Waiting For The Rush Defense

August 22nd, 2011

Yeah, yeah, yeah, Joe knows it’s preseason and Joe knows win-loss records, among other things in preseason, mean about as much as whatever Joe flushed the morning after a plate of chicken fajitas washed down with several adult beverages.

But an irritant for Joe hasn’t gone away from last year, even with a shutout slapping of the Chiefs.

The Bucs are still giving up chunks of real estate on the ground.

Through two preseason games, opponents are rushing for an average of 4.8 yards a carry, so notes eye-RAH! Kaufman of the Tampa Tribune.

Kaufman also documents how the Bucs were 28th in the league in rushing defense last season, giving up 4.7 yards a carry.

Now Joe knows that defensive tackle Gerald McCoy has only played one game and that is likely a factor as is middle linebacker Mason Foster is still as green as a lime having just a handful of practices as a pro.

Simply put, if the Bucs plan on making it to the playoffs with a much tougher schedule than last year, toughing up the run defense is an area that simply cannot be avoided.

13 Responses to “Waiting For The Rush Defense”

  1. Pete Dutcher Says:

    Simply put, if the Bucs plan on making it to the playoffs with a much tougher schedule than last year, toughing up the run defense is an area that simply cannot be avoided.

    I don’t know, Joe. The Cardinals did it with just offense I think…didn’t win the superbowl, but they got to it.

    Unless we get a pleasant surprise, I don’t see how the defense cannot be downright horrible the first half of the season…too many young guys to expect otherwise.

    Maybe by midway they start looking better, but in hte meantime our offense is going to have to carry the team.

  2. Capt.Tim Says:

    Still strange to me that we keep blaming the D-line for not stop

  3. Eric Says:

    Not sure were quite to the Kurt Warner/Fitzgerald offensive show just yet.

    But 5 never gives up and pulled many rabbits out of his hat last year. If were close in the fourth he has a remarkable ability to win.

    Whether you can continue to do that kind of thing over the long haul, without vastly better run defense remains a huge question.

    I caught the lions game against the Browns, and they looked like their typical crappy selves. Absent implosion, bucs ought to win that one. Things get considerably dicey after that.

  4. Capt.Tim Says:

    Sorry- big fingers. It amazes me that we hold hold the D-line entirely accountable for stopping the run. If you look at most great defenses, that’s not the case. The D- line is of course, partially to blame, for not sealing their gaps. But typically, the line clOgs the gaps, and the linebackers and Strong safety( in the Tampa 2) tackle the Running backs. Cody Grimm IMMEDIATELY improved the run defense. How? By tackling the Running Back.

    Cato June used to rack up the tackles. So did the incomparable Derrick Brooks. So did John Lynch. They stopped the run. Alot of times in the backfield! Sapp, Rice, Macfarland, and Spires didn’t have big tackle numbers. They weren’t in the 100s of tackles. That’s the LBers job. Ruud was in the Hundreds. He averaged more than Quarles. Quarrels, like Ruud, spent alot of time in coverage. Ruud was constantly cleaning up missed tacked by others.

    I keep saying it.but focus on them next game. Black and Hayes seem to avoid the Run. Watch for yourself. Our OLBers have to be tackling these Running backs to stop the running game. They aren’t. Until they do, and our Ss commits to run defense, we won’t improve.

  5. hfxbuc Says:

    this is Re-Donk-U_Lous…. it’s pre-freaking-season has history taught us nothing? The pre season doesn’t mean anything. nothing. zip zero silch nada. the 2009 Arizona Cardinals Pre Season 0-4, played in the superbowl, Chicago Bears 2010 0-4 made the division championship game…Andy Reid is 19-30 in his career…

    What does it all mean? nothing…

  6. WeNeedDefense Says:

    Thank you Joe for being fair and balanced.


    The defense has to get blamed for giving up 4 TDs in the first 5 drives.

    Of course the offense punted all 1st half… they get their fair share.

    But, thank you for finally telling the whole story here. The defense shouldn’t get a break when they can’t stop the other team.

  7. Jake Says:

    Sorry hfxbuc, don’t totally agree. While the final score and wins and losses dont mean anything in preseason, the way our starters play against the others team starters does mean something. In both preseason games, the run defense when our starters were in was suspect at best. In the Kansas City game, Thomas Jones broke several runs off for large gains against our starters that should have been stopped for little gain. Same holds true in the New England game. That is a trend which is a concern and rightfully so.

  8. Traew Says:

    Our D line does not maintain discipline in their gaps, Black and Hayes routinely get mauled at the 2nd level, Foster will be lost half the time, and Grimm can’t make every single tackle.

    Going to be a very long year on D. Very long year.

  9. Capt.Tim Says:

    Before everyone lines up at the jumper station on the skyway bridge, remember this

    We couldn’t stop the run last year. And we still won 10 games. As a matter of fact, Raheem played a 3-3-5 defense, and dared them to beat us running the ball. Only Pittsburgh and Baltolimore could.

    This isn’t our dad’s NFL. Teams are built to pass the ball. 90% of them aren’t able to grind the balldown the field all day. They’ll self district with penalties and miscues. They are build for what the league encourages- QB driven passing attacks, and quick strike plays. I thought it was genius the way Raheem played to their weaknesses.

    When we need to worry Is if Talib gets in trouble again, or gets suspended. Or Barber gets hurt or starts showing his age. Then we can’t stop the run or the pass

    Or if anything happens to Freeman. Ever. I really like JJ. Think he will be a starter in this league. He looks good.

    But he ain’t Josh Freeman

  10. The D Says:

    Oh my god its freaking pre-season. Go ask Detroit how important it is to be the best team in pre-season (4-0 in pre-season and 0-16 in regular season)

  11. Dave Says:

    Yes there can be improvement, but it is only preseason and they are working on it and have not had starters playing in the trenches (especially DT) the whole game.

  12. Chris FWC :) Says:

    Jane likes football. Can’t play worth a darn though.

  13. Joke Says:

    I agree with Joe — run-stopping is the biggest concern for me about this team. On the plus side, here’s a ton of opportunity to improve over last year’s run defense.

    But can we stop with this “much tougher schedule than last year” business? The schedule really isn’t that much tougher. Last year, our opponents won 47.7% of their regular season games. Our opponents for this year won 49.6% of their regular season games last year. Sure the schedule is a bit tougher this year, but there’s really not much difference — all of 0.3 wins. That is, our average opponent last year had 7.6 wins and 8.4 losses; our average opponent this year had 7.9 wins and 8.1 losses last year.

    Now of course the teams on this year’s schedule could each individually end up being better in 2011 than they were in 2010, but I don’t see any reason to assume that. They could also be worse.