“We Don’t Have One”

February 23rd, 2014

Lovie has drawn a line in the sand

Unlike Greg Schiano, there will be no pie-in-the-sky winter fantasizing with Lovie Smith when it comes to edge pass rushers. When Lovie talks about double-digit sackmasters, he’s referring to guys who’ve done it before.

Tampa Tribune scribe Roy Cummings delivered the strongest message to date from the Bucs’ head coach, one that paints a picture of the Bucs’ priorities in free agency.

“You can never have too many defensive ends,’’ Smith said. “The moment you say you’re all set with defensive ends, bam, you’ll say, ‘Can you believe this other team just signed another one?’ 

“So, we’re always going to be looking for defensive linemen. That is the engine of our defense and what we do. And so we have to have a double-digit sack guy on the outside, and right now we don’t have one.’’

Michael Bennett? Jared Allen? Greg Hardy?

The Bucs surely are going to pursue one stud edge rusher available when the free agency bell rings in 16 days, and address the pass rush in the draft.

Joe’s starting to think Bennett might be the best fit given his versatility, and he’s got a nice blend of experience and an established work ethic. He can rush inside and out, and he prefers the left end, which isn’t too common. Also, if Lovie’s old pal Julius Peppers is cut from the Bears after June 1, which is very likely, he could be available on the cheap. And locking up Bennett would leave a potential opening for Peppers, who would play right defensive end opposite Bennett.

Regardless, it’s clear Lovie won’t be messing around with the messy Bucs pass rush. It will be addressed immediately, and he’ll be committed to perfecting it through the summer.


41 Responses to ““We Don’t Have One””

  1. SAMCRO Says:

    It won’t be Bennett by himself. For one, he’s never had double digit sacks in his career, and two, he wants paid like a superstar. Unless he’s willing to give a hometown discount, I see Lovie going after proven sack leaders Allen, Hardy, or even maybe Peppers who’s on the downside of his career. sorry Joe just don’t agree with you here. I think your working relationship with Michael has clouded your judgement.

  2. The_Buc_Realist Says:

    Even if the Bucs are planning to draft a DE we still need to aquire Free Agent DE. In the NFL this is a high priority position. And the Bucs have nothing at DE. I would be nice to trade Clayborn for a second round ( but value is more like a third rounder.)

  3. Eric Says:

    Sounds like a man understandably unimpressed with Bowers and co.

    I liked what our GM said about retooling before the draft so not to reach at a particular position.

    Obviously not following the Dominik doctrine.

  4. BuccaneerBonzai Says:

    I’m sorry, but I do not believe Bennett is good enough to maintain his double digit sacks.

    I think he got lucky in signing with a team that enabled him to do well. He is a product of that system.

  5. Chris@Apple Roof Cleaning Says:

    Maybe Peppers has another year left in him, and does good here in Tampa ?
    Perhaps a change in scenery, and a reunion with Lovie will be good for him.

  6. BucsQcCity Says:

    Hardy would be my first choice if he hits the market. It’s a lot of cap space but he’s young and at the same time, we hit the Panthers. Even if Mayock is claiming Mack is the real deal, he’s not proven at all so I would go for a known commodity. Maybe even go for a franchise QB in the draft while it’s playing on a cheap contract or trade back a couple spot and get an extra pick. Mosley, donald, ebron, lewis should be there..

  7. Stu Laake Says:

    When did Bennett have a double digit sack season?

  8. Harry Says:

    I would prefer Allen, Bennett and Mack (dreaming). But I would be thrilled with just Peppers and Bennett compared to what we had last year.

  9. joseph mamma Says:

    We need to draft and develop a double digit sack guy, not sign an overpaid and old one in free agency. So hopefully Licht can do what Dom could not.

  10. b.Bruce Says:

    Claiborne is going to do great this year.just wait under Lovie Smith he will be dominant.

  11. Tampabaybucfan Says:

    What we do in FA may influence our first draft pick….ie Mack vs Watkins……the “edge” still goes to Mack!!!

  12. The_Buc_Realist Says:

    TampaBayBucfan is right. Then trade Clayborn ( because he still might have a little value) and get a receiver with that compensation.

  13. Harry Says:

    I thought you were the “Realist”? The Bucs need a pass rusher in the worst way, right? Would you give up a 3rd rd pick for Clayborn? I wouldn’t.

  14. mike Says:

    glad to hear that message! Seemed the Dom always had one or 2 positions every year he would give to an undeserving draft pick. like we are expecting big things from kyle moore/ d bowers ect.

  15. The_Buc_Realist Says:

    The article is titled ” We don’t have one.” Clayborn has been on this team sine 2011. The Bucs need real pass rushers. We have seen guys in the 4th round and later, unsigned free agent do what Clayborn has been doing the past couple of years.

    If they say that he is “relentless” and has a “non-stop motor”, it just means that he can’t get there.

  16. mike Says:

    vivian norris

  17. Tomcin Says:

    Offensive line should be first priority.

  18. Couch Fan Says:

    It just showed Schiano again with Belichick in his suite. He looked like he was actually working this time with them. Lol, I can’t help but feel like we were a victim in some sick plot between those 2.

  19. c-span Says:

    Michael Johnson should be on our list

  20. gulfcoast Says:

    With proper coaching, more retrospect for coaches and less BS stunts and D-line square-dancing, I have not given up on A Claiborne yet… However bowers, I’m afraid he’s toast ie. Albert haynesworth and jadaveon clowney style..a nice nfl paycheck can cause some great talents to fall off. Ready for 2014!!

  21. nick j Says:

    Bennett sucks joe why do you ride his junk soooo hard?

  22. anotherbucsfan Says:

    We should have kept Schiano as a draft councilier or smthng like that….

  23. NY Buc Says:

    Not completely sold on Bennett either. Glad to see he found himself in a good situation up in Seattle, but I just don’t think he’d have the same success in Tampa regardless of who the HC is. Jared Allen is probably the best choice if he doesn’t break the bank.

  24. biff barker Says:

    Clayborn is walking the path of a journeyman 3rd rounder folks. Let’s just call him what he has been….”rotation guy” but not a dominant RT.
    I’d sigh Hardy in a nanosecond and stick with Gholston. He’s got a high ceiling and I really expect him to break out under this regime. I have no clue as to what this staff thinks of Bowers. Does anybody really?
    BTW, no one is talking about pressure from inside. I’d opt for a monster DT to compliment McCoy and put Spence in rotation.

  25. NY Buc Says:

    @ Couch

    Contrary to some of the misguided Bucs fans who wanted to paint Schiano as Satan’s retarded little brother Belichick realizes Schiano is a good coach and has a very good knack for recognizing NFL talent from the college ranks. If our new HC/GM have even half of Schiano’s talent in that regard they’ll still be twice as good as Rah/Dom where at recognizing NFL caliber talent in the draft.

  26. Brandon Says:

    I would gladly take Bennett over any DE on our roster at this point. He’s proven to be better than Clayborn, Bowers, Teo, etc. He’s an upgrade, no, he isn’t a sack machine, but he plays the run tough and can rush the passer pretty well off the LDE spot (how many 10 sack seasons did Greg Spires have?).

    I’d take him.

    I prefer:

    Michael Johnson-best frst step and length of all DEs… very similar to a young Simeon Rice, would flourish next to McCoy at RDE
    Greg Hardy-power/leverage RDE, is a monster but lacks true edge bend and explosion. Will command top contract.
    Brian Orakpo-Smallish for RDE but fast and athletic. Not a ton of moves but has the speed to turn the corner.
    Michael Bennett-would be LDE, great work ethic, good enough get-off, excellent against the run.
    Anthony Spencer-if healthy, has edge twitchiness and production
    Lamarr Houston -rare physical specimen (over 300 running 4.8) that has never put up huge numbers but he is a monster at LDE and could slide inside to DT during passing downs.
    Justin Tuck-streaky sack artist now on the wrong side of 30. Solid overall around DE, could play LDE or RDE and inside on passing situations.
    Everson Griffen-stuck behind two really good DEs in Allen and Robison, Griffen averaged 4.5 sacks a season despite rarely starting and even playing some LB. Leslie Frazier is fully aware of his speed and edge capabilities.
    Jared Allen-still has good first step, great frame, and work ethic. Handing over big contracts to 32 year old players is not always the wisest thing to do, but Allen SEEMS he could still maintain his high level for a few more years.
    Julius Peppers-34 years old and showing signs of age the past two seasons, Peppers doesn’t have much left in the tank and if he were to be signed, I don’t see it being more than a 2 year deal. DE is still a need for this team next year if Peppers is brought aboard.

  27. Brandon Says:

    gulfcoast Says:
    February 23rd, 2014 at 11:39 am
    With proper coaching, more retrospect for coaches and less BS stunts and D-line square-dancing, I have not given up on A Claiborne yet… However bowers, I’m afraid he’s toast ie. Albert haynesworth and jadaveon clowney style..a nice nfl paycheck can cause some great talents to fall off. Ready for 2014!!

    Sorry, you can’t coach up a RDE to have elite get-off. Clayborn CAN’T run the arc, has little bend in his game and has struggled to ever blow by anybody. He is a LDE trying to play RDE. He was my least desired DE prospect from the 3011 draft (I had Cam Jordan way over him) and he was a bad pick from the start.

  28. bucray1 Says:

    although I have always liked Bennett , I think he may have maxed out his potential. I would prefer jared allen with his proven production. hardy , if available , may cost too much. peppers , wait til june 1, imho

  29. Rob Says:

    The Giants are going to let Justin Tuck walk… might be worth a look too. He had 11 sacks last year.

  30. bucslandonrevisisland Says:

    Jared allen n J Pepper for the cheap to me is a quick fix youn guys like cborn gerald bower nad the rest of the guys learn from the best to do it draft mack to play lb oppisite side of david then u have speed every where I personally think mason should haft to compete for his position sometimes I Dont even know if he played or not we grab jennings an are defense is solid n scary then draft anoth wr n te and a o line man or two either price check joeseph n penn or cut them n build a lovie team that can run the ball first pass every once in awhile wish we can cut mike will he was by far over paid by far should be get 3.5 a year at best with spme bonus n incentives Go bucso

  31. NJ BucFan Says:

    Everyone keeps saying Michael Bennett landed in a good situation and thats why he did so well. I wont dispute he landed in a good spot, but he didn’t have a better year than his contract year with us. And that was in Schiano stuntfest, playing LDE for Lovie would be an amazing fit. Would he ever top 11 sacks, probably not, but 8-10 a year while anchoring the strong side of the top run D in the league is nothing to turn your nose up at. And that’s exactly what Mark D let walk away rather than lock up to a fair deal before the league got a look at his impact.

    Make right on the situation and bring him back!

  32. bigpoppabuc Says:

    Who it will be is just speculation at this point. I’m just so happy to hear Lovie say this. The situation WILL be dealt with and not just thrown a bone of hopes and prayers. Go get that missing piece Lovie!

  33. Dougy balls Says:

    J Allen would be awsome with McCoy getting the double team or spin the other way Would really be tough to game plan

  34. Harry Says:

    Our DE play is so bad, almost any DE FA is going to be an improvement. I like J Allen; but he is getting older, so he would only be a bandaid. Plus, Allen is not great against the run. It takes a while for a rookie DE to blossom and since I don’t see the Bucs spending big money, IMO, this points to drafting someone like Mack.

  35. Thomas Says:

    Allen would best if they cannot afford Hardy. Peppers is on his way out. He was dominated in most bears games last year- and NOT by double teams. Teams didn’t have to double team him.

    To be fair, Pep was knicked up a bit in the year, but who isn’t?

  36. FLBoyInDallas Says:

    Hardy will be tagged. Take him off the list.

    Bennett? 50/50.

    Allen and/or Peppers I can see happening.

  37. PRBucFan Says:

    Hardy has to be a Buc, stolen from the panties.

    Than we can go after another, cheaper DE

  38. Red86 Says:

    All we need is a proven vet to stay for two to three years.

    Allen and Pepper and getting a guy like Dee Ford in the draft would be a nice start. I would rather have a guy that actually play defensive end than take a risk on a guy that have little to no experience there.

  39. you go joe Says:

    Bennetts skills wouldnt help us. Bleacher report also had an article stating that Bennett improved because of Seattle’s other line. I’m not saying he’s a bust or anything, but Bennett is not Greg Hardy, Peppers, Allen. We can get other players who will be much better, older! But Better

  40. teacherman Says:

    Peppers and Jared Allen.

    3 year deals each.

    Fully guaranteed.

  41. uban Says:

    Fyi guys and gals if they get Bennett and then get a Allen or Peppers via free agency the add McCoy ,dude that would be a sweet line so far..