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 look at 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 sequence are the crew’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 Okay.J. Britt a shot as the highest backup. Britt impressed throughout OTAs and mini-camp earlier this summer time and has labored with a pace 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 shifting 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, getting into his eleventh season with the crew. He has been one of the vital completed gamers at his place since being drafted and rarely will get the popularity he deserves. Nevertheless, final season, David was hit with accidents, taking part in 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 appreciated in 2021 and can look to bounce again this season. Nevertheless, the most important key for the 32-year previous is staying wholesome for all 17 video games.
2021 Stats: 97 tackles, 5 tackles for loss, 3 cross 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 usually out of place on performs, both over-shooting the quarterback or ball provider or not being the place he was alleged 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, comparable to movie examine, taking part in with extra self-discipline and never counting on his pace as a lot as his instincts. If White can put all of it collectively in yr 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 cross breakups and a fumble restoration.
By not resigning Minter, the Bucs are displaying an enormous belief that Britt will have the ability to step up if accidents happen. Britt spent a majority of final season taking part in 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 cross break up.
Recovering from offseason hip surgical procedure, Stuard was a non-participant throughout exercises earlier this summer time as he works his means again to well being. As Mr. Irrelevant of final yr’s draft, he made a right away impression on particular groups throughout his rookie season. In reality, he completed with essentially the most particular groups tackles on the crew and tied for the third-most within the NFL. Heading into camp, Stuard’s important focus is to proceed to assist the crew as a particular groups maven whereas attempting 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 satisfactory in zone protection and an aggressive run defender. Nevertheless, he’ll battle to get off blocks and can take dangerous angles to the ball provider. He additionally lacks superb NFL pace. Russell’s finest wager to stay round is the follow 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 quicker than his timed pace. He can shed blocks, is a sound tackler and has good consciousness. Nevertheless, Olakunle doesn’t have essentially the most fluid hips in protection and may be over-aggressive and outrun performs. An absence of athleticism and general pace are issues that might restrict his success as effectively. There was nothing that jumped off the web page with Fatukasi throughout offseason camps. He’ll want to select it up with the intention to land a spot on the follow squad.
2021 Stats (at Rutgers): 85 tackles, 11 tackles for loss, 2.5 sacks and two compelled fumbles.