Negative Yardage A Major Positive For BucsNovember 16th, 2012
When Bucs coach Greg Schiano was hired as to take over the Pewter Pirates, he went on SiriusXM NFL Radio and was appalled at the Bucs rush defense and said giving up on running plays was simply “unacceptable.”
So Schiano jumped in the defensive pool with both feet to turn around the Bucs rush defense, and he has. The Bucs have gone virtually not from worst to first, but from grotesque to envious.
Now some have suggested that the attention to detail on the run has come at the expense of the pass defense, which has been woeful for the Bucs. However, eye-RAH! Kaufman of the Tampa Tribune dug up a stat that begs to differ.
@IKaufmanTBO: When Buc opponents face 3rd-and-11 or longer, they have converted only 3-of-34 opportunities. That’s why all those tackles for loss are key
It’s an interesting point. Now, sure, if you get a tackle for a loss it stunts a drive by the offense. That goes without saying. It’s almost like a penalty.
But the figure Kaufman offers is striking, and considering it deals with one of the worst pass defenses in the NFL, it’s more striking to Joe.
Let’s not pretend otherwise: the pass defense has cost the Bucs at least two wins, likely three wins and may just be the difference in a playoff appearance or the Bucs watching the playoffs on TV.
If an offense struggles that badly against a pass-awful defense, then Joe can see why Schiano is so adamant that the Bucs focus on choking opponents’ run games.