:

    Tell him he’s got some homer fans already! 🙂

  5. firethecannons Says:

    Yeah–like to read more about Jack Cichy, despite our depth he is likely to make the squad somehow. He has high motor and good attitude, real team player

  6. Howard Cosell Says:

    Linebackers coach is top notch.
    Howard is surprised he hasn’t left the Bucs for another team yet

  7. Rod Munch Says:

    Bond was a project guy coming out of college, he was considered extremely raw as he wasn’t even a full time starter. He had a ton of raw skill however and that’s the only reason he was drafted. He’s mostly looked good when he’s had a chance to play, he hasn’t stood out as being a liability at the very least and you figure with another offseason under his belt he really might show something this year. This was another good find by Licht and I think the Bucs wouldn’t worry about it at all if he was the starter to open the year.

  8. lambchop Says:

    Devante Bond is the real deal. Kudos to him for working on his craft even though he’s usually not the starter. He has a good attitude with his preparation, etc. Kudos to the LB coach as well for being the lone bright spot on that defensive staff – Bucker will hopefully prove his salt this season as well.

  9. lambchop Says:


    When you see Bond next time, tell him his work ethic and skills are not going unnoticed by fans. The Devonte Bond’s of an NFL team are the unsung glue guys – just like Keith Tandy.

  10. Rod Munch Says:

    Not to change the subject but I can’t believe I somehow missed the news that the Bucs signed Igwebuike…

    This is a dream come true, another Igwebuike on the Bucs!!!!

    Holy Jesus I hope he makes it into at least some preseason games so I can hear Deckerhoff once again say the words we haven’t heard since 1990 when he was with the Vikings and missed that kick against the Bucs.

    Seriously Donald Igwebuike is the best name in Bucs football history – and I love that Ray Perkins couldn’t pronounce his name and just called him Donald Kicker. I’d hope Dirk keeps that tradition alive and calls Godwin Igwebuike just Godwin Safety.

    Also the guy has great numbers, why did he go undrafted.

    Sorry Bond, didn’t mean to hijack your thread, but just noticed the Godwin Igwebuike signing, I really have no idea how I missed it.

  11. LUVMYBUCS Says:

    Depth At Linebacker Just Fine

    Damn Straight!

  12. Uncle Rob Says:

    Mattie ice today got 150 mill for 5 years. Easy math 30 per. NFL network says that’s 9.8 % of the cap. I’m a math nerd. What did I miss. Is the cap 290 mill

  13. LUVMYBUCS Says:

    Possible Depth Chart (Going Into Camp)
    WLB Lavonte David | Cameron Lynch | Nigel Harris
    MLB Kwon Alexander | Adarius Glanton | Riley Bullough
    SLB Devante Bond | Jeff Knox Jr. | Jack Cichy

    SideNote: Kendell Beckwith probably starts the Non-Football Injury (NFI) List

  14. LUVMYBUCS Says:

    Take note of the guys w/ experience at ILB/MLB
    • #58 Kwon Alexander
    • #53 Adarius Taylor
    • #51 Kendell Beckwith
    • #41 Jack Cichy
    • #52 Nigel Harris
    • #49 Riley Bullough
    • #56 Jeff Knox

  15. Defense Rules Says:

    First time I’ve read anywhere that Bond was playing ‘too close to the line’ because the DLine couldn’t rush the passer last year. That’s a fascinating tidbit right there Joe. Leaves me with the impression that the Bucs defensive coaches were trying about everything (LBs up; DBs back?) to compensate for a DLine that couldn’t do its’ job. Hmmm, sounds like Smitty & the defensive coaches were probably pulling out their hair trying various adjustments to make up for a lack of DLine talent. I guess this year we’ll finally find out if they really do know how to coach. Of course I recognize that it doesn’t really matter how much the Bucs defense improves … in Bucsville, someone else would always have been able to do it better.

  16. John5 Says:

    I’m also curious about Cichy and don’t forget Riley Bullough aka Joe Dirt. He was a Hard Knocks favorite for his football smarts and strong leadership, but was lacking in physicality. He got a whole year training with the Bucs remaining on the practice squad. And seeing him back after this offseason, he looks like he’s beefed up and has been working hard. What an elite group of linebackers. It’s going to be heartbreaking to see any one of these guys cut from the roster.

  17. Stanglassman Says:

    The problem with putting Cichy on the practice squad is that he wouldn’t last long. Just ask the Panthers how we got then Glanton, now Thomas.

    The problem with Riley B. is you can’t teach speed. Love his heart, smarts and leadership but if you can’t cover deep middle class n this defense your a liability. Hopefully he can make up for it with anticipation ala double nickel.

  18. M.b.f.g Says:

    Our defense will be top 10 this year

  19. Bob in Valrico Says:

    Agrred, Defense. also read other tweaks included putting McCoy at 0 Technique in an ii fated attempt at 3-4 alignment and using McCoy as a decoy so Ayers could bring pressure.

  20. Bob in Valrico Says:

    oops,meant agreed.

  21. Bob in Valrico Says:

    and ill fated

  22. LUVMYBUCS Says:

    If Cichy’s healthy, this kid will shoot up the depth chart.
    And quickly become a fan favorite.

  23. LUVMYBUCS Says:

    Jack Cichy’s Wisconsin Pro Day
    • Pro Agility Drill: 4.19 seconds
    • 3-cone Drill: 6.88 seconds
    • Vertical Jump: 33½ inches

    His pro agility drill time would have ranked fourth among linebackers at the NFL combine, and his 3-cone drill would have been tied for fifth.

    Sidenote: His ACL tear was a clean tear. Just the ACL. It wasn’t the MCL.
    Cichy has not played in a football game since Oct. 22, 2016, when he tore a pectoral muscle against Iowa.

  24. Bucsfanman Says:

    LUV- Dropping knowledge, as usual!

    We definitely have some decent depth at this position. I’m hoping we’ll be talking about the defensive backs the same way once the season rolls around.

  25. LocalJoker Says:

    Bob, you gotta get outta Valrico more often. DE Robert Ayers has been gone. Not a Buc!

  26. BigHogHaynes Says:

    Nooo…..Top Seven!!

  27. Doctor Stroud Says:

    @Joe: a lot of fans have been talking about the Bucs experimenting with a 3-4 defense, especially after drafting Vita Vea. Is there any truth to this? Could Noah Spence be a ‘tweener’ LB/DE in this kind of system? Sorry if you have covered this elsewhere.

  28. Lamarcus Says:

    Devonte Bond? Always injured….. Sometimes i don’t even know who he is. And I only counted about 3 tackles he made. Cut bait

  29. Joe Says:

    When you see Bond next time, tell him his work ethic and skills are not going unnoticed by fans.

    Have told Bond so many times how much Joe appreciates his tackling it has become a running joke with him. 🙂 Walk by Bond in the locker room and just mutter out loud to him, “Excellent tackling” and he smiles and chuckles.

    He appreciates the compliments and will mention this to him. Bond is a good dude.

  30. Joe Says:

    @Joe: a lot of fans have been talking about the Bucs experimenting with a 3-4 defense, especially after drafting Vita Vea. Is there any truth to this? Could Noah Spence be a ‘tweener’ LB/DE in this kind of system? Sorry if you have covered this elsewhere.

    Bucs have experimented with a 34 defense since Mike Smith got here. When Noah Spence was a rookie, in minicamp, the Bucs were running a 34 defense with Spence as an outside linebacker. GMC does NOT like a 34 defense and pretty sure the Bucs have not implemented more of a 34 defense because of GMC’s distaste for it.

    Personally think Bucs should ignore GMC’s hatred for it. Guess what? Bucs ran a 43 defense specifically because of GMC. How was the defense last year?

  31. Bob in Valrico Says:

    Local since they haven’t play this year the adjustments mentioned were last year.
    Ayers was not released until this year. See the last half of defense rules post about
    adjustments made last year due to lack of DLine talent.

  32. 813bucboi Says:

    GMC does NOT like a 34 defense and pretty sure the Bucs have not implemented more of a 34 defense because of GMC’s distaste for it.
    Personally think Bucs should ignore GMC’s hatred for it.

    JOE, who runs the team?…..GMC or the coaches?…..are the coaches that afraid of GMC that they’ll risk losing their jobs and sacrifice whats good for the team just to please 1player…..that’s the prime example of bad coaching and bad leadership…..


  33. Joe Says:

    JOE, who runs the team?…..GMC or the coaches?

    It is always smart to heed the advice of your best player. It is also smart to try to get the most out of your best player. So no issues with trying to craft a defense around GMC that may enhance his play.

    ***However*** the Bucs have been pretty pathetic on defense but for five games the last, what, four years? The roster seems to indicate they have the personnel to run more of a 34 defense. If this irritates GMC, he should be reminded the Bucs were No. 32 in defense last year running a front that he preferred.

  34. 813bucboi Says:

    I hear you joe!!!!

    maybe theres a new breed of coaches nowadays….im 30, so I aint that old but back when I played HS and college, if coaches told you to jump, you jumped as high as you can…no questions asked….lol….

    and if you had the b@lls to tell the coaches what your not going to do or how your not going to align, they’ll run you all practice and tell you not to come back once practice was finished…..

    that type of attitude is just as toxic to a locker room…..

    what irritates me is the fact that coaches, GM and owners put up with all this sh!t…..someone needs to tell him theres no “I” or “GERALD” in team!!!!!….if smitty feels 34 is best for the team, then dirk and smitty need to put their big boy pants on and tell him to buy in or bye bye!!!!!!


  35. Bucsfanman Says:

    813- It don’t matter how old you are! If players are running the coaches, it’s a serious problem. This ain’t the NBA!
    You think Tomlin would tolerate a player telling HIM what they’re going to do/not do?! Dude benched a healthy Martavus Bryant for b!tchin’ about his playing time! That’s how it should be. That’s how it IS in certain organizations.
    If coach says “3-4”, you play 3-4 because it’s what the coach thinks is best.

  36. orlbucfan Says:

    GMC has earned the right to voice what he thinks! Wasn’t the SB defense a 4-3? I have never been totally sold on Smith. Hope he proves me wrong this season.