Mb Nfl Lock Of The Szn Pewter 728x90 Jpg

When Bruce Arians was hired following the firing of Dirk Koetter, most expected changes in the Bucs’ scheme. Arians soon hired Todd Bowles after he was fired as head coach of the Jets, and it was announced Bowles would be bringing a radical change to what Bucs fans have been used to seeing, and implementing a base 3-4 defense.

After Kwon Alexander signed a free agent deal with the 49ers, many wondered – and worried – how the Bucs could recover from the departure of the team’s starting middle linebacker.

Bucs GM Jason Licht and head coach Bruce Arians

Bucs GM Jason Licht and head coach Bruce Arians – Photo by: Cliff Welch/PR

Enter free agent Deone Bucannon from Arizona, who played for both Arians and Bowles, and while there is still some uneasiness from Bucs fans, Arians and general manager Jason Licht don’t seem worried at all.

“No, I mean everybody loves Kwon, I mean total respect in the league, but Deone’s played a lot of football, he’s won a lot of games,” Arians aid last Tuesday from the Arizona Biltmore. “He was a guy that didn’t have a position, I talked to Todd (Bowles) I said ‘look, he’s one of our best 11, get him out there somehow,’ and created that money linebacker position and he just took off. Then everybody started copying it, so he’s a passionate, powerful guy in a small body, he’s a stick of dynamite. So those four, if you told me that’s all I had, let’s roll.”

Licht was just as confident in his group of four starters as it stands right now and that moving to a 3-4 won’t be too difficult.

Bucs GM Jason Licht

Bucs GM Jason Licht – Photo by: Mark Cook/PR

“I am real confident we will be able to transition,” Licht said last Monday meeting with the Tampa Bay media in Arizona. “Just working with Todd (Bowles) before and seeing how they aren’t round pegs, and he does put them in position to make plays. Now we still 70 percent(of the time) play(nickel defense), still four down lineman and two linebackers or you play dime and with one linebacker and an extra safety. In terms of a base we have JPP(Jason Pierre-Paul) and Carl(Nassib) and Lavonte(David) and now Deone(Bucannon), I’d say that’s a pretty group of starting linebackers. So I am not worried or concerned about that.”

The Bucs have the No. 5 overall pick in next month’s NFL Draft and there has been much speculation the Bucs would address the linebacker position there, with LSU’s Devin White being the top-rated linebacker coming out this year. While Arians and Licht could just be playing pre-draft poker with the media, both seemed genuine in their assessment of their current group that includes Kevin Minter who was re-signed and Jack Cichy coming off of ACL surgery,  and they could roll into 2019 without making many more additions at the position.

Share On Socials

About the Author: Mark Cook

Mark Cook currently is the director of editorial content and Bucs beat writer and has written for PewterReport.com since 2011. Cook has followed the Buccaneers since 1977 when he first began watching football with his Dad and is fond of the 1979 Bucs team that came within 10 points of going to a Super Bowl. His favorite Bucs game is still the 1979 divisional playoff win 24-17 over the Eagles. In his spare time Cook enjoys playing guitar, fishing, the beach and family time.Cook is a native of Pinecrest in Eastern Hillsborough County and has written for numerous publications including the Tampa Tribune, In the Field and Ya'll Magazine. Cook can be reached at mark@pewterreport.com
Subscribe
Notify of
19 Comments
Oldest
Newest
Inline Feedbacks
View all comments
FLBoy84
2 years ago

Gotta add Shaq Barrett to that group as well. Solid group overall, though adding a quality one wouldn’t hurt to protect in case of injury and prepare for 2020 and beyond with both David and JPP aging and $$ due as well.

geno711
Reply to  FLBoy84
2 years ago

I like adding Mack Wilson in the 2nd round if available. Lance Zierlein gives him a CJ Mosley comparison. I would rather take an Edge guy in the 1st round if the Bucs have one graded that high. It is the highest value defensive position and you hardly ever get those guys in any other round.

thejerseybuc
2 years ago

Just get impact defensive players and they will find a way to maximize their ability. 180 from the Mike Smith, fit my D model. Look forward to seeing how this plays out, but I am confident we are heading in the right direction.

macabee
2 years ago

Blitzing LBs are going to be the key to the success of Todd Bowles 3-4 defense. I too think they should feel good about the LBs they have on the roster now. But there are a lot of IFs that are to be determined. We know a lot about these guys. 23 Bucannon, Deone LB/SS 6-1 212 26 6 Washington State 54 David, Lavonte LB 6-1 233 29 8 Nebraska 41 Minter, Kevin LB 6-0 246 28 7 LSU 59 Bond, Devante LB 6-1 236 25 4 Oklahoma But what if these guys came into their own as 3-4 pass… Read more »

macabee
Reply to  macabee
2 years ago

Typo: Darron Lee is 6-1 232.

Ron Potter
2 years ago

I don’t think we’re pigeon-holed to taking Devin White or Devin Bush now but sitting at #5 where the top 3 projected elite players will likely already be gone and trade-down options being a real option, our draft options are wide-open. With that said, we might still be able to land Devin White or Devin Bush in a trade-down scenario. We also might be targeting GMC’s replacement in Ed Oliver or in some kind of draft magic, Quinnen Williams. So I think we can confidently grade free agency as a win for our team. We picked up some solid pieces… Read more »

76Buc
2 years ago

I believe BA, Meathead, and the the new coaches know what they need. We should just sit back and watch (for the first year only).

76Buc
2 years ago

Since this is a new coaching staff opinions are like… uh… elbows; everyone has one (or two).

76Buc
2 years ago

Opinions are like elbows.

Dman
2 years ago

Would love to get any news on Beckwith. Losing him would be a terrible loss.

Horse
2 years ago

Doesn’t anybody on pewter staff seabeck with walking around any Tampa Bay area?
I wonder what the real story is?

BUC-ASS-BOB
2 years ago

I think it’s a great idea send Kwon Alexander to San Francisco replace him with a backup from another team cuz you got the great Bruce Arians to fix him and give him a good talking-to along with Todds game face . These linebackers will think they’re Von Miller and Mack and literally scare the hell out of the other team

chefboho
2 years ago

I think it’s a great idea too bob. Or maybe we can save the stupid amount of money the 49ers spend on a LB coming off an acl tear. Oh yeah, that same linebacker that lead the league in missed tackles since he joined, and that doesn’t even count that he’s missed over 16 games in his career and was a liability in coverage. Keep telling yourself you got it figured out bob, it just makes you seem all the more clueless. You dismiss coaching like it makes no difference. The great Bill Belichick said himself, “ great talent is… Read more »

TBAtlas
2 years ago

I honestly read this as just part of lying season because I don’t see why the team would be so confident with the LB core. Injuries will happen and it’s not like the first string is star-studded anyway.

BUC-ASS-BOB
2 years ago

Chef bono I was born in Fort Myers but grew up in Denver I remember clearly the games in Denver the fans made so much noise the other team had go on silent count the networks had the mount TV cans on floating stands because the stadium shook so much. The Glazzers have ran off the fans with this same BS , I go to Bucs games and there more Jets fans screaming for Jets than Bucs fans it is embarrassing makes me feel sorry for the Buc These clowns running this team in ground.

scubog
2 years ago

Bob: The last time the Bucs played the J-E-T-S-Jets, Jets, Jets at home was a Bucs victory in 2017. In no way were there more Jets fans than Bucs fans on that day. In fact, those of us, who were actually in attendance, only had to hear that NY, or is it NJ, spelling bee once or twice at the most.

You growing up in Denver explains a lot. Perhaps a lack of oxygen proved to be too much for a native Floridian.

Wadeless
2 years ago

I would love to see Spence come into his own in the scheme; if not this year never. The wait has got to be over on him.

fanofdabucs
2 years ago

The Bucs will either take an edge rusher at 5, Williams or trade down.

A LBer like Tre Lamar would be a great fit for his team and could be had in round 2.

I’d be surprised if it’s not edge rusher/ILBer in the first two rounds.

BUC-ASS-BOB
2 years ago

Scubog . Maybe they were more Bucs fans over on the Shaded side where you were there were nothing but Annoying New York Jets fans over on the other side and you know why they won the game because the bust was on the sidelines and Fitz one for the Bucs.

Mb Nfl Lock Of The Szn Pewter 728x90 Jpg