Most Bucs fans from the Bay area, even those who watch college football, probably did not know who Sabby Piscitelli was when he was drafted by the Bucs with the last pick in the second round of the NFL draft. Most east coast football fans don't get a chance to see west coast games or west coast talent. While Buc fans may not know who Sabby Piscitelli is, they sure know the man that Piscitelli is compared to, John Lynch. Ask most scouts and even his coach Mike Reilly who he reminds them of and they will tell you John Lynch. Piscitelli has the blend of size, speed, and aggressiveness that made Lynch a staple in the Tampa secondary for years. Piscitelli also has another trait of Lynch's that may be even more important, a die hard work ethic. In Piscitelli's first interview with Justin Pawlowski on 620 WDAE the day of the draft he told Justin that he wanted to be the hardest working guy in the locker room and he would be the hardest working guy in the locker room.
Piscatelli was a four year starter for Oregon State University and played in 50 games. Piscitelli's career stats are: 188 Tackles, 28 Pass Break Ups, and 15 interceptions. He had his best year his senior year compiling 75 Tackles, 11 Pass Break Ups, and 5 Interceptions, and had a huge game against USC in a stunning upset. Piscitelli plays with a nasty attitude and is very aggressive, but is also a great leader out on the field. Piscitelli is great in run support and coverage, which is critical for a safety in the Tampa 2 system. The Strong Safety should be the person who leads the team in tackles in the Tampa 2 and Piscitelli looks like he can do that just like his idol Lynch was able to do.
The weaknesses that scouts have commented on about Piscitelli include having trouble with the deep ball, he is a tweener, he is not physical enough for his size and he takes bad angles. The tweener part is exactly why he fits into the Tampa 2 system and he is the mold that the Bucs are looking for in that spot so that really is not a weakness. After watching him play i am not concerned about him being physical enough, trust me this guy can hit and will make the bumps when he has to. As far as bad tackling angles and trouble with the deep ball goes, that has to do with coaching where to be. He has trouble with the deep pass and angles because he has played out of position due to his aggressive nature. Raheem Morris is back to coach the secondary and I know that he will learn where to be and when to be there from Morris. Morris even made the comment after the first mini-camp that he has no idea what people were talking about with his bad angles. Raheem will have Sabby in the spots he needs to be and coach him up to make the plays.
Safety was a big concern for the Bucs last year and they addressed that not only by drafting two safeties, but also by rehiring Raheem Morris. Morris is so critical to this whole thing because he knows his stuff and can teach these guys where they need to be and when they need to be there. The Tampa 2 is all about knowing your assignment and being there to do it. Piscitelli probably;y won't see too much time at safety this year with Allen and Phillips still being back there and because it takes a while to learn the Tampa 2 system and be comfortable on where you need to be. Sabby will be a great contributor on special teams and my get some looks at safety sometime during the year. While he may not get much time this year, look for Sabby to be a staple in the Buccaneers secondary for years to come and a leader on this time just like his idol John Lynch.