The Return Of The Pass RushDecember 10th, 2013
Joe was going through official game statistics issued by the Bucs and had to do another one of those Bugs Bunny-cartoon double-takes. The Bucs actually racked up seven sacks Sunday.
Shoot, the way things were going this season, Joe was beginning to wonder if the Bucs would even have seven sacks, the pass rush was so non-existent. Four of those sacks came from the embattled Bucs front line Sunday. Even better.
If you think Bucs fans rejoiced in the newfound pass rush, imagine what Bucs commander Greg Schiano thought.
“The guys did a really good job, whether it was three-man, four-man, or blitz pressure, guys executed the plan,” Schiano said. “I think, as always, it goes coverage and pressure together. I thought our guys did a pretty good job with eye discipline and that’s something we’ve really been talking about, putting your eyes on your work and sticking to your job, do your job and we did it pretty well yesterday. The good thing is that the pressure – the sacks and the pressures, it wasn’t just one or two guys it was spread out amongst the group, that’s what you look for.”
The sacks don’t take into account the number of times the Bucs pressured Bills quarterback EJ Manuel, which can be better than sacks.
“Sacks, hurries, and hits, they’re different levels but they effect maybe ball delivery before they want, maybe ball delivery at a different angle which leads to an interception. Because of the number of interceptions we’ve had in the secondary I think it all goes hand in hand with the pass rush.”
Has the defense turned the corner into forcing sacks? Well, as Schiano hinted, things work hand-in-hand with the defense. There is no question the secondary is playing it’s best ball of the season. Darrelle Revis is close to 100 percent. Dashon Goldson is healthy. Mark Barron is solid and Johnthan Banks seems to be developing into a really strong corner.
Good coverage means the quarterback has to hold on to the ball a little longer and, thus, defensive linemen have a bit more time to bring the quarterback to his knees.