Plenty Of Fixes Available For D-line

November 9th, 2010
Former Bucs DE Steve White says proper coaching bring significant improvement to the Bucs D-line

Joe advises you to score a fat sandwich and settle in to read former Bucs defensive end Steve White’s Bull Rush column on his Passing on the Game blog.

White always writes in great detail about the Bucs defensive line, but his most recent entry is long, detailed, very pointed and really a must-read for anyone who calls himself a hardcore Bucs fan.

Joe’s not going to spoil it for you. But Joe suspects Bucs defensive line coach Todd Wash won’t be sending out links to White’s takes anytime soon. Here’s an excerpt:

(If you need a sandwich referral, try Mugs Grill and Bar in Clearwater or Honey’s in Tampa.)

As for pass rush games, the Bucs look worse than most college teams trying to run them. I won’t lie, it drive me nuts every time I see a defensive end take just two steps up field and then come underneath on a TEX game. That’s harry high school bullshit and they might as well not even run the game rather than running it so poorly that they give up containment like they did against the Falcons.

So far I haven’t seen the Bucs run a TOM game with the two inside guys which you would think we would do to try to help McCoy get free. Of course that would be a little too much like right. Better to just keep sending him out there with no plan and hope for the best.

People keep talking about Ndamukong Suh and comparing McCoy to him unfavorably. But if you ever watch the Lions play the one thing you notice is that they are constantly trying to showcase his talents. First and foremost he rarely moves from his left defensive tackle spot which means his development has been building every week. But when he DOES move its because they are trying to get HIM free so he can wreck shop. And oh by the way he has two pretty good pass rushers at end starting with him and they all haul ass every play at the snap of the ball.

The Bucs on the other hand have been too busy trying to showcase Quincy Black at the expense of McCoy’s development, to try to design any defenses for him to have a favorable match up.

Look, I like Black and I think he is a really good player, but this defense will be built around Gerald McCoy for the next 10 years if the Bucs are lucky. And that should have started THIS year. Again that’s something a good defensive line coach would have been fighting for.

If the Bucs want to get better at pass rush enough to make a difference the one place that they can make the most gains is pass rushing on early downs. Its a lot harder to get sacks, at least in theory, on third downs when the offensive linemen are more alert for moves and when quarterbacks are more apt to get the ball out of their hands quickly. But on early downs offenses tend to run a lot of play action which takes longer to develop and also can make for a harder block for an offensive lineman trying to sell run.

So how can we take better advantage of that?

Start Michael Bennett at left end.

Joe has long been in favor of starting Tim Crowder or Michael Bennett over Kyle Moore, who was gift-wrapped the starting left end job.

Crowder’s got the better motor and an extraordinary work ethic, plus 9.5 career sacks. Bennett has a big get-off, the best raw talent and a track record of making plays. Moore hasn’t done much and at 24 years old is only a year younger than Bennett and Crowder.

Joe hopes the Bucs aren’t favoring Moore simply because they drafted him.

16 Responses to “Plenty Of Fixes Available For D-line”

  1. bucfanjeff Says:

    Of course Moore is favored, but it’s not like Crowder or Bennett are lighting things up when they get in there. I’m all for giving it a shot though…

  2. Buc You Says:

    Steve White for defensive coordinator. Or at least the d-line coach.

    We need a defensive coordinator to go along with the huge linebackers we should draft in the first 2 rounds.

  3. Capt.Tim Says:

    BucfanJeff- yup, they need to rotate the 4 (or 5) DEs until somebody shows some talent. Then let him go! Buc you, agreed, if it’s huge LBs or DEs . Hope we get one of each in free agency also, after this season, we became an attractive destination to FAs again. But definately wanna draft one of each also. Most importantly, again the pleasure of bowing to the D-Line genius that is Steve White! Would love to see Steve involved with our Dline next year!

  4. Bob Says:

    Steve: I’m confused as to why the defensive line invariably has a really poor first half and a much better second half in every game, including most of last year. Many analysts chalk it up to inexperience, including head coach Morris, but is it possible they are not properly prepared for each game by the defensive line coach and are adjusting “on the fly”?

  5. Fire Greg Olson! Says:

    I remember a play during the game in NO last year, where Reggie Bush got to the outside from either a pitch or a swing pass and Tim Crowder peeled off his block and ran Reggie down from behind. He got about 7 yards, but would’ve been gone, had it not been for Crowder.

    The guy was a 2nd rd pick from Texas. I don’t see how Moore was given the job so easily.

  6. Capt.Tim Says:

    Agreed- best man wins should be the policy. Not highest guy drafted by us!

  7. notorious_BUC Says:

    I’m as confused as you, Bob. Is it poor game planning or is Raheem one of the greatest halftime adjustment strategists of our generation? It would be nice to get out of the habit of spotting teams 14 points every game. I think the brutality of the East side Ray Jay sun has some debilitating effects on teams, but it unfortunately didn’t hinder the black jerseys as much as I would have liked this year.

  8. bucfanjeff Says:

    @Fire – because Moore was a BUCS draft choice, that’s why it was handed to him.
    Stylez has been a bust – and they Bucs were not expecting that, quite the opposite probably.
    Our systems call for the front 4 to get pressure. While McCoy has been getting better, he’s our best talent on the DL – he and Price. We need DE’s badly.

  9. Jamie Says:

    I agree that are ends are a big problem, and that we should try Bennett in there more often.

    But I think the bigger problem is what Steve mentioned first: the defense is not playing to McCoy’s strengths. It sounds like we’re trying to use McCoy’s talents to free up other people to make plays, rather than using other people to free up McCoy.

    We’re paying the guy millions, why not showcase him? I know Stylez G White is decent, but he’s had his shot at being our primary D-line threat. Build on McCoy, not everyone else.

  10. FIRE GREG OLSON! Says:


    Dominik snagged Tim Crowder off of Denver’s practice squad during his first year on the job. But it’s good to know that you throw in answer out there, even though you have no idea what you’re talking about.

  11. gotbbucs Says:

    FGO, the Broncos released Crowder, he wasn’t on their practice squad.

  12. FIRE GREG OLSON! Says:

    mea culpa

    but Crowder is still a Dominik/Morris pick up. They haven’t shown favoritism so far. People will say what about continuing to start Carnell Williams, but that’s only because of the blitz pickup and the hesitation to start yet another rookie. I think LGB will end up starting before the end of the year.

  13. BamBamBuc Says:

    Moore was pretty much handed the job this off-season. He was labeled the starter. Even though it looked like Crowder and Bennett were playing pretty well at the end of last season when they were getting more time. It may not be Morris or Dom giving favoritism, but Wash. It’s almost like Wash wants to PROVE he can coach by taking the “younger guy” and coaching him up. Unfortunately, it’s backfiring on him. Moore is not getting better. I will say he (Moore) wasn’t actually “horrible” Sunday, but Bennett was definitely better.

    One to keep an eye on is Dekoda Watson. I watched the game over again today, and when Dekoda came into the game he made an immediate impact. He got through on a blitz and chased Ryan all the way to the sideline. Next play he came up to put up a big run stop. Very next play he laid out a big hit to force an incompletion. Three plays in a row he splashed. This kid’s good and I’d figure he’ll take an OLB spot next year. Question will be who’s spot? Geno’s or Quincy’s? If Quincy’s, they may try and move Black to MLB. At first I thought that might work well, but after more thought, I haven’t seen Black shed blockers any better than Ruud, and don’t think we’d be much better off.

  14. Architek79 Says:

    I watched Watson and boy that young man looks hungry, I saw him laying wood and hustling every play. That is something I don’t see from Ruud and a couple of other players. I believe a player’s motivation is the most important ingredient. Quincy is not a MLB, he’s not physical enough and don’t pack the punch that is needed. We don’t have the MLB that we need to lead us but no worries the off-season is approaching and Dominik will make it happen, I trust him to fix the issue.

  15. Capt.Tim Says:

    All three linebackers have been a disappointment, and could use an upgrade. If our linebackers were filling their gaps properly and aggressively, our run defense would be much better. Nine gave them have been Sucessful as a pass rusher, either. Agree that off season will be spent on rebuilding defense thru FA. And draft

  16. mike56wesley Says:

    thats something we all can agree on keep hayes,watson,and make black a backup,sign bigfree agent mlb or draft one.if good def end in fre agency get him but not one with baggage,shouldnt have a problem free agents most likley wont turn us down now that they see we can and will win.i think thats why we stopped trying to sign them after haynesworthless turn us down,either way i trust them to fix it this year,they fixed alot last year just couldnt fix everything in one starting to get excited about what or who will be brought in. but i really think next year after seeing what we have, who progresses,coach will fix it.because i really dont think he cares who you are offensive coardinater,def coardanater,high draft,raheim trump will fire your ass..