Digs Tackling

May 10th, 2018

Enjoys bringing guys down.

Hearing Bucs tight end O.J. Howard offer this scouting report, it was to Joe like listening to “Eruption.”

Last week when Howard spoke to the Tampa Bay pen and mic club, he was asked about what he saw in Bucs rookie cornerback Carlton Davis, who played for Howard’s bitter rival in college, Auburn.

In short, Howard said Davis likes to tackle.

“My most recent memory of him is when he played against Alabama this season,” Howard explained. “He did a really good job. He is physical, he likes to tackle, so that is what our team wants and needed, so I am looking forward to getting to meet him.”

Imagine having opposing wide receivers not just worried about getting open against Davis, but what he might do to them after they touch the ball.

Joe just hopes Davis tackles hard enough that he messes with receivers’ heads.

32 Responses to “Digs Tackling”

  1. Ateonetree Says:

    Sounds like ronde

  2. Tampabaybucfan Says:

    One of the most puzzling draft moves was Licht picking Stewart and trading down picking up Davis later…..in between the selections there were 3 CBs and a S.

    Licht, of course won’t admit if any of those players were higher on the board than Davis….

    But what we really need to know is why Licht thought Stewart would be selected before Davis?

    I hope the Tampa media nails him down on this…..not simply accepting that Stewart was higher on his board…..That answer is simply not good enough.

  3. Wausa Says:

    Not puzzling at all to me that MJ Stewart was picked earlier in round 2.

    MJ Stewart was MVP of the defensive backs at the Senior Bowl and this is what Pro Football Focus had to say about Stewart:

    He has shown the shiftiness and athleticism to thrive in the slot, allowing an average of 0.84 yards per slot coverage snap, tied for the ninth lowest among 2018 draft-eligible cornerbacks. When covering the slot, he allowed a passer rating of just 54.4, the fourth lowest mark in the nation last season.
    Stewart has also played extremely well against the run… the 13th best grade.
    in the nation.

    More praise for Stewart:

    Inside the Pylon noted him as an exception to an underwhelming cornerback group:
    M.J. Stewart impressed, was smooth with his transitions, good at firing back to the football and was proficient in getting his hips turned.
    Chris Trapasso of CBS Sports had this to say:
    Virginia defensive lineman Andrew Brown and North Carolina cornerback M.J. Stewart had fantastic practices… Stewart was glue on wideouts in one-on-one drills.
    Joe Marino noted him as a Day 1 Standout, saying this:
    Stewart… was among the most dominant players at any position.
    Stewart’s ability to mirror patterns was outstanding, and there were times that it appeared he was running the route for the wide receiver he was covering. There were several terrific reps where he flipped his hips and carried a receiver vertically down the field and remained in the receiver’s hip pocket on every step. He was aggressive attacking the football playing forward and when tracking it over his shoulder with his back to the line of scrimmage.
    There were some concerns entering the week that Stewart was strictly a slot corner, but he eased those concerns by showcasing his ability to handle bigger receivers on the outside and crowd shiftier receivers from the slot.

  4. Wausa Says:

    More praise for Stewart:

    “North Carolina CB MJ Stewart has been the best cornerback in Mobile. His natural ability to mirror patterns has shown up at every level of the field. The confidence he’s illustrated playing the ball and competing at the catch point has been impressive.”
    “For the second day in a row, MJ Stewart was the best player on the field, regardless of team or position. He shut down every receiver he went up against, both inside and out…I’m convinced he can play on the outside at the next level, and that is why I think he is the big winner so far this week.”

  5. Wausa Says:

    And lastly praise from MJ Stewart’s former coach as he tweeted the following:

    I’ve had 3 Thorpe Award Winners on my defenses. MJ is as good as any of the 3. He is a first round pick if the NFL teams truly do their homework. Absolutely loves ball and has a relentless work ethic. Flat BALLER!
    5:09 PM – Jan 23, 2018

  6. BucFanFromOH Says:

    Look guys/gals, as much as we don’t want to admit it, none of us are NFL scouts. MJ could turn into the next Revis for all we know. Lets see these guys actually play before we all talk about how dumb Licht was for drafting in the order he did. We needed DLine, safety, CB, and RB help this offseason. Licht has addressed literally every one of our needs. Lets wait and see how the guys he selected actually perform first.

  7. gbobucsfan Says:

    BucFanFromOH for the win!

    Can we let them play a few snaps before we start judging the picks.

  8. Not there yet Says:

    Umm we need him to cover, every corner on the team can tackle and we know that because they allow everyone to catch the ball so it’s a matter of how many yards they want to give up first

  9. Dusthty Rhothdes Says:

    Carlton Davis is a beast and will be an all pro for the bucs in 3 years……i just do not understand why licht did not go and get ronnie harrisson from bama to play safety, that will be another huge miss by licht as he will go on to be a solid NFL starter for the jags, who just know defensive talent all day…..

  10. Casual Observer Says:

    Wausa – Wow that was impressive. Now I get it. Licht did just fine.

  11. Tampabaybucfan Says:


    I didn’t trash the pick….I actually agree and like the pick….but I still want to hear that from Licht instead of JBF posters….there are many, at least on draft day, that thought the pick was a reach…..and there are still many that think that Davis should have been picked with the earlier pick. Perhaps Licht suspected that one of the three CBs selected in between the two would have been Stewart.

    Of course, all judgement should be reserved until we see the draftees perform.

    Many made that mistake with the Justin Evans selection last year.

  12. Tampabaybucfan Says:

    & Wausa……I’m from NC….are you?

    As an occasional Tar Heel fan….I am familiar with Stewart’s value.

  13. Joe Says:

    Licht, of course won’t admit if any of those players were higher on the board than Davis….

    But what we really need to know is why Licht thought Stewart would be selected before Davis?

    Joe is unaware of any GM who would pick players lower on his board than those available at the same position. That would be like saying, “We’ve slaved over scouting for the past year for nothing so all of hundreds of thousands of dollars we’ve spent the past year would have been better off sending the front office to Costa Rica for a week with unlimited booze and hookers.” That would also be setting oneself up to get fired (remember, Team Glazer is in the draft room as well and Licht debriefs Team Glazer two weeks before the draft on who he is targeting and why.)

    The only way Licht (or any GM) would pick guys at the same position they have graded lower than ones still available would be if ordered by ownership.

  14. Tampabaybucfan Says:

    @ Joe….you misunderstand my point.

    I’m not saying Licht would pick a player lower on his board…..I am suggesting that the players chosen by other teams between the Stewart and Davis pick may have been higher on his board than Davis when they were picked….

    Of course Davis was the highest on his board at the time as was Stewart.

  15. Buc3@fan Says:

    In the draft it is import to find guys with talent. Many ask why we didn’t draft players with more notable names or why he was selected where he was. Teams don’t draft on just talent alone but also players that fit the system they want to run. They had some good corners ahead of him but they where smaller and more athletic. Our corners did not have the size to press the opposing receivers at the line. So Licht got him as a press corner not someone that will give a ten yard cushion on every play allowing a free release. Licht drafted corners who are tough at the line of scrimmage which is needed based on the huge receivers we have in our division. They know what their doing.

  16. Tampabaybucfan Says:


    According to Joe, they don’t know what they are doing and can’t develop a young CB…..Joe would have rather drafted a punter (s) and he has made it quite clear that he is serious….not joking which still amazes me.

  17. Buccernutter Says:

    Patriots traded up for Duke Dawson. Another Nickelback. Rumor had it they wanted mj and were nervous they would miss out on Dawson after we took him. CBs went off the board quick after mj.

  18. Dewey Selmon Says:

    Joe is on fire! Van Halen, booze, hookers, Costa Rica.

  19. Wausa Says:


    No I’m not from North Carolina. I’m a Floridian, but I have seen a number of Carolina games and I follow the ACC very closely.

    MJ Stewart and Mike Hughes were teammates at UNC(Hughes transferred to UCF after some legal trouble), but MJ started ahead of Hughes when they were both at UNC.

    UNC obviously had some outstanding corners as Hughes was just drafted in the first round by the Vikings and the guy starting ahead of him was drafted in second round by the Bucs.

  20. Wausa Says:

    Thanks @Casual Observer.

    I have felt like I am alone in being excited about the Bucs picking MJ Stewart in the 2nd round. Obviously, I don’t know how he will ultimately perform for the Bucs, but I am confident he will be extremely aggressive in his coverage if he’s allowed.

    Joe is spot on regarding a teams draft board. There is no way a team would pick a player at the same position that is ranked lower.

  21. Tampabaybucfan Says:

    Yes Joe is correct that Licht wouldn’t choose a player lower on his board…..but that is not what I posted….

    I posted that it was possible players were picked after the trade down….in between Stewart and Davis….players that were higher on his board than Davis….he will never divulge that and I wouldn’t expect him to.

    I don’t understand why folks think I would suggest that he chose a player lower on his board than the one selected….

    Perhaps I am still not making it clear.

    In other words…..Stewart was clearly highest on his board at the time and so was Davis….but we don’t know if they were always back-to-back on his board….and never will.

  22. Wausa Says:

    I believe you @Tampabaybucfan. I’m not sure Joe does, but I do. 🙂

  23. William Berry Says:

    TBBF: Licht wanted both players and he got both players, so why does it matter?

  24. Tampabaybucfan Says:

    Yes…..he wanted both players at the time of their pick…..but did he want someone else who was taken before them?……we’ll never know. He traded down and 3 CBs & a S were picked before the Davis pick.

    Now….if Licht comes out and says he had Davis as his next CB just behind Stewart, I’d believe him….but I doubt he says that.

  25. Duke Says:


    With all due respect, then what are yammering on and on about!
    If you are good with both players and considering they both went same RD and few picks apart are you saying you would feel better today if the picks were reversed. I’m pretty certain you had no idea who they were prior to the pick,

  26. Pickgrin Says:

    Both 2nd rd CB selections met Licht’s new philosophy/realization that “toughness matters”.

    Jason’s obvious goal heading into this offseason was to make the Buccaneers defense tougher and more physical with every single addition.

    A goal he seems to have accomplished with all NINE new defensive players that were acquired in the last two months. (not counting UDFAs)

    JPP, Allen, Curry, Unrein, Vea, Stewart, Davis, Whitehead, Cinchy

    Toughness was also added up front on offense with the additions of Jensen and Cappa.

    Folks I think we are going to see a different football team this year. A team with more “fight”. A team that dictates it’s will on some # of opponents through sheer physicality at all levels of play – especially up front on both sides of the ball where “toughness” is needed the most.

    Hope so anyway.

  27. Tampabaybucfan Says:


    I agree completely….that was certainly the primary criteria….there are some interesting “life” stories behind most of these players…..sort of the underdog….certainly not a bunch of “prima donnas”…..

  28. 813bucboi Says:

    Jason’s obvious goal heading into this offseason was to make the Buccaneers defense tougher and more physical with every single addition.

    @pickgrin….I agree….

    smitty and dirk were run out of ATL because the owner said the team was soft….same BS is happening here….teams can easily run on us and we cant stop the run or pass…..this team is flat out soft….

    licht has done a great job imo getting talent and depth but it’ll all go to waste if this staff continues their soft nice guy approach…..


  29. Wausa Says:

    One of McShay’s mock drafts(February 2018) had the Patriots selecting MJ Stewart in the first round:

    31. New England Patriots: North Carolina CB M.J. Stewart
    Given his Super Bowl controversy, it certainly seems as if New England will move on from Malcolm Butler. Spending an early pick on a CB makes sense, especially with Stephon Gilmore on the other side. Stewart is underrated and an experienced player, with adequate height (5-10 5/8) and very good top-end speed. He’ll also support the run.

  30. firethecannons Says:

    THANKS TO WAUSA!!!!!!!
    good comments like yours make reading the comments worth it

  31. Batman Wood Says:

    Like Pickgrin said the Bucs were looking for tough CB’s who can tackle. I’d bet Davis was ahead of Oliver on their board for that very reason. Oliver is considered very soft, good outside coverage skills, but doesn’t like to tackle. There’s a good chance Licht got the 2 top CB’s remaining on his board.

  32. Wausa Says:

    Thanks @firethecannons