The preliminary free company interval and the draft got here and went with out the Bucs addressing the within linebacker place. An enormous cause why is the ascension of Ok.J. Britt, final 12 months’s fifth-round pick of Auburn.
As a rookie, Britt carved out a right away position on particular groups, ending the 12 months with 5 tackles on the unit. That ranked fourth on the crew. As he takes the following step into turning into the crew’s high backup inside linebacker, particular groups coach Keith Armstrong thinks his work on protection could carry over.
“Ok.J.’s doing a extremely good job,” Armstrong mentioned. “Ok.J. is doing job of operating the protection now. A few of that will carry over into the particular groups a part of it.”
The crew 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 point out enchancment in all features of his sport. That features a higher understanding of the playbook and protection as a complete.
“I’m impressed with him thus far,” co-defensive coordinator/inside linebackers coach Larry Foote mentioned. “We want 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 bought 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 numerous strain. So, so long as he retains rising at this tempo, we’ll be snug with him.”
Taking part in Time Key For Growth 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 figuring out he belonged and will play within the league was a key to his enchancment.
“What improved was simply enjoying,” Britt mentioned on the Arians Household Basis Golf Match in April. “Simply figuring out that I might play, figuring out that I can excel on this league. This 12 months, I’m simply attempting to be one of the best I may be. Dive into the playbook and actually know the playbook and simply fill a task because the third linebacker. Nonetheless on particular groups and do what I bought to do and do my job. Then, simply be able to play when my quantity’s referred to as.”
The Bucs linebacker is on monitor to filling that position 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 method into the third linebacker spot.
“Simply play,” Foote mentioned. “Simply hold exhibiting up. First step of getting higher is hold exhibiting up and simply carry on growing. Up to now within the classroom, they’re responding. They’re responding to the data that’s given and so they’re doing 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 go defended. As of now, within the case of damage this season, Britt is the following man up. He’ll must be prepared to supply if his quantity known as.