Make us your home page

Bucs Beat

Rick Stroud, Greg Auman and Matt Baker

All hands on deck for Bucs defensive line



The Bucs are dealing with the fallout of first-round pick Gerald McCoy's season-ending biceps injury, leaving them in a bit of a scramble to figure out their defensive-line rotation.

There are a number of options under consideration, but just about every defensive lineman on the active roster is going to play a role on Sunday against the Lions.

That includes Michael Bennett, who is going to play both defensive end and defensive tackle in certain situations.

"My playbook is real long right now," Bennett said. "I’m playing a whole bunch of different positions."

Another possiblity you'll see is a lineup consisting of Roy Miller as the three-technique defensive tackle, with Al Woods taking over Miller's usual spot at nose tackle. Miller likes the three-technique because it gives him a chance to be more of a penetrator, a role similar to the one he had at the University of Texas.

Frank Okam, Miller's former Texas teammate, expects to get his first action of the season, too. He adds a big body (350 pounds) to the mix and gives the Bucs more bulk against the run. He was promoted to the active roster last month when the team decided to release defensive tackle Ryan Sims.

Okam thinks he can have an immediate impact if he gets the chance.

"My natural talent is the ability to stop the run," he said. "I can hold up at the point of attack real well. I think I showed that and my goal is to make sure that the defense doesn’t lack anything when I’m in there. Oobviously, I’m not the pass rusher that Gerald McCoy is. I think he’s actually one of the elite ones or, at least, he can be. But I just try to bring a toughness and a mentality that, when you’re on my side, you can’t run on my side."

The situation is very fluid, but you should expect anything considering the number of options on the table.

[Last modified: Thursday, December 16, 2010 3:37pm]


Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours