Playing Together

November 17th, 2014
Jacquies Smith (56) and Michael Johnson (90) bring Robert Griffin III down Sunday. (Photo courtesy of

Jacquies Smith (56) and Michael Johnson (90) bring Robert Griffin III down Sunday. (Photo courtesy of

One pleasant surprise of the Bucs’ woeful, forgettable season has been the play of defensive end Jacquies Smith. He has three sacks this season, two of which came yesterday in the wipeout of Washington.

For weeks, Bucs coach Lovie Smith has begged, pleaded, and preached quarterback pressure and sacks. Sadly, these occurred about as often as catching a cold.

Yesterday was far different. The Bucs jostled, mocked and robbed Redskins quarterback Robert Griffin III for six sacks. It was like the old Bucs and the sacks, other Bucs defenders said, helped them create plays and force turnovers.

For Jacqies Smith, the explosion of quarterback pressure by the Bucs was just knowing the defense and the line playing together as one, he said.

“We were working more together as a unit,” Smith said. “If I am collapsing the pocket on the right side, Gerald [McCoy] is right there or Michael [Johnson] is there picking up a sack. It is poetry in motion when all of us are working together. It has to be a unit thing as a defensive line.

‘Some guys have one-on-one [responsibilities] in certain protections and others don’t. Even when guys are getting double-teamed in the middle, they have to stay in the crack or the A-gap. Forcing the quarterback to step into places he really shouldn’t be.”

Joe believes the rotten Redskins and their leaky line played a part, but Bucs defenders truly believe yesterday was a turning-the-corner moment.

Time will only tell if that truly is the case, or if yesterday was just an example of a lesser team folding in the face of better talent.

13 Responses to “Playing Together”

  1. billy buckaroo Says:

    Who cares if the other team was weak or not,
    after everything so far this season,
    it felt good just to see our line winning in the trenches.

  2. kevin Says:


  3. HawaiianBuc Says:

    This Chicago game can really become one of the most important games in a really long time. I know that we are pretty much out of anything for this year, but if we really are turning the corner, we need to put together back to back performances. There have been many times where we have looked really good one game, then came back the next week and laid an egg. I’m sure the players think we have turned the corner, so now it’s time to go out and prove it again. There is no excuse, as Chicago is exactly the type of team ready to be beaten.

  4. MarkandGregscapegoats Says:

    About damn time

  5. buc4lyfe Says:

    They still have more wins and against tougher opponents than us with speedy receivers so it doesn’t matter why this was a righteous W

  6. BoJim Says:

    Right on Billy.

  7. Newbucsfan!!! Says:

    If the Bucs beat Chicago, they will go on a 5 game winning streak but if they lose they won’t win another game. I want them to beat Chicago and they will so , so long Winston you were almost a Buc

  8. Ray Rice Says:

    Dam yesterday felt good. Period!

  9. DB55 Says:

    The way I saw it Ja Smith accounted for 4 sacks and McDonald two from the pressure they caused. Others cleaned up the play sure, but trust me when I tell you, Smith created the plays.

    One thing that I’ve noticed is that Lovies team is yet to see the field. We haven’t had 1 game where all the starters are healthy and playing together. Maybe it’s a blessing in disguise.

  10. Brandon Says:

    You can see the pass rush was very orchestrated and the DLine was calculating in their approach and respect for Griffin’s legs. They often had 3 guys push the pocket and the 4th would run the arc to force Griffin to get uncomfortable. That’s the was it was drawn up and they executed well most of the time. What also really helped the pass rush was the activity in the underneath passing game by the LBs. They were stepping into passing lanes, buzzing the flats, and being a general nuisance (by far their best game against the pass this season). This led to Griffin pulling the ball down and look off his primary receivers and the extra time allowed the line to get to him. It was a well-coordinated effort.

  11. pick6 Says:

    the bucs have been so down for so long, i think playing well and winning some games down the stretch will help the franchise more than losing out and getting a top 3 pick. there are good players in this draft, but no savior worth tanking for. our guys need a taste of winning as they go into the offseason, and we are better off long term if the guys we have prove they are worth keeping.

  12. ddneast Says:

    The last two posts were very astute observations! Especially the one about the LB’s getting in the passing lanes which Foster did that resulted in the INT. I have been screaming about that all season. Just imagine if the Bucs had beaten the Rams, Browns and Saints, all games they should have won and played better than the opposition, they would be in first. Ohhhh the humanity.

  13. teacherman777 Says:

    forget about draft position

    we need momentum for next year,

    we need to evolve for next year,

    we need to become a football team!!

    anybody talking about tankin the season for a draft pick is a MORON