2014 DRAFT GUIDE
LB Foster says Buccaneers defense improving

By FRED GOODALL - AP Sports Writer
    2013-08-03 09:49

TAMPA, Fla. (AP) - The Tampa Bay Buccaneers have invested heavily in the draft and free agency to revamp a defense that Mason Foster feels is on the verge of taking a big step forward.

The Bucs nearly set a NFL record for passing yards allowed last season, so upgrading the secondary with the acquisition of Darrelle Revis, Dashon Goldson and rookie Johnthan Banks was a major priority this offseason.

Improving a sagging pass rush remains an objective, too. Coach Greg Schiano is trying to do that by getting more production out of recent high draft picks Gerald McCoy, Adrian Clayborn and Da'Quan Bowers.

Foster is an unheralded component of the restoration project, part of a group of starting linebackers that also includes Lavonte David and Dekoda Watson.

``Everybody is strong (throughout the defense). We don't mind being overlooked. It's one defense,'' said Foster, a third-year pro who started 31 of 32 games at middle linebacker over the past two seasons.

``I'm happy that we've got great safeties, great secondary, great defensive line - it all ties in together. They make our job easier, we make their job easier,'' Foster added. ``I don't care who gets the notoriety, it's about winning. We are here to win. We want to continue to get better.''

The former third-round draft pick out of Washington led all NFL rookies with 126 tackles in 2011 and is considered a good fit the attacking-style of defense second-year coach Greg Schiano brought to the Bucs a year ago.

Foster was second on the team with 104 tackles in 2012, when David had a standout rookie season and spearheaded a run defense that yielded a league-low 75.3 rushing yards per game.

The trade that brought Revis to Tampa Bay from the New York Jets this spring, the signing of Goldson in free agency and drafting of Banks in the second round have been the talk of training camp.

Foster, however, is quietly preparing for what he hopes will be a breakthrough season for himself - and the Bucs, who have not made the playoffs since 2007.

Schiano is encouraged by what he's seen in practice and expects Foster to get better in his second season in the scheme run by defensive coordinator Bill Sheridan.

``I thought Mason grew in this defense, and as he learned it and understood it better, he got better and better,'' Schiano said. ``I thought he was a playmaker, I thought he did some good things, and I think this offseason he's made huge strides. I think he understands it umpteen times better. I think he reacts more quickly because of that.''

David, a second-round draft pick in 2012, led the Bucs with 139 tackles as a rookie. With 20 tackles for loss, he ranked third in the league behind Houston's J.J. Watt and Denver's Von Miller.

``The sky is the limit for Lavonte,'' Foster said. ``We try to push each other. I try to push him, he pushes me.''

Despite being overshadowed by David, Foster felt he broadened his game last season.

In addition to having a knack for getting to the ball carrier and making plays, the 6-foot-1, 241-pounder has two career interceptions and a pair of sacks.

The 24-year-old feels he's become more of a student of the game and now he's ``just trying to put it all together.''

``He's got great instincts. ... But if you went out there and just played on instincts, you'd make a lot of mistakes because our defense, and I don't know any defense that isn't, is team-based,'' Schiano said.

``One guy relies a ton on the guy next to him. It's gap control. So if you have a guy who's just playing on instincts, yeah, he may get to the ball, but he'll also give up a home run. ... You don't want to take those instincts out of a guy, so within the scheme, you want to use those instincts. And I think Mason is getting better and better, and we need him to.''

Fantasy Football Player Notes RSS FeedPLAYER NOTES

Ryan SuccopSep 1 04:22p

The Tennessee Titans signed free-agent PK Ryan Succop (Chiefs) to an undisclosed deal and released PK Travis Coons Monday, Sept. 1.

Josh ScobeeSep 1 11:43a

Jacksonville Jaguars WR Allen Robinson (hamstring), DT Sen'Derrick Marks (shoulder), PK Josh Scobee (quadriceps) and OT Zane Beadles (undisclosed) are practicing Monday, Sept. 1.

Larry DonnellSep 1 11:43a

New York Giants TE Larry Donnell is the starting tight end on the team's unofficial depth chart. TE Daniel Fells and Adrien Robinson are second- and third-string, respectively.

Quintin DempsSep 1 11:23a

New York Giants SS Quintin Demps is the lead kick returner, while WR Preston Parker is the lead punt returner.

Ben TateSep 1 10:52a

Cleveland Browns RB Ben Tate is expected to stay on the field on third downs, according to head coach Mike Pettine. This is good news for his PPR [ More ]

Charles BrownSep 1 10:43a

New York Giants OT Charles Brown (shoulder) and OT James Brewer (back) returned to practice Monday, Sept. 1.

Ahmad DixonSep 1 10:22a

The Dallas Cowboys released SS Ahmad Dixon.

Lonnie PryorSep 1 09:52a

The Buffalo Bills signed free-agent FB Lonnie Pryor (Buccaneers) and OG D.J. Morrell (Rams) to the practice squad.

Tony HillsSep 1 09:32a

The Miami Dolphins signed free-agent LB David Hinds (Titans), TE Jacob Maxwell (Lions), CB Lowell Rose (Chargers) and WR Tommy Streeter (Buccaneers) to the practice squad. C Sam Brenner, [ More ]

Emil IgwenaguSep 1 03:53a

In addition to the previously announced signings of TE Michael Egnew and RB George Winn, the Detroit Lions inked OG Rodney Austin, FB Emil Igwenagu, S Nate Ness, WR [ More ]

Chase FordSep 1 03:42a

Nine players were signed to the Minnesota Vikings practice squad on Sunday, Aug. 31. Players joining the squad include RB Joe Banyard, WR Kain Colter, DT Isame Faciane, TE [ More ]

D.J. SmithSep 1 03:33a

The Carolina Panthers brought 10 players onto their practice squad on Sunday, Aug. 31. Players signed were CB Carrington Byndom, LB Adarius Glanton, WR Tavarres King, SS Robert Lester, [ More ]

Trevin WadeSep 1 03:22a

The New Orleans Saints signed six players to their practice squad on Sunday, Aug. 31. Signees include WR Brandon Coleman, CB Terrence Frederick, WR Seantavius Jones, OT Tavon Rooks, [ More ]

Champ BaileySep 1 02:52a

Although the New York Jets are in need of cornerbacks, they are unlikely to pursue free-agent CB Champ Bailey, who was cut by the New Orleans Saints on Saturday, [ More ]

Dee MillinerSep 1 01:02a

New York Jets CB Darrin Walls and FS Antonio Allen could start at cornerback Week 1 because of the injury to CB Dee Milliner (ankle).

Jeromey ClarySep 1 12:23a

San Diego Chargers OG Jeromey Clary (shoulder, hip) underwent hip surgery around a week ago, and his status for the 2014 season is uncertain, according to sources. Clary has [ More ]

Ryan SuccopSep 1 12:12a

Free-agent PK Ryan Succop (Chiefs) is receiving significant interest from the Tennessee Titans and could sign with them as early as Monday, Sept. 1, according to a source.

Kenjon BarnerSep 1 12:02a

Philadelphia Eagles RB Kenjon Barner (ankle) was placed on the Reserve/Injured list Sunday, Aug. 31, after he was waived/injured Saturday, Aug. 30.

Vincent BrownSep 1 12:02a

San Diego Chargers WR Vincent Brown (calf) was placed on the Reserve/Injured list Sunday, Aug. 31, after he was waived/injured Saturday, Aug. 30.

DeMarcus Van DykeAug 31 11:52p

Kansas City Chiefs CB DeMarcus Van Dyke (undisclosed) was placed on the Reserve/Injured list Sunday, Aug. 31, after he was waived/injured Saturday, Aug. 30.

Jake StoneburnerAug 31 11:32p

Green Bay Packers TE Jake Stoneburner (undisclosed) and OT Aaron Adams (knee) were placed on the Reserve/Injured list Sunday, Aug. 31, after they were waived/injured Saturday, Aug. 30.

M.D. JenningsAug 31 11:22p

Chicago Bears FS M.D. Jennings (undisclosed) was placed on the Reserve/Injured list Sunday, Aug. 31, after he was waived/injured Saturday, Aug. 30.

Steve VallosAug 31 10:33p

The Tennessee Titans released C Steve Vallos Sunday, Aug. 31.

Damian WilliamsAug 31 10:22p

The Miami Dolphins released WR Damian Williams Sunday, Aug. 31.

Mike ThomasAug 31 10:12p

The Houston Texans released WR Mike Thomas Sunday, Aug. 31.

Duke IhenachoAug 31 09:53p

The Washington Redskins have claimed SS Duke Ihenacho off waivers from the Denver Broncos.

Brandon HarrisAug 31 09:53p

The Tennessee Titans have claimed WR T.J. Graham off waivers from the Buffalo Bills, WR Kris Durham from the Detroit Lions and CB Brandon Harris from the Houston Texans.

Garrett GilkeyAug 31 09:42p

The Tampa Bay Buccaneers have claimed OG Garrett Gilkey off waivers from the Cleveland Browns.

MarQueis GrayAug 31 09:32p

The Minnesota Vikings have claimed TE MarQueis Gray off waivers from the Cleveland Browns and OT Michael X. Harris from the San Diego Chargers.

Brandian RossAug 31 09:22p

The Miami Dolphins have claimed CB Brandian Ross off waivers from the Oakland Raiders.

Mickey ShulerAug 31 09:12p

The Jacksonville Jaguars have claimed TE Mickey Shuler off waivers from the Atlanta Falcons.

Damaris JohnsonAug 31 09:12p

The Houston Texans have claimed OT Jeff Adams off waivers from the Tennessee Titans, WR Damaris Johnson from the Philadelphia Eagles and CB Darryl Morris from the San Francisco 49ers.

RSS Feeds

NFL News:
 
Player Notes:
 
Forum Posts:
 

© 2014 RealTime Fantasy Sports, Inc.
Email Us  ·  Call Us 636.447.1170  ·  Lost Password
Advertising represented by USA Today Sports Media Group