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Theater of Operations, Florida Gators Season Review: The BUCK Position

For previous editions of Theater of Operations' Season Review, please see bottom of article. Please also note, that is was written prior to the addition of Dante Fowler Jr.

Every once in a while, a player comes along that is just born to play a certain role on a football team. Ronald Powell is such a player. He was born to play the BUCK role, the team is irrelevant. Though I'm quite happy with his decision to wear the orange and blue, I'm sure he'd be an All-American caliber player on whatever college team he chose. While not quite as versatile as Elijah Williams (who I will argue to the death, was the most versatile player the Gators have had since 1990), Powell fills multiple rolls on the defensive side of the ball.

While other players have certainly put in their time at the BUCK role (which, for those who are unfamiliar with the term, it's basically a roving linebacker that is fast enough to rush the quarterback and drop back into coverage if needed), like say, Michael Taylor, Powell has without a shred of doubt, made the position his.

Yes, I know the coaches said they needed more out of Powell at the position, but I'm not seeing a player on the roster now, or even in 2013, that can take the job away from him.

Powell ended the year with thirty-two total tackles, nine tackles for loss, six sacks and a forced fumble. He also had three quarterback hurries on the year as well. He did miss the Auburn game with an injury, so only take twelve games in account when your looking at those statistics.

Play No. 1: Powell's sack on Georgia quarterback Aaron Murray:

(Photo courtesy of the SEC Digital Network)

Powell (yellow circle) plays the BUCK role perfect here. He starts off in a rush stance, but will end up playing more of a coverage role.


(Photo courtesy of the SEC Digital Network)

Powell (left yellow circle) plays this perfectly. He waits to see the result of the play-action, knowing that if Murray (green square) keeps the ball, he is his man.


(Photo courtesy of the SEC Digital Network)

At this moment, Powell (right yellow circle) begins his pursuit of Murray (right green circle). You can see that Jelani Jenkins (left yellow circle) has great coverage on the tight end. I believe it is Orson Charles (left green circle).


(Photo courtesy of the SEC Digital Network)

I'm pretty sure, that when Powell gets this close to you (yellow square), you aren't getting away.


(Photo courtesy of the SEC Digital Network)

Excellent play by Powell (yellow square). He shows the ability to wait in coverage, and then attack the quarterback who is rolling out to his right.

Play No. 2: Powell's sack on Vanderbilt quarterback Jordan Rogers:


(Photo courtesy of ESPN)

This time, Powell (yellow circle) will be rushing the quarterback. He uses great technique to get past the left tackle.


(Photo courtesy of ESPN)

Powell does a little swim move and then uses his speed to get the inside advantage of the left tackle (yellow square). At this moment, he has the left tackle beat.


(Photo courtesy of ESPN)

The race is on.


(Photo courtesy of ESPN)

As Powell gets the sack (small yellow square), Rogers throws the ball (red circle) away. There is a problem with that though. The ball isn't near a receiver and it doesn't reach the line of scrimmage (big yellow square). This results in an intentional grounding penalty, which the Gators accept.

Play No. 3: Powell's sack on E.J. Manuel of Florida State:


(Photo courtesy of ESPN)

Once again, Powell (yellow circle) is just going to rush the quarterback.


(Photo courtesy of ESPN)

Powell hasn't quite gotten past the left tackle yet (yellow square), but the longer the play takes, thanks to the coverage by the defensive backs, the better I like Powell's chances of beating the block.


(Photo courtesy of ESPN)

At the same time that Powell beats his block (yellow square), Manuel (green circle) is shifting to the right.


(Photo courtesy of ESPN)

Which of course results in a sack.

Play No. 4: Powell's coverage on Jermaine Thomas of Florida State:


(Photo courtesy of ESPN)

This play is beautiful to watch. Powell (yellow circle) provides the coverage of Thomas (green circle) needed to make the result of the play, happen.


(Photo courtesy of ESPN)

Powell (yellow circle) begins to rush, but read the play-action and heads into coverage.


(Photo courtesy of ESPN)

Manuel wants to throw the ball to Thomas, but Powell has his covered (yellow square). The result of the play is a sack by Jaye Howard.

While there is no denying that it took Powell about half the season to get accustomed to his new role, I still think he'll be fine. Especially now that he has a full year of practice under his belt, and the fact that he'll be focused on it all off-season, spring and summer. He should be ready to go at full force this fall. Starting of course, with Bowling Green.

Previous Season Review editions of Theater of Operations: Quarterbacks (parts one, two, three), running backs (parts one, two, three), tight ends (one part), wide receivers (parts one, two), offensive line (parts one, two) and defensive line (parts one, two, three).