DT Dilemma

Thin is the last word one would use to describe defensive tackles, but the Bucs will until they find another one. Anthony McFarland and Chartric Darby are quality starters. The problem is, they can't play every down. The three other DT's on the roster have accumulated 14 tackles in the NFL between them.

Darrell Russell forced the Bucs to cut him when he tested positive for alcohol to violate the NFL's substance abuse policy for an amazing seventh time. Russell has given DeVone Claybrooks, Damian Gregory, and Cleveland Pinkney a chance to establish themselves, but that is where the positive fallout ends. The Bucs have until 4:00 P.M. EST on July 22 to sign free agents away from other clubs to bolster the defensive tackle position.

Glen Steele, Chester McGlockton, Dana Stubblefield, and Jim Flanigan are available, but beyond that the pickings are slim. If one of these veterans will accept a near minimum offer the Bucs will be better off than they were with Russell. The clock is ticking, and the Bucs desperately need to make a move before they take on their running back stuffed schedule.

The Buccaneers' defensive line will be under a microscope this year because of the departure of Warren Sapp. It will not take long to alienate fans if the defensive line does not hold. Early in the season the starters should be able to carry most of the load, but as the season wears on they will need help that the reserves have not yet proven they can give.


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