The Coming Of Age Defensive Line

September 29th, 2011

It’s an old axiom Joe is well-aware of but it holds true today just as it did in football’s embryonic age: it all starts up front.

For the Bucs, that is the defensive line. It is no coincidence that the reason the Bucs rallied from behind at Minnesota and stopped the Dixie Chicks offense last Sunday was because of the defensive front.

Make that the Bucs young defensive front. Gerald McCoy is the veteran of the group and some would suggest leader of the line, yet he has yet to play a full season in the NFL.

Yet these young Bucs are starting to flex their muscle writes Rick Stroud of the St. Petersburg Times.

This season, McCoy is waiting on his first sack but has a club-best nine quarterback pressures, including six against the Falcons. One reason Ryan couldn’t escape Clayborn is because McCoy had both arms around his legs.

Defensive tackle Brian Price, a second-round pick from UCLA who played only five games as a rookie, also notched his first pro sack Sunday. The confidence in the group of young, athletic, relentless defensive linemen has emboldened coach Raheem Morris to scrap the staid Tampa 2 for aggressive man-to-man coverage.

“You bring guys in the past two drafts, all defensive linemen, it’s clear what you want and what you expect and how much you believe in those guys,” McCoy said. “Coach Morris, on the sideline, he said: ‘Look, I’ve got all the faith in you guys who were brought here to do what you do. So go out there and show me.’ The next drive, we got pressure on the first play. The next play was the sack-fumble.”

Joe is totally geeked about the future of this line. When Brian Price gets 100 percent healthy and in shape and when Da’Quan Bowers finds his groove, this line could simply be ferocious on opposing quarterbacks.

Just ask Matty Ice.

24 Responses to “The Coming Of Age Defensive Line”

  1. Apple Roof Cleaning Says:

    I saw it too! Our D Line pressured Ryan all day, and shut down the run as well. Clayborne is going to hurt people with his play. He has really stood out lately, and he is just a rookie.
    Tampa is going to have a great D Line for years to come, it looks like.

  2. Real Talk Says:

    “One reason Ryan couldn’t escape Clayborn is because McCoy had both arms around his legs.” Im sorry i love GMC but i gta call bullsh!t on this one. Clayborn ROCKED Ryan and he would have went down regardless if GMC had the ankles wrapped up or not..GO BUCS

  3. Capt.Tim Says:

    Real talk- watch again! You’re absolutely right about Clayborn Rocking the the chief Chick! But replay shows clearly that McCoy had his legs wrapped before Clayborn planted him. I’m happy that both our guys had him- last year, no one did! That plant and plow by Clayborn was sweet! I’ve been dying to see that for years! And as expected, it rattled “Matty Ice” the rest of the game.

    Guess Clayborn and McCoy are “the defrosters” lol!

  4. Real Talk Says:

    Captain there’s no doubt about it that GMC got there but what im saying is he would have went down regardless. Not many qbs are going to break that tackle

  5. Diary of a Wimpy Ruud Says:

    The Girl-Kitten is not strong enough to bring Matt Ryan down with only a hand on the ankle , sorry.

    Clayborn gets all the credit.

  6. Matt Says:

    I love the potential of this DLine, but how about we wait until they do it for another game or two against an OLine that hasn’t been struggling all year?

  7. flmike Says:

    @Matt good p;oint, this game should be a good test, the Colts O-line is pretty much intact, their D is decimated they just put both Bullitt (their best safety) and Brackett (their best LB) on IR. Yes, the Blount Instrument as will our TE’s are going to run free thru that defense.

  8. Capt.Tim Says:

    Real talk- agreed- he wasn’t gonna escape either of them. It’s just nice to discuss which lineman crushed a QB first! Haven’t had that conversation much lately!

    Matt- Minnesota’s line is pretty highly reguarded, an we rattled them the second half. You’re right, it’s a little premature. But there are starting to be signs of things to come!

  9. Dave Says:

    Diary of a Wimpy Ruud

    You are right that it should be a full sack for Clayborne and not a 1/2 sack for McCoy…. but……….. take off the blinders of hate for McCoy.

    He has been the most consistent D-Lineman so far this year. He is playing very good and improving every game.

    Also, on that play there was a holding call: it was against the O-Lineman trying to block McCoy.

    Just be happy with the whole progression of the unit.

  10. Diary of a Wimpy Ruud Says:


    It’s not that McCoy is playing terrible , he’s playing decent. My issue is that he is not playing like a 3rd overall pick in the draft. He’s not a huge difference maker.

    Price is a fat blob who can only play about 15 snaps a game , not to mention plays a less glorious position (NT), but he still puts up better numbers and makes more splash than McCoy on a regular basis.

  11. Fear The Glo Says:

    When the line puts together 3 or 4 consistently good games I will buy in but until then they are still just a talented young group with potential. Falcons o-line has been terrible this season regardless of who they play.

  12. Big Marlon B Says:

    why does everyone insist on putting an “E” at the end of Clayborn?? its like all the people who put H in Ronde. apparently all u morons must think the Buccaneers website, and everyone in the media doesnt know how to spell these names properly. chances are, if JBF and the Bucs official website spell a name a certain way, u should be willing to bet that is the correct way.

    now back to the subject at hand….i agree with Fear The Glo, i am excited about the progress so far, but i want to see consistent play against teams with solid O lines before i go saying “they are coming of age”. lets not get ahead of ourselves just yet folks.

  13. Hawaiian Buc Says:

    Wimpy dude,
    Bet you wouldn’t call McCoy a girl kitten to his face. No real man hides behind a keyboard calling out men that could easily snap them in half. So who again is the girl kitten? McCoy has played well all season, even though I know you and your boy 2.2″ hates that fact. When the sacks start coming in (which they will very soon), you two “buddies” will have nothing left to b!tch about.

  14. Diary of a Wimpy Ruud Says:

    I hate to break it to you Hawaiian, but McCoy isn’t strong enough to snap anyone in half…it’s clear he’s never seen the inside of a weight room in his life before getting to tampa.

    You let me know when those sacks finally start coming . Considering he never even registered more than 6 sacks in a season at Oklahoma , you could be waiting a loooong time….

  15. Capt.Tim Says:

    McCoy leads the team in QB pressures- which is impressive from the DT spot. Atlanta said they had to scheme to block McCoy. If teams are scheming their line play around stopping McCoy, when he’s played less than two years- then we have more than got our Moneys worth. Of course, anyone who watches the game can see that already, unless they are a clueless idiot( hey whimp, raise yer hand, I just played yer theme song)

  16. Diary of a Wimpy Ruud Says:

    The falcons entire game plan was based on stopping the ferocious unblockable Girl-kitten and his 3 career sacks ?? LOL I’m so sure they were trembling all week.

    Link please, Capt. Kool-aid ??

  17. Hawaiian Buc Says:

    The stupidity you possess Wimpy Dude is rivaled by only one man.

  18. Freeman4President Says:

    Wimpy, your an idiot you only have to watch the game to see that the gaurd had help from the center on McCoy the whole game. Which means it was game planned to double McCoy, which also means the NT were in a one on one with the other gaurd. Do you know what that means…easier for Price, Miller, or Okam to make a play.

    Oh yeah, you don’t know S**T about the sport….

  19. Diary of a Wimpy Ruud Says:

    In the Tampa Two you stagger the D-line so the undertackle is lined up on the weak-side opposite the tight-end . You can NOT easily double team him because the center is not in a position to block him. McCoy lines up between the gaurd and tackle , NT lines up over center and other gaurd, forcing the center to engage him. This forces the UT into a single team situation. How do you think we freed up Warren Sapp to do all that damage ?? You think other teams didn’t realize Sapp was good ? LOL.

    You are the one who obviously knows s**T about the sport , as I just proved to you . It’s no wonder you McCoy fans have resorted to bold-faced lying to try and make your case.

    LOL, keep making excuses, dumb arse.

  20. Hawaiian Buc Says:

    You only further proved how much of an idiot you are. Yeah, Sapp wasn’t ever double teamed and neither is McCoy. Sure buddy. I can see you’ve been spending time with T-Jax.

  21. Diary of a Wimpy Ruud Says:

    Great! You’ve gone from bold-faced lies to creating a straw man. Your arguments get weaker and weaker as we go along.

    Looks like Hawaii Buc has been hit in the head by one too many coconuts. LOL , what a kool-aid drinking jack-arse…

  22. Hawaiian Buc Says:

    That sure is a funny joke wimp! That’s hilarious how you connected the Hawaiian with coconuts. So creative. Aside from your amazing football knowledge, it is obvious that you double as a comedian. We are so blessed to have a boy with so many talents on this site.

    So let me get this straight: I’m drinking Kool-Aid because I observe the same thing that everyone else in the world does, aside from you and Thomas? To say that McCoy has not been disruptive is idiotic. HE LEADS THE TEAM IN PRESSURES JACK ARSE!!! It’s right there for you to see. That is what is known as fact. It’s fine if you want to say he’s not as good as Suh or you wish we hadn’t drafted him, but to say he hasn’t been disruptive is wrong. But then again, that never stopped Thomas, and you look like you’re on the same wavelength as him.

  23. Freeman4President Says:

    Hey, wimp I am aware of the 3 tech allignment in the t2, doesn’t change the fact the center has been helping on McCoy, the protection is slideing in that direction. If a gaurd is pass protecting and his responsibilty is the tackle on his outside shoulder, which direction is his going to slide? The tackle is going to (with the exception of blitzs) pick up the DE, the center (assuming a rush with the front 4) has the option to slide to either gaurd (depending on protection/play call) to help. Hence McCoy getting the center helping the gaurd on McCoy’s side. No the center doesn’t engaged the 3tech first, but it takes more than 1 step to get to the QB and teams are aware of how to adjust to the base allignment. Thanks for playing though.

  24. Freeman4President Says:

    BTW my point about the tackle picking up the DE was to illustrate that if the gaurd doesn’t kick to the direction of the DT lined up on his outside shoulder and you have a DE running upfield there would be a huge opening for a counter move …. its easier with a diagram… long story short the man is seeing double teams.