Bucs coaching camp is drawing close to and it’s time to preview the Bucs roster place by place. Pewter Report will break down and study every roster spot, the gamers on the depth chart and preview the outlook for the 2022 season.
Subsequent up within the Bucs 2022 Camp Preview collection are the workforce’s inside linebackers.
The beginning duo of Lavonte David and Devin White return for his or her fourth season collectively. The Bucs elected to maneuver on from veteran Kevin Minter, as an alternative giving second-year linebacker Ok.J. Britt a shot as the highest backup. Britt impressed throughout OTAs and mini-camp earlier this summer time and has labored with a velocity coach within the offseason. Particular groups ace Grant Stuard was one of many prime performers within the league in that space final season, and now he’ll look to carve out a task on protection. The group is rounded out by undrafted rookies J.J. Russell and Olakunle Fatukasi.
Maybe the most important change within the linebacker room is co-defensive coordinator Larry Foote transferring from teaching the skin linebackers to the within linebacker spot. White has already spoke about how Foote has been influential this offseason in serving to spherical out his recreation.
David is the longest-tenured Buc, coming into his eleventh season with the workforce. He has been probably the most achieved gamers at his place since being drafted and hardly will get the popularity he deserves. Nevertheless, final season, David was hit with accidents, enjoying in simply 12 video games. Regardless of the time missed, he nonetheless completed simply three tackles shy of 100. David didn’t make as many splash performs as he would’ve preferred in 2021 and can look to bounce again this season. Nevertheless, the most important key for the 32-year outdated is staying wholesome for all 17 video games.
2021 Stats: 97 tackles, 5 tackles for loss, 3 go breakups, 2 sacks, 2 compelled fumbles and a fumble restoration.
After a stellar 2020 season, White regressed a bit in 2021. His sack numbers took a dip and he was typically out of place on performs, both over-shooting the quarterback or ball provider or not being the place he was purported to be in protection. But, White was named to the Professional Bowl as an alternate and nonetheless completed with over 100 tackles. To his credit score, White owned as much as his shortcomings and elaborated on the place he feels he must be extra constant, corresponding to movie research, enjoying with extra self-discipline and never counting on his velocity as a lot as his instincts. If White can put all of it collectively in 12 months 4, he’ll be a serious a part of the Bucs’ success and can set himself up for a pleasant payday.
2021 Stats: 128 tackles, 8 tackles for loss, 3.5 sacks, 3 go breakups and a fumble restoration.
By not resigning Minter, the Bucs are exhibiting an enormous belief that Britt will have the ability to step up if accidents happen. Britt spent a majority of final season enjoying particular groups, however he did see some motion in mop-up duties. As a core particular teamer, he completed the season with 5 tackles. With each David and White absent from a majority of the offseason applications, Britt wore the inexperienced dot and manned the protection. He’ll get each alternative to show to the Bucs he can assume the highest backup spot on the depth chart throughout coaching camp.
2021 Stats: 12 tackles, one sort out for loss and a go break up.
Recovering from offseason hip surgical procedure, Stuard was a non-participant throughout exercises earlier this summer time as he works his method again to well being. As Mr. Irrelevant of final 12 months’s draft, he made a right away affect on particular groups throughout his rookie season. The truth is, he completed with probably the most particular groups tackles on the workforce and tied for the third-most within the NFL. Heading into camp, Stuard’s fundamental focus is to proceed to assist the workforce as a particular groups maven whereas making an attempt to carve out a task on protection.
2021 Stats: 15 tackles and a compelled fumble.
Russell has an excellent motor and robust play recognition expertise. He’s sufficient in zone protection and an aggressive run defender. Nevertheless, he’ll battle to get off blocks and can take unhealthy angles to the ball provider. He additionally lacks superb NFL velocity. Russell’s greatest wager to stay round is the apply squad if he has an excellent camp.
2021 Stats (at Memphis): 123 tackles, 14 tackles for loss and 5 sacks
Fatukasi shows glorious learn and response expertise and performs sooner than his timed velocity. He can shed blocks, is a sound tackler and has good consciousness. Nevertheless, Olakunle doesn’t have probably the most fluid hips in protection and may be over-aggressive and outrun performs. An absence of athleticism and total velocity are issues that might restrict his success as nicely. There was nothing that jumped off the web page with Fatukasi throughout offseason camps. He’ll want to choose it up with the intention to land a spot on the apply squad.
2021 Stats (at Rutgers): 85 tackles, 11 tackles for loss, 2.5 sacks and two compelled fumbles.