When And When Not To Pull UpNovember 21st, 2013
Joe is sure most Bucs fans have seen the great NFL Films clip of Gerald McCoy mic’ed up against Atlanta. In the video, GMC along with Adrian Clayborn both pulled up on Matty Ice when each mistakenly thought Matty Ice had thrown a pass.
Matty Ice pulled away from GMC’s grasp and escaped. Both GMC and Clayborn didn’t realize this until it was too late.
GMC was upset because that would-be sack would have given him a franchise record four for a game. You can hear GMC say, “Not even 99 had four,” clearly referring to Hall of Famer Warren Sapp.
Joe knows why the duo didn’t bring Ryan down. With the NFL players protecting NFL quarterbacks like a bottle of nitroglycerin, defenders have become conditioned to, when in doubt, not even breathe on a quarterback.
That was exactly the case with Clayborn and GMC.
“Me, just getting a penalty I guess like two series before that, I was kind of hesitant about hitting him too hard so I kind of pulled up a little bit,” Clayborn said of the non-Matty Ice sack. “It is a lesson to itself. Whatever you do, keep it legal but still try to make the play. It is hard, but we have to play within NFL rules that are [in effect] these days.
“It is a split second decision how to gauge if he is going to move and whether to hit him high or him low. We are still working on it, obviously.
“I promise next time I will not hold up. I’m not missing a sack like that again.”
Fortunately for the Bucs, the game was already in hand by that time and Matty Ice escaping meant little to the outcome of the game. But what if the game was close or even tied? And by escaping Matty Ice was able to make a play to keep a drive alive for a winning score?
This nonsense of babying quarterbacks beyond reason could — if it hasn’t happened yet – decide outcomes of games.