Make us your home page

Get the quickest, smartest news, analysis and photos from the Bucs game emailed to you shortly after the final whistle.

(View our Privacy Policy)

Sculpted Quincy Black is a different kind of Tampa Bay Buccaneers linebacker

TAMPA — Quincy Black does not look like your prototypical Bucs linebacker. He doesn't play like one, either.

At 6 feet 2 and 245 pounds, he's bigger and bulkier than the collection of masquerading defensive backs who have patrolled the middle of Tampa Bay's defense for more than a decade.

"He's an unbelievable athlete," linebackers coach Joe Barry said. "When he walks off the practice field every day, I look at his arms and I'm still not used to that.

"I couldn't go to the beach with him. Oh, my gosh, I'd be embarrassed."

One Buc Place is an impressive structure, but the real architectural marvel might be Black, who more closely resembles a defensive lineman. He's one of the main reasons the Bucs felt comfortable releasing Pro Bowl linebackers Derrick Brooks and Cato June in February.

"Honestly, we've had some of the most athletic linebackers in this league," Black said.

The big difference is that Black's size and athletic ability also enable him to rush the quarterback as a defensive end. And his skill set will keep new defensive coordinator Jim Bates up nights creating ways to blitz Black from the strongside linebacker position.

"It's definitely exciting to go out there and get some sacks, cause some fumbles and create some turnovers — all that good stuff," Black said. "Big plays, explosive plays on defense, change the momentum of a game.

"I didn't get a lot of opportunities to play on defense last year, so I want to make sure I make the most of those."

A third-round pick from New Mexico in 2007, Black had to learn how to play on fourth down. He led the Bucs in special-teams tackles with 24 last season, but playing defense in the NFL has been an adjustment.

He played an unconventional "rover" position for the Lobos, lining up everywhere and simply chased the ball carrier. "The one thing with Quincy that's special is that even if he doesn't get a great key or a great read, he's so fast and so quick and so explosive, he can physically make up for a potential mistake," Barry said.

Coach Raheem Morris loves Black's quiet demeanor. A few days ago, Morris showed the team tape of the final regular-season game against Carolina in 2007, when Black and many of his younger teammates started against the Panthers while Tampa Bay — with the NFC South clinched — rested many of its starters.

Morris' message was that Carolina physically dominated the Bucs that day, and he got the feeling Black took exception to it.

"He was the one guy in the room that kind of looked at me like, 'Man, if you do that again I'm going to run up on stage and form tackle you,' " Morris said. "I know he probably wasn't thinking that, but it was a demeanor. It's something good that he has because I don't think he rides the emotional roller coaster."

Morris believes as Black makes splash plays as a pass rusher this season — creating sacks and fumbles — it will only accelerate his confidence as a linebacker.

"If you've seen him rush off that edge, he was exciting. He was dynamic," Morris said. "If he can bring that element to his game, who knows what it's going to do for him as a linebacker. That just breeds confidence. That just gets things running the right way.

"Ronde (Barber) wasn't a great player until he had a 10-pick season (in 2001). Then it was like, 'Man, we'd better not throw the ball over there because he might score.' If (Black) gets a couple sacks … he just becomes a weapon and he's pretty intimidating looking. He's All-Beach."

For the newly minted linebacker, who is competing with second-year pro Geno Hayes, lining up with the starting defense is heady stuff.

"I'm running with the ones right now," Black said. "So until they find somebody better, it's my spot."

Is he having fun?

"The only thing that's fun is what happens on Sundays," he said.

Watch out, Tampa Bay. Black Sunday is about to begin.

Sculpted Quincy Black is a different kind of Tampa Bay Buccaneers linebacker 08/11/09 [Last modified: Wednesday, August 12, 2009 1:02pm]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

© 2017 Tampa Bay Times


Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

  1. Alex Faedo, Florida advance to face LSU in College World Series finals


    OMAHA, Neb. — Alex Faedo pitched three-hit ball for 71/3 innings in a second straight strong performance against TCU, and Florida moved to the College World Series finals with a 3-0 win Saturday night.

    Florida’s Austin Langworthy scores on a single by Mike Rivera in the second inning during a 3-0 victory over TCU.
  2. Jones: Bucs need success to get national respect


    Tampa Bay Times columnist Tom Jones offers up his Two Cents on the world of sports.

    No respect

    Tampa Bay Buccaneers head coach Dirk Koetter walks the field during the second day of mandatory minicamp at One Buccaneer Place in Tampa, Fla., on Wednesday, June 14, 2017. LOREN ELLIOTT   |   Times
  3. Rays journal: Jumbo Diaz falters after getting within a strike of ending rally

    The Heater

    ST. PETERSBURG — Saturday's game got away starting with a leadoff walk in the seventh inning by Rays LHP Jose Alvarado, who was brought in exclusively to face Baltimore's lefty-swinging Seth Smith.

    Rays reliever Jumbo Diaz wipes his face as he walks off the mound after the Orioles score four during the seventh inning to give them a 7-3 lead. Diaz was one strike away from working out of the jam before he allowed a two-run double and a two-run homer on back-to-back pitches.
  4. Rookie Jake Faria dissatisfied with performance in Rays' loss to Orioles

    The Heater

    ST. PETERSBURG — The rookie pitcher walked to his locker Saturday after tossing the fourth quality start in as many tries to begin his career. He held the potent Orioles bats to three runs and for six innings gave his team a chance to win.

    Orioles third baseman Manny Machado tags out the Rays’ Mallex Smith at third after a rundown in the first inning.
  5. Roger Mooney's takeaways from Saturday's Rays-Orioles game

    The Heater

    It was refreshing to see RHP Jacob Faria take the blame after the loss even though he gave the Rays a chance to win. Too often young pitchers are encouraged by what they did and not necessarily the outcome, but Faria, making just his fourth big-league start, came to the Trop to win, didn't, and pointed the finger …