Still Much To Prove Against Run

August 13th, 2011

Hey, the Bucs played a stellar game against the Chiefs and humiliated them on their home turf. Bravo! Joe couldn’t be happier.

But one major thing Joe was looking for Friday night was the Bucs’ run defense improving.

Joe’s not sure the Bucs showed much in that area.

First, the Chiefs No. 1 superstar running back, Jamaal Charles, didn’t play. Their No. 2 back, potential Hall of Famer Thomas Jones, had two carries for 25 yards. And their No. 3 guy, Jackie Battle, sports a 2.9 yard career rushing average and he ran for 3.1 yards a carry.

Sure, the Bucs were swarming, forced a fumble from Battle, and Joe’s not knocking them, but Joe’s just not ready to say the Bucs are any closer to ending 2+ years of poor run defense.

In the opening series, either Frank Okam or rookie E.J. Wilson (Joe’s pretty sure it was Wilson) got so turned around and off balance on Dexter McCluster’s eight-yard run, Joe feels bad for him when the coaches watch game film in his presence. The poor guy looked like Joe getting shuffled out of Mons Venus after accidentally walking into the undressing room.

Thankfully, Cody Grimm was there to clean up the mess with an open field tackle on McCluster that forced a punt. And Grimm was there to take down Thomas Jones after his 17-yard scamper. Jones took great offense at Grimm’s physicality.

Sensing a trend? It’s eerily similar to last year. The Bucs run defense is scary ugly without Grimm.

Joe looks forward to the Bucs playing a team that pounds the rock with a quality back.

20 Responses to “Still Much To Prove Against Run”

  1. Espo Says:

    lol @ hall of famer

    I mostly just want us to stop the cut back that always seems to be there. It only happened once (workhorse yet not future hall of famer Thomas Jones) but they only tried once. I want for whichever end or linebacker who is on the weak side of the play to seal that off. That has been a huge issue for the past 36 games.

  2. Traew Says:

    Outside of the two runs you mention – I felt like the run D was pretty stout. They need to tighten up on the draw plays – but those sorts of plays can burn a D line that is aggressively coming upfield.

    I saw Q. Black get mauled a couple of times. He needs to get better on run D.

  3. Mauha Deeb Says:

    As Traew said, I too felt the run D was much improved outside of a couple gaffs. I still see Geno Hayes over perusing. Foster looked fine. Black was constantly around the ball. Definitely some room for improvement.

    But with the amount of time our DL spent in the Chiefs’ backfield, I wouldn’t worry too much. Let’s just hope McCoy doesn’t fall off where Okam clearly dominated.

  4. Kotch Says:

    Thomas Jones is 25th on the all time rushing list and should move into the top 20 if he has decent year like he did last year. The guy has played on some great teams. Don’t rule him out of the Hall.

  5. Kryq Says:

    Off subject.. I think Rendrick Taylor did well at fullback. anyone else think the same?

  6. SRQBucFan Says:

    Like most say you can’t take to much from a preseason game. But at the same time it was nice to see how well the team is already clicking with out much time in training camp. You can see the off season togetherness helped(look at the winning teams this week) . The bucs were not playing to play against KC. Morris already said earlier on that they were just going to follow a certain game plan. At half time he confirmed that. He was going to call and execute the same plays from the first half.( smart idea to see where your back up are copmared to first string at executing a script). So it was nice to see the game plan fall together well. I saw ALOT of hustle and speed from this team.. and a much bigger stronger team then in the recent past.

  7. SRQBucFan Says:

    Basically all this team really needs is experience to be contenders. They have the talent physically right now.

  8. BamBamBuc Says:

    Kryq, I was just gonna say something about him. Hadn’t heard anyone else saying anything yet. I’m watching the game over, and noticed that Rendrick Taylor was at FB with the 1’s in the 1st Qtr as well as the 2’s in the 2nd Qtr. Did he look good? Nah, not really. He has great hands, and I’d like to see him make some catches on better thrown balls to see what he can do after the catch, but other than being a receiving FB he isn’t much from what I saw. He really struggles in run blocking and often can’t even find a guy to block. I’d also like to see them hand the ball to him sometime this preseason. He supposedly has good quickness and agility for a big guy, I wonder if he could be more of the “Alstott” type FB that runs with good agility and can catch out of the backfield.

  9. BamBamBuc Says:

    A couple other things I noticed during the game:

    Ronde Barber is still a huge talent. He wasn’t in long, but his blitz adjustment to sniff out the run was beautiful.

    Asante had a really nice game. Got good pressure on a safety blitz in the 2nd Qtr, and a huge hit on a WR.

    If Benn is healthy, the Bucs could be scary if they go Empty with Williams, Benn, Briscoe, Stroughter and K2. Both Briscoe and Stroughter showed again why they’ll be impact players this year.

    Daniel Hardy should probably be the #3 TE, Purvis was ok, but #4 at best (assuming Stocker is healthy).

    Those saying the O-line “dominated” are over-stating things a bit. The 1st string O-line looked good in pass protection, really good. But they weren’t all that impressive in run blocking. The 2nd stringers struggled a bit at both. If it weren’t for JJ’s ability to scramble, he would have been sacked several times. Depth on O-line is still the part of this team that scares me this year.

    On the other hand, I’m pleasantly surprised at the depth at LB. With Hayes, Foster and Black starting… I don’t think we could ask for much more than Hayward, McKenzie, and Watson behind them. Not too shabby.

    Anthony Gaitor may beat out Elbert Mack as the 5th CB. Mack is pretty good on special teams though, so that may save him. Don’t see us carrying 6 CBs, so either Gaitor goes on practice squad or Mack is gone.

    Graham looked best as 3rd down back. Lumpkin just didn’t impress at all, and Bradford is just not ready. Armando Allen Jr. looked 2nd best at 3rd down back. However, I’d hate to be a LB or DB having to face Blount, Bradford and Graham with Rendrick Taylor (if he actually learns how to lead block) in the backfield. That’s just brutal.

    For those saying Freeman was throwing high, you’re right, but don’t worry. Freeman has started off that way in both the past two preseasons. Even early last year he was throwing high, although that probably had to do with the fractured thumb. He seems to get more comfortable after a few games, settle down and step into his throws better. Nothing to worry about.

  10. Mauha Deeb Says:

    @bambam I only said the OL dominated at pass protection. Which is great so long as Blount stays healthy.

  11. Mauha Deeb Says:

    @bambam Gaitor will make the team. Mack is gone.
    Lumpkin had a better rush average than Blount, but I too was disappointed with his lack of jukes and physicality. Bradford looked out of his league.
    I have nothing positive to say about Rendrick Taylor. He shouldn’t be on the team long with his subpar play.

  12. Capt.Tim Says:

    The team looked strong, Fast , and Cohesive last night. Really good signs!
    1) Quincy still getting blown up. Has to fight thru blocks. All the long runs were cut to the strong side. Quincy watched most of them from underneath a Chief player.
    2) Hayes is still running himself out of the play. The two OLB looked just like last year. Has to improve if we wanna stop the run
    3)depth at TE looks a little thin- But Stocker should help
    The good news
    1) wow- Foster looked good!
    2)d-line was very good at getting penetration and being disruptive.
    3) Briscoe is our 3rd WR. Along with Williams and Benn- Could be unstoppable!
    4) Freeman was at mid season form. Just unbelievable.
    5) Rendrick Taylor was a big surprise. I reviewed numerous plays- he had so great blocks, and showed surprising agility in pass routes.
    6)Larry Asante made a big move for Sean Jones Job. But jones also played well.
    7) Grimm is a joy to watch. The guy has instincts and heart.
    8) I think Lumpkin did very well at blitz pickup, and pass blocking. He’ll be a nice addition in the backfield
    9) I got more, but will have to pick up later.
    The announcers were right. The Bucs looked and acted like a Vetern team. They showed all the poise and confidence you would expect from a championship calibre team . It was fun to watch. And it all starts with Josh Freeman. You call tell – this team EXPECTS to win.
    Just great fun watching last night. Our first thru third string whipped their counterparts handily. My only concern is stopping the run. That is gonna be a problem if Hayes and Black dont pick it up!!

  13. Mr. Lucky Says:

    Captain Tim, I pretty much agree with the exception of our 2nd string offensive line. JJ didn’t have the time that Freeman had – KC had way too much penetration.

    Lumpkin wasn’t impressive, in my mind.

    Blount finally figured out how to plow into a pile and move the chains for 3 yards when it comes down to 3rd and 2; gotta love that!

    The Defensive is the biggest concern – it was last year and I don’t see a lot of improvement. The DE’s need to learn to stand their ground or teams are going to cutback and SLASH this defense for 100+ yards each and every game.

    As for Grimm – PLEASE do not let this guy get hurt in the preseason! He has instinct and ability that’s just insane! How can a 2nd year guy play like that! WOW.

  14. flmike Says:

    Liked what I saw, not gong to go not an in depth analysis, but the WR might be a top 3 corps in the league this season, Josh looks ready for the season, Blount looked better in pass protect, he is a beast, feel sorry for any LB/DB who has to take him on alone. Still needs to be a little more aggressive on short yardage plays though. The D looked good, the front 7 were better than last season already, Foster is a player and deserves the praise he is getting, I was really impressed by how disruptive the line was, Okam is a beast he was in the backfield more than Cassel.

  15. CharlieB Says:

    Geno Hayes is still a joke. The guy makes 2-3 big plays a game and every other time he misses a simple assignment trying to make a big play. Both of Jones’s big runs were to the Defense’s left. Hayes, was too far inside on both of them because he over pursues.

  16. BigMacAttack Says:

    I thought they played well all in all, but I think they were shaking off some rust and cobwebs. I don’t fault them so much on the couple run plays they gave up, because Cody still came up and stopped one short of the first down, and I saw a big block in the back that helped spring the other. They got a lot of good film they can dissect and tune up for the next game. Pats at home next Thursday night. This will not be a Walk Through like KC was. The Bucs just need to get a little better each week, until the Lions come to town and they decimate them like hammered dog-spit.

  17. Mauha Deeb Says:

    @CharlieB You hit the nail on the head. I saw those cut backs and Hayes was stuck at the line.

  18. Brandon Says:

    Anybody that thinks we didn’t play well against the run really doesn’t know football, The long run by McCluster was a draw on 3rd and very long… we gave up a good chunk, but stopped the first down. Despite the unexpectedness of the call, EJ Wilson had excellent penetration and although he failed to locate the ball he forced McCluster a bit inside, Al Woods got through clean as well but also failed to locate the ball. On both instances, penettration, not getting pushed back or stuck handfighting was a big improvement. Then as McCluster broke into the open field, the novice football viewer would see that McCluster bounced it back outside and we almost failed to make the tackle. Somebody that actually know how football works would have seen Quincy Black mirror McCluster AND take on a block from an OG and force McCluster to go back outside where Grimm made the tackle. Great play by the defense to limit the 1st down on a play they weren’t expecting to see.

    As for the other plays, even the long run by Jones, really the only blown play on the night, the DL consistently got penettration and disrupted plays. The LBs were there at the 2nd level to clean up the RB if he got past the 1st level. On one particular play, the DL strung Battle out to the left then Quincy Black shot the gap instead of waiting for the action to come to him, and stopped the play for a loss or no gain. Black had several impressive plays, the aforementioned play, the forced fumble where he put his hat on the ball, and a hard hit at the sideline on a Chief RB after a short run.

    Ii was extremely impressed with the Bucs run D, especially considering, with or without Charles, the Chiefs are a great running team with OLinemen that know how to block…and didn’t do a very good job of run blocking last night. Our first string pass rushers, didn’t get many opportunities and when they did they usually saw a 3-step drop. Clayborn showed a nice motor chasing a play down from behind.

    One pass rusher that really caught my eye was Dakoda Watson playing RDE in the nickel… WOW! So explosive off the snap, dips his shoulder and made himself tiny on two separate occasions to totally turnstile the LT… WOW!!!!! I would love to see more of Dakoda in passing situations at RDE.

  19. BecklesHeartsRuud Says:

    Brandon- Your right on dude. Capt Tim is just going to keep blindly hating on Black, who also forced a fumble, just to shift blame for crappy LB run defense off his favorite player who is no longer here. Capt. Tim needs to get some glasses and actually pay attention to which player is doing what on any given play.

  20. Diary of a Wimpy Ruud Says:

    Where is Joe’s other annointed hall of famer , Brian Price ??

    Fat , overweight , and still hurt.

    Guess our run-stopping solution won’t come there…