DT Derek Landri fits right in with Bucs
Had the Bucs had their way, Derek Landri would have been on Tampa Bay’s roster in 2012.
But after losing him then in free agency to the Eagles, the Bucs finally have their man.
Landri, a defensive tackle, arrives in Tampa later today where he is expected to sign a two-year, $3.25 million contract with the Bucs.
The only uncertainty now appears to be his role. But that now is becoming clear. Landri is the presumptive replacement for nose tackle Roy Miller, who left as a free agent for the Jaguars last month.
The Bucs already have told Landri they envision him playing the same technique as Miller, the so-called tilted nose tackle that allowed Miller to have one of his best seasons in 2012. The technique is a staple of Bucs coach Greg Schiano’s defense, and Landri figures to team with another veteran, Gary Gibson, to man the position in 2013.
Landri, 29, was open to remaining with the Eagles, but the team is moving to a 3-4 defense under new coach Chip Kelly. Landri, out of Notre Dame, is not seen as a good fit the scheme.
While Landri has eight career sacks in six seasons, he’s not here to be a pass rusher. Look for him to play on first and second downs, for the most part, where he’ll be charged with holding the point of attack to help slow opponents’ running games. He has 15 tackles for losses in the past two seasons, including an Eagles team-high eight in 2011.
An interesting angle here is Landri’s contract value. At roughly $1.625 million per year, it speaks to the investment the Bucs were willing to make at a position that is, in effect, a part-time job (the nose tackle usually leaves the game on passing downs). Miller’s contract negotiations with the team soured quickly when the Bucs made what Miller viewed as a meager offer. But the Bucs felt they could fill the need inexpensively, which they have done with the addition of Landri.