Sack Dropoff Just A Bad Pattern?

October 16th, 2013

It still irks Joe the Bucs didn’t think they could use the services of 2012 team sack leader Michael Bennett, who has 3.5 sacks through six games with Seattle.

Through the first couple of games this season, the Bucs shockingly were among the NFL leaders in sacks.

Given how awful the Bucs were in sacks last year, and did nothing but offer lip service to improve the pass rush in the offseason, Joe was stunned at the Bucs’ early success.

(Yes, yes, yes. The Bucs drafted three third-day draftees on the defensive line, and all made the team which should tell fans just how thin the Bucs were up front defensively).

Well, those sack numbers have dropped off considerably. The most recent tally of NFL stats show the Bucs are now tied for 19th in quarterback sacks, though the Bucs have played one less game than many clubs. For those of you who struggle with math at this hour of the day before your daily caffeine inhalation, that means the Bucs are in the bottom half of the league in sacks inching closer to the bottom third of the league.

The Bucs only had one sack facing a guy nearly as immobile as Mike Glennon, and that is Eagles quarterback Nick Foles. Against Arizona and Carson Palmer, it was the same tally.

Joe’s pretty sure the dropoff against Foles came, in part, because the Bucs were simply gassed as the Eagles ran off plays quicker than Joe can down cold beers on a hot summer afternoon. But the Eagles have allowed 16 sacks, tied for 11th most in the NFL.

The simple fact the Bucs let their top 2012 sacker, Michael Bennett, walk away for basically the price of two upper deck season tickets and had chances to obtain established NFL pass rushers in the offseason, but instead just shook their collective heads and said, “Nah, we’re good,” just leaves Joe numb.

Is it water under the bridge? Yes, if your team is able to fill that huge hole.

Initially, it seemed the Bucs did indeed overcome that crater, but they haven’t. So someone over at One Buc Palace needs to man up and confess they blew it with multiple chances to upgrade the pass rush on the defensive line.

Joe’s going to guess that this question, among others, will have to be answered in Bryan Glazer’s office sometime in December.

50 Responses to “Sack Dropoff Just A Bad Pattern?”

  1. Meh Says:

    We got some early sacks from linebacker blitzes. Teams have adjusted, so we’re getting less. We’re getting absolutely nothing from our defensive ends. Letting Bennett walk was just a huge mistake. We have 3 total sacks from our DEs. Three. From all of them.

  2. BucsfaninChina Says:

    Not resigning Bennett was a fudge-up for sure. BUT, as many have expressed before, we dont know the circumstances in which we let him walk. Maybe he was asking for too much cash and the bucs didnt think the investment in an INJURED player wasnt worth it, maybe he had issues with the coaches. Most limely Dom was trying to save face and see how a finally healthy Bowers would pan out in an expanded role.

    But I blame lack of sacks on defensive scheme. Bucs already do lots of blitzing, but christ on a cracker. You sign Revis to shut down a side of the field, freeing up guys to get in the backfield and they throw him in zone!!! If this team watched any tape of how the jets used players to rush the QB they would know Revis is the cog that would be doing the work.

    Lack of sacks is just another piece of damning evidence that will can this coaching staff and begin the Lovie Smith era.

  3. BuccaneerBonzai Says:


    All but one of the homepage stories right now could be considered negative.

    I realize the team is losing and it’s hard to be positive. I realize the popular thing amongst media types right now is to attack relentlessly to try to force the firing of Schiano. But man…I don’t need all this negativity in my daily life.

    I know a lot is justified. But we’re quickly approaching that time when I’ll have to decide what I can do to reduce all this negative input. I can hardly stand sports radio anymore. I no longer bother with espn. Even nfln is coming down on my Bucs.

    I’m not telling anyone how to run their business…I’m just saying I can only take just so much of this and I am nearing my limit. Maybe I should just focus on work and watch the games on Sundays…avoid the Bucs news for a bit.

    On topic though, I’m not overly concerned with the sack drop. I’m getting into my elder years and my sack drops more and more every day.

  4. Harry Says:

    Joe, I do not see this as a concern. Bowers has set a goal for at least 10 sacks this season. Who needs Bennet?

  5. BuccaneerBonzai Says:

    Bennett may have more sacks than any of our DEs but not by much. He isn’t exactly lighting up the league at 3.5

    In the grand scheme of things, I think the non-resigning of Bennett ranks pretty low. The biggest blunder in my eyes was releasing Freeman…but the Bucs hand was forced on that one.

  6. Meh Says:

    The reasoning doesn’t matter, the results do.

    Three sacks from our DEs.

  7. MadMax Says:

    Hmmmm, Revis still isnt 100% and only gets paid if he plays. Start sitting him in games you know we have no chance….gives him more time to heal and more $$ for us to wheel and deal :/

  8. Oil Derrick Brooks Says:

    The greatest thing done this season was releasing Freeman.

    Dominick rolled the dice on DE’s and lost. He did the same thing last year with the defensive backfield. That also backfired. What makes no sense is the money is there. He easily could have brought in DE depth and been fine capwise. He just didn’t. Probably the same reason he kept Myron Lewis so long. Pride.

  9. Capt. Tim Says:

    No depth at DL,Or Wr, Or Oline, Or Secondary
    No TE.

    Dom is as Guilty as Shiano.
    And that is a lot of guilt

  10. Superfriend Says:

    Last week vs. Philly they could have (but didn’t) have the quarterback wrapped up 2-3 times but he threw it away. Still, it feels to me this year they are getting to the QB a lot more often. They are on pace for what 45+ sacks…time will tell but that would be a heck of an improvement.

  11. SteveK Says:

    Dominick is our one and only kill joy. This team is held back by the ineptitude of the dude assembling this schenanigan circus.

    Bruce Allen and Raheem Morris were in the playoffs last year, why not the Bucs?

    First we were “big back hunting”, “building thru the draft… deepest draft ever”, “youngry”, and my favorites: “It is all about 5”, and “Eric Wright, he is my guy”.

    Good bye Dominick.

    6 year rebuilds are an “era” almost. We have basically sat out this “era”. Whether it be the cost cutting ways early on, or the overspending for FAs for today’s regime, we find a way to lose.

    Shaun King mentions this regime doesn’t have a “plan”, and I don’t think we do either.

    18m in cap space, no TE, no pass rush from the DL, no depth, no slot WR, and no contingency plan for when Freeman flops.

    “Rock Star”, can he lead us to a super bowl, really?

  12. SteveK Says:

    Capt. Tim,

    Your decision to go “big boat hunting” last year, rather than continue to purchase season tickets is looking smarter by the minute.

  13. Superfriend Says:

    Capt Tim, how’s Atlanta’s depth doing? Who the heck has depth in the NFL? But the coaches are getting sacks from everyone, including all three drafted LB’s. I don’t think the defense played smart last week but I still like the defense and it’s production

  14. SteveK Says:

    George Selvie disagrees with Dominick’s assessment.

    Why did we cut this guy?

    Is he better than Bowers?

  15. Superfriend Says:

    SteveK – Yes, go thru 5 years of comments and pick out the fun ones. I like the Youngry, it’s all about 5, best in the NFC, married to freeman those were all classic statements from Raheem. I agree with you.

    Your hate for the team feels to a personal level, have a seat over there in that couch, please tell us how Dom, the Owners, the team wronged you somehow?

    I ain’t happy about the W-L record, WHO could be? I am still looking for positives about MY team.

  16. Superfriend Says:

    George Selvie? Seriously that defense (cough, cough Kiffin) has given up 183 points. So, sack the QB but don’t worry about points allowed. Points allowed is more important to me than how many sacks do you have.

  17. BuccaneerBonzai Says:

    14 sacks in 5 games…that’s an average of nearly 3 sacks per game. David is the leader with 4. Could we be better? Sure. But considering they were at the bottom last year it’s still improvement.

  18. MadMax Says:

    @Superfriend, the positives will start with a new GM and HC….and of course OC/DC.

    First bring in the GM, make suggestions, but let him decide….then HC/DC/OC…..go with Zimmer and you have your HC/DC (if he’s up for it!)

  19. Capt. Tim Says:

    Oil can.
    Since Freeman seems to be a favorite topic with you, I’m sure you’ll be glad to know that” The Sporting News” is reporting that Minnesota is likely to start him Vs the Giants, on Monday night.

    I guess he’s got them hoodwinked into thinking he’s talented!
    Sorta the same way Shiano Hoodwinked us in to believing he wasnt.
    Or that he was a coach.
    Or that he built a winning team.

    That Schiano is a tricky guy.
    I hope the Glazers have a trick for him soon.
    Making him invisible in this State.

  20. Adam L. Says:

    “The Bucs drafted three third-day draftees on the defensive line, and all made the team which should tell fans just how thin the Bucs were up front defensively”

    “Rock star.”

  21. MadMax Says:

    Hey @Capt.Tim….they are going to start him….and it will be the Giants 1st win….Put money on it!!!!!!!

  22. Capt. Tim Says:

    Super friend-
    No, I don’t like the defense. It’s 0-5, and ranked 16 in the league.
    I like elements of the Defense. I think McCoy is the best DT in the league!
    Think David and Mason are Great, love Goldson.
    Revis is a beast- except we are totally utilizing him wrong, which figures

  23. SteveK Says:


    I would love to see the Bucs rebound and finish the season strong, but what is to keep us from doubting them?

    This is the 3rd year in a row with a 5+ game losing streak. Not trying to be overly negative, but I take my team’s performance, on the field and in the front office, personal.

    The Bucs were a once proud franchise, and we should have to wear the creamsicle uniforms until we decide we want to be winners again. Pewter is for champions, and this team is not that.

    Some positives: Lavonte David, the Defense, Revis, Goldson, Banks, potentially Glennon to Tim Wright

    Some realistic points: O-Line is overpriced and underperforming, Revis is paid 1m per game to play zone?, we are 0-5, Freeman got cut for nothing- why wasn’t he traded in the offseason?, 18m in cap space and zero depth, TE, slot WR, or anyone on the D-Line who can create their own sack.

    Pathetic. We can’t just sit around and keep taking this crap, can we? We are just as bad as the Jaguars for crying out loud.

    I was a Schiano believer, and if we do in fact get a new coach, we better darn sure replace Dominick. Enough is enough with that cat, he just can’t get us over the mediocre hump.

    24-45, with 10 of those victories in 2010. Since 2010 we have won 11 games. 11 victories out of our last 37 games.

    We are a joke. Maybe you can laugh at our team, and think of it as a positive? That is the only way to be positive about our situation.

  24. SteveK Says:


    Let’s hope the Giants win, Freeman losing will continue to help us. Nice to have finally turned the tables.

  25. Joe Says:


    I realize the team is losing and it’s hard to be positive. I realize the popular thing amongst media types right now is to attack relentlessly to try to force the firing of Schiano.

    First, it is not the job of “the media” to be positive. It is to report what they see. To “be positive” with this team, you pretty much have to make stuff up, irresponsible when it is a trainwreck. It may be one of the worst teams in franchise history, which is saying a lot. And you want positive??? If you want just seashells and balloons in your Bucs stories, that is what is for.

    As for trying to run Schiano out of town, please link to any story Joe wrote where he called for Schiano’s ousting. Far as Joe knows, only one publication has.

    Trust Joe, it is so far better to cover a winning team than a losing team. Joe doesn’t know one sportswriter who would prefer to cover a losing team.

  26. Capt. Tim Says:

    Superfriend- looking for good things about your team.
    Your team is 31 in the league. And horrible.,

    It’s kinda like sorting thru a cowpie, isn’t it?
    I mean – you could. But why bother. It’s pretty clear that it’s just a pile if sh*t.
    But, it’s good someone is trying to see a good side

  27. MadMax Says:

    @SteveK, haha, its another new system for him….plus theres new gay bars in the area probably distracting him :O

  28. JonBuc Says:

    Signing the Bennett Bros. would have filled two huge needs. All Bennett did was play hard, play hurt and play the run as well as the pass. ” Get this bum outta here…we want Means!”

  29. Patrick Says:

    Would’ve made logical sense to cut that bum Bowers and brought back Bennett. He had more production in 1 season than Bowers has had in his whole career!!

  30. Mr. Patrick Says:

    It’s very hard for our best pass rushers on the defensive line to rack up sacks when they are continually dropping into pass coverage in passing situations

  31. PRBucFan Says:

    I think pressuring the QB is equally as important, I’m pretty sure that we have maintained that throughout all of our games whether the QB gets knocked down or not is another story.

  32. PRBucFan Says:

    “It may be one of the worst teams in franchise history”

    That gave me a good laugh.

  33. Capt. Tim Says:

    Losing Bennett and Blount made no sense.
    Not much that’s been going on makes sense.
    I know I beat it to death all spring- but it proved fatal this fall
    No TE or Slot Reciever??? Not important in this offense???
    I’m not an NFL coach, or genius- but I think most of knew that wasn’t gonna work. It hasn’t. And it’s really handicapped the offense.

    And the real mystery- there were guys available, along with proven pass rushers. And both GM and Coach said we didn’t need them.

    To go 0-5 with a terrible team? Yes ,they were right. We didn’t need them

  34. Dooleymite Says:

    I was pissed when Dom let Bennett walk, and I still get vexed when I watch Bennett do work for the damn Seahawks. Letting you’re sack leader walk is just something a competent GM wouldn’t do, and it kind of takes away from the “developing in-house talent” mantra. Nobody can dispute that Bennett showed signs of improvement in every year he wore pewter and really was our BEST all-around DB. This is what tunnel vision gets you in FA, don’t ge me wrong, the play for Revis was a plus, BUT you don’t cut you’re nose off to spite your face and we still have a Houdini pass-rush excluding GMC who is our ONLY saving grace up front. And don’t even get me started on Dequan Bowers, who has done nothing in comparison to the play/production of Michael Bennett past and present. Id love to hear Dom and/or Schiano definetely have to answer this one, between the two of these guys they got more excuses than a dude in jail.

  35. Splengo Says:


    Revis salary is guaranteed if he is on the roster for the first season game. Does n’t matter if he sits or plays, he gets paid. Same thing happens if he is on the roster for the first game in 2014. He has no guarantee beyond one year.

    FYI, for any player that is on the roster for the first game of the season, that players salary automatically becomes guaranteed for that year. That is why some players are cut before the season starts and is brought back after the first game to avoid the guaranteed salary.

  36. Oil Derrick Brooks Says:

    @First Mate Gilligan Tim

    Let’s talk at seasons end about Freeman. Ok? We will see, won’t we? Time will tell who is right. No more excuses about OC’s or Head coaches, or offensive lines, or 3rd receivers, or tight ends, or the defense, ad nauseum

    Try googling Frazier not wanting Freeman. It’s out there. This is about Spielman forcing him on the coaches.

    But, the reality is, none of that matters. Let’s see how he has done after the 16th game, ok little buddy?

  37. MadMax Says:

    Also, is it true Dom said “I dont draft Offensive linemen” ?? Thats the word Ive heard over the last 3 years….well, there you have it. I mean spend money to acquire great ones is awesome. And I know this Nicks situation is a fluke…but daaamn Dom, consider drafting some O line, and TE/#rd option…..GEEZE!!

  38. Superfriend Says:

    What slot guys did you want in free agency? What good TE was there? Name some names but I was happy with free agency, you do only have so much money and the last thing I want to see is this team back in cap trouble. So we signed Goldson and traded for Revis, good with that! As for the slot, who was the slot last year? When did Dallas Clark ever catch 9 balls in a game. Dwight Freeney anyone, oh wait he is on IR. Osi is on Atlanta, how they doing on defense? Im with you on Bennett still dont get that one.

  39. Architek Says:

    Joe this team is junk and really no one cares anymore.

  40. MadMax Says:

    Thats Splengo for clearing that up……I didnt know.

  41. MadMax Says:

    @Superfriend, like stated above, the Bennett brothers were looking to play for the same team…..Answers 2 of your questions…. DE/TE taken care of. We couldve went after Percy Harvin….but no, not a Schiano guy :/

  42. MadMax Says:

    @Splengo, “Thanks”….not “thats” smdh, lol.

  43. BirdDoggers Says:

    The defenses ranking in the sack department might be slipping but the team is still showing signs of improvement in that department, regardless of Bowers lack of production. If Bowers turned out to be the player Dominik and Schiano thought they had, the Bucs should be closer to the top of the league in sacks. Unfortunately they swung and missed on their a assessment of him.

  44. Bucsfanman Says:

    Could’ve, should’ve, would’ve! The Bucs are in the same position as many other teams, lacking in depth. However, how are teams like NE able to continue winning without missing a beat? Year after year at every position except QB they’re turning over players. Heck, they went to the superbowl with one of the worst defenses ever. See a theme?
    The QB is THE most important position on ANY team. Let’s face it, the Bucs have missed on QB quite a bit, not least of which is Freeman. Forget about TE and DE. If the Bucs could move the darn football, we’d be golden with what we have.
    We’ve seen it year after year the ineptitude of our offense going 3 and out. The D is left on the field too long and guess what, even Nick Foles can dissect a tired defense.
    The sacks WILL come if we can put together some offense.
    I tell you what though, we may want to start planning a contingency plan for O-line. I can’t envision much out of Nicks, and Joseph is clearly not the same player he once was. Without a little help, Martin’s gonna be short lived! And we sure as heck CANNOT afford that!!!

  45. lightningbuc Says:


    A player’s salary is only guaranteed if they are on the week one roster and have been in the league for 4 years i.e. vested. Less than that they can cut a player after the season starts and not have to pay them anything further.

  46. BuccaneerBonzai Says:

    Joe, I did say that it was justified.

    Just a note though, “media” isn’t limited to blogs. It includes other media as well. I’m just smart enough not to mention who by name because of business relationships people have.

    I know YOU have not done an article that straight out says to fire Schiano. But by promoting those articles you are supporting the cause. No point in denying that.

    I suspect both of you Joes may be split on the subject. And again, I’m not criticizing what you say…I’m just saying that kind of talk is wearing me down.

    Maybe “positive” was the wrong word. Perhaps “constructive” is a better word.

    Usually both Joes (except the day after a loss) are constructive. I’m not denying that. But the stories linked to have more frequently NOT been.

    Take newspaper media as an example. How many subscribers actually buy the papers for the sports page? I would imagine that number has dropped over the years. Part of that is the advent of the Internet and social media. Another part is the content.

    Why should they be positive, or at least constructive?

    Because the more fans that like local sports teams, the more will buy the product for the sports page. It’s marketing 101. Promote the good, get results.

    That doesn’t mean ignore the bad. Just address it in a constructive manner.

    Personally, I like every article written solely by one of the Joes much better than anything linked to. I realize linking to them has made the site popular, and it’s one of the things that drew me to JBF.

    But I like the original article more than anything. I LOVED when Justin was doing his thing a couple years ago. Original content. Love it.

    I also understand that you clearly state it when you don’t agree with what is said in a linked article. That’s cool.

    I guess the frustrations we all share at this point is just being expressed in different ways. But be honest. Even you mentioned a media problem a few weeks ago. The media, most of it, is out of control and the lack of responsibly journalism has caused more problems with the team than any player or coach.

  47. BuccaneerBonzai Says:

    Sheesh, that’s longer than I intended, lol.

  48. nate Says:

    We invest in more injured players then any team… theres no excuse.. pay him next year bring him back… draft a qb and tight end next year.. drop nicks and joseph sign the two best oline with that money..

  49. Splengo Says:


    Just wanted to acknowledge that you are right. We were discussing Revis who is vested. Should have said vested in the FYI.

  50. Christopher Says:

    I remember one play, early Sunday…a 93 came blazing around the corner, looking like a good, big athlete. I remember asking myself, “Self, who is this stud left defensive end we have?”. Of course it was our stud under tackle on a stunt, where of course, he didn’t get to the quarterback BECAUSE HE’S NOT A STUD DEFENSIVE END. Yet line up Gerald at UDT, & boom, he’s disruptive (though Gerald’s not a natural sackmeister like Sapp, & neither is Clayborn (the Simeon comparison)). I say since we have problems with Bowers’ toughness, take him away from the run-stuffing DE position (LDE), & flip-flop him with Clayborn. Take McCoy, leave him at Sapp’s position, & let him beat the LG 60% of the time. & NEVER, EVER rush a blitzer at the expense of dropping any of the above mentioned *into @%$#!* coverage*.

    A semi-dumb coaching staff getting too clever is a recipe for 1-10.