The preliminary free company interval and the draft got here and went with out the Bucs addressing the within linebacker place. An enormous purpose why is the ascension of Ok.J. Britt, final yr’s fifth-round pick of Auburn.
As a rookie, Britt carved out an instantaneous function on particular groups, ending the yr with 5 tackles on the unit. That ranked fourth on the staff. As he takes the following step into changing into the staff’s high backup inside linebacker, particular groups coach Keith Armstrong thinks his work on protection could carry over.
“Ok.J.’s doing a very good job,” Armstrong stated. “Ok.J. is doing a very good job of working the protection now. A few of that will carry over into the particular groups a part of it.”
The staff appears poised to present Britt a shot on the high backup place that’s been held by veteran Kevin Minter the previous 4 seasons. The second-year participant might want to proceed to indicate enchancment in all points of his sport. That features a higher understanding of the playbook and protection as an entire.
“I’m impressed with him to this point,” co-defensive coordinator/inside linebackers coach Larry Foote stated. “We’d like a man that is aware of the protection. And if a type of two guys (Lavonte David and Devin White) go down, we don’t miss a beat. He’s acquired to show that to us and Coach (Todd) Bowles in walk-throughs. He’s doing an excellent job these final couple weeks. It’s powerful for a younger man to switch an older man. It’s a whole lot of stress. So, so long as he retains rising at this tempo, we’ll be snug with him.”
Taking part in Time Key For Improvement of Bucs LB Britt
For Britt, simply getting on the sector was a key to his progress final season. Getting out on the sector and understanding he belonged and will play within the league was a key to his enchancment.
“What improved was simply enjoying,” Britt stated on the Arians Household Basis Golf Match in April. “Simply understanding that I might play, understanding that I can excel on this league. This yr, I’m simply making an attempt to be the most effective I may be. Dive into the playbook and actually know the playbook and simply fill a job because the third linebacker. Nonetheless on particular groups and do what I acquired to do and do my job. Then, simply be able to play when my quantity’s referred to as.”
The Bucs linebacker is on a very good observe to filling that function behind starters Lavonte David and Devin White. So long as he continues to take the teaching and translate it into performs on the sector, he might play his approach into the third linebacker spot.
“Simply play,” Foote stated. “Simply maintain exhibiting up. First step of getting higher is maintain exhibiting up and simply carry on growing. To this point within the classroom, they’re responding. They’re responding to the data that’s given and so they’re doing a very good job spitting it again.”
In restricted enjoying time final season, Britt completed with 12 tackles, one sort out for loss, a quarterback hit and a cross defended. As of now, within the case of harm this season, Britt is the following man up. He’ll must be prepared to supply if his quantity is known as.