It’s The Little ThingsAugust 8th, 2011
Of course Joe is geeked for football to begin now that the asinine lockout is an afterthought. Aside from the obvious — football — Joe is geeked to see the improvement of the defensive line.
Last year the Bucs defensive line was impotent in getting to the quarterback. It didn’t help that Gerald McCoy, once he started to turn the corner tore his biceps and was lost for the season and that Brian Price barely got his career started as he had hamstring muscles torn clear off the bone.
But Joe is geeked for another reason: Keith Millard takes over to coach up the Bucs defensive tackles. Millard, who was hand-picked by no less an authority than former Bucs great Warren Sapp, has already worked wonders with GMC in identifying why he didn’t succeed as well.
Millard is more excitable than the players, he has an effusive, burning passion for the game. Also, Millard told Joe himself that it’s just the little things that the defensive linemen need to improve to be successful.
Woody Cummings of the Tampa Tribune documented one of those little things. It seems Millard didn’t like how Bucs defensive linemen used “tilted” stances and instead, wants the Bucs to square up against opposing offensive lines.
Gerald McCoy, the Bucs second-year under tackle, is on board with that idea. Already, he said, he is noticing the benefits of the squared stance. He said the tilt stance loosened him up but the squared stance is more effective.
“I’ve been in the backfield a lot more (in practice) than I ever was before, because I’m right there on a guy at the snap and if he overreaches, it’s like, boom, I’m in the backfield,” he said.
“I don’t have to worry as much about being in my gap, because if I take a step and I’m already in the backfield, then they have to decide what to do with me and that’s disruption, and that’s what we want.”
Fellow first-year Bucs defensive line coach Grady Stretz told Cummings that a tilted stance sometimes would take a step and a half away from a defensive linemen.
No wonder the pass rush sucked so bad last year! If an offensive lineman can get at least a step advantage on the snap of the ball, he’s going to own any defensive lineman.
Just having Millard on staff alone should result in the Bucs having 10 more sacks next year.