Buccaneers 2016 NFL breeze preview: Linebacker abyss needed
April 23, 2016 - Finding Carter
What happened in 2015
The linebacking corps in 2015 was impossibly inconsistent. The Bucs had sealed Bruce Carter to reinstate Mason Foster during center linebacker, yet he mislaid his pursuit to fourth-round collect Kwon Alexander by a finish of training camp. Danny Lansanah afterwards kick out Carter during strongside linebacker, while Lavonte David continued to reason down a installation no a diseased side.
Those 3 starters had an up-and-down season: David started out poorly, in partial since he was covering for Alexander, yet got behind to form by midseason. Alexander finished countless dash plays, yet struggled to dump behind low adequate in coverage. He also missed a final 4 games with a PED suspension. Lansanah didn’t mount out all year, and Carter indeed looked good in a starting purpose when he had to fill in for Alexander.
With Alexander carrying shown good potential, and Jason Licht and Dirk Koetter publicly praising him, a Bucs wanted to keep him during center linebacker. That meant Bruce Carter, yet capable, was overpaid and cut for tip reasons. Lansanah was not defended either, and new defensive coordinator Mike Smith brought in maestro Daryl Smith to fill a strongside role.
The Bucs have an superb organisation of starting linebackers. David and Alexander have speed, instincts and a ability to make impact plays both in each proviso of a game. Alexander does need to get some-more consistent, yet that shouldn’t be most of a problem given a fact that he was only a rookie final year. Those dual are a small undersized, though, that means a Bucs can’t consistently ask them to smoke-stack and strew descent linemen — no two-gap schemes here. Daryl Smith also brings something opposite — he’s unequivocally tighten to a finish of his career, yet Smith has seen all there is to see, and is a small some-more vigourous than a other dual linebackers.
What a Bucs miss here is depth, yet that’s simply remedied. Finding efficient 4-3 linebackers isn’t all that difficult, and a Bucs have prolonged finished good bringing in new undrafted players each year. Myles Jack competence lure them during a tip of a draft, and they could find a approach to fit in hybrid linebacker/edge rusher Leonard Floyd, yet they don’t unequivocally have a room to do most with them. Instead, design maybe a late-round collect and lots of undrafted giveaway agents to yield depth.