It's the day you've all been waiting for! We are finally revealing the last player in our Bucs Anonymous series. All throughout training camp and the preseason, we've introduced three mystery players and subsequently dropped hints at their identities. Week by week we've revealed two of the three and now it's time for Player A.
Player A is…. OLB Devante Bond!
Last week a lot of the clues revolved around Player A's position change. If you had been paying attention to the news coming out of AdventHealth Training Center, or watched the preseason game against the Miami Dolphins, you would have been clued into the fact that Bond had made the switch to outside linebacker from inside linebacker.
While the difference in title is only one word, the two positions are actually pretty different. Bond has been an inside backer since he entered the league in 2017. Playing in the Bucs' 4-3 defense, he was classified mostly as a strong side linebacker. However, at the beginning of training camp, Bond was even getting looks at the Mike linebacker spot in the Bucs' now 3-4 base, in which there are only two inside linebackers. The Mike is responsible more often than not for making the calls on the field. It means that they have to know a little bit of everyone's job, not just their own. It was a learning curve for Bond, who had never made calls – even in college. Though it didn't last, the experience at Mike linebacker did pay off when he made the switch to the outside – a role he actually did play in college.
Bond came off the edge at Oklahoma and that, coupled with his understanding of the role from what he learned being the Mike linebacker initially, helped him become immediately effective. In last weekend's game against the Dolphins, Bond registered a sack along with a pass broken up as he swatted down a ball just after it left Miami quarterback Josh Rosen's hand.
Unfortunately for Bond, he's been sidelined with an injury and was unable to play against Cleveland. He won't play against Dallas, either. Provided he makes the team, which seems likely given his newfound versatility and special teams role, we'll get to see something a little bit different from the third-year player in 2019.
Player B a.k.a. D'Cota Dixon
Player C a.k.a. Dare Ogunbowale
Thanks for playing along with this series! And congratulations to the couple of you who I saw get it right on Twitter, including this person below. Hope you enjoyed it as much as I did!
The countdown to season kickoff is on! The Bucs are kicking off the NFL's 100th season with a FREE Tim McGraw pregame concert for all fans with a ticket to the home opener on Sept. 8! Get your tickets today.