Quincy Black is close to re-signing.

Quincy Black- A Hidden Gem?

Buccaneers starting strong side linebacker, Quincy Black, was praised highly by the bucs before the 2010 season. With incredible athletic ability and enough strength to lift anything in the weight room, what’s not to like about him, right? Well, during the season last year, he was bit by the injury bug and didn’t seem like he lived up to the hype people talked about during the off-season. Thus the need to pursue a LB in this year’s draft (besides the fact  Barrett Ruud is hated by many in bucs nation for being soft).

Before we start chanting for another OLB in the draft, let’s look at what we know about Mr. Black. First off, Black was a 3rd round pick by the Buccaneers in 2007 and came out of New Mexico. Then in 2009, he got thrown into the starting lineup after the Buccaneers went into a youth movement and cut veteran LBs like Derrick Brooks and Cato June.  Since then, his stats as a starter haven’t been overly impressive in any category (61tackles, 2sacks, 3passes defended, and 1int in 2010). But what his stats don’t reveal is that he may very well still live up to that hype talked about an offseason ago.

Profootballfocus.com is a believer in Black. They even think he’s a “secret superstar”. While many might disagree, I can’t help but to agree WITH them. They point out that although the bucs have a weak run defense (young D-line and fuzzy-wuzzy-MLB in Ruud), Black was actually a bright spot in that category despite missing 5 games and only playing about 60-80% of snaps. For example, out of the 279 run plays he was in on, he only missed ONE tackle and was only flagged only once as well. They also point out that Black is an exceptional LB in coverage. Out of the 251 pass plays he was in on, only 11 of them were graded negatively. He may not make a ton of dynamic plays, but he makes the team better by NOT sucking.  That doesn’t show up on in the average stat book.

So yeah, Quincy Black was supposed to be a sack specialist. And sure, he was supposed to make splash plays for the bucs too. He was also supposed to start becoming a key player on this defense. Heck, Raheem Morris even created a 3-4 package in his defense to utilize Black’s edge-rushing skills, and you better be good if a coach designs a whole package just for you. But after 2 measly sacks in all of 2010, and seeing Adam Hayward and Dekoda Watson fill in for him with no loss in production, I can understand all you Black haters out there.

Although, like I mentioned before, I have another point of view.

That point of view is that Black’s only 27 years old, he’s just as athletic and strong as ever, and according to profootballfocus.com, extremely consistent.

You know how they say a pass rush can make DBs look a lot better?  Well maybe another pass rusher (like we’ll be looking for in the draft) can help other pass rushers explode onto the scene (like Black). That’s what I’m hoping for and that’s what I believe can happen.

The Buccaneers shouldn’t go out of their way to re-sign Black when a new CBA gets done, but they certainly can’t let him slip away too easily. What’s the worst that can happen by re-signing him? He won’t be too expensive, and our pass rush can’t get much worse. It can only get better.

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  • Matthew Levanduski

    Nice article man I agree that Quincy is a decent linebacker. I certainly like him more than Ruud. Those statistics you brought up were great, I personally did not know he was that good. I’m thinking that the Bucs won’t let him walk but I have seen crazierr things. Some have mentioned letting Black try the middle, with improved play from other pass rushers I think he could be a beast. Like you said he is an athletic freak, and I remember the opener when he came in un touched and owned Matt Moore. As long as Black is not keyed on, I would assume his sack totals can only improve.

  • Yansen Cakrasenjaya

    ha. thanks man, I’m glad you agree w/ me. when i first hear there were talks about Black trying out the middle i was a little skeptical, but after i found those stats i really think he could succeed there. although, ill go with whatever raheem does. but yeah, i think he can become a really dynamic stud.

  • BamBamBuc

    Sounds like Ruud 2.0. Makes a lot of tackles? Check. Good in coverage? Check. Doesn’t make many splash plays? Check.

    He’s consistent, does what he’s supposed to do, doesn’t make a lot of mistakes. Seems like only Geno Hayes really makes splash plays, and not frequently enough. If the team is gonna rely on the front four to get pressure, the LBs to cover and make tackles, and the DBs to make splash plays then we’re fine with both Ruud and Black. I don’t have a problem with that if it works. But I think a lot of fans will still be unhappy if the team doesn’t get a Ray Lewis in the middle or a Patrick Willis. I’m not sure why, I’m happy when the guys make tackles to stop the opponent from scoring. That’s usually a good thing, and they did much better at that this past year than the year before.

    Any LB drafted should be a project/depth LB. Sign Ruud and Black. We have Watson and McKenzie for depth (and Hayward if they can retain him as well). Draft pass rushing, run stuffing DEs. Maybe add some O-line depth and a TE in case Winslow’s knees don’t hold up.

  • Yansen Cakrasenjaya

    although Black sounds like a Ruud 2.0, Ruud doesn’t have nearly the same amount of potential Black does with his God given talent. and i really believe black WILL someday become a splash player. heck, maybe even this year…if he stays healthy. that’s the major concern.

  • Matthew Levanduski

    Black has way more potential than Ruud. Ruud has shown what he can do and it is not enough to improve our run defense. I think it really depends on the draft because if they Bucs land an athletic pass rushing outside linebacker than it is possible Black moves inside. I have heard that the Bucs are high on Tyrone McKenzie, I do not know much of anything about him however.

  • Yansen Cakrasenjaya

    I’ve heard the same. and all i know is that he came out of USF and has really good size for a MLB.