Looking For An Edge

December 31st, 2013

Expected free agent Greg Hardy swallows quarterbacks whole

The Bucs have an edge rusher in Adrian Clayborn, but Greg Schiano, Butch Davis, Bill Sheridan and Dave Wannstedt, the Bucs’ old defensive braintrust, thought Clayborn was deficient off the edge.

That’s why Clayborn was moving around from side to side. That’s why he was standing up so much. That’s why he was rarely double-teamed. That’s why he couldn’t capitalize nearly enough for playing alongside a manbeast, disruptive defensive tackle like Gerald McCoy.

So what will the Bucs do to get the edge rusher needed for a stout defense?

When Lovie Smith needed an edge rusher in Chicago to beef up his struggling defense, ranked 17th in 2009, the Bears turned to Julius Peppers.

The future Hall of Famer was a free man in free agency and signed a six-year deal worth a whopping $84 million. That worked out pretty darn well. Peppers hasn’t missed a start, has made three Pro Bowls and an All-Pro team, and he drew all kinds of attention from opposing offenses.

Len Pasquarelli penned a piece for NationalFootballPost.com recently that dove into the availability of another ferocious pass rusher raised among the Panthers of Carolina. That would be 25-year-old Greg Hardy, coming off a 15-sack year after his breakthrough 11 sacks in 2012.

Pasquarelli notes that Hardy not only comes off the edge but has an edge, as well. 

After the game at the Georgia Dome on Sunday afternoon, Hardy was asked about his dominating play. He responded that he even “dominates breakfast.” Said the ever quotable Hardy, who in the preseason noted that his goal for the year was to ring up 50 sacks: “I dominate everything I do.”

That might not be totally true, but Hardy probably will dominate the free agency wish lists of some teams in a couple months. “When he puts his mind to something, there’s almost no stopping him,” Panthers defensive tackle Dwan Edwards said. “He’s a force. He’s everywhere.”

Against the Falcons, he, indeed, was almost everywhere, lining up at both end spots and even moving to tackle on occasion to torment the Atlanta interior linemen. Said Falcons left guard Justin Blalock: “He’s big and he’s fast and . . . what can you say?”

A sixth-round pick in ‘10, after his stock dropped following injuries and inconsistent play at the University of Mississippi, one doesn’t have to say much about Hardy. His play speaks volumes and, what it doesn’t say, the verbose Hardy will articulate for himself, it seems.

Asked about his motivation, Hardy said that he wants a championship, but also acknowledged that if his sacks prompt sack-loads of dollars, he won’t exactly be unhappy about it.

“I like the money,” Hardy said. “I won’t lie to you.”

One thing certain of the Bucs’ new regime, it will be active in free agency. The Bucs already have cap room, and they have big contracts on the books that could be purged in a shakeup of the offensive line.

Somehow, the Bucs must find their edge rusher. If they don’t want to wait until the draft, Hardy could have a pewter and red bull’s-eye on him.

28 Responses to “Looking For An Edge”

  1. Clowney Says:

    I like Clayborn in pass defense where he goes one on one with the opponents #1 receiver.

    I guess we won’t see that anymore.

  2. Hawk Says:

    The “Stinking Panthers” won’t ‘franchise’ him?

  3. Snook Says:

    Hopefully the Bucs sign him so he can come here and be a shell of himself and probably be hurt most of the time. Like the majority of our free agents.

  4. PhantomVash808 Says:

    If Lovie Smith gets hired their is a possibility Leslie Fraizer joins his staff and he might be able convince Jared Allen to come to Tampa.

  5. Chris Says:

    Hopefully they purge Revis contract. Waste of cash.

  6. Destinjohnny Says:

    If we would have signed Bennett drafted Sheldon Richardson and gotten luke k instead of Barron then signed a couple of free agent db’s instead of revis then drafted a wideout with the 2nd pick. We would have had a top 5 defense and 3 solid wideouts and Greg s would have gone 10-6

  7. Chris Says:

    I prefer Michael Johnson.

  8. RastaMon Says:

    “Hopefully they purge Revis contract. Waste of cash.”

    Joe can look into this but…
    If I recall……..if Revs is released/off the roster my Jan4th +- the 3rd round pick sent to th Jets rverts to theBucs…..food fo thought

  9. Scotty Says:

    Joe if we do get lovie who will be the possibility at GM?

    Hopefully, we’ll get the GM first or simultaneously. –Joe

  10. williethewonder Says:

    The 2nd year is usually when a player is back to %100 after that kind of injury.

  11. RastaMon Says:

    go to the Bucs/ pick #69/ asteric….go to the bottom of page and read about the asteric


  12. williethewonder Says:

    Way to stick to the topic. Beam yourself up, Scotty.

  13. Scotty Says:

    joe do we have any real names that are linked to the bucs?

  14. BucPuck Says:

    Hey destinjohnny, if the queen had balls she’d be the king!

  15. williethewonder Says:

    To those with less than a 4th grade education, this topic is about finding an edge rusher.

  16. Destinjohnny Says:

    Hey bucpuck from Ohio -we had a lay up drill on that scernerio but we had a gm with no vision

  17. teacherman777 Says:

    Meet our DE solution!

    Anthony Barr!

    This guy is a freak!

    Just what we need!


  18. buc4lyfe Says:

    Sad that people still haven’t learned the best teams draft the best…Clayborn was moved around the line because Schiano is an idiot. Everyone that evaluated him said he would only be able to rush from one side of the line but what does that idiot do, move him to the other side which of course if the arm is short or whatever that issue is he had to stand up which he only did on one side of the line….7 sacks as a rookie, 5 after an injury and we get dumb articles like this….make up your mind cuz I don’t know how anyone would get double digit sacks running stunts on every play…..in this new age of technology, journalism it’s like watching HD TV, we can see all your ridiculous flaws…..

    We get rid of a sorry excuse for a head coach then get stupid articles about getting rid of talent. Weak argument to keep saying get a probowl player at ever position to be a good team…..team is the key, that’s dumb people were saying trade nation because of Mike James and Rainey….better coach equals better TEAM play. There’s no REAL coach that would come in here and say we must replace Clayborn, thank God you don’t work for the glazers joe

  19. Rob Sullivan Says:

    Maybe they can figure out a way to release Revis from the roster then bring him back and not lose that 3rd pick…can be used to trade up in the first or pick hopefully a pretty good player

  20. buc4lyfe Says:

    Greg Schiano he’s just an idiot…could have simply resigned Bennett and Miller on the cheap and kept your job and #1 rush defense in the hands of veterans, probably could have kept his job if he let Josh Freeman play longer, atleast he would have had a better excuse for staying another year

  21. RastaMon Says:

    Edge rusher is least of our worries….
    D is solid
    need SPEED @ WR
    need threat @ TE
    need Wiz Bang Pin Ball Offensive state of mind offensive cooridinator W/ at HC/ front office that can read the hand writing on the wall on how the NFL/TV contracts want the game to be played…..this ain’t father Dungies game anymore

  22. Big Marlon B Says:

    Destinjohnny- wow, that is the very definition of revisionist history…..whole lot of “ifs”.

    Bucpuck- well said my friend, well said.

    you know what’s funny about this Greg Hardy story? he could’ve been drafted by the Bucs in the 6th round, instead of that horrible punter Brett Bowden (who didn’t even make the team out of training camp). and yes, before someone accuses me, I know this is my own version of revisionist history….but I swear on everything holy I was saying the same thing immediately after that draft. I wish i could dig through the archives somehow and find my post regarding that. Hardy’s final year in college was disappointing, but he had a monster year the year before, had a TON of potential, and in my opinion those late round picks are perfect for rolling the dice on guys like him. oh well.

    personally, i’d like to see them make a run at Bengals DE Michael Johnson. If they can get Hardy, great, but I think Hardy will be chasing dollars so Johnson can be more affordable….just my 2 cents.

  23. BuccoBill Says:

    If if’s and but’s were candy and nuts we’d all have a merry Christmas.

  24. Gt40bear Says:

    Please please sign him if he’s available! I wanted the Bucs to draft him but they probably drafted a punter or some scrub that’s out of football already.

  25. You Go Joe Says:

    Revis wasted… And people here blame the contract?? Hate the people who tell him to play zone not man. Hate the coach who came up with a scheme of safety help and yet the coverage gets blown by miscommunication or something of such. Revis was told to be a typical CB and he sure as hell was limited to it. The contract is huge, but we drove a lambo to McDonald’s down the road rather than to the open derby. It was there for us to take advantage of and never did. That’s on Schiano and staff.

    The same for Bennett and Miller. We had the chance to get them for cheap and dirt cheap. However we gambled on double digit sack from the known injured Bowers. Claiborne covers RBs/stunts more than bull rush and teo gets more reps than Gholston. The list goes on.

    All I have is if lovie can use our current players and produce something or get a FA/draft pick to actually give it talent. Because if we need more investment in the D line then Dom really screwed up 3 years of draft pick with our players. I do believe lovie or any credible coach can make a 10 man sack or more with our players, healthy of course.

  26. Evan Says:

    I agree with you go Joe. Revis is not a waste. For a man who wasn’t 100 how can you saw he was a waste? Two picks, 1 forced fumble and a shit load of tackles. He played great for the role he was in. His contact is scary but the reward is very great and best believe next season he’ll show us all what he’s very capable of. Back to the subject, we won’t get hardy. The panthers will keep him some how or he’ll leave the division. It all depends on who our coach/gm is. They’ll decide what’s our biggest and crucial need. As of right now, draft wise we could possibly get clowney/Barr/Mack. All and every article from here on out is speculation until a gm/coach is picked. Patience my fellow fans.

  27. Brandon Says:

    Michael Johnson
    Brian Orakpo

    First two are interchangeable, Orakpo is my fall back option.

  28. Brandon Says:

    Any and every good D is built around the DL, not the secondary. Revis is good, Goldson, too…but $1.5 million a game for two DBs is stupid.

    Look at the Panthers, Bengals, and Seattle, their Ds are excellent largely because they invest draft picks and cash on their DLs…like we should be doing.