When Tampa began this rebuilding process, they released a lot of Vets. 1 of the biggest names and hardest to replaced was Mr. Derrick Brooks. Tampa did not sign a big time free agent, or draft a LB in the past 2 years to replace him. Instead they turned to a guy who was already making plays while Brooks was on the team, his name is Geno Hayes. Geno did not get handed the job in fact, Jermaine Phillips was the guy who was called upon to replace Brooks at first. But due to some concerns in the secondary at the start of the 2009-2010 season, Geno got the job and never looked back.
Geno is a 6'1 220 pound linebacker, what he lacks in weight he makes up for in athleticism and at the age of 22 he is bound to get bigger. Another reason why his weight does not affect his production is because he plays with ruthless aggression. Geno has been a long time Buc fan dating back to his high school days, he knows what it takes to be a Buc and is already putting in the hard work. At FSU a school know for producing a wealth of talented athletic LBs, Geno has been regarded as 1 of the best LB to come through the program.
" The Ultimate Guide to NFL Defense" (http://subscribers.footballguys.com/2009/09bramel_idpguide.php) says that an WLB in the Tampa2 has to be rangy with the ability to tackle. Geno has some of the best range at his position and he is a good wrap up tackler. The article also brings out the WLB coverage responsibilities are high because he takes up some of the space that is left by the MLB dropping to the middle of the field, and how the under tackle and nose tackle spills plays toward the WLB position, this puts the WLB in position to make tons of plays. This is evident by the numbers Geno put up last year, he was the only Buc with a stat in all 8 defensive statical categories last year. With better play from the nose and under tackle position Geno will make even more plays.
Geno has made the lost of Brooks a smooth transition. He is a playmaker who will only get better, and is willing to put in the hard work to get better. The WLB is a big clog to our defense a playmaker needs to be in this position, and I think Hayes will turn into 1 of the best playmakers in the league. Opposing teams better be ware this guy is young and hungry, and with better production around him he will not be known as Geno Hayes but by Geno The Great.