What About The Pass Rush?

July 21st, 2013
daquan bowers 0701

Da’Quan Bowers has a lot of pressure on his shoulders in trying to develop a consistent pass rush for the Bucs.

Most Bucs fans, when they think of the Bucs’ pass defense last year, often race for a bathroom to throw up.

Probably few were sicker than Bucs rock star general manager Mark Dominik. His nausea led him to revamp the secondary, bringing in Batman and Robin. But is that enough?

ESPN NFC South blogger Pat Yasinskas listed critical issues for each NFC South team and he pointed to the pass rush as a key area that must improve for the Bucs.

Defense: Pass rush
The Bucs let last year’s leading sacker, Michael Bennett, walk in free agency. It was a calculated gamble because the Bucs have a lot invested in Adrian Clayborn and Da’Quan Bowers and believe they can be a strong duo at defensive end. They’d better be right. If they’re not, the revamped secondary might not be as good as it looks on paper.

Time will only tell if the pass rush is improved, but Yasinskas makes a point that without any pressure on a quarterback, it doesn’t matter how much the secondary was upgraded.

Hopefully, Greg Schiano realized last year that you simply cannot allow guys like Matty Ice and Drew Brees to have so much time in the pocket that they can order a pizza and have it delivered before getting flushed or hit.

People claim there’s a lot of pressure on Bucs quarterback Josh Freeman. And there is. Joe is of the belief there is as much pressure on defensive end Da’Quan Bowers as there is on Freeman.

26 Responses to “What About The Pass Rush?”

  1. Jacko101 Says:

    Very true, but those guys are hungry I like Bowers and Clay. I even like that Teo’neshum kid (I spelled that wrong), and the promising freakish Gholson. We will be Ok.

  2. chris Says:

    Bowers and Clayborn haven’t even played 2 full seasons. They are entering their 3rd year in the nfl. Both have talent, size, speed and strength to become monsters and a DE tandem that really scares opposing offenses.

    I remember listening to Jeff Faine, who faced Clayborn in TC back in 2011. He said hes going to be a stud. The motor, the strength/speed combo. Once he develops, he’s going to be one of the better DEs in football.

  3. the_buc_realist Says:

    The truth of the matter is that for the last 4 years, the Bucs D-line has the worst sack average in the NFL. What is worst is all off the resources that the pop-star has used to upgrade this unit and it still looks the same. I know G Mccoy is talented ( when healthy ) but just like Revis cannot cover 3-4 receivers at once. McCoy cannot rush against a whole offensive line. If this unit make massive improvements then they will be average. ( thats how far they have to go.)

    hopefully the rest of the team can drag the D-line and JFro-6pak to a playoff game.

  4. BFFL Says:

    I’m going to trust Shiano on this one. BTW, I think ATL & NO have less than stellar DLs but you rarely here about that. I guess these analysts have to point somewhere to justify their reasoning of the Bucs finishing behind these teams.

  5. Tampabaybucfan Says:

    To say that “it doesn’t matter how good your secondary is” when talkning about a pass rush is nonsense. Our improved secondary will make it much more difficult for opposing QBs to easlily and early find open recievers. That split second will provide the extra time necessary for pressure.
    I am confident that we will see improvement here.
    Barring injury….of course.

  6. Biff Barker Says:

    Bree’s had the ball out in 2.5 seconds to wide open receivers. Can’t blame everything on the line.
    Schiano’s scheme was all wrong for the personnel we did have, ineffective stunt and blitz calls too.
    It is the scheme they play in and how they do as a unit.

  7. Kevin Says:

    Our D line was embarrassing last season. With that said, I think fans should realize that our secondary will help our pass rush. The reason we were dead last in the league but no 1 at stopping the run was because our corners played no press coverage and the receivers just ran slant routes all day on us and were open from the snap. The best pass rushers in the LEAGUE could and would not have gotten to Brees or Ryan running that style defense. This year I expect to see more press coverage and physical play from our corners allowing an extra 2 seconds for the sack to develop.

  8. Kalind Says:

    I agree Joe. There’s pressure. But it’s not crazy. The pass rush will be what it is. Bennett was not Simeon or Julius Peppers. The guy was hardly even “good”. 9 sacks?? And we’re freaking out over losing him? Come on.

    I think it is farrrrrrrrr more important to fun out what we have in Bowers and Clayborn. Instead of having one or both of them behind an old veteran closer to 40 than 30. That’s not the long view. And who knows this time next year we might be saying our ends are the strength of the team.

    The sky isn’t falling cause we lost a 9 sack guy.

  9. BuccaneerBonzai Says:

    chris Says: July 21st, 2013 at 8:21 am

    “Bowers and Clayborn haven’t even played 2 full seasons. They are entering their 3rd year in the nfl. Both have talent, size, speed and strength to become monsters and a DE tandem that really scares opposing offenses.”

    I’m pretty confident that if they stay healthy they’ll be great…but let’s not be outlandish. The only feared player on the d-line is McCoy, and him just barely so far. All of them have to earn their props. GMC earned some. Clayborn did his first year, but his second year he was nowhere near as good before his injury. Bowers has not produced yet at all. Spence hasn’t even set foot on the field and judging from video of his practices I’m not sir I want him to. He is strong but very, very slow. (So far)

    I’m pretty certain GMC, Bowers and Clayborn will be okay…but don’t give props until they earn them.

  10. BuccaneerBonzai Says:

    Biff, keep in mind that Schiano was trying to scheme for a bleeding secondary so the front was pretty much on their own.

  11. chris Says:

    Clayborn didn’t scare anyone before his injury?^^^ he didn’t even play in 3 full games last year.

  12. gracelivin Says:

    I don’t know how you can say Bowers hasn’t produced, I’ve watched and rewatched the ’12 season, and having coached on various levels, saw the Bowers was always around the ball when he was in. He has not played much since being drafted but when he plays he is around the ball, or putting pressure on the QB. Clayborn’s play did suffer last year, but I think that was more due to scheme rather than ability. He is a in your face kind of player and the first few games we played waaaay to many games with the DL for them to be effective, twists, loops, DE/DL in pass coverage works in collage but is not so effective in the NFL. I think coach saw that and did start to adjust. If we play a more attack style of pass rush rather than a gimmick style, I believe we will have multiple players with double digit sacks and interceptions. Can’t wait for the year to start up, 4 days and counting!!

  13. Bobby Says:

    There WAS pressure last year but the opposing QB was able to unload the ball too quickly. I’m confident the sack total will be up this year.

  14. chris Says:

    YYeah, Bowers really impressed me for coming off a Torn Achilles injury in 6 months with the way he played. I think when they broke down the film, if Bowers played starter snaps a full season same amount as bennett, it averaged out to more sacks than Bennett and pressures.

    Look both Clayborn and Bowers have a lot to prove. Just like Gerald McCoy, in their 3rd year, the thing they need to do is stay healthy. If they’re healthy, no doubt in my mind 1 of them, if not both of them, can get double digit sacks.

  15. Chris@Apple Says:

    Revis came from a team that was never worse then 8th in total defense in the entire NFL.
    I think he is gonna get exposed here in Tampa, unless we get a real pass rush.

  16. chris Says:


    If you research those years with the Jets, you’ll find out that their pass rush was not much better than the Bucs.

  17. Bucamania Says:

    AC will be ver good and Bowers can be special. I’m excited to see those guys and McCoy get after it this season. Agree with previous comments about the secondary making matters worse. Guys were wide open immediately last year. Revis and co. will change that.

  18. Buc'n Junkie Says:

    Kevin got it right. ..let’s move on.

  19. the_buc_realist Says:


    i looked up 2011 and Bucs are dead last (surprise) and NY Jets were tied for 17th place. how is that not much better

  20. Bucslegends Says:

    Realist, SHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHH !!!!!!!

  21. Timmer4444 Says:

    Joe has there ever been any talks/rumors of John Abraham or anyone else for that matter, he seems to have a few more years in the tank

  22. john Says:

    huge mistake by the administrater letting bennent walk.

  23. Raphael Says:

    Great move letting Bennett sign with Seattle ….we are fine , can’t wait to get going

  24. Pewter_Power Says:

    The pass rush will be just fine. Clayborn and Bowers were both hurt last year and the secondary was so bad they didn’t allow the pass fishers to get home. Both will be fixed this year.

  25. scubog Says:

    I remember when the Bucs drafted some guy named Warren Sapp who couldn’t beat out Santana Dotson as a rookie. As #99 entered his second season the Bucs sent Dotson, our leading sacker, to the Packers where his career quickly fizzled. Bennett is a try hard journeyman who had a pretty good, not great, year. I’m not going to continually fret over he and Miller going elsewhere. Big whoop.

  26. Bobby Says:

    @realist….Jets had 30 sacks but the #1 pass defense. That’s what good DB’s do…they make the other team run the football. Look at the ratio of pass to run against the Jets and then the same against the Bucs. Other teams ran more against the Jets and passed more against the Bucs. With only 30 sacks it wasn’t the pass rush that made the Jets #1 in pass D.