Keith Millard Talks Defensive Line Technique

July 31st, 2011

The Bucs — specifically Team Glazer — have damned near invested enough cash in the defensive front the past three drafts to buy an NHL team.

Between Roy Miller and Kyle Moore and Brian Price and Gerald McCoy and Da’Quan Bowers and Adrian Clayborn, there’s a lot of capital not to see some form of return on an investment.

Yeah, Moore has been hurt and so too has been Price and McCoy. But when Moore and Price were healthy, it wasn’t like they were overly productive and they certainly weren’t improving much, largely thanks to then-defensive line coach Todd Wash.

The Bucs in the offseason knew they needed defensive ends and quickly came to the conclusion that Wash was not the man to take these players from college stars to productive NFL studs.

So by bringing in Keith Millard as one of two new coaches for the defensive line, it was a blunt signal by Bucs management that improvement had to be made.

Millard came with the seal of approval by none other than Warren Sapp. Millard was once himself a stud tackle and still holds the NFL record for most sacks in a season by a defensive tackle with 18.

Millard graciously took a few brief moments recently with Joe to talk defensive drills.

McCoy and Price “just need proper technique, just need to clean up some techniques. A lot of things they did in college or they got away with in college, at this level, here, they are going up against pro offensive linemen, smart offensive lineman. Your steps, your hands, they all have to be on point if you are going to be a pro offensive lineman.”

Millard is impressed with both McCoy and Price. He sees big things from them; believes they have the tools and physical talents to be big-time NFL players. They just need polishing, he believes.

“It’s just little things, like the steps,” Millard said. “Little things, just little things. That’s all.”

Watching Millard work with the tackles is invigorating. He’s intense, always barking, always encouraging, and seems to have the hyper demeanor of Monte Kiffin.

If Millard can do half the magic Monte Kiffin worked with the Bucs, he will be a fine hire indeed.

30 Responses to “Keith Millard Talks Defensive Line Technique”

  1. SkookumSmitty Says:

    Great to hear this! I am soooo looking forward to the Bucs having a dominant defense, again.

  2. Gary Says:

    Further evidence that wash couldn’t even teach proper technique. It’s good to have a real d line coach now.

  3. Mauha Deeb Says:

    I just want to know what the heck a “Jab-o-leg” is.

  4. Thomas "the Truth" 2.2 Says:

    I like Millard. Glad to hear that Millard isnt drinking the GMC is great koolaide like most were last summer (until we saw him play). Mccoy has bad technique and too often gets directed where O Lineman want him. His mouth doesnt play on Sunday.
    Millard may salvage some mileage out of him.

  5. Gary Says:

    And the backtracking begins. You never cease to amaze!

  6. m.wesley Says:

    Dont feed it Gary it will only come back!

  7. McBuc Says:

    Selective reading there Tom, he said his tech needs to be cleaned up, in the little areas.

  8. Bucnnole Says:

    ENOUGH IS ENOUGH!!! All these great veteran free agents are being signed by all these other good teams teams as we sit idlely by and watch. Great, we got the 30th ranked punter for way too much and no one else. The Bucs are blowing it. Lions, Bears, Jets, and Eagles are killing it. We are SUCKING!!! Period.

  9. BKNYfootballhead Says:

    “The Truth” is out of the bag.
    Narcissism – noun
    inordinate fascination with oneself; excessive self-love; vanity.
    Psychoanalysis . erotic gratification derived from admiration of one’s own physical or mental attributes, being a normal condition at the infantile level of personality development.

  10. RastaMon Says:

    yawn……on one hand we can’y get enough…on the other it’s the same training camp blather…next week comes the tugging on heart strings over coming all odds story about some rookie long shot

  11. Garv Says:

    He reminds me of…..dare I type it, Rod Marinelli.
    Love that he’s working with so many young players so early in their careers.
    MORE good news IMO.

  12. Brandon Says:

    Before we compare anybody to Marinelli, we need results, not lip service. I’m not saying Millard won’t be a great DL coach, just that we can’t compare anyone to Marinelli until we see results.

    It would have been great if Marinelli had come to Tampa instead of reuniting with Lovie in Chicago. Hopefully, Morris will show he is the real deal as a DC this season.

  13. Patrick Says:


    Totally agree. We have a much harder schedule next year and other teams are improving their rosters while we overpay mediocre players like Black.

  14. Mauha Deeb Says:

    @Bucnnole 30th ranked punter? What made up stats are you referring to?

    What free agents should we get? Nnamdi? Joseph? Free? We made a play at Free and decided he wasn’t worth the money. Outside of these three there isn’t really anyone we can’t live without. This is a very large UFA pool, but not a very talented one. Quantity of free agents doesn’t equate quality of free agents?

  15. Patrick Says:

    @Mauha Deeb

    We couldn’t upgrade at linebacker still? I mean, it’s hard to believe there’s no one better than Quincy Black and “Mike McKenzie”.

  16. Patrick Says:

    *Tyrone McKenzie

  17. Mauha Deeb Says:

    @Patrick Who? Who is guaranteed to be any better than McKenzie? McKenzie knows our playbook after teaming with Ruud. Why bring in another average MLB? We just let one go.

  18. Shayne Says:

    With Millard, Bowers and Clayborn, our defensive line should be greatly improved this year. with a better dline, that gives our linebackers better opportunities to make more splash plays then they did last year with a bad dline. Looking forward to this year.

    And i agree with you bucnnole, Teams are being aggressive and spending to improve there team, and were hoping on a bunch of young guys to be playmakers, we should atleast bring in 1 or 2 solid FA’s that can contribute

  19. Patrick Says:

    I wasn’t really a Ruud fan either but he gave us the best chance to win in 2011, not McKenzie or Foster. Really, what has McKenzie done besides be on the practice squad?

    Do you expect our defense to even be in the top half of the league next year? Realistically? The D line has a combined 2 years of experience and we’ll have a rookie or recent practice squader patrolling the middle of the defense. Don’t forget the strong possibility of a Talib suspension and the fact our schedule is a lot harder. All our division rivals improved their offenses in the draft AND free agency, unlike us so that’ll be another thing against us.

  20. Mauha Deeb Says:

    Don’t expect our defense to be any worse than last year.
    Penn was a practice squad guy. Blount was a practice squad guy. I have faith in Dominic that he knows who to grab from practice squads. Him and Black could still work together to call audibles. I don’t expect a Talib suspension.
    Our offense didn’t need any free agents. There is no reason to think our offense won’t hold its own.
    Our defense got better in the draft in the areas we needed it. But It doesn’t really matter who our division draft or hires as a free agent. Those games can lean either way. They have a lot more to do with coaching than the talent on the field. Considering the teams know each other so well.

  21. BecklesHeartsRuud Says:

    Patrick- No offense dude, but you seem like you might be a happier fan if you started rooting for the Redskins. They will give you your yearly fix of free agency castoff veterans. There aren’t any backers left on the market better than Mckenzie\Foster. It was a short list of high quality unrestricted linebackers to begin. It pretty much went like this Posluzny, Greenway and ….. and thats pretty much it. Believe it or not the Bucs thought Q. Black was one of the best on the market and thats why they paid him like he was. Pro Football Focus certainly agrees. They acknowledge his lack of splash plays but say that he was one of the only backers in the league they gave a positive grade to in every phase of the game last year. They named him their “secret superstar”. Black has had two years to get his feet wet as a starter and made a decent improvement in 2010 over 09. Don’t be shocked if he steps and starts making more of those splash plays this year. Even if he doesn’t he is never going to be a liability and teams need guys like that. Everyone can’t be a superstar but when a guy isnt you at least need him to be dependable and Black has been that so far.

  22. Dan Says:

    or the * shudders* eagles.

  23. Dan Says:

    i will say this, if the eagles win the superbowl this year it will make our blueprint look bad next offseason, just as greenbay makes our blueprint look good this offseason

  24. Bucnnole Says:

    Deed, I’ve read your posts for far to long. Wake up and stop being such an ignorant honk. I’ve been going to Bucs games far longer than you, since 80′ to be exact, and I’ve dealt with glass half full, grass ain’t always greener types like you for years. Stop trying to always defend bad moves. It’s a sign of your inability to understand the process. Stick to your needle point or model building, or whatever it is basement dwelling losers like yourself do and leave the constructive critism to us real fans. Your views are beat.

  25. BamBamBuc Says:


    I don’t see how you feel the rest of our division improved on offense in the draft AND free agency. I won’t include any re-signing of players as that is not improvement, but rather holding the same. So, the Saints re-signing Lance Moore doesn’t make them better, but equal to last year. That said…

    The Saints added Darren Sproles. Of course, they lost Reggie Bush, so it’s pretty much a wash there. That’s it offensively in free agency. Oh wait, they added a full back too.

    The Falcons added…. um… nobody. Not on offense anyway. Sure, they got Ray Edwards at DE, but they didn’t sign a single offensive player that I can find (other than their own Tackle)

    The Panthers got two TEs. Hartsock and Olsen. That’s it for offensive player free agency movement in the NFC South.

    Of course, the Bucs are right there with the Falcons. We signed nobody on offense. Now, where is it in all that that makes you think we’re falling behind our NFC South rivals offensively? Did you only look at the draft? Do you really think that Julio Jones or Mark Ingram or Cam Newton suddenly made all 3 of those teams untouchable? Isn’t all that somewhat countered by the Bucs drafting Clayborn, Bowers and Foster to stop those guys? What about Luke Stocker? Isn’t that equal to the Panthers signing Hartsock? Our D should be much improved this year simply by adding our bookend DEs. Some would say we’re better by subtraction… with Ruud gone that instantly makes us better. I’m not necessarily in agreement on that, but think Foster of McKenzie will be fine if the D-line plays to potential. Both Biggers and Lewis saw a good amount of playing time last year and should be able to build on that, which will only help our D handle 3 and 4 WR sets even better. And with an improved pass rush?

  26. espo Says:

    How did we get the 30th ranked punter? You’re an idiot. If anything, Malone was 30th. We really needed a punter it was a good signing. I wish we’d address our other needs but glad we addressed that one.

  27. SRQBucFan Says:

    I would just like to point out. That most people fail to realize that hiring a coach is also an improvement to a specific area. So u say we didn’t upgrade our offense. but we did by hiring a power run scheme coach who will allow the players to play their natural style and run people over. It’s what Davin and Trueblood do so well.

  28. SRQBucFan Says:

    Our offense is in great shape. The O line will be better with the new Power Run scheme. We have Freeman, Arrelious Benn, Mike Williams, Dezom Briscoe, Sammie Stroughter, Kellen Winslow, Luke Stocker, LaGarette Blount, Allen Bradford, Kregg Lumpkin. We’ll be alright 🙂 On a side note. If we do grab someone from FA. Can we snag Heath Evans please. He’s a stud true FB who can run too.

  29. Ravelston Says:


    Going into last season our opponents’ W-L was 125-131; Going into this season our opponents’ W-L is 127-129. It’s difficult to see why you consider it “much harder”. Another way to look at it would be that, in terms of results, our schedule last season was the 25th toughest (or 23rd depending on how you look at it). This years schedule, on paper, is the 18th hardest – again, not really “a lot harder”.

  30. RustyRhino Says:

    @ Joe,
    Thanks on the interview… Millard’s coaching will make a difference to our Defense period. A great hire.