Stopping Matty IceNovember 25th, 2012
The signal-caller of the Dixie Chicks can be lethal. The Bucs secondary is lethal — that is lethal to watch. It is ugly beyond words, an NFL-worst outfit. Throw in Eric Wright’s status is very much in doubt for today’s showdown, and there will be a lot of pressure on the Bucs defense to find a way to somehow, someway, throw Matty Ice off of his game.
One would think somehow limiting Matty Ice opportunities to burn the Bucs secondary would be a goal. But alas, it is not, Bucs defensive end Da’Quan Bowers told Joe.
“We want to get him to throw the ball as much as possible,” Bowers said.
This was simply shocking to Joe but Bowers explained it and it is actually smart. Bucs defensive coordinator Bill Sheridan is all about stopping the run and making an opposing offense one-dimensional, in other words, predictable. So, Bowers said, to get Matty Ice to throw the ball virtually every down means the Bucs would have accomplished two of Sheridan’s tenets of defensive football.
Bowers noted that Matty Ice’s release, though very good, is not his greatest asset.
“It’s his pocket presence, knowing where everybody is and knowing where his pocket protection is,” Bowers said. “He’s smart. We have to get pressure on him and get him to the ground.”
Bowers’ defensive line teammate Michael Bennett still is impressed by Ryan’s quick release.
“Matt Ryan gets the ball out pretty quick,” Bennett said. “He has a little bit of everything. He is a vet and he knows where all of his players are. You can stop him but they have other weapons like Michael Turner and Tony Gonzalez, Roddy White and Julio Jones.
“They are passing more.”
Bucs cornerback Leonard Johnson is very impressed.
“He’s just like all the other quarterbacks in this league, he’s very consistent and he has good decision-making skills,” Johnson said. “He has all the attributes that you look for in an NFL quarterback but he is definitely one of the premiere quarterbacks in this league. That’s why he is playing on the level he is playing.”