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michael89156

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: June 15, 2013, 12:00:22 AM


Jonathan Casillas strives to make Bucs' LB battle interesting


Stephen F. Holder, Times Staff Writer 
 

Friday, June 14, 2013 1:21pm
 


DANIEL WALLACE | Times
Jonathan Casillas started just eight games in three seasons with the Saints, but he played a great deal as a reserve and now wants to take the next step to become a more consistent contributor.
 

We told you earlier this week about linebacker Dekoda Watson and his efforts to lock up the starting job on the strong-side.

But as Watson and coaches readily acknowledge, Watson has significant competition, and his name is Jonathan Casillas.
 
Like Watson, Casillas does not have a household name, and he, too, is trying to make his mark as a young veteran who. Like Watson, Casillas has been a reliable special teams player and a fill-in starter and is entering his fourth season, but he's seeking more.

The former Wisconsin standout talked this week about how hell fit in the Tampa Bay defense.

Its a little similar to what New Orleans was doing last year with (defensive coordinator) Steve Spaguolo, said Casillas, who spent three seasons with the Saints.

A lot of matching coverages and zone blitzes. Its similar, but all the terminologys different and the angles we attack offenses is different. But the gist of it is the same. Theres some carryover. I like this defense. Its made for people like me who like to run and hit. We have a great group of guys like that in our unit.

Asked what quality will help separate him in a position battle, Casillas continued with a similar theme.

I think my ability to play in space is something that adds some versatility to me, he said. I think I have pretty good hands and Im able to put my hands on blockers and get off blockers. I just want to keep continuing to get better in the system and learn how to diagnose plays with this terminology and continue to grow. Im just going to continue to bring my skills to the table.

Watson will have to truly earn this job if Casillas, 26, makes good on his vow to make things interesting. Asked about competition, Casillas didnt hesitate before saying, I was born a competitor. . . Ive never backed down from it.

Casillas started just eight games in three seasons with the Saints, but he played a great deal as a reserve and now wants to take the next step to become a more consistent contributor.

Ever since my rookie year, Ive wanted to be a starter and I ended up starting (some) games, he said. Not as many as I wanted to, but I do consider myself a starter whether Im starting in Week 1 or Week 10.

wolfet

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#1 : June 15, 2013, 01:08:09 AM

Oh boy, I can't wait for the preseason.  I wonder if the times will do an article on future HOF Myron Lewis next week.

The Anti-Java

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#2 : June 15, 2013, 01:12:15 AM

You don''t hear a lot about him in the reports from mini camp. I think he makes the team, as a reserve, special teamer.


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#3 : June 15, 2013, 08:32:02 AM

Casillas is still attempting to understand the defense, so I'm not surprised as of yet about the lack of splash plays from him. But make no mistake, Casillas is a gamer, Watson has a head start on the position, but don't be surprised if Casillas makes a hard run by the end of training camp. Loved this guy coming out of Wisconsin. Watched him play my Wolverines and he was always, always, always around the ball making plays.

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howler09

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#4 : June 15, 2013, 12:47:13 PM

LB world is truly predicated when there is  padded live contact in training camp and pre season...then we see the thumping and splash plays...basically in ota's we only hear of an occasional pass coverage play which is fewer opps than a db and how they move and  flow "look" good......come on end of july!!!!!!

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#5 : June 15, 2013, 01:09:39 PM

If Hayward remains the swing player for the LB corps, do we keep both Watson and Castillas?
I see them as being very similar players.

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#6 : June 15, 2013, 01:32:56 PM

If Hayward remains the swing player for the LB corps, do we keep both Watson and Castillas?
I see them as being very similar players.
Castillas is better depth then Goode. Waston is a near lock to make the team because of his ST play, so if I had to pick between the two, Casillas goes.


GameTime

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#7 : June 15, 2013, 01:47:14 PM

If Hayward remains the swing player for the LB corps, do we keep both Watson and Castillas?
I see them as being very similar players.
Depth and special teams. 

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