I know what you’re thinking, how can Josh McCown play this week if head coach Lovie Smith said Mike Glennon would most likely start again? Well, he’s not. Instead it’s the quarterback of the defense -- linebacker Mason Foster -- who may be able to hit the field of play this week at Raymond James Stadium against the Baltimore Ravens.
Foster was listed as a full participant in Wednesday’s injury report and Smith sounds like he is relieved to see his defensive signal caller as a full-go at practice.
“Mason Foster was a full participant today,” said Smith. “And with his shoulder, yes, in order to do that, we felt pretty good about that.
“He was able to do everything today. And of course that’s always a good sign whenever you can get your Mike linebacker out there. You miss your Mike linebacker; it’s like a quarterback. You miss your quarterback. A guy that defensive players have been hearing; Mason knows the defense. Communication has been a problem for us a little bit.”
I spoke with Foster heading into Week 1 of the regular season. He said that with an entire offseason to learn a new defense and call the plays had him better prepared than any previous season. The fourth-year linebacker out of Washington was instructed to call the plays his rookie season during a lockout shortened offseason. Then had that responsibility taken away by former head coach Greg Schiano the following two seasons.
Foster dislocated his shoulder during Tampa Bay’s Week 2 matchup at home against the St. Louis Rams. Since then, the defense has not looked good in many ways and Smith referencing communication problems is a good indicator that Foster has been missed.
Not one man will make or break a defense, but they can certainly contribute in many ways. Foster is one of those guys that play a big role in the style of defense Smith has installed. With his return, there he a chance the defense improves.
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