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September 4, 2011 @ 2:08 pm
Current rating: 3.00 Stars/1 Votes

Tampa Bay Signs LB Diles

Written by Scott
Scott Reynolds


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For one day, the Buccaneers reduced their linebacking corps to five when the team made its roster cuts down to 53 on Saturday, but on Sunday, Tampa Bay signed LB Zac Diles to bring that unit back up to six. Diles played for Bucs head coach Raheem Morris while at K-State in 2006.

With only five linebackers on the roster after the Buccaneers released over 20 players to get down to 53 by 4:00 p.m. on Saturday, Tampa Bay was poised to bring in another veteran to fill the position as the team likes to carry six into the regular season. After releasing the likes of Tyrone McKenzie, Simoni Lawrence and Derrell Smith, Tampa Bay signed former St. Louis and Houston linebacker Zac Diles, who played for Morris during his one year as Kansas State’s defensive coordinator, after he was released by the Rams on Saturday. The announcement came from his agent via Twitter.

The 26-year old Diles was the Wildcats’ second-leading tackler in 2006, recording 109 tackles, 8.5 tackles for loss, 3.5 sacks, one interception, one pass breakup and one fumble recovery that was returned 43 yards for a touchdown while playing middle linebacker. 

Diles is not the most athletic linebacker in pro football, evidenced by the fact he was drafted by the Texans in the seventh round, but he does have the intelligence factor that Morris wants in his Mike linebacker. And at 6-foot-2, 245 pounds, Diles has the size and strength to play the position. 

Don’t discount the familiarity that Morris has with Diles running his defense at K-State in 2006, either.

In the Wildcats’ 31-27 come-from-behind victory against Oklahoma State in Josh Freeman’s first start during his freshman year, Diles had a team-high 11 tackles. 

He posted a career high 12 tackles in a head-to-head duel with McKenzie, who was at Iowa State for one year, and also recorded two tackles for loss and two sacks.

Against Texas, Diles matched his career high with 12 tackles in K-State’s 45-42 upset in 2006, which derailed the Longhorns’ national title hopes. 

With the Texans, Diles has played all three linebacker spots, although he had the most success playing Will linebacker. Diles started 22 out of the last 31 games he played for Houston and recorded 223 tackles, three forced fumbles, one sack, one safety and one interception.

Not eye-popping numbers, but a lack of great stats hasn’t stopped the Bucs from acquiring defensive players like Tim Crowder, Alex Magee and Michael Bennett. Diles, who is good friends with Bucs backup Adam Hayward, brings position flexibility to the linebacking corps, in addition to improved size.

The acquisition of Diles has not been officially announced yet by the team, nor has the name of the player that must be cut by Tampa Bay to make room for Diles on the roster.

Last modified on Sunday, 04 September 2011 18:17

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  • avatar

    Not sure if this guy is youngry enough...
  • avatar

    Zac Diles can't be any worse than Niko Koutouvides so in that regard its an upgrade at the LB position from last season.
  • avatar

    If the signing is true I like it. He is familiar with the scheme, he's versatile and he has at least been somewhat productive. So long as he's good at special teams I think he makes for the prototypical backup LB.
  • avatar

    Yawn, Another BIG SLASH in signing free agents- hilarious
  • avatar

    PR: Are you sure we signed him? I'm not seeing any other notice from the Buc organization.
  • avatar

    Still need a c/g.
  • avatar

    ALL I SAY IS "GO TO YOUTUBE". The guy is terrible! I'm in Houston. I would rather hav Lafo T.
  • avatar

    Morris has spent more time with Diles then any of our rookie linebackers. This is a young vet who can teach Foster.
  • avatar

    I think Ruud had decent speed overall, but I think Diles brings more muscle. I think they're concerned (and should be) that the MIKE is not making the adjustments, the RIGHT calls out there. I could picture some combination of Black, Diles and Foster on the field at the same time. As to "next", I could envision another Guard actually, maybe a RB.
  • avatar

    Next? RB please.
  • avatar

    I'm not sure what is so special about this pick up? I think I would have kept one of the Rookies than done this. No doubt we'll have an announcement soon about a TE soon too? Go Bucs!
  • avatar

    I like this signing he played well in Houston when on the field. Makes our team tougher and our roster deeper since he has experience at multiple LB positions.
  • avatar

    When I saw Dill available, thought we might pick him up.
  • avatar

    "Diles is not the most athletic linebacker in pro football ... " "but he does have the intelligence factor that Morris wants in his Mike linebacker ... " sounds a lot like Barrett Ruud
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