Weakside Linebacker might be the strongest position on the Bucs roster. We have surefire first ballot Hall of Famer and a former defensive player of the year Derrick Brooks, as well as a slew of recent draft picks, and last years’ free agent acquisition Cato June. While Brooks has shown a loss of some lateral speed in the last few years, he still is one of the smartest defensive players in the game. The addition of June allowed Brooks to come off of the field in some nickel situation last season and we should see some more of that this season as well.
Currently on the Roster – Quincy Black, Derrick Brooks, Antoine Cash, Geno Hayes, Cato June
Guaranteed Spots – Quincy Black, Derrick Brooks, Cato June
June played both the Sam Linebacker position as well as the Will Linebacker position last year, when him and DB were on the field together. We could field a similar strategy this season as well. Cato had 90 tackles and 1 Int last season. Quincy Black is a 3rd round pick from last season’s draft class, and saw action in 15 games and ended up with 30 tackles. He will continue to see a few downs a game on the field as a linebacker and regular time on special teams. I have huge hopes for the future with Quincy Black. He seems to have exceptional speed, and learning under some guys like Brooks and June will surely help in the development of any young player.
No Chance – All have a chance to make the roster
Battling for spots – Antoine Cash, Geno Hayes
Gruden and Monte Kiffin have been speaking very highly of former FSU player Geno Hayes. The guy has incredible speed, and is built very similar to the way DB was when he first came into the league. The obvious Brooks comparisons were made the whole time he was a ‘Nole. He’s not quite DB though! At worst, he would seem to have a chance to be a freakish special teams player. Antoine Cash is a freakish special teams player but did not get a chance to prove himself after a knee injury left him on the IR all last season. I know Monte loves this guy, and him and Geno should have a nice battle in camp to land a roster spot. I will say though, there is a small possibility, depending on the number of defensive lineman that we carry, that neither guy makes the final 53. Hayes would seemingly be a great candidate for the practice squad at that point.