Tampa Bay Buccaneers projected 2-deep: defense
Yesterday, we took a glance at the Buccaneers' offensive lineup. Now, we'll look at the side of the ball that has a few more question marks: defense.
Much of this remains up in the air and will remain so even after the start of training camp. The best we can do for the moment is speculate and use educated guesses based on what transpired during the offseason.
The Bucs are overhauling their defensive scheme under coordinator Jim Bates, so the lineup is still fluid. That said, let's take a look.
RDE: Gaines Adams, Stylez White
DT: Ryan Sims/Roy Miller
DT: Chris Hovan/Roy Miller
LDE: Jimmy Wilkerson, Kyle Moore
WLB: Jermaine Phillips, Geno Hayes
MLB: Barrett Ruud, Rod Wilson
SLB: Quincy Black, Angelo Crowell
LCB: Aqib Taib, Elbert Mack
RCB: Ronde Barber, Elbert Mack
FS: Tanard Jackson, Will Allen
SS: Sabby Piscitelli, Will Allen
The positions that bear the most watching are weak-side linebacker, defensive tackle and cornerback. Phillips is making a difficult transition from strong safety to linebacker, and he'll face a stiff challenge when the Bucs put the pads on during the first week of camp. Only then will Phillips and his coaches know for certain this was a wise move. But until they are convinced otherwise, the Bucs are committed to making it work.
Defensive tackle is interesting because the Bucs have said they're going to use a deep rotation of players. Certain players could warrant more snaps than others based on their performances.
And at cornerback, Ronde Barber and company are making a marked change in the way they play the position, going from former coordinator Monte Kiffin's Cover 2 zone scheme to a largely man-to-man scheme.