Defensive Line “Not There Yet”

August 17th, 2014
Bucs DT Gerald McCoy, who said the defensive line needs to improve, puts a move on a Dolphins offensive lineman last night. Photo courtesy of

Bucs DT Gerald McCoy, who said the defensive line needs to improve, puts a move on a Dolphins guard last night. Photo courtesy of

Defensive end Michael Johnson signed a five-year deal worth $43.75 million, per Some even suggested that paired with Gerald McCoy, Johnson would be the next Simeon Rice.

Frankly, unless Johnson flips the switch next month, the next person comparing him to Rice should be towel-snapped in the shower.

Joe was up in the press box last night and had enough Bucs fans ask him about Johnson that Joe decided to focus on Johnson for a few plays. The tall defensive end was hailed by the new Bucs administration as the coup of the free agent spending frenzy this spring.

From what Joe saw (granted, small sample size) Johnson has two moves: run around the tackle or bullrush him. Neither worked against veteran Dolphins left tackle Branden Albert. Once Albert made contact with Johnson, the play was over. Johnson could not shake him.

You know why Johnson was in position to scoop up a Ryan Tannehill fumble? Because he couldn’t get near him.

In a lot of ways, the defensive line looks a whole lot like last year’s, sans the stunts. The only guy getting pressure is Gerald McCoy, who is double- and triple-teamed, and sometimes chipped by a running back. The dude is getting mobbed and still finds a way to shake free.

Even GMC admitted after the game the defensive line, as a unit, has a ways to go.

“There’s a standard that has been set by a bunch of legends in this game,” GMC said referring to his mentor, Warren Sapp, along with Rice. “When Tampa first brought the Tampa-2 here, there were some growing pains. It’s tough to repeat what they did, but they set a standard and Coach [Lovie] Smith has set a standard. We’re getting closer but we’re not there yet.

“It’s coming. We’re not there yet. We can be so much better, but it is improving. Coach [Joe] Cullen and Coach [Leslie] Frazier, they’re doing an awesome job getting the guys ready and coaching us up. We got a long way to go.”

Joe thought GMC had an awesome response when someone asked when he would know the defense has reached its zenith: “When we bring a Super Bowl trophy home.”

 To hear more of GMC, click the red button below. Audio courtesy of Joe’s friends at WDAE-AM 620.

24 Responses to “Defensive Line “Not There Yet””

  1. The_Buc_Realist Says:

    Watching GMC play on this team, is like watching the Waterboy!!! other them him, it seems like we got no one else that will make a play!!

  2. Destinjohnny Says:

    Ya it’s shocking how we aren’t ready to win the Super Bowl yet

  3. buc4lyfe Says:

    Free agents always get the big contracts, their not busts until they get to Tampa with three exception of rice, Jackson, nickerson and maybe a couple others. As invisible as Johnson has been it doesn’t matter because there’s no one else on this roster at end that’s better than him. Complaining about the money he got is really meaningless if this is a top 10 defense the ends that will get the credit are AC and Johnson there’s nothing else behind them Joe seriously let it go. You’ve mentioned his name more than you have the hawk and his only production was fines and suspensions.

  4. DB55 Says:

    At least Johnson didn’t get pancaked last night. #improvement

  5. DB55 Says:

    Oh yea one more thing to consider. Johnsons contract is on par with Jared Allen’s, peppers n Bennett’s. just saying.

  6. The_Buc_Realist Says:

    If I was Michael Johnson, I would buy the hat that has the fake dreads out the back. Then just run on field wildly while still doing nothing. For some reason that makes you a “Great” player around these parts.


  7. Owlykat Says:

    Johnson is just a bust so far! He is the worst tackler on the DL too. Perhaps he is just coasting until the regular season, but that sure won’t set well with Lovie.

  8. BucsQcCity Says:

    i’ll judge later, right now is preseason so no one should read into that

    I’d rather have MJ than overpay for veterans like allen or peppers past their prime.

  9. Architek Says:

    Joe –
    You should point the gun at so many other positions and personnel, there so many others that need scrutiny but to isolate Johnson is questionable.

  10. INDYbucsfan Says:

    How is this dude already a bust???? He’s played exactly 2 partial preseason games. Mason foster bit on coverage lastnight-BUST!
    You know what? I think even GMC himself didn’t disrupt one play! BUST!!
    Oh crap I forgot Doug Martin only averaged a 4ypc last night behind a bad line-BUST! Screw this season let’s fire lovie and just sell the farm for manning!

  11. SAMCRO Says:

    I think once teams need to worry about our LB and safety blitzes you will see more from the front four. Except for an occasional blitz we haven’t really put much pressure on the first two offenses using blitz packages so they have been solely able to concentrate on their assignment. Line David or Foster up behind or next to Johnson a few times and let them blitz, and then watch how the left tackle has to split his concentration between RDE and the blitzing LB. Do that a few times, and Johnson will get his sacks. We just need to get in their heads. In fact show it enough times, and you can get the same results, even if David or Foster fake the blitz.

  12. Orca Says:

    Owlykat Says:
    August 17th, 2014 at 3:14 pm

    Johnson is just a bust so far! He is the worst tackler on the DL too. Perhaps he is just coasting until the regular season, but that sure won’t set well with Lovie.

    Hmmm, yeah, a bust after 2 meaningless games. Might be a bit premature, since these games are, ya know, meaningless. When he fails to do anything in the regular season, then such labels might be valid. Why not wait and see, or do you just wanna be the first on the bust bandwagon so you can feel all smart and stuff?

  13. RealityCheck Says:

    @INDYbucsfan your sarcasm is so scrambled with weird examples that it looses any relevancy. Every guy you named is already proven on this team, so bust doesn’t apply at all. It’s not unfathomable to think that the new, big free agent signing will be held to a high standard. GMC is simply unstoppable this year and Johnson has done nothing when all he has to do is beat his guy as GMC does the heavy lifting.

    I also don’t understand the people that say, “Who cares, it’s only preseason!”. Exactly! If you can’t beat your man during preseason when the opposing team’s offensive line is weak, what makes you think you can do it during the regular season once the O line units gel?

    All that being said, I think our defense as a whole is going to be awesome and so fun to watch this year. They’ll at least keep us in games and make it competitive.

  14. INDYbucsfan Says:

    Actually reality check I’ve heard numerous people on here say that Doug Martin has lost talent or that he had a fluke rookie year. I’ve also read numerous comments about mason foster and how he’s not cut out to be out MLB. And the whole McCoy thing is, don’t know if you live in Tampa, but I listen to 620 from Indy and for the first 2 years of his career people were calling him a bust. Even when he wasn’t hurt. Tampa fans jump the gun waaay to soon. And it’s meaningless in the pre season because for the most part were running a base defense. Yeah not completely. But for the most part. Also when these guys play FOR AN ENTIRE GAME (MJ) he will truly be able to showcase his talents. He has played what like scaterplotted 3 ish quarters? Call him a bust after week and he doesn’t have a sack. All I’m saying.

  15. Finishers Says:

    so far McDonald is the best free agent we picked up IMO
    hopefully Johnson can step up next week.

  16. CC Says:

    what’s up with Ghosting?

  17. CC Says:

    Gholston. Sorry

  18. Joe Says:

    You should point the gun at so many other positions and personnel, there so many others that need scrutiny but to isolate Johnson is questionable.

    Completely disagree. Please read the first paragraph of the story. Johnson was the first selection of the new Bucs regime. The Bucs targeted him before free agency started. He was to be the missing piece of the puzzle to one of the worst pass-rushing units in the NFL.

    Forgive Joe if he expects a modicum of production from Johnson. Lovie’s entire defense is depending on him to get to the quarterback in order to make the defense work.

  19. Joe Says:

    what’s up with Ghosting?

    Give up. What’s up with Gholston?

    (Joe had a hunch what you are asking but not sure)

  20. Uncle Albert Says:

    Buc_Realist it’s amazing how ignorant you are about football. Geez, come to think of it, about 70% of the posters here have no knowledge at all and just talk out of their asses. #myapologiestothe30%

  21. JR Says:

    Saw him with Cincy last year. He worked because he fit their scheme, but he’s never been a great QB pressure guy. He had one year where he was very good, but then he went back to what he is. The Bengals also run a very different 4-3 defense than what the Bucs are implementing that doesn’t require the lateral quickness out of the DE. That’s the same problem the Bucs already had with the DEs they already have.

    McCoy is a great player. I think Lavonte David is really good. There are some other good players and very little depth, so I’m not sure why people expect the defense to be a strength. They will be better, but the offense will be so bad that the defense will wear down as games progress.

    I also expect the Bucs to regret signing Collins on the OL. They jumped into free agency so quickly, but took no notice of if the players were matches. They just looked at a couple stat sheets and paid out money. Lovie and Licht are not competent with personnel.

  22. tiny tim Says:

    Boy, the jury is sure out on the Michael Johnson signing. I was one of the ones questioning how much of an upgrade he will be. I hope he can bring the pain, but when you sign FA to huge amounts, it should be to those players who already experienced a lot of success ala pro bowl appearances like Rice, Brad Johnson etc. Those type of players usually continue their success with new teams. I would not spend that amount of money for someone who we “hope” will turn out to be successful. That never seems to work. I hope I am wrong.

  23. teacherman777 Says:


    Trolls, Haters, Racists, and Morons…

    You can’t judge a guy by 2 preseason games


    You need “an adequate sample size” before you can ANALYZE anything or anyone.

    Give Michael Johnson UNTIL WEEK 10, before you start freaking out.


  24. chickster Says:

    I am calling you out joey lets go little man