Yep, you read that right. The worst linebackers in the NFL. The absolute worst. At least, that's what Ryan Van Bibber thinks - and I can't really disagree with him. Going into the offseason, it looked like linebacker would be a major concern for the Bucs. None of the linebackers played well last season, and a few of them were so disastrous that I wouldn't hesitate listing them on a list of "worst linebackers in the NFL" - most notably Quincy Black. And to remedy this problem, the Bucs used a late second-round pick on Lavonte David, and a fifth-rounder on Najee Goode. Don't get me wrong, I love David - but this is still an extremely shaky group of players. Fortunately for the Bucs, high-quality linebackers aren't critical to a team's success in a 4-3 defense. But they sure would be nice to have.
Right now, this group looks like it could struggle in 2012. Mason Foster had a rough introduction to the NFL last year, and is penciled in as their starting middle linebacker. Rookie Lavonte David will start on the weakside. Strongside backer Quincy Black is the veteran of the group.
Black-Foster-David. This does not sound like the linebacking corps of legend, or a linebacking corps of the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. Maybe they can grow into that, but I don't see Derrick Brooks or Hardy Nickerson among them.