Best MoveMay 23rd, 2014
It is almost hard to believe Memorial Day Weekend is finally here. Finally, one can sit outside on the porch in shorts at midnight and not get cold. Finally, Joe’s friends up north don’t have to worry about scraping their windshields each morning as one of the most hellish winters in recent memory has faded.
And once Memorial Day has gone, football season is near, at least the start of training camp.
When the Fourth of July hits, you can smell the sweat of training camp.
It’s been a crazy 2014 for the Bucs. New general manager. New coaching staff. Whole bunch of new players. It is as if the Bucs are a completely different team. Looking back at all the player moves, Pat Yasinskas believes the most important transaction for the new-look Bucs was nabbing Cincinnati defensive end Michael Johnson in free agency.
Best move: Signing defensive end Michael Johnson as a free agent from Cincinnati. Johnson has posted double-digit sacks before and he should be a pass-rushing force on the outside. That’s something the Bucs lacked last season. With defensive tackle Gerald McCoy on the inside and Johnson on the outside, the pass rush should be much better. That’s going to help the entire defense, particularly the secondary.
Well, just on coaching alone, the Bucs should get a better pass rush from the edges. They better! Bucs coach Lovie Smith talked up Steven Means’ speed this week. Will Gholston shows a lot of promise. Adrian Clayborn should be better some two years removed from knee surgery.
It sure would help the Bucs if Johnson returns to his 2012 numbers. Two years ago, Johnson racked up 11.5 sacks (Bucs fans may be dancing in the streets if a defensive end had double-digit sacks). Those numbers nosedived last year to 3.5 sacks. Now, many will tell you part of that was due to injuries to the Bengals’ defensive front and Johnson was asked to do many things last season, other than soiling the opposing quarterback’s uniform.
Of course, time will tell.
Oh, and about time, that 24 clock should be ticking in the head of Da’Quan Bowers. There may not be a nicer guy, but damnit, he is not being paid to be nice.
Now on his third coaching staff and second general manager, it is now or never for Bowers to live up to his previous billing. If Lovie and his coaches can’t turn Bowers around, then Joe dares suggest no one will.