The Struggles Of Rookie Defensive Tackles

May 18th, 2010
Third round draft pick Roy Miller outperformed defensive tackles drafted ahead of him.

Third round draft pick Roy Miller outperformed defensive tackles drafted ahead of him.

Joe has made no secret of the fact he thinks Bucs general manager Mark Dominik hit a home run in last month’s draft.

Of course, it’s very easy to say that since the rookies have only gone through one OTA session with the vets and are still wearing shorts. It might be another four years before the 2010 draft can be fairly and completely judged.

The Bucs are putting a lot of pressure on their rookies this season, all but handing starting gigs to four of them: defensive tackles Gerald McCoy and Brian Price specifically.

Joe is concerned that this season is almost a wash because — let’s be honest — how can anyone expect a pair of rookie defensive tackles to shine? Pat Kirwan doesn’t.

In a recent missive, Kirwan details just how often rookie defensive tackles struggle.

Last year’s defensive tackle class is a perfect example of what rookies are up against. The five defensive tackles taken in the first two rounds only managed six starts. Peria Jerry, B.J. Raji, Ron Brace, Fili Moala, and Sen’Derrick Marks only generated 2 sacks, 37 tackles and no forced fumbles combined.

In sort of a backhanded compliment compliment to Dominik, Kirwan pointed out that Bucs third round draft pick Roy Miller outperformed each defensive tackle drafted in the first two rounds. Miller racked up two sacks and 33 tackles last year.

Joe hopes this year’s top defensive tackles (GMC and Price) don’t come close to roughing it like last year’s defensive tackles.

Tip o’ the hat to

15 Responses to “The Struggles Of Rookie Defensive Tackles”

  1. Louie Says:

    So, Price has already moved ahead of Miller on the depth chart?

  2. CharlieB Says:

    Most likely. They’re all likely going to see roughly equal playing time anyway. If you talk to Roy Miller, he said that he and Hovan/Sims all got about equal playing time. I can’t see why that would change now.

    Joe, since you bring up, you should look into the clicky-clicky gimmick on his site, if you don’t already know about it. You would enjoy it.

  3. Joe Says:


    Joe, since you bring up, you should look into the clicky-clicky gimmick on his site, if you don’t already know about it. You would enjoy it.

    Not sure what that is.

  4. FlBoy84 Says:

    One thing that has to be considered about rookie impact is the player depth at the rookie’s position and the coach’s decision to play rookies. Lack of depth and the general team mentality of throwing rookies into the fire are why Price and McCoy (and Williams and Benn) may follow in Miller’s footsteps in outperforming the typical rookie.

  5. d-money Says:


    I did some investigating on the clicky clicky thing CharlieB was talking about….it is pretty cool.

    But don’t clicky clicky if you are at your real job.

  6. Dave Says:

    WOW. In that perspective, Roy Miller was very impressive. I liked him from day one and I know he tailed off. He should be better this year. Going after DTs this year and not last year might end up being agood thing by Mark D.

  7. Dave Says:

    Forget the depth chart. Miller, Price and McCoy willbe in a 3 man rotation

  8. CharlieB Says:


    As D-Money said, it’s a NSFW thing. Pictures of players with hot wives, say Jeff Garcia, have NSFW pictures of their wives when you click on the picture. It’s a neat feature.

  9. Joe Says:


    Joe doesn’t want to get anyone fired.

  10. Outside01 Says:

    I think that Roy Miller can definetly come in this year and play better than Sims or Hovan did last year. He did a better job than either of them as a rookie, so it only makes sense he will be an upgrade in his second year.

    So right there your starting DTs are 50% better than last year. Now I agree it’s hard for rookie DTS to be great right off the bat, but as I just stated, Roy Miller was better than Hovan or Sims as a rookie last year….so it can be done. Also, you gotta believe, even as rookies, that a rotation of McCoy/Price will be an upgrade over Sims or Hovan.

    One last point. Miller learned alot quickly last year. Since he is fresh off his successful rookie campaign, I think he will be invaluable to McCoy and Price. I think he, more than anyone else, even Sapp, can help them adjust quickly. Guys like Sapp and Faine can help them succeed long term, but the trials and tribs of a rookie season are still fresh in Millers mind. Let’s hope these three guys form a special bond and do some special things here in Tampa.

  11. CharlieB Says:

    I wasn’t saying you should implement it here, even if it was only because you might scare away sponsors or whatever. However, I thought it would be something you could appreciate. That’s all.

    I really think Miller will beat out Price. Miller is just too good at nose.

  12. Radio Mushmouth Says:

    Roy Miller is going to be benched regardless of who is better between he and Price , because we wasted the 33th overall selection on him ( basically a 1st round value pick) , and it must be justified with a starter.

  13. Outside01 Says:

    Miller was a 3rd and Price a 2nd. There is no bias or favoritism there. It doesn’t matter who is named starter anyways because all three will need to play great football and all thre will see much playing time.

    Miller is more of a natural nose tackle anyways, while Price can play both but would be a better under tackle. Price just makes more sense as the floater to back both guys up.

    Again, Price wasn’t a top ten pick. There will be no bias to name a 2nd rounder starter over a 3rd rounder. None.

  14. Eric Says:

    Yeah but a second round selection in 2010 draft is like a first rounder of any other draft, according to Dom/Rah.

  15. Radio Mushmouth Says:

    Plus , the 35th overall pick is so high it’s basically a 1st round pick….there are only 32 picks in the 1st round….