This Sunday the Buccaneers will face former Crimson Tide standout T.J. Yeldon, who is coming off a career-best performance in last week’s overtime loss to the Colts.
Fresh off a 105-yard game in Indianapolis, Tampa Bay defensive coordinator Leslie Frazier believes Yeldon is more than just a speed threat.
Bucs MLB Kwon Alexander – Photo by: Cliff Welch/PR
“He carried the ball and did a good job of making people miss. But he showed some power, too, being able to run through some tackles,” Frazier said on Thursday. “Saw that when he was in college and now he’s displaying it again at our level… He’s a good blocker also; they’ll leave him in for protection.
“Those are three ingredients – catching, running and blocking – in a (running) back that you’d like to have and he’s displayed that in his short time in the league.”
Perhaps no Buccaneer knows him better than rookie linebacker Kwon Alexander. While at LSU, Alexander played the Alabama product three times and remembers him as a shifty running back who can keep his footing and make you miss.
“He’s a good back, so he’s going to do what he does best – run the ball and cut,” Alexander said. “He’s got great balance and speed. We just have to do what we do best – just run and hit and have fun. Like I said, play fast.”
In order for the Bucs linebackers to play fast, they’ll need a strong initial push from the defensive line. Leading the four man front is Gerald McCoy, who gave the Jaguars rookie a favorable comparison.
“He looks like a smaller version of LeVeon Bell to me,” McCoy said. “He has a little power to him but he can make you miss. He’s still a little raw, though. He’s got a lot to learn but he’s a good back.”
Despite the 37-23 loss last Sunday to Carolina, the front four fared pretty well against the Panthers rushing attack, holding Jonathan Stewart and Cameron Artis-Payne to a combined 75 yards on 32 carries. They’ll look to continue that success into this Sunday’s game and capitalize on making the Jaguars one-dimensional.
Zach is entering his 3rd year covering the Tampa Bay Buccaneers as a writer for PewterReport.com. Since 2014, he’s handled a large part of the beat reporting responsibilities at PR, attending all media gatherings and publishing and promoting content daily. Zach is a native of Sarasota, FL, and a graduate of the University of Tampa. He has also covered high school football for the Tampa Tribune and the NFL for Pro Player Insiders.
Contact him at: [email protected]
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