No one it seems, is happy with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers linebackers. You’d think Tim Tebow played back there or something.
Truth is, and I’m pretty sure most Bucs fans will agree, Mason Foster looks promising. Sure he has had his little ups and downs, but he started as a pure rookie, and he has gotten better each week. He plays the ML position with much more physicality than Barrett Ruud did, and that should have Bucs fans happy.
But thats where it ends, because Quincy Black and Geno Hayes simply get no love. And they have no one but themselves to blame for it. They are inconsistant. Hayes is probably the most inconsistant of them all, making splash plays here, but then is no where to be found when a back is plowing through his area.
Quincy Black was definitly missed the other game when he was out, and Dekoda Watson took his place. Watson seems to play with more fire sometimes, but he scares no one but us fans when he’s covering someone downfield. Black can cover, and you need look no further than the Saints game a few weeks ago when he picked off Brees to seal the victory.
Lets not get too down on these guys though, they are young, and we know from experience that young linebackers usually turn into a gem down the road. All you have to do is watch some games from 1997 or 1998, when you see the Bucs linebackers patrolled by Hardy Nickerson and Derrick Brooks, AND SOME OTHER GUY. Lonnie Marts, Demetrious Dubose, there were many, but the backups? Well you’ve heard their names;
Alshermond Singleton and Shelton Quareles. Guys not good enough for anything other than special teams, but they excelled there, just like Dekoda Watson and Adam Haywood do now a days.
In time though Al turned into the strong side linebacker needed for the Super Bowl season, and Shelton Quarles turned into the heir of Hardy’s spot after a few others kept it warm.
So dont give up on these young linebackers just yet…they may suprise you!