Sophomore Surge

June 6th, 2022

Major upgrade to K.J. Britt?

It says a lot that veteran Bucs backup linebacker and core special teams player Kevin Minter (2019-2021) walked in free agency and was not replaced — and does not have a new team.

One could interpret fact many ways.

But one thing that’s indisputable is the Bucs’ confidence in backup linebackers K.J. Britt and Grant Stuard, fifth- and seventh-round picks, respectively, in last year’s draft.

Back at the NFL Scouting Combine a few months ago, Joe tried to pin general manager Jason Licht down, asking him to name a young player he was most proud of last season. Licht paused, made I’m-thinking gestures, and said he would single out Britt and Stuard for succeeding in the roles for which they were drafted on special teams.

Licht also praised their professionalism but then singled out Britt as a strong linebacker prospect, “a really good linebacker.”

That was February. Today it’s June 6 and the Bucs didn’t sign a linebacker in free agency or invest in one in the draft. That says a hell of a lot about what the Bucs think of Britt.

Joe hopes that Britt confidence shows up in mandatory mincamp this week. Minter played 331 snaps on defense last season. That’s a big number for a backup, representing a big chance for Britt to deliver a 2022 impact.

30 Responses to “Sophomore Surge”

  1. Mike Says:

    Britt is hard nosed and can play in traffic. Hopefully he’s found a way to get faster and cover in space.

  2. Goatfarmer Says:

    I liked what I saw from Britt in limited action. LFG.

    But, sign Suh. Discount.

  3. BillyBucco Says:

    I love that the speed of the game is slowing down.

    Darius Lenard ran a 4.7 and is a pretty good LB.

    If D White likes him, he should have an impact this year.

  4. unbelievable Says:

    We better hope so.

    Just like we’re hoping that Hicks can stay healthy…

    And that JTS and Logan Hall both can pass rush and stuff the run…


  5. Tampabaybucfan Says:

    I wouldn’t be surprised if Minter is eventually signed at Vet minimum……he’s a pretty good player.

  6. SOEbuc Says:

    Stuard looked fast and strong (follow the hair) in the small amount of snaps. Dont know how anyone hasn’t signed Minter. He’s been a good backup and ST. I hope we can bring him back, but the young guns are also very excited.

  7. Chris Tucker@Apple Roof Cleaning Tampa Says:

    I agree, if Minter does not sign with another team, I can see him coming back on a team friendly contract.

  8. Cobraboy Says:

    Not sure either have NFL 3-down speed…unfortunately.

    You can’t work harder and get faster.

  9. Crickett Baker Says:

    Cobra, what gave you that idea? It seems obvious to me that you can work hard and get faster. I see it all the time in track and bike trials…

  10. Cobraboy Says:

    @Cricket: “You can’t coach speed.”

    You either gots it, or don’t.

    If you could, everyone would be a 4.3.

    Hell, as a young ‘un, no matter how hard I worked or tried or was coached, they still coulda timed me with a sundial.

    “I like this kid from ShouldaWoulda U.”

    “But he runs a 5.2.”

    “No problem, he’s run 4.4 when we’re finni coaching him up.”

  11. GOB Says:

    Cobraboy is right. The league is moving away from thumpers, and towards faster LBs. If you can’t catch em, you can’t tackle em.

  12. SB Says:

    guys……………….Minter saved our asse$ when we were thin at LB.
    He deserves a shot.

  13. Destinjohnny Says:

    Britt is to slow and Grant is a special teamer.
    I dont think we have enough depth at all at backer

  14. Seattle Buc is back in TB Says:

    Don’t you guys remember Minter getting shredded for first downs on shallow crossers when Lavonte was out?

  15. Goatfarmer Says:

    I would like to see fortification at the ILB positions. Free agency. But also, Suh. And Gronk.

    And then that pesky cap that the Saints seem to ignore and not be punished for.

    So we may be seeing more 3 safety nickel packages as opposed to 3CB standard nickel.

  16. SB~LV Says:

    We’ll know soon enough… back up roll players that allow the big cap money to go to the starters and stars , NO questioning them as passionate football players lucky to still be playing the game they love.

  17. Ash Says:

    At this point minter is slower than Britt he got burned so much last season was out of position alot of the time time to move on from that.

  18. SB~LV Says:

    For the slower guys reading the play and positioning correctly can go a long way to having a successful career, Ronde is a good example .

  19. gotbbucs Says:

    I guarantee Minter will have a spot on the roster when camp time rolls around.

  20. #8 Says:


  21. Anonymous Says:

    Dudes one big MF, definitely a tank

  22. Crickett Baker Says:

    Cobra, at least now I see where you got the idea (timing your speed with a sundial,LOLLOL). I do agree that you cannot coach speed but I think one can improve it by working harder, and that was what you stated. You were a slouch, admit it.

  23. steele Says:

    They might want to consider Anthony Barr, a good and quick coverage LB who can pass rush.

    He and the remaining edge (Carlos Dunlap, Justin Houston) can be had for $1 mil or less.

  24. adam from ny Says:

    minter really was an arians guy…followed him around the league…as arians moved, so did minter…well sorta…

    i think he’s done here, and they’re waiting to see what linebackers shake loose on the wires this summer…

    i like minter, and we need him back or someone comparable…

    britt and stuard are okay at what they do, but one more backer is needed

  25. Irishmist Says:

    The question isn’t whether Britt and Stuard are as fast as Devon White and Levante. The question is whether they are faster than Minter.

  26. Cobraboy Says:

    @Cricket. You’re right, I guess I just didn’t work hard enough through HS, college, and a smattering of pro ball.

    I ran a 5.2 as a freshman. Left running a 4.9 as a senior.

    All my fault, genetics had nothing to do with it. I was clearly a slacker, as is every kid without NFL speed, like Tom Brady (5.28). What a bunch of losers.

    If only we’d known…

  27. Señor Harry in Costa Rica Says:

    Cobra is right. Genetics is what makes one fast or slow, nothing else. How one can improve his speed the most is thru anticipation of what is about to happen. Second, one can improve speed slightly thru proper running techniques.

    But anticipation is the key. Watching film, recognizing what another team or player is going to do, BEFORE he does it, that is what makes a player faster. Putting oneself in position to make a play because you anticipate what is going to happen before it does.

  28. Bucsfanman Says:

    There’s “speed” and then there’s “football speed”. There are tons of examples of guys who were “too slow” who had very successful NFL careers. Some are in the HOF.
    There’s another saying besides “you can’t coach speed”. It’s “either he can play or he can’t”.
    Britt was a heckuva college football player. We’re not expecting him to start. Hopefully he can fill that need when called upon.

  29. Brandon Says:

    If there’s one person that can settle this… it’s me. I was a speed, strength, and sports conditioning for years. You absolutely can improve speed… absolutely! I once had a kid that was first clocked at 4.65 for me and then a few months later clocked 4.43 at a college combine. That being said… he was already plenty game fast. Just by working on technique, a player can improve their speed in the 40 by close to .2 seconds… that being said… it’s only .2 seconds and that is usually best case scenario. No matter how hard my athletes and I would work, I couldn’t turn a 4.9 guy into a deep threat. Genetics plays a huge role. The work that is done, the technique perfected, the rest and frequency of training, can all have a huge impact… but we’re talking about a timed test. You can improve on field speed, agility, and quickness and it can make a difference but there are guys that are fast or slow in the 40 that don’t play to their times. Ronde Barber was a 4.63… and I don’t recall anyone getting close to him in Philadelphia despite playing with a bad wheel… he was fast enough. There are plenty of other guys that blazed through their 40’s that never ever showed that speed on the NFL level.

    That being said… Britt didn’t time well. Stuard did. Honestly, neither looked particularly fast on the field, especially Stuard… but if Jason Licht trusts him then you guys should too… and quit calling for every washed up free agent with a name that you recognize. That’s not how winning teams are made. Your 2nd and 3rd stringers should also be your core special teamers…and every time someone names a guy that WAS a star…that’s a guy that doesn’t play special teams… and a guy that isn’t on a roster for a reason.

  30. Cobraboy Says:

    @Brandon: Kids grow up, some get faster.

    By the time you leave college, 98% of the potential pros are gone, and the #1 reason is speed.

    While no doubt there are some slower thumper LB’s who have solid careers, there are 100 slower thumpers who don’t make it.

    I like both Britt and Stuard. A lot. But as STers, not 3-down players. IMO, both are a liability in 3-down situations because of their speed.