The Buccaneers defense started to come together in the 2nd half of last season, but there was still something missing. Yes, players started to understand the defense better, which allowed them to simply react on the field, but the defense lacked intimidation and inspiration.
Dashon Goldson was supposed to be that type of player for the Bucs. Goldson was flagged far too often and didn't make near the amount of impact plays. Goldson was finally sent packing this off-season, but that didn't alter the Bucs decision to claim his clone.
D.J. Swearinger was waived by the Texans this off-season, just a few years removed from being drafted by that same team. Initially, the rumors were that Swearinger's release came from his unwillingness to play special teams. This is a claim he has vehemently denied. The team with the top waiver position, the Bucs, claimed him immediately.
“He’s a very smart football player, starting off with that," Lovie Smith said of his new safety. "We feel like we picked up a draft pick by getting a player like that. He can play the run. Again, good instincts, smart, everything you want to see a guy do, running around in underwear, he has been able to do well. His strong suit is supposed to be when he gets in pads, so we like him being on the team.”
Swearinger is a big time hitter in the secondary. While that might not have worked out well for Dashon Goldson, Swearinger is much younger and much cheaper than the Bucs former safety. If Swearinger can alter games with impact plays and a sense of intimidation in the defensive backfield without committing dumb penalties, Swearinger will be much better than Goldson ever was for the Buccaneers.
I fully anticipate Swearinger becoming a starter in the Bucs defense, and being another young piece to a growing group.Subscribe to The Commish Online Podcast on iTunes!
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