Mason Foster is certainly a very different type of middle linebacker

TAMPA, FL - AUGUST 18: Linebacker Mason Foster #59 of the Tampa Bay Buccaneers watches his team from the bench against the New England Patriots during a preseason game at Raymond James Stadium on August 18, 2011 in Tampa, Florida. (Photo by J. Meric/Getty Images)

When Barrett Ruud was still the starting middle linebacker, a host of fans complained about his soft play. He couldn't (or wouldn't) hit people. He knew the defense, he was very effective with his audibles, but he was a drag-down tackler and was pretty much useless as a blitzer. It appears that those fans were on the same page as the front office, as the Bucs new middle linebacker is certainly cut from a very different cloth. 

Well, whatever else Mason Foster is, he is at the very least not soft. That man will hit you. And with 'you' I mean Chad Ochocinco. While that hit will most likely be punished with a fine, I have never seen Barrett Ruud go up and hit someone like that, or even attempt to do that. 

And that's what Mason Foster has brought to the table these two games: hitting. He hits people in the running game, he hits people in the passing game, and he will do his best to hit the quarterback as hard as possible.

That brings me to another point: Mason Foster got a lot of snaps against the Patriots with the second team on third down, and he bltized on several of those snaps. And i really liked what I saw: he was fast, decisive, and pushed back offensive linemen. He never got to the quarterback, but he could be a force as a blitzer. 

Now he just has to learn the playbook by heart. 

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