“Strain Their Guts Out”December 20th, 2012
The Bucs’ run defense in New Orleans evoked memories of the gutting and gashing that was commonplace during and since the December collapse of 2008, and the entire Raheem Morris era.
The “negative runs,” aka tackles for loss, the trademark of the New Schiano Order defense, weren’t there. And Lavonte David had an off day, though he still ranks second in the NFL in solo tackles (98 total) behind a guy the Bucs will see Sunday, the Rams’ James Laurinitis (104).
So what must the Bucs do to get back to get back to their run defense that was suffocating teams all season long before Sunday? Greg Schiano gave a take on that to the St. Louis media yesterday; TurfShowTimes.com offered a transcription.
“I think guys, when they play together, and they strain their guts out, do whatever they can to maintain their gap integrity and then being able to tackle well; it gives you a chance to play run defense,” Schiano said. “Unfortunately, this past weekend was the first time in a while we didn’t play very good run defense. We didn’t really play very well pass defense, either. So, we had a tough outing last week and now we’re up against one of the better running teams in the National Football League. So, it’s going to be quite a challenge. We talk about we want to get back to playing great run defense, but this is going to be a tough opponent to do it against.”
Joe loved the “strain their guts out” line. It really speaks to the want-to involved when it comes to stopping the run.
Even more than a Josh Freeman revival, Joe wants to see the Bucs’ run defense bounce back against the Rams. The Bucs are healthy along the front-7, and there’s no reason they can’t go out and do what they’ve done all season – stuff the run better than every team in the league. Holding on to their No. 1 ranking against the run should be a huge building block for the Bucs defense this offseason.