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michael89156

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« : May 12, 2013, 12:00:58 AM »



Bucs' strong-side linebacker spot one to watch

Stephen F. Holder, Times Staff Writer 
 

Saturday, May 11, 2013 11:47am
 


The Bucs selected a cornerback, defensive tackle and a pair of defensive ends in the NFL draft.

They did not, however, pick a single linebacker, a decision that speaks volumes.
 
The Bucs – and the rest of the NFL – think weak-side starter Lavonte David is an emerging star in the league. And everything he’s shown indicates they’re right.

Mason Foster has been adequate at middle linebacker, although you could still argue he’s better suited to play outside. But his production can’t be questioned, and David’s ability to handle defensive play-calling duties (and the wear the helmet transmitter) has lightened the load on Foster.

But the questions emerge when we get to strong-side linebacker. We don’t know who the starter is going to be now that Quincy Black has been released because of his career-threatening neck injury.

But the Bucs didn’t feel it necessary to address the position in the draft because they like the current candidates to step in.

We know very little about the guy who coaches seem to think has the inside track at winning the job: former Saints backup Jonathan Casillas. He was signed as a free agent in March and will get a long look when offseason practices begin this month. But until coaches see more of him, they’ll be reluctant to assume anything.

For that reason, don’t rule out the other possibilities. Dekoda Watson’s limited playing time can make him easy to forget, but he’s a young, athletic player whose time might be now. Watson has been flirting with a bigger role for a couple years, with former coach Raheem Morris trying to maximize his talents as an edge rusher in Morris’ old “Redskin” third-down package. But Watson is going to have to show an ability to be disciplined to become a full-time linebacker. His reputation as a hard worker and willing student suggests he can do that.

The Bucs also have another two possibilities that you, perhaps, didn’t consider: veteran Adam Hayward and second-year man Najee Goode. Hayward has, at various points, played all three linebacker spots and is more than capable of playing the strong side. Whether he can outplay others is the question.

Goode is a player the Bucs have been high on since drafting him in the fifth round last year. We haven’t seen enough of him to make any judgments, but he’ll be in the mix for more playing time this year.
 Strong-side linebacker is something of a part-time position, with that player leaving the field in exchange for a fifth defensive back when the defense goes to the nickel package. But it’s a key position on early downs, with many run-stopping responsibilities.

While the Bucs have a majority of their starting jobs already locked in, they’ll have a very legitimate competition at this spot.

When OTAs get underway on May 20, strong-side linebacker will be one of the areas to pay close attention to.

flashgordon

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« #1 : May 12, 2013, 12:59:53 AM »

How about Goode in the middle with Foster outside?

It would be nice for Watson to start . . . to take advantage of his passrushing.  But until he wins the starting job, the Bucs are looking to fill in for Quincy.  As this article points out, there's numerous options.  Casillas certainly sounds interesting; but, until fans see him play, well, we're at least not sure what to think.

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Knucknbuc

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« #2 : May 12, 2013, 12:20:33 PM »

Since when has watson become this pass rushing specialist. I seem to remember every year alot of talk but never any actual stats to prove this. I like watson but there's a reason he never gets a starting spot.

Skull and Bones

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« #3 : May 12, 2013, 12:27:08 PM »

Watson is a Black clone.  Looks good on paper and doesnt do crap.  4th year now I think he is what he is going to be.  Cut him for all I care. 


JDouble

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« #4 : May 12, 2013, 12:30:17 PM »

How about Goode in the middle with Foster outside?

Goode is slow as hell. No way he can play Mike.

Draft Aaron Donald



PassThePigSkin

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« #5 : May 12, 2013, 12:34:35 PM »

Jonathan Casillas to win the job. It's a downhill defense for the LB's and Casillas has the speed and coverage ability to play 3 down if needed.

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« #6 : May 12, 2013, 12:36:39 PM »

Could David be a Mike?  He was in college I believe.  Just curious.  Not advocating. 


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« #7 : May 12, 2013, 01:11:15 PM »

Could David be a Mike?  He was in college I believe.  Just curious.  Not advocating.

I think he could.

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« #8 : May 12, 2013, 01:13:34 PM »

Could David be a Mike?  He was in college I believe.  Just curious.  Not advocating.

He pretty much already plays Mike. I mean, he wears the green dot and he's Mike in Nickel and Dime.....I don't really see why he needs to stay at Will. I think he could play either spot just as well. Since Casillas is much more of a Will than a Sam, I wonder if we wouldn't be better off with David in the middle, Foster at Sam, and Casillas at Will.

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NotDeadYet

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« #9 : May 12, 2013, 01:51:35 PM »

     Interesting idea that makes a lot of sense. My impression is Casillas can play.
     For those who think Lavonte is too small as a MLB, Quarles was all of 225; Steelers HOFer Jack Lambert was closer to 220...
    Agree on Watson; hasn't shown the consistancy to warrant a regular role on the D. Maybe a career STer; better than no job at all...

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« #10 : May 12, 2013, 02:09:48 PM »

I think that the incumbent is Hayward. I saw the Casillas signing as a low risk-high reward kind of move where he could potentially start, but it's far from a sure thing. He's pretty much just another Dekoda Watson, but with better coverage ability. It really doesn't matter though because if McCoy and David are healthy, then the run game is going to be shut down regardless of our SLB. As long as they're not a big liability, then they should be fine. They're hardly ever going to make an impact on the outcome of the game. I wouldn't move Foster to the SLB spot because he's a tough guy and he's improved at being a MLB. I really doubt that anyone on the roster could even challenge him at this point.
« : May 12, 2013, 02:11:57 PM lyronmewis »

CalicoJack55

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« #11 : May 12, 2013, 02:27:11 PM »

I'm putting all my Cheetos on Goode at SAM.


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DeltaBuc5

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« #12 : May 12, 2013, 02:30:58 PM »

Why not Means at strong? Isn't that what he played at Buffalo?

JDouble

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« #13 : May 12, 2013, 02:36:53 PM »

Hayward isn't great at anything, but he is good at everything. Problem is he is too slow....which is why he is great depth and not a starter.

Goode is slower than Hayward and I seriously doubt he is even good depth in the NFL.

Watson is a freak athlete that does well in finesse pass rushing and special teams, but he is not good in coverage and doesn't have the nastiness to be a consistent pass rusher or run stopper.

Casillas is a guy that has the speed and athleticism to do pretty well in coverage, but hasn't been a good pass rusher and has been only average verse the run.

I'm not sure any of these guys are the answer.

Draft Aaron Donald



yuccaneers

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« #14 : May 12, 2013, 02:46:50 PM »

Who ever wins the starting role as the SAM, fans should not expect to see that player on the field in a base defensive alignment but roughly 36% of the time. As the Bucs had at least one extra defensive back on the field 63% of the time in 2012.

In Football, RESPECT is never given freely by your opponent. It must be TAKEN from them...VIOLENTLY

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