The Tampa Bay Buccaneers have to get pressure on the quarterback to succeed in Lovie Smith's defense. His style of coaching allows players to take risks and gamble for turnovers, but that hinges on the success of the front-four as quarterback disruptors.
Which is why the Buccaneers have had a seemingly infinite stream of defensive linemen coming in and out of training camp this year. The latest addition is former Chargers first-round pick Larry English, an edge rusher from Northern Illinois who was often sidelined due to injury concerns and never lived up to his potential.
Scott Smith was the first to report the transaction, naming English as a defensive end (at 255 pounds he was certainly too big to be considered a linebacker on a Lovie Smith team), and passing along news of the release of injured defensive lineman Jibreel Black to make room on the roster.
English was a two-time defensive player of the year in the MAC, racking up 31.5 sacks during his college career. He was a pure speed rusher with a nice compliment of moves, but wasn't seen as a "hand in the dirt" player according to his NFL.com draft profile.
Since entering the NFL, English has only played in 52 games, starting nine, and has picked up only 11 sacks along the way. Injuries have derailed his career as much as a lack of production, as he's played in fewer than 10 games in more than half of his NFL seasons.
But if he's healthy, he provides a speed rusher in the same mold as Steven Means to compete in camp and possibly make the roster. With Da'Quan Bowers kicking inside, the Buccaneers are in the market for another defensive end behind Michael Johnson, Adrian Clayborn, William Gholston and the aforementioned Means.
In fact, we could see a veteran like English dominate against backups in the preseason and have a "Trevor Scott" impact, only to see the same fate as Scott last year and not become a part of the roster in the regular season. There is a sliver of hope that there's untapped potential in English, however, and Lovie Smith has a couple of weeks to see if he can harness that upside.
Edit by Sander: 96 roster moves now.