About Those Stunts…

September 6th, 2013

gerald mccoy 0906

More than a few Bucs fans have thrown their hands in the air in disgust about how the Bucs stunt so much along their defensive front.

Former Bucs defensive lineman Steve White is an outspoken critic of the constant stunting. Joe also remembers Bucs Hall of Famer Warren Sapp incredulously asking Gerald McCoy, “Why are you running over there when the quarterback is over here?” making the case that the shortest distance between two points is a straight line.

In his weekly press conference yesterday, defensive coordinator Bill Sheridan explained the number of stunts isn’t so much to find a hole in the blocking or to find a mismatch or to be cute, but simply to get offensive linemen to whiff on a block.

“The main thing is you’re trying to get misses in the line of scrimmage from a blocking standpoint,” Sheridan said. “A lot of teams are zone blocking or man blocking plays and when we move our guys horizontally; left to right, off an offensive linemen, you’re hoping you get some misses and penetration the line of scrimmage. For the most part, it’s really called for run downs, especially on first and second downs. We’re doing that with the intention of disrupting the run.

The way we do it, because our second level players – even though they have coverage on people – if those guys stay in and block, they end up becoming additional rushers. So a lot of times, especially on first and second down, when those quarterbacks are hanging on to the ball off the play action, we actually end up having additional guys rush in there, you can see that on the film . It’s normally called for a run down. Again, we’re trying to disrupt the blocking patterns and – not just be stationary where they know where we’re going to line up and this is how they’re going to block us. We might be moving inside or outside off the different shades we play. But, again, if they hang onto the ball, – the more guys they keep in, a lot of times we get additional rushers coming in.”

While this may sound good in theory, thus far in practice, it has holes — not the kind the Bucs are looking for.

When it comes to running stunts on the rush, well, the Bucs led the NFL in rushing defense last year.

When it comes to running stunts to get to the quarterback, the results speak for themselves. The Bucs were pathetic at putting quarterbacks on the ground.

Given the fact the Bucs were on the extreme edges of defensive production last year, perhaps a moderation of sorts in the stunts may work to the Bucs’ benefit?

22 Responses to “About Those Stunts…”

  1. TBuc_40 Says:

    I have a feeling that our coaches are pretty smart guys and they can see the stunting didn’t work too well. I think this is just another way to keep other teams guessing. Why else would we stunt a thousand times in preseason games and then only run 4 plays on offense?

  2. You Go Joe Says:

    So we are relying on a fluke for us to get a sack?? I’m sorry I believe in the good old bum rush, then again I’m no coach in the NFL. But these stunts have poor results, I see our players trying to shake of a block or run from the outside to inside VERY slowly. None of our guys have a good spin move to shake players or use of hands to do so. I do hope this stunts disappear, they really don’t utilize our DLine to its potential.

  3. Tampabaybucfan Says:

    When you can’t rush…..stunt
    When you can’t stunt….coach

    I am glad that Sheridan is Butch Davis’ Avatar…..

  4. Touchdown Gus Says:

    Stuntin is a habit

  5. DallasBuc Says:

    We had no dominant pass rushers last year with AC out. With him back we now only have one since bowers seems to be disappointing. We need legit pass rushers for everything to work. This falls on our GM to acquire the talent. Everyone knows the pass rush sucks. We will find out shortly if enough was done to fix it. The stunts are irrelevant.

  6. Jeagan1999 Says:

    Stunts are a technique used to try to surprise and confuse the O-linemen into missing an assignment…HOWEVER when you are doing this all the time it is no longer a surprise and the O-line will adjust to it! I would cut back on the stunts so that they will be more effective when you really need a big stop during a crucial point in the game! IMHO.

  7. tony Says:

    Stunts did work last year is proof if its used for the run game.

  8. tony Says:

    But it does not provide for a good pass rush at all.

  9. RBellBuc Says:

    Again, why do we put so much effort into writing articles that essentially are always questioning or belittling our own team. I’m not asking for Joe to be a cheerleader, I’m just asking for a little more perspective here. Let’s question why the Jets are a dysfunctional team. Let’s beat on them for awhile, I mean c’mon, aren’t they our enemy?

  10. FLBoyInDallas Says:

    Wow, you mean Schiano and Sheridan aren’t idiots who call stunts too much? You mean they know how to be NFL coaches and they have a specific purpose in making these play calls? Amazing. I never would’ve considered that perspective. /sarcasm (for those who need it spelled out)

    Seriously though, if they listen to Joe and back off on the stunts they won’t have the #1 ranked rush defense again this year. You can count on that. Those stunts caused confusion in the o-line’s blocking patterns and frequently blew up their run fits and play calls. I think we should leave the play calling to the experts who managed to take a horrible rush defense and make it #1 in a single season. Sound about right? Yes, it does.

  11. ShutTheBucUp Says:

    I am fine with stunts on obvious run downs, but the 3 man rush and stunts on 3rd down need to go. Just let our guys rush on 3rd down. No games.

  12. BucsfaninChina Says:

    Jets are a train wreck and SHOULD be an easy win- there’s your perspective.

    JoeBUCSFan is about the Bucs, good and bad. If you want all good, about how everyone is a superstar, watch Chucky on MNF.

    Stunts, likewise, were good for the run and crap against the pass. Id expect the presence of Revis will help wean the Bucs off this gimmicky scheme and help them shift to good ole fashioned blitzing. I agree with Sheridan, expect those sack numbers to be up by the end of the year

  13. BirdDoggers Says:

    It’s hard to argue the run defense and whatever they’re using, stunts, rushes, etc. It’s working. In regards to the pass rush, I think stunts waste too much time. I’m more interested to see how much success this years defense will have in general. I would gladly give up a few more yards on the ground if the pass defense and pass rush are significantly better than last year.

  14. RBellBuc Says:

    Now that the team has had one full year in the same defensive scheme and that several of our rookies have also had a full year working in the scheme, and the fact that we should have a secondary now that can at least slow down a receiver, how do we not know for sure that this scheme won’t work even better? It seems people just don’t have any patience to let these things iron themselves out. Always wanting to constantly change things is more disruptive than actually giving whatever it is time to mature or get better.

  15. FLBoyInDallas Says:


  16. Harry Says:

    Amen Joe. One would think the coaches would be smart enough to see when their scheme does not work, but then we all know people who think they are so smart they don’t see the obvious. Maybe the thinking is that because our pass defense is so bad that they are going to complete the pass anyway, so why not rush everyone? Seems logical to me…

  17. joseph mamma Says:

    Coaches that force player’s into a scheme that doesn’t work, don’t last very long in the NFL. Also coaches and coordinators that don’t adjust the scheme well on gameday don’t last either. We’ll see if Schiano and Sheridan know what their doing or not.

  18. 76buc76 Says:

    Stunts phhhh please. The bigger problem was the 5th rusher. Those blitzer’s NEVER got to the QB. They are sent to speed up the QB’s and help out the secondary. But end up hurting because they never get to the QB. Stunting made us the best team in the NFL vs the run. When you see them stunt and it doesn’t work. Everyone say’s “stop the stunting it doesn’t work”. But on the next play if they don’t stunt. Sent a LB or 2. And it doesn’t work it’s just a play gone wrong. If the D-line can’t get to the QB even with blitzer’s. Why not stunt? If you can take away the run but maybe slightly dull the pass rush. Then have those LB back in coverage. (Watching for those dam wideopen crosser’s). I’m still getting used to this blitzing stuff. I rather go back to 4 man rush. Knowing we will only have 20-30 sack’s. With all our guy’s in coverage we can scheme to compinsate. Might have to send foster since he can’t cover haha. Watson is our best cover LB and David has such a knack for shutting down the ball carrier in the backfield. Steven Means was brought in to be the blitzing LBer. I also think the D-line will suprise us this year. If Spence (who PFF deemed as a draft steal following his preseason performance. He schooled their highest rated center week 1) can be a force. I can see Claybourn having 12 sack’s,Bower’s 7, Toe’nessium 7 and 8 between the DT’s. Maybe 1 for a blitzer haha

  19. bucsQcCity Says:

    It was great to have someone ask Sheridan about the stunt. Unfortunately I think that this scheme doesn’t help Bowers. Bowers game is to overpower the Tackle and recreate the line of scrimmage in the backfield. Schiano once said that Bowers is a “Heavy Hands” type of player but making him dance around left and right will clearly not uses its natural ability. In my opinion, guys like Teo will benefit most from this technique.

    My other concern is that these stunts are designed to stop runs (and they have last year) but how many times did stunts on Dline have been called when it was a pass? I hope Lavonte David can reset the defense when he sees that their’s no chance the play is a run.

    We’ll see we have 5th preseason game this weekend to prepare, let see how it goes before panicking..

  20. Couch Fan Says:

    a 5th pre-season game? No no. This is the 1st real game of the year. There are no excuses starting now.

  21. Chef Paul Says:

    I agree Couch. Excuses end today. And we can’t take the Jets lightly. Even though we are just fans and don’t play, and the team probably doesn’t take them lightly, it’s bad luck to get over cocky about a game even as a fan. If that sh!t wasn’t real Bud Light never would have done a bunch of commercials about it.

  22. BuccaneerBonzai Says:

    Joe says
    ” When it comes to running stunts to get to the quarterback, the results speak for themselves. The Bucs were pathetic at putting quarterbacks on the ground.”

    Actually, even though the official sack count was low there were a LOT of very close calls. I believe we would have had a lot more sacks if the secondary had been good enough to buy our line 2 more seconds.

    So I’m not sold that the stunting won’t work. If they stop it and our run defense suffer people will whine about that next.

    I say lets see how it does with a better secondary.