Quality Of Pass Rushers Forces Bucs’ Hand

December 10th, 2013
schiano and gmc

A candid Greg Schiano spoke today about acquiring more pass rushing talent and developing his own, so the Bucs aren’t forced to run so many defensive line stunts.

The Bucs are dancing along the defensive line on so many pass rush downs, and today Greg Schiano let the cat out of the bag when it comes to the dreaded line stunts. The Bucs have to employ them — even though coaches would prefer not to.

Joe’s written several times before about the apparent lack of confidence in Adrian Clayborn and other edge rushers. After all, if you have an All-World tackle in Gerald McCoy, and an acceptable nose tackle rush, plus a sound run defense, then solid edge rushers should be able to post serious numbers. But the Bucs’ defensive ends are not.

Speaking WHFS-FM 98.7 this evening, a candid Schiano told host Booger McFarland, “I long for the day” that the Bucs can consistently send only D-linemen after quarterbacks. It was a candid indictment of his 2013 defensive ends.

“Here’s the deal; we do a little more blitzing, not line stunts, not a four-man rush with a stunt. We do a little more blitzing, where we bring linebackers and defensive backs, certainly than the Buccaneers did in the years past. And quite frankly, because we have to right now,” Schiano said. “There’s nothing I’d love more than to be able to have like we used to have in the past, line four guys up and say, ‘Go get the ball.’ Right. ‘Go get the quarterback.’ Right now, we’re not quite there, so what we try to do is mix in, in passing situations, some pressures. Now that’s not line twists. That’s we’re bringing five; we’re bringing six. We’ve kind of built the secondary that way to be able to play more man coverage. So that’s more of what you’re seeing in third down and 2nd-and-pass situation. But still when you look at that, we’re never over the 50 percent mark in doing that.

“So I agree with you that I’d love and I long for the day when we can put four guys, put their hand in the dirt and say, ‘Go get’em.’ Right now I think we’d all agree that we don’t have that level like we did in the past. We’re working to get there. And it’s not only going and getting different players. I think it’s developing the players in our system.

“Unfortunately, Da’Quan Bowers, you know, has been battling through some things with his legs. We’re just working through it with him. But you see a guy like Will Gholston really starting to come on now. Adrian Clayborn I think is really getting to where he’s back to his old self. So I think we’re headed in that direction. And make no mistake, I really would love to [rush four.] Because then you can play coverage with seven, and that’s when you really start to make some plays in the back end.”

Schiano sure explained a lot there. And it’s no surprise, but it’s a first to hear him explain it publicly.

So what do the Bucs do next season? Do they bank on Clayborn and Bowers reviving their careers and bring in a versatile free agent defensive end that can rush from both sides and or/inside? You know, like the Cardinals did with John Abraham (11 sacks) and the Seahawks did with Michael Bennett? 

Or do they target another edge rusher in the draft and in free agency?

If the Bucs hope to improve defensively, they’ll need to find an above average edge rusher somewhere.

65 Responses to “Quality Of Pass Rushers Forces Bucs’ Hand”

  1. Bucfan#37 Says:

    I fell confident that the Bucs braintrust will continue to improve the team position by position. Coach Schiano is and will be leading this rebuilding of our Bucs into the future.

  2. stevek Says:

    Pass rush, TE, O-Line, 3rd WR, depth.

    I hope Schiano and Glennon get the 2014 season to show us what they are made of. The past two drafts have been good enough to warrant another year with this regime.

    Glad to see our team playing better, finally.

    I wonder what kind of D-Lineman will be there when we pick? Barr? Clowney isn’t making past the dirty birds.

    Sammy Watkins is an interesting pick. Maybe we can trade back and draft and army of Buccaneer Men.

  3. BuccaneerBonzai Says:

    Don’t forget cornerback. We’ll need a year or two to break in Revis’ replacement.

  4. SteveBucsFan Says:

    Gholston has been playing DT tackle as well on passing downs, especially aginst shorter QBs. Look at the Tandy pick aginst Detroit, Gholston is standing there with his hands up and Stafford can’t see the middle of the field. We will do the same to Brees.

  5. Andrew 1 Says:

    well… that didnt ease any concern about getting away from those stupid stunts, f anything it only enhanced them. So apparently those stunts that we do are not implemented because of our lack of a pass rush and they are just part of the regular game plan. Great… looks like the stunts are here to stay

  6. BuccaneerBonzai Says:

    Here’s a pleasant suprise…McCoy is just three away from double digit sacks. Nice!

  7. MikeJ Says:

    I guess I am dumb; is Schiano trying to say that the stunts & twists complement or augment the blitzes?

  8. Architek Says:

    Then why would you let Bennett walk for marbles – that’s idiotic!

    I’m not buying it and that’s retarded that you let the most productive DE you had walk for chump change now all of a sudden you would love to rush four (pssghtff) it’s stupid stuff like that makes me go to porn after watching the Bucs lose or the nearest liquor store.

    No wonder I have virus on my computer – the Bucs front office!

  9. sG Says:

    Actually you solve the problem by getting rid of Schiano.

    One thing that I dont understand is people said Freeman was bad against winning teams. Even Schiano is the same as Freeman was.Why is Schiano getting the love and respect that Freeman never got.

  10. Mr. Patrick Says:

    If you feel you need pass rushers then in the offseason open up the checkbook and go get them. I do like this Gholston kid though. Put him at RDE for the rest of the year and see what he’s got

  11. That Guy Says:

    They had a chance to sign John Abraham but Gregory didn’t want him because word is, Abraham thinks for himself and asks questions. In other words, he’s NOT a Schiano Man@

  12. NY Buc Says:

    Freeman had 4 years and the first 3 games of his 5th year to prove he could consistently beat winning teams, Schiano is still only in his second year. Freeman didn’t get it done consistently in his 5 years and is gone, Schiano will at best probably only be given a 3rd year to show that he can (or be gone).

  13. Andrew 1 Says:

    @ Joe

    Schiano said we are forced to blitz in order to get sacks, not forced to do line stunts and 4 man rush with line stunts in order to get sacks. That tells me that the stunts are not a result of a lack of pass rush and that they are just part of the regular game plan. After reading that I didnt I get the impression that the stunts would stop if we had better pressure just rushing 4.

    I mean he said “we do a little more blitzing, not line stunts, not a four-man rush with a stunt”, and “so what we try to do is mix in, in passing situations, some pressures. Now that’s not line twists.”

  14. BucsfaninChina Says:

    Thanks for the info, Architek.

    Drafting a left tackle to cut Penn and save 7 mil to sign on a DE is another way to go. Also will need some pocket change to resign McCoy and Foster

  15. Max Says:


  16. ander Says:

    still no excuse as of why we didnt resign bennett

  17. That Guy Says:

    Other players we had here whom Gregory got rid of:

    Wallace Gilberry: Productive DE for the Bengals. Schiano cut him twice because he wasn’t a Schiano Man. Gilberry has since said Schiano runs things like a high school team and called Gregory a joke.

    George Selvie: Productive backup for Dallas. Schiano got rid of him before training camp. Not a Schiano Man.

    Michael Bennett: Left town to take a one year deal with Seattle and said that part of the reason was he thought Gregory was a clueless idiot.

    Start the excuses!

  18. BucsfaninChina Says:

    Spilled milk, folks. Instead we got two Pro Bowl defensive backs. Wouldnt say it is a total loss.

  19. PRBucFan Says:

    Dom’s the GM not Schiano, ask him.

    And clearly they felt they had the bases covered with Bowers when they chose to let him go, mistaken or not. Not to mention they were dealing with the prospect of signing him whilst knowing he was dealing with some injury problems.

    And after the way he has talked about the Bucs organization since being in Seattle it seems him being in the lockeroom probably wouldn’t have been the best.

    I really liked Bennett and said it would have been one of Dom’s biggest mistakes to let him walk but at the end if the day you’d have to ask Dom why he made that choice as the general manager.

  20. MikeJ Says:

    Andrew 1, that is what I was getting at, above.

  21. PRBucFan Says:

    And if anyone knew Wallace had upside besides Schiano who saw enough to pick him up twice I doubt he would have been sitting there to be scooped up like he was so often.

    As far as Abraham goes how long did he sit there continually getting passed on because of his asking price, quite a long time.

    Don’t act like Schiano somehow did not see what 31 other teams were able to see.

    I’m sure he was looking for the longterm answer when he took his chance with Bowers not a band aid in Abraham.

    They will most likely take the same approach and go after the position in the draft or a young DE in their prime who hits FA now that they see the shot they took on Bowers maybe wasn’t the best one. Don’t expect them to go after an older player towards the end of their career ala a John Abraham.

  22. That Guy Says:

    Funny how all these players blame Gregory, not Dominik, for the reason they’re no longer with the team. And reports from earlier in the season were that Gregory has been pushing for more and more power over the roster. There’s a reason why we have more Rutgers players on the roster than any other team. (Also a reason why this season’s results will be worse than last years lol)

    But by all means, keep making excuses for the mediocrity that is The Schiano Way!

  23. That Guy Says:

    You’re pretty devoted to long term lousy football, aren’t you, PRBucFan? All in for losing season after losing season! Do you have daddy issues with Gregory or something?

  24. PRBucFan Says:

    Funny how so many players have come out to speak in favor of Gregory 😉

    Sounds like the words of bitter men who did not quite make the cut.

    Considering how badly Bennett wanted to come back (so he kept saying) it’s ironic that he thought so ill of Schiano.

    Afterall, why would you want to come back to work under a man you think so poorly of?


  25. PRBucFan Says:

    That the best you got?

  26. Becks Says:

    I was thinking about this earlier. And
    I’d draft either Clowney or Khalil Mack
    Depending on where we draft. And I’d
    Make a push for Greg Hardy from the panthers
    In free agency

    That should solve our “edge rush” issues

  27. PRBucFan Says:

    And no I just don’t take kindly to posters like you who would find something to bitch about regardless of whether we were winning or losing.

    Go troll elsewhere

  28. Hawaiian Buc Says:


    It’s pretty naive to believe that letting Bennett go was a Dominik move, as if Schiano had nothing to do with it. They are both wrong for it, so don’t try to excuse one. They’ve both said themselves that they work together on free agency. Are you calling them liars?

  29. That Guy Says:

    I’d make a push for a real coach who can actually post a winning season. Look at the record under Gregory. Scoreboard, bish!

  30. Hawaiian Buc Says:

    As for all this needing to stunt nonsense, I’m not sure I buy it. If this is the case, how do you explain the success we’ve had when we didn’t stunt? There wasn’t a whole lot of stunting against Buffalo, and that worked out okay, no? To me, if stunting isn’t working (which it clearly isn’t), then why keep doing it? All we do is continue to lose contain on the edge, and mobile QB’s destroy us on the ground. I’d rather just rush straight on, keep contain, and let them test our secondary. We lost our first 8 games by continuously stunting, so why not change it up a little? Don’t get it, and don’t buy his excuse.

  31. That Guy Says:

    More from #Bengals Wallace Gilberry on previous stop w/ Tampa Bay and Greg Schiano: “It felt like a high school program.”

    “When I was in Tampa, it was frustrating. The whole situation. From the time I got there until the time I left,” Gilberry said. “They released me twice. They cut me on the field at practice after the final cuts. I was on the field, ready to practice in pads and everything. Schiano came on the field and got me. ‘Hey, we got to release you. I flew home to Alabama and they called me the next morning. ‘We made a mistake. We want to bring you back.’ They signed me back. I made the opening day roster. My contract was guaranteed [as a vested veteran] and then they cut me again after week one. Schiano’s a joke, as you can see.”

  32. That Guy Says:

    “I think he just wants to flex his power,” Bennett said. “He has small [man’s] syndrome. I still talk to guys who are there, and trust me, there’s not much respect for him in that locker room.”

  33. Couch Fan Says:

    Lol it sounds like you are using anything any knuckle head says against the coach. News flash, what happened to him happens to lots of players.

    The only thing that is a joke is the way you hate on your supposed favorite team. Now THAT is funny!

  34. That Guy Says:

    And let’s not forget the stellar record Gregory posted at Rutgers!


    Sure that’s a loser’s record, but give Gregory time! He’ll keep losing!

  35. Couch Fan Says:

    And you’ll keep bitching and crying like a girl whether we win or lose. It’s a lose lose situation.

  36. bigpoppabuc Says:

    Common Guy… The pats have the second movement most Rutgers players in the league and almost all (excluding Underwood) have performed well to great CONSISTENTLY.
    I find Schiano to be pretty damn bullheaded myself, but he’s been described by respected guys in the league as a great football mind. His style is blunt and very old school, but the guys that buy in play hard and play well. Looks like the defense is finally buying in. And the weakness is glaring…. Schiano just said it. Our rebuilt secondary is finally gelling, our linebackers are their usual solid selves while McCoy and Spence dominating the middle…
    Dominiks boys have had their chances to earn the coaches trust… You better believe Schiano is going to go shopping for some pass rushers.

  37. Tampabaybucfan Says:

    Get over Bennett:

    Bennett is history, gone, departed, terminated, through, finished, vanished, elsewhere, SYONARA, ADIOS, AU-REVOIR, Auf WIEDERSHEN, CHEERIO, ADJO, ANTIO, DO SVIDANIYA, HASTA LA VISTA, BYE-BYE…. SO LONG Of course, Schiano would say CAIO!!!

    The problem isn’t with who left….its who is left….Bowers & AC….just aren’t getting it done….I’m sure we will make some improvements in FA….I will predict our days of continuing to try to pack the DL with impact players from the draft are at least temporarily over. I think we will go for a TE & WR in rounds 1 & 2 this year.

  38. PRBucFan Says:

    As much as I would like to enter an exchange of words with you Hawaiian, not feeling it tonight. Do me a solid though and do not put words in my mouth.

    But I’ll take this one post to answer you before I call it a night.

    What I said was that Dom is the GM so “ask him”.
    Seeing as to how personnel decisions ultimately do fall on him.
    That cannot spin that any other way.

    On top that, after I made that point when referencing what I thought about the actions and decisions made in regards to Bennett, I used the term “they” not Dom which implies more than one person. And REGARDLESS of how little or how much Schiano may have had in the say it does not change a single thing that I have posted about why the decision to let him walk was perfectly logical by either at the time. That’s If they indeed had the faith they seem to express in Bowers. Right choice or not. Seeing as to how neither of them have the luxury of that crystal ball oh so many critics have you can’t blame them for taking a shot in who they believed in.

    I not calling Schiano a liar.
    On numerous occasions during your previous “Schiano conspiracy theory” days that role belonged to you, not I.

    Do I know if he’s the answer ultimately no, neither do I know whether that’s the case for Glennon but if things keep playing out like they have been they’ve both earned next year to prove if they are at the very least. IMO 2 years is just not enough to see what he has to offer.

    I’m fine with whatever outcome ends up occurring for either if them but while both Schiano and Glennon are here I will choose to try and see the best in them and root for them.

    That’s not to say that I won’t acknowledge the bad but I won’t sit here and continually question every motif and decision the man makes as if the best interest of the team is not what he desires.

    Go Bucs and again it’s been fun. Y’all have a goodnight, time for me to turn it in.

  39. That Guy Says:

    “And you’ll keep bitching and crying like a girl whether we win or lose. It’s a lose lose situation.”

    Take a peek at Gregory’s record. It’s always lose lose and always will be. Nothing to do with me, son.

  40. Bobby Says:

    @That Guy…..you really are like a whiney little girl. Your record of posting little sniveling cry baby remarks speaks for itself. You quote Bennett as saying the guys in the locker room don’t respect Schiano and yet this turnaround certainly disproves that BS doesn’t it. You of all people should understand how when people are bitter they lie and whine to vent. You know…kind of like your posts under ALL of your names. Pitiful.
    You quote Schiano’s record at Rutgers but only mention his losing seasons and not the 6 seasons with a winning record. Typical of you. It’s why you are thought of as nothing more than a troll.

  41. Bobby Says:

    After Schiano’s first 2 seasons at Rutgers he compiled a 70-46 record with 5 bowl wins. That’s 66% wins to losses. Not bad for a school that was absolutely dreadful before Schiano. And how many NFL players have been churned out of Rutgers??? I’d say the guy knows how to develop talent. He deserves another year to see if he can start to win here.

  42. Buc1987 Says:

    Schiano in 2014!

  43. Jeff78280z Says:

    Maybe what he was saying is that with a player like GMC getting pressure up the middle and zero if any pressure from the outside. It becomes a worse problem than no pressure at all. When you have situation like that you create holes on the defensive line your self for the offense to take advantage of. Draw plays, QB roll outs would take away GMC all together without some outside pressure. The QB would have all day. Athletic QB’s would just run to the outside and pick up yards until the linebacker breaks off coverage to make the tackle. That is what those stupid stunts are trying to cover up. I hate them as much a anyone. But until we get some upgrades at DE it seems that’s what we have to do.

  44. Architek Says:

    It’s really simple here guys, stop the stunting it’s not working. Embrace the lack of DE production and take responsibility for the personnel failure (GM) – whether Schiano was involved or not.

    Some of you are right, Bennett is gone and no longer a Buc but the same principle still applies, coach and scheme with the players you have. That have not happened and that’s where the frustration resides. Sheridan better have his “For Sale” sign up at his home going into week 16.

    I’m not sure about Sullivan either as much as I want continuity on offense – his playcalling is trash too!

  45. Amar Says:

    Coach Brian Cox also deserves a lot of credit and he’s already getting any from fans and Schiano in press conferences. Coach cox had definitely done a TOP TIER PHENOMENAL JOB with the development of our young core.

    Joe, how about an article and props to Coach Cox, a lil recognition for the guy? Just since he hardly gets any…

  46. Hawaiian Buc Says:

    Bottom line is the stunting isn’t working. Is there anyone on this board (Schiano fan or Schiano hater) that will argue that point? Of the 30-someodd sacks we’ve had this year, the overwhelming majority have been on either straight rushes or blitzes. That tells you all you need to know right there. If something isn’t working, and hasn’t been all year (and you can even count last year too), then why do it? Even Gerald McCoy, who appears to like playing for Schiano and is as nice of a guy as anyone, has openly lobbied for less stunting. People like Steve White have been screaming about the stunting for 2 years now. Warren Sapp, same thing. So I am not off base in saying it is stupid, and it needs to be tempered down to a minimum. That doesn’t mean I’m not a Buc fan, or I’m not supportive of our team. It just means I have eyes, and I know what I see – because every one else sees it too. Many of the people who support this staff (and I’m turning the corner myself) aren’t really even arguing for the line stunts. They just don’t like anyone saying anything negative about Schiano. Guess what, this is the real world, and he’s not perfect. He’d probably be the first one to tell you that. Stop getting so damn defensive like we’re criticizing your child or something. The stunting needs to stop, and I’m not stupid enough to buy this BS about we don’t have the right guys. You can either blindly support any and everything you hear, or you can form your own opinion by actually watching the games.

  47. Joe Says:

    Then why would you let Bennett walk for marbles – that’s idiotic!

    Joe has been screaming about that for months.

  48. GBG Says:

    The Seahawks didn’t do squat with Bennett other than cut him as a UDFA then re-sign him as a 4th year vet, he developed as a Buccaneer and this “past” Schiano kept referencing is sounding like last season. Clayborn, Spence, McCoy, & Bennett would have been great, but I digress now we’re in a situation where we’ve got a need where we didn’t have one before Bennett walked.

  49. Splengo Says:

    Not buying the ole “devil made me do it” line. Stunting (too much) is stoopid! There is film. Anybody with eyes can see it.

  50. Tampabaybucfan Says:

    I think the stunting may actually work….the other team is fooled when we come at it straight on….because….they are wondering….”Where is the stupid stunt?”……sort of a “Rope-a-dope”……pure genious!!!!

  51. LUVMYBUCS Says:


    With your keen eye for talent…I know you’ve seen this kid out of Pitt. DT Aaron Donald 6-0½, 281 lbs. Sure the kid is small, but Wow. Your talking about an out of this world get off..smh. You add this kid to our rotation and look out. For a minute I was, like eh-next coming of Trevor Laws. Then the next minute…your speechless.

  52. Chef Paul Says:


    I just went and watched some of Donald on You Tube. That was very impressive. Dude destroyed Georgia Tech. That was fun to watch. Highlights can be very deceiving, but he had like 12 awesome plays in one game. Most highlight films have 12 awesome plays in a season.

  53. LUVMYBUCS Says:

    Exactly, good eye Chef

  54. madmacskillz Says:

    Before the season Joe was going on and on and on (and on) about how we needed to upgrade our defensive ends. The Bucs didn’t and now it’s pretty obvious that Joe was right.

  55. LUVMYBUCS Says:

    Aaron Donald Highlights | 2013 Regular Season

  56. LUVMYBUCS Says:

    Like some of us here-Joe’s Ol’ school he’s seen some great defenses in his day.

    I forget who it was, but I can remember Joe asking someone. What does it take, to have a good pass defense…Pass rush or great defensive backs? The person responded defensive backs. Damn beer almost slipped down the wrong pipe on that one..smh.

  57. Splengo Says:


    We had a good DT, Chris Jones from the Texans out of Bowling Green. We cut him after 2 weeks. Belichick picked him off waivers and now he is the Pats starting DT with 5 sacks. You trust the Bucs ability to judge D-Line talent?

  58. Oil Derrick Brooks Says:

    Oddly, Mediocre Mark’s name is not in this article. Or has he been officially moved to the Contracts Only dept yet?

  59. chickster Says:

    Lets see what u think of glennen the rest of the season I still think we need a better qb

  60. McBuc Says:

    @That Guy…Really, you show the first four years he coached at Rutgers? I am no fan of Shiano at this point, but to be fair from 2005 – 2011 he only had one losing season, and had one year that a small school was ranked in the top 25. He also won several bowl games if I remember right. I am a Bull, so I have seen some of the teams he put out. He may not make it here, but he did win in college. I also would like to see references to some of your player quotes. I know they have said some things, but I have not heard anyone call the man an idiot. I think you are paraphrasing and using the words you would like them to have said.

    Again, I would be happy to see Shiano go, but you are just using pieces of info and making things up as you go.

  61. Bobby Says:

    “We had a good DT, Chris Jones from the Texans out of Bowling Green. We cut him after 2 weeks. Belichick picked him off waivers and now he is the Pats starting DT with 5 sacks. You trust the Bucs ability to judge D-Line talent?”


    We also cut Blount and Belichick picked him up to. Still seems like the Bucs know how to judge RB talent. It really is stupid to judge players by how they do on other teams because they are most times totally different systems with different supporting casts. Yes, I trust the Bucs ability to judge D-line talent. Spence is working out fine and Gholston is slowly developing into a good player. I haven’t given up on Bowers yet and Clayborne would have a lot more production without the stupid stunts. We need a Khalil Mack to really solidify that line.

  62. Fritz50 Says:

    “Dom’s the GM not Schiano, ask him”

    This board is great, a personnel move turns out good & its the magic hand of Schiano at work, overriding Dominic. If it turns out bad it’s all on Dominic. Can’t have it both ways, guys.

  63. Splengo Says:

    Yeah Bobby,

    That’s just what the D-Line needs another Rutgers players to return us to greatness! Kalil Mack is a LB, you nitwit. Or don’t you know what a D-Line player is? SMDH.

  64. Oil Derrick Brooks Says:

    “a personnel move turns out good & its the magic hand of Schiano at work, overriding Dominic. If it turns out bad it’s all on Dominic. Can’t have it both ways, guys.”

    Or we could just make a side by side comparison list, one good, one bad. At best it would be even. We are now 5 years into Dominick’s rebuild. He is truly mediocre. And, it’s not just a case of him being bad at first and great later. The last two seasons have been hamstrung by glaringly risky moves that backfired in his face. He rolled the dice on the DBs in 2012, and then with the DEs this year (and I should add when there was plenty of $ to be safe and sign a vet). He signed a blocking tightend and “hoped” he would become a pass catcher. We then relied on Wright, a glorified WR (if you really want to credit him for Rutgers Wright, feel free).

    Accepting mediocrity at the top allows it to permeate the organization.

    When’s the playoffs expected in his rebuild? Year 7? Year 8?

  65. PRBucFan Says:

    Bullspit Fritz you show me where I have done that before you talk nonsense.

    However are you saying the general manager is not ultimately in charge of the personnel decisions?

    At the end of the day, does that responsibility not fall on him?