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Bucs Beat

Rick Stroud, Greg Auman and Matt Baker

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.

[Last modified: Wednesday, May 26, 2010 3:35pm]


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