Defensive Line May Struggle Early

July 9th, 2011

In many respects, Bucs rock star general manager Mark Dominik is hoping to see some payback on his investments the past three years on the defensive line.

Dominik has spent much collateral (and Team Glazer cash) on the defensive line in three drafts. Roy Miller, Kyle Moore, Gerald McCoy, Brian Price, Adrian Clayborn and Da’Quan Bowers. Only Miller (third round) and Moore (fourth round) were not high draft picks.

That’s six defensive linemen in three drafts. Yet the Bucs continued to stink the joint up on the defensive front.

Part of this was inexperience, part of this was bad coaching (Todd Wash), part of this was injuries. And it may be the latter reason why the Bucs and Dominik still may not see the corner turned on the defensive line, so writes eye-RAH! Kaufman of the Tampa Tribune.

The Bucs have struggled to generate an effective pass rush or establish a credible run defense during the two years of the Mark Dominik/Raheem Morris regime. Tampa Bay has used four premium picks in the past two drafts on defensive linemen, adding tackles Gerald McCoy and Brian Price in 2010 and ends Adrian Clayborn and Da’Quan Bowers in April.

McCoy (biceps) and Price (pelvis) suffered significant injuries as rookies and third-year defensive tackle Roy Miller has yet to develop into a force against the run. Bowers was bypassed in the first round because of lingering questions about the health of his knees.

One of the league’s youngest defensive lines hasn’t had the benefit of organized team workouts under the guidance of Tampa Bay’s staff, which includes new defensive line coach Keith Millard. Even Dominik sounds unsure just how much playing time the Bucs can expect from Bowers in 2011 and Price may not be ready to contribute much in his second season as he continues his recuperation.

Joe believes the Bucs will flourish under Millard, but it will take time, as Kaufman suggests. GMC, during Josh Freeman’s minicamp last week at IMG, said he met Millard just before the lockout and Millard showed GMC many, many clips of how GMC had his man beat, time after time, but because of lousy technique and fundamentals, GMC couldn’t finish the play.

GMC said that has been his offseason goal, along with getting healthy, to work on the fundamentals that Millard pointed out before this asinine lockout began.

Joe believes that was also why GMC was such a coach to his fellow defensive linemen, specifically Clayborn, last week. GMC knows what he did wrong, thanks to Millard, and how to correct his mistakes, also thanks to Millard.

And it was cool to see Clayborn soaking up each and every word GMC spoke.

16 Responses to “Defensive Line May Struggle Early”

  1. TrueBlue Says:

    “That’s six defensive linemen in as many drafts. Yet the Bucs continued to stink the joint up on the defensive front.”

    This kind of misinformation bugs me. Two of the six have done nothing to stink up the line, they have never played for the Bucs and it’s yet uncertain what impact they will have. That leaves two “high” draft picks, one of which wasn’t even playing for most of the season due to injury. So in reality we’re down to three picks and some bad coaching. It’s obvious the Bucs recognized the problem. Kudos to them for doing everything they can to fix it.

  2. Big Marlon B Says:

    well said TrueBlue

  3. jocko Says:

    Rookie DEs Can Shine After Lockout
    July 6th, 2011

    Joe is very intrigued by this take. It makes a ton of sense.

  4. Keith Says:

    Thanks for the link. Hadn’t read that one. I don’t think the two are related. The DEs might do just fine on third down like the guy explained in the other story. Overall I’m not expecting miracles just improvement.

  5. Macabee Says:

    It’s OK if the young defense struggles early on. It seems reasonable to expect that. Dominik has figured it out – we won games last year with offense despite our defensive struggles. Which brings up another subject – Free Agency. I would get Freeman some O-Line help and perhaps a WR that can stretch the field. Let the defense struggle some, it is a talent rich group that can grow up together that we will one day be proud of. I never heard anybody in Bucs ownership or management say that this is the year that we must win the Super Bowl.

  6. Fear The Glow Says:

    Im really excited to see what our two new line coaches bring to the table. Millard for the d-line and Morris on the o-line. You could make an argument that both our lines have been either mediocre or downright terrible for the last 5 years or so. We have talent invested on both sides and hopefully these two new guys can maximize that talent.

  7. RastaMon Says:

    they may not…

  8. Gary Says:

    Agreed fear the glow. We will soon see what a difference excellent coaching makes when there is already talent to work with.

  9. pass.the.blount27 Says:

    @Fear The Glow, I would argue that the offensive line played pretty good last year considering who we had out there.

  10. Brad Says:

    I have to admit I ignore all Kaufmans articles and opinions. I ignore his info as much as Thomas’ take on the Bucs.. Both are usually negative and way off. Keep the other stuff coming..

  11. BigMacAttack Says:

    I agree with you 100%. I can’t stand the little hack, looks like a bowling ball and bashes the Bucs every chance he gets. I don’t know where Ira is from but I wish he’d go back. Suck it Ira, D-bag. One thing that really peaves me about the local Buc beat writers is they criticize the Bucs in good years and bad, always negatvie, and as if they could do a better job running the team. They can’t even do a good job reporting on the team, Now that I think about it, they can all suck it. And I had a great day at work today, so that ain’t my problem, but I wish this Suckout would ebd so we can have our football. Go Bucs!!!

  12. BigMacAttack Says:

    @ pass.the.blount27,

    Excellent screen name, and I thought out young O line was awesome last year. Freeman’s mobility helps but he had good protection much of the time, and Blount got 1000 yds in 13 games, which the O line has to get some of the credit.

  13. Nate Says:

    Our D will be 1 of the best in the league! thats all i know…

  14. Capt.Tim Says:

    Fear the Glow is right, both our O-line and D-line have been terrible for Five years. I’ve quoted it it before, but two years ago, “the Sporting News” said our o-line was the most ” underachieving unit in the entire NFL”. If you watch the tapes, you’ll agree. Our 0- line did look really goog at the end of last year. Because Faine, Joseph, and Trueblood weren’t playing. Those guys are major underachievers. Faine’s play has dropped off two years in a row. Joseph and Trueblood have always , Well, sucked. They are just more mis-spent draft picks by the previous regime. None of those three should be starting this year, based on their bad play, and the talent shown by their backups.

    I bet Blount would agree with me! Check for yourselves- look at who was playing on the line during his big rushing games! Not Faine, Joseph , Or TrueBlood. Or even more conclusive- look at Caddy. With the underachievers, he averaged 2.1 yards. Once they all were replaced- 5,6 yard average!! Either Caddy or the line suddenly improved dramatically. And the only thing that changed was the line! Who guys wanting Joseph and Trueblood back are basing it on where we drafted them, not their production! If you based it on that, you’d be riding them out of town on a rail, as wasted picks!

  15. Capt.Tim Says:

    BigMacAttack- lmao! I agree! Local media seems to think it’s their job to play shock jock, and trash all things Buccaneer’ screw them. We love the Bucs! It’s them we hate! I want the occasional critical article. But when things are going good, I wanna hear the good stuff! I am sick of nothing but negative crap!

    Keep preaching it brother, Meybe somebody will wise up and listen to the people paying their salaries!!

  16. BigMacAttack Says:

    Capt., I agree with you about our young O linemen. Still it starts with the Anchor, Donald Penn. I don’t think Joseph is worth the big contract number being floated around. The rookies all played well and beat out their veteran underachievers. The Bucs have a lot of young depth on the O line and it is time to purge Joseph, Faine & Trueblood. has a very good article up on the O linemen now. Dom has done a great job on this front spending pennies on the dollar.