Through his first three seasons in the NFL, Lavonte David played beside good friend, middle linebacker Mason Foster, but this offseason things have changed. Foster wasn’t re-signed, and the team subsequently replaced him with Cowboy’s free agent Bruce Carter, a player whom they felt better fit the system.
And while David and Foster had a close relationship, the former said that he’s already impressed with Carter’s preparation and is optimistic about a seamless transition into their defense.
“(Carter’s) an athletic player,” David said. “So far he’s been a great guy to be around in the meeting room and weight room, he’s already asking a lot of questions. He’s taken responsibility as far as what he’s supposed to do in the room at his position.
“We’ll be watching film and he’s calling things out for his position so that’s a positive sign. He and Mason are two different types of players. Hopefully he comes in and just picks up where Mason left off, and maybe even does better.”
The linebacking corps was one of the strongest units for Tampa Bay last season, much in part from linebacker coach Hardy Nickerson. Whether it was Danny Lansanah, a former practice squad journeyman, or Orie Lemon and Jason Williams, former special teams players, unknown guys were stepping up and contributing in major ways.
David credits Nickerson for much of last year’s success, and sees a positive future for Carter, who plays the same position as the former linebacker and current coach.
“We have a great coach in Hardy Nickerson so I’m sure that transition won’t be that hard,” David said. “Hardy played the same position (as Carter) so he’s been, from what I’ve seen, getting in Hardy’s ear a lot and asking him a lot of questions, which is a good thing.
“(Carter’s) a great football player from what I’ve seen. I can’t wait to get on the field with him.”
Zach is entering his 3rd year covering the Tampa Bay Buccaneers as a writer for PewterReport.com. Since 2014, he's handled a large part of the beat reporting responsibilities at PR, attending all media gatherings and publishing and promoting content daily. Zach is a native of Sarasota, FL, and a graduate of the University of Tampa. He has also covered high school football for the Tampa Tribune and the NFL for Pro Player Insiders.
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I don’t see Carter as an overall upgrade over Foster and I didn’t care for Foster as a MLB in the Tampa 2. I don’t think Foster was good enough at playing the deep pass at MLB in it and I don’t think Carter is good enough at stopping the run to play MLB in it. We’ll see what they do in the draft to see if Carter is just a stop gap or not in Lovie and Frasier’s eyes.
Could it be that Hardy is being groomed for DL Coach in a year or two?
I think Carter will be a big up grade over Foster. He used to play safety, so his coverage skills are in another class compared to Foster. That’s where Mason was a big liability in the passing game.
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