Pass Rushers Were Devalued In Bucs DefenseFebruary 25th, 2013
The Bucs blitzed, blitzed and blitzed some more last season under the New Schiano Order defense. It did wonders for run-stuffing, but the pass defense was historically heinous.
Some scrutinize the Bucs’ pass rush and assign them a load of blame, but don’t place former Bucs defensive end Steve White (1996-2001) in that camp. For Bucs fans unaware, White breaks down Bucs defensive line play like no other.
Speaking to Tom Krasniqi of WDAE-AM 620 over the weekend, White explained that unless the Bucs lose their blitzing mindset, like they did successfully against the Falcons in Week 17, then there’s no reason to stockpile premier pass rushers.
“We turned into Blitzburgh City South last year for some reason about the middle of the season. And when you blitz that much, unless you’re blitzing in a way where you defensive end is going to come off free, your defensive line isn’t supposed to be the one who gets the sacks. We just didn’t have anybody that could blitz, which is once again an indictment of our secondary,” White said. “And so if you’re going to blitz that way, I’d put a much higher premium on secondary guys because we’re going to need, you know, guys who can basically stand up out there one-on-one, play after play, and we don’t have that right now. We have cover-2 corners for the most part; we’re going to have to find some man corners and man up if we’re going to blitz that much.
“Or, we can do like we did in the Atlanta game at the end of the season, not blitz as much, have a lot more success just rushing four, and do alright. We started off the season that way. Then we got out of whack against the Giants and started blitzing every play and then Eli Manning roasted us for over 500 yard. And somehow we watched that film and said, ‘Hey, that’s something we should keep doing for the rest of the season.’
“My thing about it is if you’re going to blitz, you gotta pick your poison, if you’re going to blitz that much, you really don’t need premier pass rusher up front anyway because you’re not going to blitz them. You’re going to waste them stunting them inside and stuff like that so your corners and your linebackers can come in off the edge and get pressure. Or you do like we used to do, get better secondary guys, even for cover-2, and let the front four guys rush.”
White went on to say re-signing Michael Bennett should be a Bucs priority, but White said he can envision a scenario in which the Bucs brass believes Da’Quan Bowers would capably replace Bennett allow Bennett to walk if his price isn’t right.
White cautioned that Bennett rushes very well inside on third downs, an aspect of his game that would have to replaced, and not an area where Bowers has proved himself.