Booger McFarland: Go Get Ziggy

March 11th, 2013

So Joe turns on SiriusXM NFL Radio Friday night to catch up on NFL chatter before he headed to his favorite watering hole to throw down a few pints, and lo’ and behold who does Joe hear? None other than former Bucs defensive tackle and current WHFS-FM, 98.7 personality Booger McFarland making his debut as co-host of “Late Hits,” along with Alex Marvez.

(SiriusXM NFL Radio is going through a massive change. The original voice of the station, popular sports radio personality Adam Schein has left NFL Radio to work for the one and only Chris “Mad Dog” Russo on Mad Dog Radio, also heard exclusively on SiriusXM. Joe is chagrin about this move as Joe was and is a big fan of Schein.)

Naturally, Marvez asked McFarland about the Bucs defensive line and Booger didn’t hold back.

In short, Booger said Bucs rock star general manager Mark Dominik cannot afford to stand pat and should make a big splash in the draft grabbing Ziggy Ansah of BYU.

Alex Marvez: What is the state of the Tampa Bay Buccaneers’ pass rush. If you were Mark Dominik and had the GM cap on, how would you approach to free agency?

Booger McFarland: Well, the Bucs are an interesting team because they spent a lot of picks on the defensive line. Adrian Clayborn, Da’Quan Bowers, Gerald McCoy, Brian Price who they traded up to Chicago but this is a team that is still searching for pass rushers and still trying to find the next Warren Sapp. I think they are close with Gerald McCoy but they still haven’t gotten that guy who can dominate that one-on-one matchup to create havoc. They need someone that can come off the edge. Michael Bennett led the team in sacks last year with nine-and-a-half, they decided not to franchise him and let him become an unrestricted free agent. Adrian Clayborn is coming off a knee injury. What are you going to get from him? That’s why I fully expect this team to be active in the draft or free agency trying to get a pass rusher.

Everybody makes a big deal in Tampa: “We need a corner, a corner, a corner.“ I am always reminded, every coach I ever played for said one thing: Men, it starts up front. You can give me the greatest secondary in the world and if the quarterback has all the time to throw, it doesn’t matter. So the Bucs have to have a guy to go along with Gerald McCoy to turn the corner and force the quarterback to step up [in the pocket] especially playing in the NFC South with Matt Ryan and Drew Brees and Cam Newton. You need athletic guys who can bend and turn the corner and get after the quarterback. The Buccaneers are still looking for the guy to give them double-digit sacks and double-digit pressures and hits on the quarterback. They think they may have one in Da’Quan Bowers if his legal troubles hold up. We will see. Adrian Clayborn has to come back off the knee injury and if he can do that, maybe they have something.

I would not be locked in to these guys if I was Mark Dominik. I would go out and find me a guy in the draft, a Ziggy Ansah, maybe a Paul Kruger from Baltimore in free agency that can turn the corner on a dime every time they needed to.

Now Joe agrees with Booger, but for different reasons. Remember when Joe interviewed former Bears defensive back and current FOX analyst and SiriusXM NFL Radio host Tim Ryan? While researching the Bucs during the season, Ryan told Joe there were some games where the opposing quarterback was getting rid of the ball on average every two-and-a-half seconds against the Bucs.

Why? Because the Bucs corners were so inept, receivers were open virtually when they left the line of scrimmage. Unless totally unblocked, Reggie White would have had a hard time getting pressure on a quarterback in less than three seconds. That’s just out of hand!

Did you ever hear of the Bucs getting a coverage sack last year? Of course you didn’t. The Bucs corners were so miserable, they couldn’t cover their heads in a rainstorm.

Remember those three-step drops Eli Manning killed the Bucs with last year? Joe’s not so sure Bruce Smith would have made a difference.

Yes, Joe agrees wholeheartedly with Booger about needing to get heat on a quarterback and is intrigued by Anash. But if the Bucs cannot upgrade the secondary, Joe just cannot see the pass defense improving that much.

It would also help if the Bucs knocked off using all of those damned stunts upfront on passing downs.

Now if Dominik is able to add a pass rusher — which Joe has had a hunch for months will be the case — in addition to beefing up the secondary, now you are talking.

24 Responses to “Booger McFarland: Go Get Ziggy”

  1. Capt. Tim Says:

    Agree 100%. Normally, a great Pass rush is the key to great coverage. But our secondary was so far below NFL standards- they absolutely did not cover opposing receivers . Period. I’ve never seen such a horrible lack of talent

    If we get two or three decent Vets, and a couple Rookies- then that will allow our D-line to apply pressure. Our pass defense will make giant leaps.

  2. buccanay Says:

    Couldnt agree more, Joe. We were a half step away so many times, AND you dont set records for “TFL’s” without a penetrating D-line. We need corners AND a FS who can cover for more than a millisecond or 2, to at least, give our rush a fightin’ chance.

  3. Jonny 3.3 Says:

    For anyone that thinks our pass rush is the primary problem, I request them to watch the Eagles game and 2nd Panthers game, then come back and tell me where we need our upgrades. If we had the 2nd worst secondary of Pats, we could have won those games.

  4. bucfanjeff Says:

    In a some-what perfect world…Sign Goldson, let Barron move to Barber’s spot (let ronde retire), sign Smith or Cox, draft Trufant and hope Bowers and Clayborn come back strong and healthy.

  5. bucfanjeff Says:

    As the article implies, if you have a QB throwing the ball on step 2 of a 3 step drop…AND know he’s going to get 10+ yards a pop…it doesn’t matter how good the DL is…it just won’t matter.

  6. @MikeInTampa2 Says:

    Bucs are spinning their wheels in the mud…by letting Bennett go then drafting a DE. Makes ZERO sense.

  7. the_buc_realist Says:

    hmmmmm,,,, i guess our d-line cannot jump and put there arms up to knock down all these quick passes. Do we need to upgrade our CB, no doubt. The worst thing is the resources our GM has put into the D-line and they are not difference makers yet.

  8. Jacko101 Says:

    @mikeintampa2 If we let Bennett go its because some other team is really overpaying. It would not make sense to do that for us with so many other needs. If we secure good CB’s in FA that’s one less thing to worry about immediately in the early rounds. We need another LB, TE, LT, safety. When it comes to drafting its best player available then need. Do we need security over the DE position? I’d say yes. So a DE would make sense if we work the draft boards to maybe get a DE and TE early

  9. flmike Says:

    Bennett is not worth the $10-$11 mil he’s going to get from some other team. If you can sign him for $7-$9, then yeah, but not for anything more. Nine sacks does not make you an elite DE in the NFL. Second, I just noticed that Julian Edelman is a UF, now there is a guy who the Bucs can use in the slot and can probably be gotten for $4 mil a year.

  10. @MikeInTampa2 Says:

    @Jacko101…..i see what you’re saying…I’m just pissed we didnt Franchise Tag him…then that position is taken care of and we can move on. If Bennett walks, and we don’t make the playoffs….b/c of poor Pass Rush….its ON the CHEAP BUCS!!!!!!

  11. Joe Says:

    ’m just pissed we didnt Franchise Tag him

    There is no way Dominik was going to franchise Michael Bennett. That would have been absolutely irresponsible.

  12. @MikeInTampa2 Says:

    …..not when we’re about to be $42,000,000.00 UNDER the Salary Cap. Franchising Tagging only hurt the Glazers Cash Flow…. Not the Salary Cap

  13. Tom Says:

    The problem with Ziggy Ansah is his draft stock is so high right now he is probably a top 10 pick and I don’t see the Bucs trading up to grab a rush end.

    Maybe Bjoern Werner or Barkevious Mingo falls and they take them, it depends on how they feel about Clayborn’s recovery, Bower’s legal status and whether they addressed having a 3rd End in FA or not. They could use a dominant 5-technique more than a 3rd end so it would be a thing of beauty if Lotulelei fell to them because of the heart scare but wasn’t dropped off the board because of it. It’s unlikely though.

  14. Capt. Tim Says:

    The NFL is really a complicated place to do Business.
    Is Bennett a great DE? Probably not- but he’s very good! To sign him, it’s probably gonna take 8-10 mil.. That’s superstar money! That’s Gerald McCoy money! And Bennett isn’t that guy. If you pay him that much- you have committed so much money to him, that you have made him your Top DE.

    The Bucs(and I) seem to believe that Bowers and Clayborn are gonna be better. If you watch the last game(Falcons), Bowers was disrupting the offense on almost every play. He lost a sack and a half, because of fouls in the secondary.

    Those 2 are younger than Bennett, and have shown signs of being great- not just” Very good”

    I’d hate to lose Bennett. It seems stupid to let him go. But if we tie up that much money- we may lose a young budding superstar in the next two years

    The salary cap, plus pressure to win, forces teams to waaaay overspend on players, to make up for bad drafting mistakes.

    For proof, just watch what we have to pay for Cornerbacks.

  15. Chris@Apple Roof Cleaning Tampa Says:

    I listen to Booger all the time on The Fan. I hear a national star, in the making.
    I too think Tampa will draft a pass rusher number one.
    Even Revis and Champ Bailey would get torched with our lame ass pass rush.

  16. Mike J Says:

    Ezekiel “Ziggy” Ansah, BYU: Multiple positions, special teams
    No player has helped himself more than Ansah since the end of the college season. He put together a dominant performance in the Senior Bowl game and followed that up with an eye-opening showing at the combine. Teams are excited about his potential as a player, especially given his immense versatility. He played all over the field for BYU this past fall, lining up over centers, guards and tackles at different times. Some 3-4 teams feel like he’s ideally suited to play defensive end, while others see him more as a stand-up outside linebacker. Teams that employ the 4-3 vary on whether or not he’s best served playing outside or inside. His ability to play multiple spots is a huge reason for his rapid spring ascension. As a bonus, he’s also one of the top coverage players on special teams in the entire draft.

    Something of a risky pick & a projection, but a worthwhile roll of the dice IMO, if he can be viewed as a sam backer. However, I am fairly sure that the Bucs would need to trade up in order to select Ziggy.

  17. Mike J Says:

    Left out the link, sorry:

  18. Paul Says:

    I don’t think I’d draft someone that “didn’t train” for the combine.

  19. BadNewsBucs Says:

    I don’t want to invest another high value draft pick into a DE, it’d be pointless as coming out of the 2012 campaign that was a spot we worried least about. Our pass rush is absolutely fine, and for all those trying to down play Bennett’s sacks, yet hold the agrument our DL doesn’t record enough of them, realize the man recorded those sacks in-spite of having a crap secondary that afforded the rush next to zero time to get there and matched McCoy’s(1st round pick) career total in the process of one season. Give me Bjoern Werner and teach him the tilt-NT in place of Miller while holding onto Bennett, McCoy, Bowers, & Clayborn. A front like that would be impossible to double or contain.

  20. tha truth is... Says:

    tha only way we get Ziggy is if we trade up. We’re stuck between a rock and a hard place due 2 beating tha Falcons when we shouldn’t have

  21. Patrick Says:

    Nice, so basically we should draft ANOTHER DE just to replace the one we let go of. Yeah we’re really going somewhere.

  22. Mike J Says:

    Paul , “Unlike probably every other player in attendance, Ansah kept going to class and never worked with an outside trainer to prepare for the combine. In fact, the 40 yard dash he ran at the combine was the first of his life, according to his agent Frank Bauer.”

  23. Mike J Says:

    Patrick, where Ansah plays is the key. Like I said, if he can play sam backer on run downs & DE on pass downs, it’s a solid plus.

  24. @MikeInTampa2 Says:

    Booger speaks WORSE English than Emmitt Smith. He clearly does not read