Tanard Jacksons’s Suspension Shakes Up The Bucs D


With the suspension of Tanard Jackson for the first 4 games of the season, the Buccaneers coaching staff was forced to make a decision on who would be taking his place in the Starting Lineup.  They had a couple options at hand, one of which was just to plug backup safety Will Allen into the starting lineup and the other was to move Jermaine Phillips back to safety and allow Geno Hayes to take over his Will linebacker spot until Jackson returned.

The coaching staff made the decision today to move Flip back to safety, where him Sabby Piscatelli and Will Allen will  form the depth and allow Geno Hayes to move into Flip’s vacatad spot.

"“He’ll be a safety at that point,” said Morris. “We still could sneak a 46 defense at you, a dime, so don’t be shocked if you see him up there [at linebacker]. I can still try to cheat the system. But he’ll start off mainly playing safety, which he’s been doing this week. Hopefully, maybe quarter number two [of the season] we’ll get [Jackson] back and maybe we can put that guy back up there a little bit and see if he can continue to be special.”“It’s a shame, too, because of how well he was doing,” said Morris. “We talked about it the other day. That special tackle he made on [Maurice] Jones-Drew on that checkdown play, I haven’t seen a ‘backer around here make a play like that in awhile. Those are the type of splash plays I was trying to get from Jermaine Phillips. Now, having to move him back to safety, it’s not ‘woe is me’ because you’ve still got Geno, who’s pretty good, but I was starting to see something special out of Jermaine. And it wasn’t always perfect because he was learning how to play the position, but he was starting to get confidence, he was starting to run around.”“How Geno plays is going to determine a lot of things,” said Morris. “At that point, the second quarter, you’re talking about going back and shuffling the deck. You talk about how Geno played that first quarter, how Quincy played that first quarter. You talk about how Sabby, Will and Jermaine responded together. You know T-Jack’s going to be back in there somewhere. It’s good because guess what that does? It creates more [competition]. There’s never going to be a letdown from anybody.”"

The Bucs linebacking depth and their lack of safety depth as well as concerns over the 53 roster made this move almost a neccesity.  Why have 2 of our better defenders in Geno Hayes and Adam Heyward on the bench, when Morris has repeatedly reiterated that he will play the best 11 guys?  I like Will Allen as a backup player on this Bucs team, but he is not one of the best 11.  Moving Flip to safety, having Will Allen back him and Sabby up and moving Geno Hayes to Will with Adam Heyward backing up all 3 linebacking spots gives the Bucs the best lineup possible with TJax out of the lineup.