Blitzing Didn’t Work

October 2nd, 2012

Many Bucs fans are still numb at how the Bucs came back from the dead Sunday, even took a lead late in the game only to see Robert Griffin III march the Redskins down the field as if the Bucs employed 11 lawn chairs for a defense.

It was way too easy, especially for a rookie in his fourth game who claimed his headset wasn’t working therefore he had to call his own plays (they weren’t runs on third-and-long down either).

Stephen Holder of the Tampa Bay Times decided to go back to the tape and break down what went wrong.

Essenstially, Holder concluded Greg Schiano decided to bring the house on blitzes, which never got any heat on RGIII.

Now, there’s no guarantee either of these plays would have produced different results with less aggressive defensive approaches. And what we can’t comment on is whether there was perfect execution. But it’s hard to imagine either play could have been as effortless for the Redskins, either.

We’ve known since Greg Schiano took over that the Bucs were going to be aggressive on defense. But we’ve also seen instances where doing so worked in the other team’s favor (the Giants loss, for example).

There’s a strong case to be made that Sunday’s game provided another one of those instances.

Look, Joe is like every other sane football fan who is unnerved at the thought of a prevent defense, and Schiano wasn’t playing prevent, which Joe applauds.

Perhaps, as Holder suggests, if Schiano plays it straight, meaning no blitzes, it may have been smarter.

Already we have terrible evidence that late in a game when the opponent needs to throw the ball (Giants, Redskins), whatever Schiano is dialing up has proved disastrous.

21 Responses to “Blitzing Didn’t Work”

  1. SteveK Says:

    RG3 is going to be darn good.

    Maybe we take a look at Geno Smith come draft day.

  2. Joe Says:

    Maybe we take a look at Geno Smith come draft day.

    Better hope the Bucs lose their next 12 games.

  3. Nick2 Says:

    We need to pray Daquan Bowers gets healthy and soon. If you have a great pass rusher opposite Michael Bennet we wont need to bring the house on these blitzes late in the game. Even in the Dallas game with all of the pressure we got it did not help.

  4. holymoly Says:

    Blitzing has been ineffective for the most part this season. They have to find a way to pressure opposing QB’s without the blitz. Any pressure and Bucs are 3-1 , still early though and I like improvement on the field .

  5. Buc U Says:

    People need to stop generalizing and saying that blitzing is why they lost. A stacked weakside blitz with only the defensive end containing the right side (and no coverage behind him) is why they lost.
    Schiano said he wouldn’t change the approach to blitz at the end of the game, but that there were some changes he would have made in retrospect. Let’s keep in mind, Schiano isn’t calling the plays. He tells the DC to bring pressure and Sheridan then calls the play. Sure, not blitzing may have been smart. Dialing up a better pressure for the situation could have been smarter.

  6. Miguel El Magnifico Says:

    In a battle of wits, the Little General is unarmed.

  7. JonBuc Says:

    That last drive was soul crushing….receivers with 15-20 yards of open field, Griffin easily breaking contain and running free and clear….couldn’t they have just mailed it in at half when I was resigned to a sure loss?! 😉

  8. OAR Says:

    Laughable statement, for something you know so plenty about!

  9. Tony FWB Says:

    I hear Rex Ryan might be available for a defensive coordinator position. HAHA!!!

  10. bucs911 Says:

    Should have taken the chance on Vontez Burfict in the draft. Led his team in tackles last game

  11. Rican Says:

    Maybe we’ll learn not to blitz repeatedly when it matters leaving our secondary to get burnt in man one day. Apparantly the Giants game wasn’t a lesson enough.

  12. Justin Says:


    Lavonte David led the Bucs in tackles on Sunday. Id take him any day over Burfict

  13. Nick2 Says:

    Buc U, you almost had me there until I looked at our stats. Out of 9 sacks this year only Rhonde (1) and Mason Foster (1/2 a sack) have come from players other than D lineman. Bottom line is our blitzes aren’t working unless you want to use the theory that the D lineman are getting the benefits of the blitzes. I think unless we have corners or linebackers who can speed rush the edge and get to the qb (i.e. Javon Kerse in his prime, Dakota Watson was supposed to be) or shoot up the middle then we might be wasting our time. In any event we have lost two out of our 3 games with blitzes on the final drive where many teams might be satisfied with a cover 2 bend but don’t break. I like blitzing during the game but in the last minute it drives me nuts.

  14. Colorado Buc Says:

    I saw a couple of beautiful 60 yard bombs dropped by Freeman this weekend. I also saw a team who started slow not give up in the second half. You know what? I saw that same team come back and put us in position to get the Win. Not sure I saw too much of any of that in the last 10 games last year. It’s easy to sit back and expect perfection, but come on already. This is an entirely new staff, a team with a lot of new parts, and fans act like they expected to go to the Super Bowl this year….What?

    Not our year folks, just sayin, not our year…

  15. skp Says:

    shoulda coulda woulda….we’ve seen the blitz work and not work. we’ve seen rushing four work and not work. let’s give this staff and the players a season to put together a statistically relevant sample of data and give the coaches a chance to figure out how to best utilize a roster of players they have never worked with before.

    this is frustrating but in alot of ways feels like the first part of dungy’s first year, where the team and coaches were figuring each other out and everybody was ready to call the nascent dungy era another failed experiment. i’m going to live play to play and overreact like every other fan, but when the emotions of gameday settle down, i’ll remind myself that these guys are still finding their way as a team. i like alot of what i see, but it will take alot of reps and alot more tape to really understand how to best utilize the players in different situations

  16. SensibleBuc Says:


    Bro you know that Burfict plays for the Bengals right?

  17. Macabee Says:

    I just watched the pressers for both Sullivan and Sheridan and nobody is panicked about where we are as a team. I am beginning to understand that what they are trying to do on both the offense and defense is for one different than anything we’ve ever done before and require a great deal of skill and precision.

    My take away. This is going to take a while to get this finely tuned engine running on all cyclinders. For everybody who was expecting a 10-6 playoff season need to re-forecast now! I can see the improvements and I like the possibilities if they are able to put it altogether.

    I can tell by their temperment that this is not a quick fix and they realize that. I’m going to stay the course with them because I sense we’re on the right path. Close but no cigar, but close is better than we were before!

  18. Colorado Buc Says:

    Nice to see more fans beating the drum! I love the season so far…tough to take a close loss, but the team is learning, the staff is learning, and everyone (fans included) will be better for it!

  19. Nick2 Says:

    I was hoping for a break out season to turn this around but its starting to look like we might round out to get more wins later in the year. I am not disappointed in this coaching staff at all. Our defense is better (couldn’t be much worse) and at least we are in games. Still stinks to lose but I guess we could still have Rah and then I would be drinking extra heavily every Sunday.

  20. patrickbucs Says:

    I am fine to be somewhat patient with this team and their changes. I didn’t expect much but was hoping for 6-8 wins. They brought in 3 key starters on offense in the offseason and have 4-5 returning or new starters on defense. What’s frustrating to me is the team at this point not knowing how to help Freeman, Blount, etc. succeed. There is enough tape on those guys to know how to be potentially succesful. Not a single roll out for Freeman that I recall this year. Blount under utilized completely. He is fun to watch, he excites the stadium and puts fear into opposing teams. I like Martin but at this point I cannot see why these cannot split carries or at least until someone gets hot.

    Also I am not sure where people look at our schedule later in the year and predict many wins. If we are going to win a few games it’s after the bye at home against KC & the Saints. I’m not sure if the Saints are as bad as their 0-4 record would indicate, their defense is the main problem. That’s the issue with Washington as well but we did little to try to exploit their awful secondary.

    I think this team looks to be on the right path; I am just really nervous with this coaching staff and their lack of game time awareness to adjust. I know they have had some good second half’s defensively and offensively but I just always feel like it’s to late.

  21. Rican Says:

    we’ll see if Free remains skitzofrenic or not