Oct 20, 2013; Jacksonville, FL, USA; San Diego Chargers outside linebacker Larry English (51) during the first half of the game against the Jacksonville Jaguars at EverBank Field. Mandatory Credit: Melina Vastola-USA TODAY Sports

Tampa Bay Buccaneers sign Larry English

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It’s probably been a while since you heard the name Larry English, though a few years ago the linebacker was all the rage coming out of Northern Illinois. In fact, the hype surrounding English was so massive the San Diego Chargers shocked many and drafted him with the 16th pick in the first round.

Hoping his unique combination of speed and a massive frame would replace Shawne Merriman, San Diego took the risk and it appeared to pay off as Larry English had a solid rookie NFL season. Sadly, that’s where things took a downward spiral as English struggled to remain healthy after the fact and even when he was on the field, the results were extremely sub-par.

San Diego cut ties with English earlier this offseason but the Tampa Bay Buccaneers decided he was worth the risk and signed him on Thursday morning.

Tampa, who runs a 4-3 under Lovie Smith will turn Larry English into a defensive end, so it should be interesting to see if the positional change will be beneficial towards English moving forward. With the Chargers the former NIU talent played linebacker.

There’s really little reason for the Tampa Bay Buccaneers not to take a flier on the former first-round pick as there is always the chance he could turn things around. He’s been a disappointment, yes, but he showed that he could play (even if in nothing more than a backup role) in the NFL during his rookie season. It’s doubtful Tampa catches lightning in a bottle, but no harm in trying.

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