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Preseason reactions: Battle at outside linebacker

With Bond sitting this one out, Taylor gets a chance to further separate himself from the pack.

NFL: Tampa Bay Buccaneers at Miami Dolphins Steve Mitchell-USA TODAY Sports

Earlier this off-season we took a look at the battle between Adarius Taylor and Devante Bond outside looking to hold down the fort until Kendell Beckwith returns from injury. Devante Bond was unavailable last night for the Buccaneers which gave way to Adarius Taylor getting an early lead and a chance to separate himself from the rest.

Taylor landed himself an assist on a tackle and his overall versatility netting him the ability to fill in at any of the three spots at linebacker have almost certainly locked up his role as the starter opposite of Lavonte David. Some other players last night looked to make a name for themselves and work their way up the depth charts. Rookie linebacker Jack Cichy, South Florida’s own Nigel Harris and Syracuse’s own Cameron Lynch all had their own contributions on defense.

Cichy saw his first action as an NFL player after tearing his ACL this past year in college. Cichy moved well in his first game action and recorded a solo tackle and an assist. Cichy fell down the line in the draft after some injury recovery and uncertainty but sure has looked the part of a late round gem for the Buccaneers.

Harris, who many fans will recognize from his days flying around the South Florida Bull’s defense, had himself a ball game as well. Harris finished with two solo tackles and an assist as he tries to assure himself a roster spot on this defense. Harris is in his second year in the league and finished his rookie year with the Buccaneers after bouncing around from the Chargers and Giants before landing back in Tampa.

Cameron Lynch had a solid debut to the season as well as he racked up a solo tackle and two assists. Lynch will also be battling it out amidst the backups for a roster spot. Lynch is entering his 5th NFL season and 3rd overall with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers after spending last season with the Rams. Lynch will get most of his work on special teams should he make the roster but none the less, he’s another name to watch as the team looks to round out the depth on this linebacker group given the recent injury history among the starters.

Overall, the linebackers played a solid game against the Dolphins and with the help up front, should have a very productive season overall. Adarius Taylor has a stronghold on the vacant spot left by Beckwith and that is sure to remain the case into week one. Jack Cichy returning and playing healthy is something to watch as this team has a chance to be relatively deep at the position as the season approaches.