Reinventing The Defense

July 15th, 2014
michael johnson 0714

More Simeon Rice comparisons

As Joe has pointed out, there are no worries for the Bucs defense this season. Lovie Smith has a proven resume to get the most out of players. Combine that with how the Bucs defense wasn’t really that awful last year, sans a pulse of a pass rush, and the majority of starters are returning.

The Bucs were one of the top NFL teams in takeaways, which only highlighted just how rotten the offense was that it could not take advantage.

Also, Lovie wasted no time signing free agent defensive end Michael Johnson to upgrade years of swimming upstream in trying to find, develop, or throw away (Michael Bennett) any type of edge rush. The crowd over at BSPN seems giddy over Johnson. In fact, they point to Johnson as being one of five players who will reinvent their respective teams.

Tampa Bay hasn’t had a player rack up double-digit sacks since Simeon Rice had 14 in 2005. Last season the Bucs’ top ends — Adrian Clayborn, Daniel Te’o-Nesheim and Da’Quan Bowers — combined for just 10 sacks. With the Bengals, the 6-foot-7, 270-pound Johnson, 27, ranked among the league’s top pass-rushing 4-3 DEs. Plus, in 2013, his 8.4 percent stop rate on run plays ranked fifth best among 4-3 ends. No wonder Cincinnati tagged him as a franchise player last season.

Johnson is a nice player, but can we stop the Simeon Rice hyperbole?

Right now there are only two players whose names can be spoken in the same breath as great Bucs of the past. That would be Lavonte David and Gerald McCoy.

Johnson is a nice player. A good player. But until he gets double-digit sacks, can we just lay off the Rice comparisons?

29 Responses to “Reinventing The Defense”

  1. OB Says:

    Joe

    I would like to aim higher and hope he turns into Deacon Jones with GMC on the line. If you want a better one then the Deacon so be it, but let’s swing for the fences. In 10 days we start seeing what we have or what is going to be.

    If you have time, tell us about all the Joes.

  2. biff barker Says:

    It’s not just the pale comparisons to past Buc greats, why does everyone believe we’re a top 10 defense already?

  3. Espo Says:

    Because right now we’re tied for the #1 ranked defense. We haven’t given up a point all season.

  4. StPeteBucsFan Says:

    Agree with Espo. Which is why now is such an exciting time for Buc fans!

    Let’s hope the excitement isn’t gone by December….or worse…like last year gone by October!

  5. The_Buc_Realist Says:

    Joe, if the Glazers were smart, they will lock up Lovie Smith son (Mikal Smith) to head coach of the future, when Lovie retires. And the only stipulation is that he must run the tampa2. It has become apparent that fans will revolt if anything looks different from the late 90′s team.

    It reminds me of people that have had the same haircut since highschool, You know that it was the best year of there life and they don’t want to change a thing. heaven help us if we draft a white full back that can’t block next year.

  6. Joe Says:

    Joe, if the Glazers were smart, they will lock up Lovie Smith son (Mikal Smith) to head coach of the future, when Lovie retires. And the only stipulation is that he must run the tampa2. It has become apparent that fans will revolt if anything looks different from the late 90′s team.

    You do remember what happened the last time the Bucs anointed a secondary coach with zero coordinator experience, don’t you?

  7. snook Says:

    Where in this article do they compare him to Rice? They just mentioned the last time we had a double digit sack DE. Did I miss something?

  8. The_Buc_Realist Says:

    Great point Joe, But do you think the Fans were more accepting of Gruden? or Rah ( especially after he fired bates and reverted back to the tampa2? )

  9. DallasBuc Says:

    Johnson is a nice player. A good player. But until he gets double-digit sacks, can we just lay off the Rice comparisons? –> Agreed!

  10. Harry Says:

    I think Clayborn, Realist’s daughter’s Baby Daddy, is the next Simeon Rice. Watch AC get 14 sacks this year!

  11. Joe Says:

    Great point Joe, But do you think the Fans were more accepting of Gruden? or Rah ( especially after he fired bates and reverted back to the tampa2? )

    Joe remembers when the Bucs got Chucky, there were damned near parades being thrown. The area was giddy.

    Those days were fun!

  12. The_Buc_Realist Says:

    @harry

    If clayborn get 14 sacks, I will send 14 virgins to his house at the end of the season, Or 13 if harry refuses to go.

  13. Harry Says:

    LMAO!!

  14. The_Buc_Realist Says:

    Seriously I do hope for success for AC, I do think that he would be better to put back on the weight ( muscle not fat ) and would be better suited as an end for a 3-4 defense.

    until they actually play, I am only projecting from past performances.

  15. Touch_Down_Tampa_Bay Says:

    Joe remembers when the Bucs got Chucky, there were damned near parades being thrown. The area was giddy.

    Those days were fun!

    ______

    Getting the missing link does that to a fan. And boy did Gruden delivered. I could careless what happen the following years. He helped us experience a moment many teams has yet to taste. I will always be in gratitude for that season. And every time you see the replay you feel it allover again. As a football fan if we are not in the playoff in January I want the team that has yet to win a Super Bowl to win. Every football fan should have that experience at least once in their lifetime.

  16. Harry Says:

    I understand your frustration. And I feel it too. But my feeling is AC puts the effort in and has just had some bad breaks. I feel your angst would be better directed at Cheeseburger Bowers. That butthead comes to TC every year out of shape. Lack of effort from someone with tremendous God given skills makes me insane. Cheeseburger is just plain friggin lazy.

    I will be curious to see who is at the top of Joe’s top 20 worst list. Part of me feels ‘fan frustration’ (ie; consistently dropping 1st down passes) and lack of effort should be big factors in this list. For me that would place Stone Hands and Cheeseburger darn near the top of the list

  17. MadMax Says:

    Well dont be too discombobulated by Johnson’s numbers from last season. After Atkins went down, he was easily double teamed. Personally, I cant wait to see him beside McCoy with Clayborn McDonald and Gholston, and hopefully Spence has learned some things and punches through as a quality back up.

  18. Bucsfanman Says:

    One thing’s for sure, he’s an upgrade. I’m cautiously optimistic about this guy. The reason I’m not “all in” yet is because I watched a replay on NFL Network and it was a Bengals game. I keyed on Johnson the whole game and he was meh. Atkins was playing and I saw no “splash” from Johnson. He was mostly single-teamed and the blockers managed him well. He made two plays that were driven to him by other defenders.
    Now, watching that game, he really shouldn’t ever be compared to Simeon. Simeon was ridiculously unblockable all the way back to his rookie year. I didn’t see that in this game(this 1 game).
    I have hope that he will be good. His numbers don’t reflect a double-digit sacker though.

  19. dougy balls Says:

    snook Says:
    July 15th, 2014 at 8:41 am
    Where in this article do they compare him to Rice? They just mentioned the last time we had a double digit sack DE. Did I miss something?

    i think we both missed something because i was going to say the same thing

  20. Orca Says:

    People aren’t really saying he’s a Simeon Rice type player. This seems to be all in Joe’s imagination. The only comparison is that they play the same position, they’re both long bodies, and the Bucs are looking for the 10+ sacks from him at the position where Rice was the last to accomplish the feat. Joe’s the only one continuing to dwell on the comparison.

  21. phil Says:

    We can only hope that Johnson becomes the player we all want him to be. Rice was a special guy. I don’t think we should expect Johnson to live up to what Rice did here.

  22. Bucsfanman Says:

    @dougy- I think it’s an inference. A lot of fans see Johnson’s body type and see Simeon Rice, a rangy edge rusher. Maybe not in this article, but I’ve heard the comparisons.

  23. Buc the Haters Says:

    I agree that we should stop the Simeon comparisons… I loved Simeon, but Johnson actually has the potential to be a much more complete DE. No disrespect, but Simeon was a liability in the run game. In time, I think Johnson can have an equal effect in the passing game & be much more stout against the run.

  24. Bucsfanman Says:

    @Haters- That’s a good point. One of Johnson’s strengths is supposedly against the run.

  25. BUC4LIFE79 Says:

    I for one NEED to hear the Rice comparisons…THE BEST 3 tec DT in the game resides in Tampa…Die hard fans NEED to hear that FINALLY, after being underutilized with his skill set and over utilized with not having proper help around him, he has that capable help now…and if that capable help looks the part ( even if only physically atm ) then give me those saucy details so I can dream b4 those dreams end up possibly colliding with the cold hard reality of another let down season.

  26. Nick H Says:

    Well, there was no Rice comparison here so….

  27. Buccaneer Bonzai Says:

    I have to agree. There will never be another Simeon Rice. Johnson will be his own man, succeed or fail.

    Now that he got his contract, we’ll see if he was in it for the money or if he is durable enough.

  28. Buccaneer Bonzai Says:

    The_Buc_Realist Says
    “Joe, if the Glazers were smart, they will lock up Lovie Smith son (Mikal Smith) to head coach of the future, when Lovie retires.”

    And if Lovie fails? After all, he wouldn’t be the first coach to spend time away from the game and then flop when he returns.

    We’re hoping for the best, but really, we won’t know what we’ll get yet. It’s possible that all these free agents may bomb in the same way that FAs bombed for the Eagles a few years ago.

  29. Brandon Says:

    DallasBuc Says:
    July 15th, 2014 at 9:14 am
    Johnson is a nice player. A good player. But until he gets double-digit sacks, can we just lay off the Rice comparisons? –> Agreed!
    ——————

    He had double digits two seasons ago. If he stays healthy, he will be a monster. Sorry if the statreader guys don’t know talent when they see it but this guy is as freaky of a physical specimen as Rice was in his prime.

 
 

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