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Buccaneers defensive capsules

photo
[Times photo:James Borchuck ]
Ronde Barber, right, and Shelton Quarles tie up receiver Keenan McCardell in a preseason scrimmage. Both Barber, who played in the Pro Bowl last season, and Quarles will be counted on to provide plenty of defensive stops this season.

By Times staff
© St. Petersburg Times
published September 6, 2002


Ronde Barber.

  • HT/WT: 5-10, 184.
  • POSITION: Cornerback.
  • COLLEGE: Virginia.
  • HOW ACQ: D3, '97.
  • LAST YEAR: Led NFC with 10 INTs and earned first selection to Pro Bowl.
  • ROLE: Starting right cornerback who needs to become the team's interception leader again after loss of Donnie Abraham.

Derrick Brooks.

  • HT/WT: 6-0, 235.
  • POSITION: Linebacker.
  • COLLEGE: Florida State.
  • HOW ACQ: D1, '95.
  • LAST YEAR: Became all-time leading tackler while earning fifth Pro Bowl selection.
  • ROLE: Leader of a defense that finished sixth overall last season.

Chartric Darby.

  • HT/WT: 6-0, 270.
  • POSITION: Defensive tackle.
  • COLLEGE: South Carolina St.
  • HOW ACQ: Undrafted free agent, 2000.
  • LAST YEAR: Eight tackles, two sacks and a fumble recovery in 13 games.
  • ROLE: Will back up Warren Sapp at defensive tackle.

David Gibson.

  • HT/WT: 6-1, 210.
  • POSITION: Safety.
  • COLLEGE: Southern Cal.
  • HOW ACQ: D6, 2000.
  • LAST YEAR: Nine tackles on defense, 10 special-teams stops and a forced fumble.
  • ROLE: Will back up John Lynch at strong safety.

Jack Golden.

  • HT/WT: 6-1, 240.
  • POSITION: Strongside linebacker.
  • COLLEGE: Oklahoma State.
  • HOW ACQ: Waived NYG.
  • LAST YEAR: Played primarily on special teams for Giants with five stops.
  • ROLE: Special teams, excels in kick coverage.

Buck Gurley.

  • HT/WT: 6-2, 295.
  • POSITION: Defensive tackle.
  • COLLEGE: Florida.
  • HOW ACQ: Free agent, '02.
  • LAST YEAR: Released in training camp by Dolphins. Spent two days on Bears practice squad.
  • ROLE: Back up for Anthony McFarland.

John Howell.

  • HT/WT: 5-11, 204.
  • POSITION: Safety.
  • COLLEGE: Colorado State.
  • HOW ACQ: D4, '01.
  • LAST YEAR: Had 26 tackles on defense and 12 on special teams. Had first career start vs. Pittsburgh and had 13 tackles.
  • ROLE: Will back up Dexter Jackson at free safety.

Corey Ivy.

  • HT/WT: 5-8, 183.
  • POSITION: Cornerback.
  • COLLEGE: Oklahoma.
  • HOW ACQ: Free agent, '01.
  • LAST YEAR: Spent most of the season on practice squad.
  • ROLE: Will back up Brian Kelly at left cornerback and play kick coverage.

Dexter Jackson.

  • HT/WT: 6-1, 203.
  • POSITION: Free safety.
  • COLLEGE: Florida State.
  • HOW ACQ: D4, '99.
  • LAST YEAR: Emerged as a starter and contributed career highs with 4 INTs, 78 tackles, 2.5 sacks and 2 forced fumbles.
  • ROLE: Starting free safety, must provide more turnovers. .

Brian Kelly.

  • HT/WT: 5-11, 193.
  • POSITION: Cornerback.
  • COLLEGE: Southern Cal.
  • HOW ACQ: D2, '98.
  • LAST YEAR: Took over as a starter for Donnie Abraham in Week 6 and had 54 tackles, 1.5 sacks and 8 passes defensed.
  • ROLE: Starting left cornerback who must improve ball skills after no INTs in 2001.

John Lynch.

  • HT/WT: 6-2, 220.
  • POSITION: Strong safety.
  • COLLEGE: Stanford.
  • HOW ACQ: D3, '93.
  • LAST YEAR: Had 105 tackles and three INTs to earn his fourth selection to Pro Bowl.
  • ROLE: Leader of the secondary in his 10th NFL season.

Anthony McFarland.

  • HT/WT: 6-0, 300.
  • POSITION: Nosetackle.
  • COLLEGE: Louisiana State.
  • HOW ACQ: D1, '99.
  • LAST YEAR: Had 59 tackles, 3.5 sacks and 2 passes defensed.
  • ROLE: Starting nosetackle who anchors the Bucs run defense.

Ryan Nece.

  • HT/WT: 5-3, 224.
  • POSITION: Strongside linebacker.
  • COLLEGE: UCLA.
  • HOW ACQ: Undrafted free agent.
  • LAST YEAR: Butkus Award semifinalist as standout linebacker for the Bruins. Ranked third on the team with 53 tackles and scored two defensive touchdowns.
  • ROLE: Will back up Alshermond Singleton at strongside linebacker and contribute on special teams.

Jermaine Phillips.

  • HT/WT: 6-1, 214.
  • POSITION: Free safety.
  • COLLEGE: Georgia.
  • HOW ACQ: D5, '02.
  • LAST YEAR: All-SEC first-team selection and defensive team captain. Finished second on the team with 80 tackles, 3 INTs and 4 forced fumbles.
  • ROLE: Will back up Dexter Jackson at free safety and contribute on special teams.

Shelton Quarles.

  • HT/WT: 6-1, 225.
  • POSITION: Middle linebacker.
  • COLLEGE: Vanderbilt.
  • HOW ACQ: Free agent, '97.
  • LAST YEAR: Started 16 games at strongside linebacker and finished with career-high 77 tackles with 2 sacks and 1 INT.
  • ROLE: Switched to middle linebacker and will make defensive calls. Also will remain on the field in passing situations.

Simeon Rice.

  • HT/WT: 6-5, 268.
  • POSITION: Defensive end.
  • COLLEGE: Illinois.
  • HOW ACQ: Free agent, '01.
  • LAST YEAR: Led team in sacks (11) in his first season with Bucs. Named Defensive Player of the Month for December. His 64 tackles ranked first among defensive linemen.
  • ROLE: Rice should improve his sack total in his second year in Bucs system.

Warren Sapp.

  • HT/WT: 6-2, 303.
  • POSITION: Defensive tackle.
  • COLLEGE: Miami.
  • HOW ACQ: D1, '95.
  • LAST YEAR: Struggled with a torn rotator cuff but had six sacks and was named to fifth straight Pro Bowl.
  • ROLE: Needs to return to 2000 form, when he was named Defensive Player of the Year with career-high 16.5 sacks.

Alshermond Singleton.

  • HT/WT: 6-2, 228.
  • POSITION: Strongside linebacker.
  • COLLEGE: Temple.
  • HOW ACQ: D4, '97.
  • LAST YEAR: Came off bench in all 16 games for 32 tackles and one sack. Also had 10 special-teams tackles.
  • ROLE: Has earned role as starter at strongside linebacker, taking over for Shelton Quarles.

Corey Smith.

  • HT/WT: Defensive end.
  • POSITION: 6-2, 250.
  • COLLEGE: N.C. State.
  • HOW ACQ: Undrafted free agent, '02.
  • LAST YEAR: Had 54 tackles, 6 sacks and 6 forced fumbles as a senior for the Wolfpack.
  • ROLE: Will back up Simeon Rice on right defensive end.

Dwight Smith.

  • HT/WT: 5-10, 201.
  • POSITION: Cornerback.
  • COLLEGE: Akron.
  • HOW ACQ: D3, '01.
  • LAST YEAR: Had 22 special-teams tackles, most for a defensive back in the NFL.
  • ROLE: Will play nickel back in passing situations.

Justin Smith

  • HT/WT: 6-0, 218.
  • POSITION: Linebacker.
  • COLLEGE: Indiana.
  • NFL EXPERIENCE: Rookie.
  • HOW ACQUIRED: Free agent, '02.
  • ROLE:

Greg Spires.

  • HT/WT: 6-1, 265.
  • POSITION: Defensive end.
  • COLLEGE: Florida State.
  • HOW ACQ: Free agent, '02.
  • LAST YEAR: Started four games for the Browns with 32 tackles and four sacks.
  • ROLE: Will begin season as starter at left defensive end for injured Marcus Jones.

Tim Wansley.

  • HT/WT: 5-8, 180.
  • POSITION: Cornerback.
  • COLLEGE: Georgia.
  • HOW ACQ: D7, '02.
  • LAST YEAR: First team All-SEC selection and had 69 tackles with two INTs.
  • ROLE: Will back up cornerback Ronde Barber and serve on kick coverage teams.
photo Bucs linebacker Nate Webster will start the season as a backup and likely play most on special teams.

[Times photo:
Toni L. Sandys]

Nate Webster.

  • HT/WT: 6-0, 230.
  • POSITION: Linebacker.
  • COLLEGE: Miami.
  • HOW ACQ: D3, 2000.
  • LAST YEAR: Split time at middle linebacker with Jamie Duncan, had one start. Finished 10th on team with 53 tackles.
  • ROLE: Will back up Shelton Quarles at middle linebacker and contribute on special teams.

Ellis Wyms.

  • HT/WT: 6-3, 279.
  • POSITION: Defensive end.
  • COLLEGE: Mississippi State.
  • HOW ACQ: D6, '01.
  • LAST YEAR: Played in four games and the playoff game at Philadelphia. Had seven tackles.
  • ROLE: Will back up Greg Spires at left defensive end.

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