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    • michael89156

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      Foster will make Bucs’ defensive calls Greg Auman, Times Staff Writer? ? April 24, 2014 6:21pmMason-Foster_zpsa28e0795.jpgTAMPA — Another minor adjustment as the Bucs change defenses under new coach Lovie Smith is that the team's middle linebacker — fourth-year pro Mason Foster — will make the defensive calls, duties handled by weakside linebacker Lavonte David the past two seasons. "Our (middle) linebacker will make our call," Smith said. "As a general rule, the Mike linebacker, they need to see you out front all the time. … He should do that, just like the quarterback should make the call on offensive side of the ball." Foster said he welcomes the role in setting up the defense — it's something he did as a rookie in 2011, the year before David arrived, and in college at Washington. "It means a lot, being the leader, getting a chance to look everybody in the eyes before every snap," he said. "I'm excited. We've got a great defense, so it's not going to be hard." Foster said he often had the microphone in his helmet in practice the last two years, getting signals from coaches to relay to the defense, so he looks forward to having a more vocal role on the field this fall. "It's one of those things all linebackers have embedded in them," he said. IT'S A LOVIE THING: Watch a Bucs practice, and you'll see that anytime the ball hits the ground — even on an incomplete pass — defenders will rush to it and scoop it up, just to make a habit of getting to the ball in any circumstance during a game. "You treat an incomplete pass like it's a fumble," Smith said. "I don't think you get takeaways by chance. It has to be a mindset throughout. I want the defense to constantly be thinking about the ball, picking it up and running with it." Another cool quirk of practice Thursday: seeing special-teams coach Kevin O'Dea run through punt-block drills with a pair of blue tetherballs, each hanging by a rope from the opposite ends of the crossbar in the end zone. O'Dea swings the ball forward to simulate a punter's delivery as players rush at him, which also saves time tracking down loose balls that have been blocked. CHANGE ALL AROUND: RT Demar Dotson is a rare holdover from last year's offensive line, with G Davin Joseph and T Donald Penn released and C Jeremy Zuttah traded to the Ravens. He said he misses the players he's lined up with for the past five seasons but also likes the new additions: T Anthony Collins, C Evan Dietrich-Smith and G Oniel Cousins. "Those guys meant a lot to me — the reason I have the chance to be the player I am today is that those guys taught me a lot," Dotson said. "Those guys were the rock of this offensive line, but it quickly hits you this is a business. It's a blessing I get to stay here going on six years, that they see enough in me to keep me around. … We lost a lot of good guys, but we gained a lot of good guys, also." Dotson said he continues to be the quiet type, trying to lead by example, but in three days of practice, he's learned that Dietrich-Smith, signed from the Packers as a free agent, is much more of a leader on the offensive line. "Dietrich-Smith, he does enough yelling for everybody," Dotson said. "I tried to ask him (if) he can calm down a little bit. Nobody needs me trying to yell. That guy does enough." THIS AND THAT: TE Luke Stocker was back at practice after sitting out Wednesday's drills with an undisclosed injury. He missed most of last season with a hip injury. … Smith continues to be impressed with the speed of RB Jeff Demps, who he said is "definitely the fastest guy in the NFL." He likes Demps' hands, though he said he's been riding the former Olympic sprinter for dropping a deep pass in Wednesday's practice. TICKETS AVAILABLE: The Bucs put single-game tickets on sale Thursday, one day after the team's 2014 schedule was released. They're available through buccaneers.com, with season tickets starting at $30 per game for adults and $15 per game for children.

    • Anonymous

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      The defense might not be great this year, but I do expect a ridiculous about of turnovers.

    • Anonymous

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      For now. Until the Bucs Draft CJ Mosley.

    • dalbuc

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      is there a real tactical advantage having foster make the calls?  Im ignorant when it comes to this.  I think who ever is the smartest, most efficient, and still plays effectively while holding this responsibility should be the guy doing it (at and LB spot).  Why is it dead set on the middle?

    • Anonymous

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      Post count: 2847

          LOL; not what Lovie ever said ;). Lovie said the MIKE LB always made his calls and will continue doing that. He never said Foster was his MIKE LB. The difference is if Foster doesn’t do it well, it could cost him the job at MLB. Under Schiano, the responsibilty for making calls was shifted to the WILL LB. Apparently Lovie does not like doing that and will not.    If this all transpires, Foster could end up as our SLB as in his college days, although Lovie didn't discuss that possibility...

    • Anonymous

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      Middle linebacker makes the calls.  Thanks.He will be replaced eventually.  He will disappoint as a MIKE in a T2 scheme.  We have eyes, we see what he can do, and we know he can't cover worth a crap.  He is a crusher at SAMbacker, though.Give it time.

    • Anonymous

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      For now. Until the Bucs Draft CJ Mosley.

      Either Teddy or CJ

    • Anonymous

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      I was a little freaked out by this when I first read it the other day. If Foster is calling the defense, that means he is wearing the green dot, which means he is the sole LB that stays on the field in dime package and David would be on the sideline. After a little research I found that in Chicago Lovie almost never played Dime. He sticks with Nickel, which means the WLB and MLB are always on the field. In Chi town it was Briggs and Urlacher. In Tampa it’s David and Foster. This is really no big deal.On a side note, this could allow David to concentrate more on being a playmaker instead of calling plays and trying to get everyone else in position. He might actually be better! Also, Foster has dropped weight and is at 235lbs right now. Say he feels much faster. He's been good. How about giving him a chance?

    • Anonymous

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      I was a little freaked out by this when I first read it the other day. If Foster is calling the defense, that means he is wearing the green dot, which means he is the sole LB that stays on the field in dime package and David would be on the sideline. After a little research I found that in Chicago Lovie almost never played Dime. He sticks with Nickel, which means the WLB and MLB are always on the field. In Chi town it was Briggs and Urlacher. In Tampa it's David and Foster. This is really no big deal.On a side note, this could allow David to concentrate more on being a playmaker instead of calling plays and trying to get everyone else in position. He might actually be better! Also, Foster has dropped weight and is at 235lbs right now. Say he feels much faster. He's been good. How about giving him a chance?

      He was allowed to play a lot of Nickel BECAUSE he had two bad assed, fast, instinctive, tackling and turnover creating linebackers that gutted teams for years.Foster is not allowed to be mentioned in the same sentence as Briggs, Urlacher, AND David.  David is a freak.It might be a big deal, and you will notice him getting his ass torched out there.  I hope he is ready and really hits the film room as hard as he hits the weights.I love Foster.  But thinking of him in a cover shell of any sort is a nightmare.  He will give up first down after first down getting picked on.

    • Anonymous

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      I was a little freaked out by this when I first read it the other day. If Foster is calling the defense, that means he is wearing the green dot, which means he is the sole LB that stays on the field in dime package and David would be on the sideline. After a little research I found that in Chicago Lovie almost never played Dime. He sticks with Nickel, which means the WLB and MLB are always on the field. In Chi town it was Briggs and Urlacher. In Tampa it's David and Foster. This is really no big deal.On a side note, this could allow David to concentrate more on being a playmaker instead of calling plays and trying to get everyone else in position. He might actually be better! Also, Foster has dropped weight and is at 235lbs right now. Say he feels much faster. He's been good. How about giving him a chance?

      He was allowed to play a lot of Nickel BECAUSE he had two bad assed, fast, instinctive, tackling and turnover creating linebackers that gutted teams for years.Foster is not allowed to be mentioned in the same sentence as Briggs, Urlacher, AND David.  David is a freak.It might be a big deal, and you will notice him getting his ass torched out there.  I hope he is ready and really hits the film room as hard as he hits the weights.I love Foster.  But thinking of him in a cover shell of any sort is a nightmare.  He will give up first down after first down getting picked on.

      As Lovie has said recently himself, in his scheme it is not as hard to play MLB as some think. Foster isn't going to be asked to cover TEs deep one on one or anything. He is going to have a zone and he will always have help....and Foster is about 10000x better than you give him credit for. Some of you act like we have Ragdoll Ruud back there when the reality is Foster has been very good over his first three years. He been put in some situations with injuries to the line and bad coaching....but he has still done well. Shelton Quarles wasn't playing this well this early.

    • Anonymous

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      I’d seriously look at how much the green dot system helps vs hinders.  I know some of you don’t like the college sideline placards. But when I read about confusion because Goldson was using the wrong terminology… time to re-think.

    • Anonymous

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      Post count: 1419

      I was a little freaked out by this when I first read it the other day. If Foster is calling the defense, that means he is wearing the green dot, which means he is the sole LB that stays on the field in dime package and David would be on the sideline. After a little research I found that in Chicago Lovie almost never played Dime. He sticks with Nickel, which means the WLB and MLB are always on the field. In Chi town it was Briggs and Urlacher. In Tampa it's David and Foster. This is really no big deal.On a side note, this could allow David to concentrate more on being a playmaker instead of calling plays and trying to get everyone else in position. He might actually be better! Also, Foster has dropped weight and is at 235lbs right now. Say he feels much faster. He's been good. How about giving him a chance?

      +1And Foster already has experience calling plays, if I remember correctly, he did it his rookie year

    • Anonymous

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      1000x times harder on him than I should be?Drama much?

    • Anonymous

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      Post count: 3341

      For now. Until the Bucs Draft CJ Mosley.

      There aren't many players the Buccaneers could screw-up their Top-10 selection with, but that's one of them.  Good player, but not the type of player that worth a top-ten pick at his position.  It would be a very Mark Barron-ish pick.

    • Anonymous

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      Post count: 5188

      For now. Until the Bucs Draft CJ Mosley.

      There aren't many players the Buccaneers could screw-up their Top-10 selection with, but that's one of them.  Good player, but not the type of player that worth a top-ten pick at his position.  It would be a very Mark Barron-ish pick.

      While I agree wholeheartedly, I can see it happening.  I have slapped my forehead so many times watching the Bucs draft I should be clinical like Doloris, or JC.

    • Anonymous

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      For now. Until the Bucs Draft CJ Mosley.

      If he's there in the second, I'm all for it

    • Anonymous

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          Lovie is giving Foster the opportunity to be his MIKE. It’s up to Foster to prove he is capable of handling it. Bottom line: Lovie isn’t anointing anyone. Even McCown could end up holding a clipboard if he’s outplayed…

    • Anonymous

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      Post count: 10626

      For now. Until the Bucs Draft CJ Mosley.

      Can't see that happening.  That would be a shocker.  Much bigger holes to fill.

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