Bucs On Pace For Only 23 Sacks

October 27th, 2014

LoviesadGreg Schiano’s goofy, ineffective, blitz-happy pass rush last season generated 35 sacks and Tampa Bay finished with the NFL’s 17th-ranked defense.

But that’s old news, the new Bucs have just 10 sacks through seven games — in a defense that revolves around the pass rush.

The Vikings were allowing more than four sacks a game before yesterday’s game in Tampa. Rookie QB Teddy Bridgewater dropped back 42 times and the Bucs only dropped him once.

Yes, the Bucs’ pass rush is bad. The highest paid defensive tackle in football, Gerald McCoy, isn’t making those around him better. Michael Johnson is having a terrible season. Clinton McDonald isn’t the pass rush force the Bucs expected, especially considering McCoy draws so much attention. McCoy, himself, only has 2 1/2 sacks and is performing a shade below the All-World level he was at least season. Starting left defensive end Will Gholston is improving, and he might have played his best game yesterday. But he won’t last another year as a starter without more sacks. Gholston has one through six starts after Adrian Clayborn was lost.

Now what?

This offseason, Joe seriously hopes Lovie Smith and Jason Licht are willing to swallow the fail of the Michael Johnson purchase and get another top defensive end to come off the edge. Let the new signing compete with Johnson and/or move Johnson to the left side. If Johnson is such a special athlete, he can learn a new position, like the Bucs expected from Clayborn.

Lovie himself is quick to say he won’t have a special defense without a pass rush. Through seven games, Johnson is the weakest link.

As for that pace of 23 sacks, that’s the total the Bucs had in 2011, when Raheem Morris was booted following a four-win season.

51 Responses to “Bucs On Pace For Only 23 Sacks”

  1. Brandon Says:

    Johnson effectively runs the arc, there needs to be more interior push for him to put up numbers that are expected of him. It’s a two way street. If we get push and there is no edge presence then the QB drifts back in the pocket, if we run the edge and we get no push in the pocket, the QB steps up. if we run the edge and a push, the QB has nothing to do but get rid of the ball or take sacks. Johnson hasn’t been great, but he has been far better than the people that simply look at the stat sheet think.

  2. nate_tweetz Says:

    I remember when Lovie was hired, how happy Gerald McCoy and all the D lineman were because they could stop with all the ballerina stunts and just go get the QB. Well the D line has been freed up to go get the QB and they are worse than last year. How does that happen!?! Are we missing the greatness that is Teo-noname that much?

  3. Mr. Patrick Says:

    I wonder if the Glazers realize yet that they made another horrible and costly mistake?

  4. Wombat Says:

    Lovie keeps telling us this team is getting better… I am struggling to see it. This team has taken a big step backwards which has me perplexed. I actually believed all the hype coming into this season and upgraded my season tix. There is no way in hell I will be buying tickets unless I see improvement, not Lovie’s definition of it. Cos, I am paying for the tix not him.

    I am just at a loss to his mindset and his assessment of his players. He gutted this team and it shows. I think L&L are not great talent evaluators and thats the main problem. Plus we have no offensive coordinator and its hard to blame the offense when its basically a shambles. And the Defense?? Two defensive minds in Smith and Frazier and we end up with this product… sheesh!!!!

  5. Waterboy Says:

    Clayborne looked much better at RDE than Johnson. I wouldn’t just move him to LDE without letting him compete with Claiborne for the job.

  6. mike h Says:

    nate. its the coaching! period. two weeks off and come out like they did both sides of the ball wtf! this idiot is not the answer as coach. ya hey let the qb coach run the offense. why don’t we let the trainer run the defense. durrrrr idiots.

  7. bucrightoff Says:

    No. More. Free. Agency. Fixes. Period. How many times do we have to get burned before we realize it’s fool’s gold? Draft DEs, do not sign them. All it ends up doing is backfiring. 3 straight years, 3 horrible defensive signings in a row (Easy E, Goldson, Johnson). Enough already.

  8. Patrick in VA Says:

    @BRO – Free Agency is a necessity. No getting around it. What we need to do is stop trying to go after the big fancy prize in free agency. We need to find value talent that actually fits and our splashes, our cornerstone players need to come in the draft. We need to start looking at free agency as a place to find those role players that we can fill holes with. Not pay a truck load for a guy because he did well in someone else’s system. If we don’t pay that much to people we haven’t even see play in our system then we will have more money available to pay the people who we brought up and have thrived in our system already (like Mike Bennett). That’s how we get depth. That’s how we avoid these colossal FA busts that we’ve gotten really good at.

  9. Tampabaybucfan Says:

    Time for the “Trench Mob”

    We need to build our lines through the draft…this will take about 3 years unfortunately…..we are stuck with the failures at FA & Dominick’s drafts.

    I would point out that we aren’t getting sacks from our Safetys, LBs or CBs on blitzes either.

  10. CB Buc Says:

    “run the arc”
    Come on man! MJ90 was brought in – and paid to be – a playmaker, not a complimentary player. Stop trying to rationalize the signing

    2013 – 3.5 sacks
    2014 – probably less

    Huge FA mistake!

  11. Buc1987 Says:

    I wonder if the Glazers have already done the math on how many tickets and jersey’s they will sell next season if they pressure L&L to draft Winston.

    I wonder how Buc-FSU fans are out there just drooling right now at the possibility?

    I had 3 dudes sitting next to me last season. We talked about Winston a lot and what it would be like if he was out on the field for the Bucs. We envisioned it last season and we liked our thoughts about it. Then we all squashed the notion, and said the Bucs will never be in a spot to get him.

    I wish I had one of those guy’s cell number, just to ask him what his thoughts are now on the matter.

    I’m not saying he’ll be a savior or anything, this team needs lots of help in other areas. What they ARE going to need next off season is a sales pitch. If they think it’s hard selling tickets now. Try selling them after 2-14.

    In walks….. Jameis Winston!

    Football’s version of LeBron James.(without the baggage)

  12. BucsQcCity Says:

    Licht better start giving more weight in consistency in its stats analysis. We took chances on many up and rising players like EDS and Collins And Johnson. We need proven players that wants to play for another team. mankins had the consistency but its the heart I question.

  13. Buc1987 Says:

    I’m sorry that was off topic wasn’t it. Shame on me I thought the season was over already.

  14. Rutgers4Schiano Says:

    “If you look at the big picture, right now we’re in the same position we were before we started the game,” Smith said.

    Hey Lovie, I looked at the big picture before the game, the Bucs looked like stuff floating in my toilet after a visit to all you can eat at taco Tuesday. But now it looks like my dog barfed in the toilet on top of it.

  15. Rutgers4Schiano Says:

    I swear Freeman must have left a big stash somewhere at One Buc place…..and Lovie has found it……and using it, then giving press conferences.

  16. mike h Says:

    let the puppet gm run everybody out of town start all over again. and we still we see the same bullshit from these idiot coaches no way a team has two weeks to prepare for the stinking vikes and come out to play like they did at home no less. and this idiot head coach still says u have to look at the big picture. because the other teams except aints lost wtf is that. if the glazers are listening to this guy wtf are they thinking!

  17. ForgotAboutDre Says:

    @CB Buc

    Michael Johnson has been a poor signing so far, but he was actually decent yesterday. He had some good stops against the run and his pass rush was pretty decent. Many people only look at sacks as an indicator, but being a lineman is way more than that. Splash plays are fun but being able to, as Brandon said, “run the arc” will lead to a sack if there is a push up front, so I’d say MJ did alright yesterday, but unfortunately you can’t have a good pass rush with only two players doing anything. Football is not won with single players, you need 11 men doing their job.

    Does he need to do better? Yes. But he played pretty well, maybe it’s a sign his ankle is getting better. Or maybe it’s a sign he was going against a bad lineman, which is probably the case, considering how Kalil has been this year.

  18. Tampabaybucfan Says:

    @ 87

    I hate to see you get your hopes up so much on drafting one player…

    He may not be there when we draft
    Lovie & Licht may not want him or want another QB
    We may trade our pick for extra picks (my choice)…..last year also….
    Winston may pull another stupid stunt before the draft

    You can dream……alll Buc Fans do!!!

  19. Jim Says:

    When the offense goes 3 & out 6 times in the first half what to you expect?

    They need to sign Glennon to a long term deal.

  20. ForgotAboutDre Says:

    As for Winston…we traded Mike Williams for peanuts because he left a mattress on his lawn and had a grease fire while cooking, and you guys think we’re going to draft Winston? Really?

  21. Patrick in VA Says:

    We need to start talking about who the stud pass rushers and linemen are in the draft. Drafting a QB is going to land us right back here where we are again.


  22. Incognito Says:

    I really don’t know why everyone is so shocked the offense is so terrible. Arroyo is doing his best but he has 0 NFL experience coaching.

  23. Howard Cosell Says:

    Schiano looks smarter and smarter with every day that passes
    and his detractors look more and more like screaming liberal b*tches
    who were as wrong about Schiano as they were about Obama.

    Go Schiano!

  24. LUVMYBUCS Says:

    The (6-1) Arizona Cardinals Have the 30th ranked offense
    • 20th Passing
    • 30th Rushing
    • 15th Points Per Game (23.3)

    Their Defense (Was Top 5 before yesterday)
    • 29th Against the Pass
    • 30th In Sacks (Only 7* on the season)
    • 2nd Against the Run
    • 5th Points Allowed (19.9)

    +++They play in arguably the toughest division in football. So you tell me what the

  25. bucrightoff Says:

    Randy Gregory, Leonard Williams, Cedric Ogbuehi, Brandon Scherf. Let’s draft one of the big boys up front with our upcoming top 3 pick.

    Trench mob is our salvation #jointhemovement

  26. Skyline Crew Says:

    You can blame Johnson, but he has 2 sacks. McCoy only has 2.5. At least Johnson is doing something….barely, but doing it. Where is the rest of the D line.

  27. Joseph Mamma Says:

    Call his stunts goofy and ineffective all you want, but his attacking-style defense was much better than this lay back and let the other team kick your ass stuff of lovie and frasier. We had the most sacks last season since 2005. If our defense doesn’t make a huge jump from year one to year two, we got major, major problems.

  28. Patrick in VA Says:

    @Skyline – Nobody is doing anything worth mentioning. The other guys on the line may be doing less but Johnson and McCoy aren’t lighting the world up either. There isn’t a bright spot on that line. The difference is that Johnson and McCoy are responsible for a large percentage of the salary cap

  29. Skyline Crew Says:

    I’d rather see Mariotta or Prescott on the team. Randy would be interesting to have.

  30. Skyline Crew Says:


    We got McCoy for 7 more years so might as well get use to it. Can only build around him now. Let’s see how much they pay David since he is the stud on our D right now.

  31. LUVMYBUCS Says:

    What’s the difference?

    *Their offensive line is Terrible
    -Carson Palmer (Has only Played 4 games)
    -Drew Stanton (Has started 3)
    -Can’t run the ball consistently to save their life

    Defense has 3 Key contributors out for the season. The Honey Badger is playing his way back into game shape, after recovering from knee surgery. +Calais Campbell has missed the last 2 games with a knee sprain (results of a cheap chop block)

    How are they winning games?

  32. bucrightoff Says:

    Bruce Arians = wonderful coach
    Lovie Smith = snake oil salesman

    More or less sums it up.

  33. Patrick in VA Says:

    True – McCyo isn’t going anywhere. Hopefully we can draft well and find a way to wiggle out from under our contract with Johnson. Ankle injury aside, the guy just doesn’t seem to be very talented or very driven. The replay they played toward the end of the game where they were showing how Kalil was having his way with Johnson said it all. The guy had no answers and didn’t really even seem like it was bothering him. Almost like he’s just going through the motions. If he’s that hurt then get someone else out there. Not like anyone else would do less

  34. mike h Says:

    you really think Winston would help this team u need head coach off coach def coach.etc. points against this team is well u know. does Winston play defense too! or know how to coach please. all this crap is not glennons fault. he doesn’t even call the plays.

  35. DB55 Says:

    Winston with no blindside blocking = glennon.

    Collins is just that bad. We’re being taken to the woodshed on that left side. Collins and mankins having serious trouble pass blocking.

    It seemed like every time glennon made a play to get a first down there was a penalty (as usual) to call it back.

    Blame glennon all you want but this team has bigger issues like lovely smith and his gang of pink fluffy unicorns that have been beat AT HOME by a 3rd string qb, 2nd string qb and a rookie. All of which went home w a clean jersey

    Finally, WOW the millionaire ice cream man. 2 tackles (assists not solo tackles) and a 1/2 sack. F*cking Amazing. Best 3tech in the league you know. Doesn’t matter his D gave up yet another lead with 2 mins left in the game. That’s glennon fault.

    Oh Lovie Lovie Lovie. How’s that humble pie tasting?

  36. LUVMYBUCS Says:


    Ahhhhhh, So your saying a real Fire & Brimstone Head coach with an affective offensive philosophy. Coupled with Todd Bowles ability to get the most out of his defense no matter who’s hurt, no matter how many sacks they don’t have….wins?

    Are you saying the No excuses approach wins games?


  37. lightningbuc Says:


    Any truth that Gerald, immediately after signing the new contract, went out and bought his own ice cream truck to reward the fellas for their nice “try” yesterday?

  38. Patrick in VA Says:

    You know how I know the season is done, Joe has disengaged as well. Still putting up solid reporting on the team but I haven’t seen them interact with the commenters in a few weeks. Pretty bad when the bloggers whose job it is to care about the team have the same apathy that the fans do.

  39. DB55 Says:

    Lovie talk out of both sides of his a$$. Case in point, during the PC he said “we had some injuries that slowed us down” then in the next sentence he says “we really didn’t have any injuries”. Seriously dude?

  40. DB55 Says:


    The ice cream just comes out of his pours. Scoop and serve.

  41. Soggy Says:

    What we all need is some more kool-aid..

  42. DB55 Says:


  43. Patrick in VA Says:

    Any chance McCoy uses some of that money he has now to hire someone to come help our opponents up off the ground and he can focus on trying to get pressure on the QB?

  44. StPeteBucsFan Says:

    AGAIN…Lovie fits Einsteins famous definition of insanity! Doing the same thing over and over again expecting a different result.

    I get that his defense is predicated on getting the rush totally from the front four with minimal or no blitzing. He DOES NOT HAVE THE ATHLETES!!! Give it up Lovie. You need to figure some creative blitzing and gamble a bit.

    His defense looks like a prevent defense and we do not have the DB’s to pull this off with NO pass rush.


    Excellent take. Football is a team sport and we need to stop looking at players in isolation but consider what their teammates and coaches are contributing as well.

  45. DB55 Says:

    Can we talk about how f*cking awesome LVD is? JC dude is a beast! Who’s your favorite player? Mr. #54

  46. mike h Says:

    lol db55 hit the nail on the head! I agree and some of these fans want #1 pick for a trouble making qb in the draft ya that will save ya! lol

  47. mike h Says:

    maybe I will have my head examined. im from boston area and been following bucs since the 80s even been down there few times. seen them in the old sombrero. like the pats but always rooting for bucs first well this is getting old.the idiot owners should never had fired chucky! all because he didn’t want to draft a franchise qb waaaaaa! he got us are superbowl win among a few nfc south div championships didn’t he. morons!

  48. NJBucsFan Says:

    Could you imagine how bad we’d be if we didn’t have a veteran defensive minded head coach with a veteran d coordinator that had head coaching experience. Wow our coaching staff sucks.

  49. SteveK Says:

    Trench Mob, unite!

    The truth is there to be seen, and the Trench Mob can see it.

    The QB obsessive fan base will continue roaring for their hope and pride.

    I respect that, but it is beyond clear that the D and O Lines are Charles Barkley, “knuckle-headed turrible”.

  50. Stevie Blart Says:

    They were better defensively than 17th based on overall metrics – I just read that. lol.

  51. ToesOnTheLine Says:

    Bring back the stunts if it fits the players on the roster better. I don’t get all the grumbling about it…mid pack performing D to this year’s crap D. Stunt away every down if that’s what works better with this team