Invisible Pass Rush & Ineffective BlitzesDecember 1st, 2013
Joe really couldn’t stomach watching the Bucs rush the passer today. It was like watching one of those bad Geico ads over and over when the guys play the banjo to close the commercial. You could just play that damn music while the Bucs defensive line stunts over and over again.
Is there a reason first-round pick Adrian Clayborn can’t rush off the edge? It’s 100 percent clear to Joe the Bucs don’t believe he can.
Clayborn now has four sacks in his last 17 starts, much of them playing alongside a beastly defensive tackle in Gerald McCoy. At what point do we stop making excuses?
The Bucs didn’t sack Cam Newton today, who had averaged just under three sacks taken coming into this game. Despite true studs in their secondary and strong linebacker play and countless blitzes, the Bucs aren’t good at getting to the quarterback. Whether it’s coaching (see line stunts) or subpar defensive ends, it needs to change.
Bucs defensive ends now have seven sacks in 12 games. That’s darn ugly, and Joe’s including one by Dekoda Watson rushing with his hand on the ground in Detroit.
And speaking of Watson, why wasn’t he back rushing the passer today? His athleticism could have helped contain/chase Cam Newton, too.
What sickened Joe most is that a Mike Shula offense — Mike Shula! — seemed to know when and where the Bucs were blitzing. Did Mike Shula just outfox the Bucs’ defense? The Panthers did an awesome job picking everything up.
Joe gets that the Bucs are going to ride with their blitzes. If Greg Schiano returns next season, then Joe sincerely hopes he and rockstar general manager Mark Dominik can find some better blitzers.
Joe will always remember asking Carl Nicks who were the toughest pass rushers he faced and studied in his career. Nicks included Ronde Barber in his answer. Barber, he said, had such refined pass rush moves when he blitzed. Perhaps Ronde can come back for a visit and teach some better blitz techniques.