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Why the Tampa Bay Buccaneers will want to re-sign their players: Mental Mistakes

Mental mistakes have been a big part of why the Bucs have struggled to contain the run these past seasons. At its core, it takes just one player to be out of position for the run defense to break down. That's what happens when you run a one-gap defense. 

While the Buccaneers have had many mental mistakes these past seasons, the number of mental mistakes will only increase if a number of core defenders are not re-signed. It takes time for players to assimilate a defense, play fast and learn to be in the right position consistently. Barrett Ruud, Adam Hayward and Quincy Black have been in this defense for years now, and know how to play in it. They aren't perfect, but they are going to play with a lot fewer mental mistakes than less-experienced players. 

And that's why the Bucs will want to re-sign them. As the offseason gets shorter and shorter, there will be less and less time to get new players familiar with the defense. Starting rookies will  necessarily force Raheem Morris to call simpler defenses. More than that, players will have to learn on the fly what their assignments are going to be. And with little experience and no time to learn, they will have mental lapses, and that will lead to big plays given up. That's not something any defense can use. 

The Bucs may not want some of these players as long-term starters, but if they want to fix the run defense they need to eliminate mental mistakes, and starting rookies is not going to help them do that.