Booger McFarland: Go Get ZiggyMarch 11th, 2013
So Joe turns on SiriusXM NFL Radio Friday night to catch up on NFL chatter before he headed to his favorite watering hole to throw down a few pints, and lo’ and behold who does Joe hear? None other than former Bucs defensive tackle and current WHFS-FM, 98.7 personality Booger McFarland making his debut as co-host of “Late Hits,” along with Alex Marvez.
(SiriusXM NFL Radio is going through a massive change. The original voice of the station, popular sports radio personality Adam Schein has left NFL Radio to work for the one and only Chris “Mad Dog” Russo on Mad Dog Radio, also heard exclusively on SiriusXM. Joe is chagrin about this move as Joe was and is a big fan of Schein.)
Naturally, Marvez asked McFarland about the Bucs defensive line and Booger didn’t hold back.
In short, Booger said Bucs rock star general manager Mark Dominik cannot afford to stand pat and should make a big splash in the draft grabbing Ziggy Ansah of BYU.
Alex Marvez: What is the state of the Tampa Bay Buccaneers’ pass rush. If you were Mark Dominik and had the GM cap on, how would you approach to free agency?
Booger McFarland: Well, the Bucs are an interesting team because they spent a lot of picks on the defensive line. Adrian Clayborn, Da’Quan Bowers, Gerald McCoy, Brian Price who they traded up to Chicago but this is a team that is still searching for pass rushers and still trying to find the next Warren Sapp. I think they are close with Gerald McCoy but they still haven’t gotten that guy who can dominate that one-on-one matchup to create havoc. They need someone that can come off the edge. Michael Bennett led the team in sacks last year with nine-and-a-half, they decided not to franchise him and let him become an unrestricted free agent. Adrian Clayborn is coming off a knee injury. What are you going to get from him? That’s why I fully expect this team to be active in the draft or free agency trying to get a pass rusher.
Everybody makes a big deal in Tampa: “We need a corner, a corner, a corner.“ I am always reminded, every coach I ever played for said one thing: Men, it starts up front. You can give me the greatest secondary in the world and if the quarterback has all the time to throw, it doesn’t matter. So the Bucs have to have a guy to go along with Gerald McCoy to turn the corner and force the quarterback to step up [in the pocket] especially playing in the NFC South with Matt Ryan and Drew Brees and Cam Newton. You need athletic guys who can bend and turn the corner and get after the quarterback. The Buccaneers are still looking for the guy to give them double-digit sacks and double-digit pressures and hits on the quarterback. They think they may have one in Da’Quan Bowers if his legal troubles hold up. We will see. Adrian Clayborn has to come back off the knee injury and if he can do that, maybe they have something.
I would not be locked in to these guys if I was Mark Dominik. I would go out and find me a guy in the draft, a Ziggy Ansah, maybe a Paul Kruger from Baltimore in free agency that can turn the corner on a dime every time they needed to.
Now Joe agrees with Booger, but for different reasons. Remember when Joe interviewed former Bears defensive back and current FOX analyst and SiriusXM NFL Radio host Tim Ryan? While researching the Bucs during the season, Ryan told Joe there were some games where the opposing quarterback was getting rid of the ball on average every two-and-a-half seconds against the Bucs.
Why? Because the Bucs corners were so inept, receivers were open virtually when they left the line of scrimmage. Unless totally unblocked, Reggie White would have had a hard time getting pressure on a quarterback in less than three seconds. That’s just out of hand!
Did you ever hear of the Bucs getting a coverage sack last year? Of course you didn’t. The Bucs corners were so miserable, they couldn’t cover their heads in a rainstorm.
Remember those three-step drops Eli Manning killed the Bucs with last year? Joe’s not so sure Bruce Smith would have made a difference.
Yes, Joe agrees wholeheartedly with Booger about needing to get heat on a quarterback and is intrigued by Anash. But if the Bucs cannot upgrade the secondary, Joe just cannot see the pass defense improving that much.
It would also help if the Bucs knocked off using all of those damned stunts upfront on passing downs.
Now if Dominik is able to add a pass rusher — which Joe has had a hunch for months will be the case — in addition to beefing up the secondary, now you are talking.