New Age Linebackers

January 31st, 2021

Evolution of inside linebacker.

When Michael Vick was a sophomore at Virginia Tech and tore apart college football with his Brett Favre-like gun of an arm and wheels that maybe we hadn’t seen again until Lamar Jackson broke out at Louisville (against Florida State), Vick damn near beat Florida State on his own in the national championship.

Florida State had a loaded roster and Vick ran circles around the Seminoles defense, even causing two linebackers to blow their knees on the Superdome turf.

Alas, Florida State wore Vick down late in the game and won the national title. After the game, legendary coach Bobby Bowden was asked about Vick’s performance.

Joe will never forget Bowden’s response. In that thick Alabama barbeque, Foghorn Leghorn drawl, Bowden said, “I have ssseeeeeennn the future!”

Bowden predicted that before long, if a team didn’t have a quarterback who could run as well as he could throw, it would not be successful. And so it is for DeAngelo Hall, who believes he is watching the future of NFL linebackers with the Bucs.

The former cornerback now working for NFL Network is looking forward to watching Kansas City try to mount a running game against the Bucs.

And while Clyde Edwards-Helaire and Le’Veon Bell are outstanding runners, Hall said they cannot match up with the Bucs’ inside backers Lavonte David and Devin White.

Because, Hall said, David and White are the new standard.

“I have seen an evolution at the linebacker position,” Hall said. “No more do you need those 6-foot-4, 250-pound linebackers to stop the run. [David and White] are six-feet, 230-235 pounds. These dudes are like safeties man. Watch how they run.”

Hall believes if NFL sack king Shaq Barrett and Jason Pierre-Paul can get consistent pressure on Pat Mahomes, David and White will be sitting back in zone coverage just waiting to pick Mahomes on underneath passes.

First, Joe sure hopes David (hamstring) can heal up in time. And Joe sure hopes what Hall claims will happen actually does.

Watch Hall’s full take in the NFL Network video below.

18 Responses to “New Age Linebackers”

  1. KnoxvilleBuc Says:

    Speed kills and we have that on defense!

  2. Winny Testaverde Says:

    No better example than # 55 what a speedy, “undersized” LB could do. Once Brooks wheels gave out…he was mercifully done. I’m so glad he never played a ceremonial season with another team after that.

  3. Says:

    I hate when I get caught up. Now I have to go do some chores or something until a new story is published.

  4. Tampabaybucfan Says:

    More like Ice Age instead of New Age linebackers… Devin White……like a Grisley chasing down it’s prey……..NeanderthalWhite……

  5. gofortheface30 Says:

    At what point did Lavonte get hurt? He played every snap against Green Bay did he not. WTF is this? Kinda sorta not an ideal time for him to be hurt. Kelce roaming around in the middle of the field like a lovely walk in the park without Lavonte…that’s…that wont be good

  6. Liaastnfrmafar Says:

    I agree I’ve been asking all week what’s up with David. There isn’t much news on his injury which makes me really nervous that it is serious. A hamstring isn’t something that goes away in 2 weeks.

  7. Reddington Neck Shores Says:

    He balled out so bad his hammy took a few days to show the significance of the strain. Rest and massage big fella you got 60minutes to go. Glad you’re getting your just deserves it’s been a time comin.

  8. Infomeplease Says:

    As far as having QBs that can run as well as pass.. my take is they can’t last like a pocket qb can! Too many linebacker hits will shorten their careers every time. Just look at Kyle Murray this year. He won’t make 5 more years. Especially if it’s guys like David and White doing the hitting! They are exciting to watch, but you better have some good backup qb’s.

  9. Gofortheface30 Says:

    Income please- tf? John Elway was the ultimate athletic quarterback and was a bit revolutionary. Played EXACTLY like Josh Allen and he did just fine thank you. If you think Mahomes won’t be around for a long time then you’re in denial. Murray, Mahomes, etc etc know how to slide and take it out of bounds. You guys I swear, you’re missing the context of what A.Q was talking about

  10. Kentucky Buc Says:

    Elway was also built like a running back. You can name the guys who lasted on one hand. Murray didn’t really even make it through this year. Elway also ran a lot less in the second half of his career.

  11. Infomeplease Says:

    As far as David and White go.. they are as good as any in the league! A lot of teams have moved to throwing quick passes and screens instead of running plays. So the linebackers have to be able to play like safeties and be able to cover receivers too. David does a great job covering receivers and White is getting better every game! They both are fast and hit as hard as any linebackers in the league. Next year White will be the best in the league!

  12. Destinjohnny Says:

    Kinda like hardy and dB

  13. Infomeplease Says:

    GFTF30. I don’t think Mahomes is an run option qb! Murray is! Mahomes is a mobile qb. He stays in the pocket but can throw on the move like Russell Wilson.

  14. AMI_Chris Says:

    Hold on a sec — DeAngelo Hall is not breaking any news. Lawrence Taylor came out of college in 1981 at 6’3″ and 237. Derrick Brooks came out at 6’1″ and 235. This has been going on for a long time.

  15. SOEbuc Says:

    For some very strange reason they moved Shaq to the left after getting 19.5 sacks in 2019 playing the right. I think of how good LVD was at OLB. They are the best ILB duo. OLB or OT 32nd pick cus we can’t afford Shaq and Smith will have to take a big pay cut to stick around, but I’m thinking plenty of guys will be willing to take pay cuts next year.

  16. Leighroy Says:

    SOE, it has been well documented on these here interwebs (use the search button bottom left, thanks Joe!) that the switch was to return JPP to his natural position.

    Patrick Willis was another “revolutionary” LB, at 6’1” 240 or so. Devin White is not safety size. LVD is probably playing out of position for his size (always was more a 4-3 WLB), bc he’s just so damn effective that Bowles can get away with it, and have him thrive in fact.

  17. Alvin Scissors Harper Says:

    White is in the Derrick Brooks mode, only faster.

  18. Oneilbucs Says:

    I believe we can win this game !!! I think we are going to win go bucs !!