Needing An Edge RusherJanuary 19th, 2014
Joe knows there are Bucs fans who have gone through the ringer so badly wanting an edge rusher, they drank countless beers and drained untold bottles of Ketel One, and had to go through AA to help resolve their issues.
The final straw for some came last week when last year’s sacks leader Michael Bennett, who was let go by the Bucs for no good reason, help lead the Seahawks to the NFC title gamet.
On Wednesday, when Leslie Frazier met the Tampa Bay pen and mic club, it seemed Frazier was channeling said Bucs fans who are tired of having the shakes watching opposing quarterbacks have so much time to throw they could order a pizza. Frazier said in no uncertain terms how critical it is for the Bucs to get pressure off the edge.
It is “extremely important in our league today with the way the league has become pass-happy league with the numbers,” Frazier said. “The statistics are off the charts. You need someone who can rush the passer without having to always bring an extra guy. You need that guy who can beat an offensive tackle or … to find a way to get to the quarterback if you have a great defense. In this system, like any system, you need that one guy if you can find him. They are sometimes rare but we had one in Jared Allen. We had one in [Julius] Peppers in Chicago. It really makes a difference in our league if you can find a guy who can rush without having to blitz all the time.”
It seems as if new Bucs coach Lovie Smith and Frazier will stop at nothing to find that edge guy, whether it is through the draft or free agency, given the Bucs have a good amount of salary cap space.
Just a mention of Allen or Peppers has fans drooling. Yes, it would be nice to have an edge rush. But just how much do Allen and Peppers have left in the tank? Even if they have a little, and come at a decent price, something is better than nothing.
And the Bucs have had virtually nothing since Simeon Rice left. It’s been so long it’s almost irresponsible.