With Tampa Bay Buccaneers second year head coach Raheem Morris, gushing over fourth–year linebacker Quincy Black. At a recent Chamber of Commerce question and answer session and the unceremonious dumping of oft-injured veteran Angelo Crowell. It seems as though Morris, who took over play calling duties in week ten of the 2009 season is looking to build his defense around the athletic and physically gifted Black.
When asked during the Q&A session, which Buccaneer was a sleeper heading into training camp, Morris naturally singled out a player from the defensive side of the ball.
“The guy that has stood out in my mind right now is Quincy Black,” Morris said. “He’s been one of the guys that has been in the building every day and he’s been a positive influence. He’s been making plays on the football field. He’s been a real force. His teammates can attest to that as well.”
Morris after taking over play calling duties realized Black (6-foot-2, 240 pounds) was better suited to play closer to the ball. Thus, Morris began transforming the defensive front, back to an “under” front. The same ‘under” front, former defensive coordinator Monte Kiffin made famous in his first season as the teams defensive play caller in 1996.
“We went a little more under front because of a guy like Quincy Black,” Morris said. “I don’t know if we ever had a linebacker with Quincy Black’s physique, rush ability, how big he is, how strong he is, how physical he is and also fast. We were able to take advantage of some of his strengths.”
Perusing through stats on Pro-football-Reference.com, the last time the Bucs had a player of similar stator and physical ability was Lonnie Marts, who coincidentally had his best statistical season of his 10-year career in ’96 playing in Kiffin’s Tampa 2 “under” front posting career highs in both sacks with 7, and adding 73 total tackles.
To better utilize Black’s physicalness closer to the line of scrimmage. Morris has undoubtedly been tinkering this off-season with incorporating more 3-4 and 3-3-5 schemes to use Black’s natural pass rush prowess and physical presence.