Foster will be replaced on third down passing situations by Black
Rookie Mason Foster will be the Bucs' starter at middle linebacker, but he won't always be on the field.
Bucs coach Raheem Morris says strong side linebacker Quincy Black will replace Foster on nickel passing situations, which typically occurs on third down when teams use three receivers.
Morris indicated that the rotation is more about Black's versatility than Foster's limitations.
"Fortunately, the way things are going (Foster) is the base (middle linebacker),'' Morris said. "And you're able to put Quincy in that nickel (middle linebacker position). And (Foster) really gets a chance to really focus and lock on his base responsibilities. If he grows into...just staying out there on third down or whatever the case may be, that's great. But you've got to find a way to play young guys. If you don't play young guys, it's just me making excuses.
"It's less of a concern, it's more, hey, let's give him the base stuff, pick it up, be great at it. We've got Quincy Black who we've got a lot of confidence in. He's got a serious demeanor. We liked him at (middle linebacker). I don't know if it's a concern about Mason, I think it's more of the best two linebackers on the field right now. When you get into nickel, you want to get Quincy and your proven Geno Hayes out there.''