Rush Defense Killing Bucs

November 30th, 2011

Though Joe is either at Bucs home games, or chained to his 40-inch HDTV at home for road games, he hears about the mood of Bucs fans in recent weeks at local watering holes, and it’s not pretty.

Seems as though if Bucs fans aren’t cursing out loud and slamming their drinks on the table, they are trying to drink themselves under a table to numb themselves of the memory of yet another Bucs loss.

This is largely due to the Bucs’ lack of defense, currently ranked 31st in the NFL (shockingly, only the Patriots have a worse defense).

One reason the Bucs are struggling on defense is their inability to stuff the run. Chris Johnson running for 190 yards in the rain last week was Exhibit-A.

A quick glance at tackle numbers may shed some light. The leading tackler on the Bucs is safety Sean Jones with 66 tackles. Ageless cornerback Ronde Barber is next at 59 and rookie middle linebacker Mason Foster has 43.

Given the fact that Jones and Foster are two of the top three tacklers pretty much suggests teams are getting around the corner on the Bucs and abusing the Bucs outside linebackers.

To further flush out this theory, the numbers crunchers of Advanced NFL Stats have each linebacker in the NFL rated. It’s not pretty for Bucs fans. Geno Hayes is the Bucs’ highest-rated linebacker by these guys, rated at No. 74. Mind you, Bucs coach Raheem Morris has benched Hayes a couple of times this season for lack of production.

Other linebackers ranked by Advanced NFL Stats are Foster at No. 84, Dekoda Watson at No. 121 and Quincy Black at No. 123.

If the numbers are a window into the Bucs’ ills, it screams that Bucs rock star general manager Mark Dominik needs to load up on linebackers both in the draft, and dare Joe suggest dabbling in free agency? The linebacker corps with the Bucs is in that deep of a hole.

17 Responses to “Rush Defense Killing Bucs”

  1. espo Says:

    We have a poor run defense?

  2. Jimmy Says:

    Poor run defense is saying it mildly. The Bucs as a team missed another 14 tackles in the Titans game. The defense as a whole is atrocious at maintaining gap responsibility, and shedding blocks. Throw in that to a player they are fundamentally flawed when it comes to tackling and viola! You have a recipe for the worst defense in the league.

  3. TheProsUseAdvoCare Says:

    I understand why Hayes is in the lead and Watson is low. I would have never put Watson that low, but his run defense is his weak point. He has been solid to great in coverage and rushing however.

    Hayward is at 157!

  4. OAR Says:

    Rush Defense? Why yes, do you know where we can get one?

  5. Vince Says:

    Um, is it telling that a part time player like Watson is rated higher than our vastly overpaid starter Black?

  6. Ed Says:

    its sad how out of the 4, the one that plays the most is the least ranked…Quincy Black. I think zach brown would excell in the weakside lb position. But either way the bucs definately need atleast 1 other stud lb to go with foster. I hope we address the strongside in free agency but this time spend some money on a veteran that actually has PRODUCTION.

  7. The Hottub Warriors Says:

    How can our run defense possibly sucks with a “warrior” at NT ??

  8. Bucnjim Says:

    Black @ 123rd means he’s not only last among starters; he’s also behind quite a few reserves as well.

  9. Jimmy Says:

    Quincy Black is one of the greatest con artists of all time. At least Jesse James used a gun to rob people.

  10. knucknbuc Says:

    Tell me something we don’t know. Our olbs suck no surprise there Im actually surprised hayes is ranked that high. Kinda telling that our rookie is only 10 spots behind him tho. Foster will get better geno and black not so much. Watson maybe will get better I don’t have to much confidence in him tho, just to not get let down. Hayward is a backup at best.

  11. Bobby Says:

    LB’s are for sure our #1 concern in the next draft and FA. Foster & Watson have potential but the others just suck.

  12. Capt.Tim Says:

    KnucknBuc-” tell me something we don’t know!”
    Brother, you said it! That is my greatest frustration. We knew this in March!! I, along with others, knew the LBers sucked. We all expected Dom to adress it. All he did, was let the best LB leave unsigned, and draft one LB. Quincy and Geno sucked, yet he did nothing.

    This season was sabotaged before it started. We knew the LBers sucked, we needed another RB, and everyone but Joe knew the secondary sucked.

    Dom sure dealt Raheem a raw hand

  13. NickinMelbourne Says:

    Raheem is unable to bench Black because we dumped so much money on him and Raheem has no authority as head coach. If Raheem had any guts at all he would have benched Black a long time ago. Instead he benches Hayes who arguably has played better than Black. What a joke!

  14. Joe Says:


    Raheem has benched Black twice this year. Problem is when you do that, the Bucs are essentially playing with 10 defenders.

    With the exception of Mason Foster and Dekoda Watson (part-time player currently), this linebacker unit is rock bottom.

  15. tampa2ali Says:

    everyone blaming the defense.. ok the defense isnt playing great but the offense is playing worst… its at least three rookie qbs playing better than ours… Its time to put the blame where it belongs….. Josh Freeman he is the reason .. 7 out of his 15 ints are in the red zone the other ones were on long drives moving the offense down the field or in key possesions needing to put up at least three points… Not adding that the offensive line has been playing great… Freeman has been playing horrible… his stats reflects our record….. so far in his career out of three yrs playing he’s had one good season… and from the looks of things he’s getting worst.

  16. FLBoyInDallas Says:

    Quincy Black is the JaMarcus Russell of linebackers.

  17. Patrick Says:

    Drafting a linebacker in the 1st or 2nd round is fine, but we need to bring in at least 2 free agent linebackers this offseason. Sorry, but inserting more rookies into the starting lineup won’t make us better. If we keep doing that every year, we’re never gonna improve. Next year is gonna have to be a playoff year for us, or Raheem and Dom will be looking for work.

    More rookies combined with all our undisciplined rookies=recipe for another losing season.