Defense May Get Worse Before ImprovingJuly 22nd, 2010
While Joe has high hopes for the Bucs defense and is generally excited about the two rookie defensive tackles Mark Dominik drafted last April, Joe knows, and is generally frightened, that the Bucs are relying too heavily on too many rookies.
Seems as though good guy and semi-regular (?) Joe reader Tom Jones of the St. Petersburg Times agrees with Joe. In a recent live chat on his paper’s site, Jones pointed out that the Bucs defense could take a step back while waiting for the rooks to season.
2 rookie DT’s mean some growing pains on the D-line. Will we suffer more in the run defense or QB pressures as these guys get their feet wet?
Good analysis. You’re right. There will be some growing pains for sure. When you talk to football people, they always say (somewhat surprisingly) that it’s more difficult to adjust to playing run defense than pass defense. Pass defense is simple: lower your head and go after the quarterback. But run defense takes discipline to stay in your gaps, etc. So, I would say run defense could be an issue more than pass defense in the early going for the young DTs.
As Pat Kirwan of NFL.com and Sirius NFL Radio has pointed out, rookie defensive tackles struggle more often than they shine.
In short, if Gerald McCoy and/or Brian Price can rack up 30 tackles and three sacks, for a rookie, those are good numbers and will be a good season.