Tuesday, August 21, 2007

Will Bucs Pursue Trotter?

The Tampa Bay Buccaneers put third year MLB Anotine Cash on IR Monday after learning he tore is ACL in Saturdays preseason game against the Jaguars. Losing Cash causes concerns for the Bucs at the MLB position. Shelton Quarles retired before the start of this season and Barrett Ruud was to be his heir apparent in the middle. While Ruud has looked good at times, he does not have much experience and Cash was to be his main backup. The Bucs moved Ryan Nece over to MLB during camp to add some depth to the position, but Nece was ineffective and looked real bad in the first preseason game. The MLB is a very important part of the Cover
2 defense and right now the Bucs have question marks. There really is no depth at the position right now and Ruud has already been banged up in camp.

In a surprise move the Eagles released Jeremiah Trotter on Tuesday, which coincides with the Bucs need for a LB. Trotter is a very physical linebacker who plays great against the run, but has not been great in coverage. He is not an ideal middle linebacker for the Bucs due to the fact that the Bucs ask the MLB to do a lot coverage. What makes Trotter intriguing for the Bucs is how good he is against the run. The Bucs have struggled greatly against the run last year and have still not returned to form in this preseason. Everyone knows if you cannot stop the run in the NFL you will not win many games and that was the case last season for the Bucs.

In the Tampa 2, the leading tackler is supposed to be the middle linebacker. The reason for this is because the line has there gaps to fill leaving the back one on one with the running back. The Bucs could use him sparingly in run situations though to make up for his lack of pass covering skills. The problem for the Bucs is that Trotter has been a starter for a long time and he could go to another team and most likely be the man. Also, the Tampa 2 is system that usually takes time for the players to learn and he would not have much time to learn before the start of the season. The Bucs do have the cap room so that is not a problem with getting him signed and on the team.

While Trotter is not the most ideal LB for the Tampa 2 defense, he would be a welcomed addition to the team. The Bucs should actively pursue him to provide depth and experience to the MLB position and help out its run defense. The Bucs are very thin at the LB position up the middle and if Ruud were to be ineffective or get hurt the Bucs would be in a world of hurt. The Bucs should at least bring him in and see if he is interested in joining the Bucs.

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