Inside Out

April 12th, 2015
"I told you if you can't get an edge rusher you have to think outside the box! TOES ON THE LINE!"

“I told you if you can’t get an edge rusher you have to think outside the box! TOES ON THE LINE!”

Remember former Bucs rock star general manager Mark Dominik and commander Greg Schiano throwing their hands in the air and waving the white flag on trying and trying and trying and trying and trying and trying and trying and trying and trying and trying and trying and trying and trying and trying and trying and trying and trying and trying to develop a pass rush?

They reached the conclusion, “You know, aside from Gerald McCoy we can’t get past an offensive line of girl scouts, so why not beef up the secondary instead?”

It wasn’t a horrible idea. And given another year for Darrelle Revis to get fully healthy it may have worked (no reliable safeties, though). Alas, they did not get that extra year.

Enter Lovie Smith who cut Revis and decided to go the conventional route and try to sack the quarterback. The Bucs improved all right. With a grand total of one more sack than in 2013.

So with the Bucs still looking for an edge rusher, Bucs general manager Jason Licht and Lovie may be taking a page out of the Dominik/Schiano page book. Instead of looking for an edge rusher, Licht said, the Bucs will try to get more pressure from the interior. He hopes that somehow springs an unblocked edge rusher, so he told Woody Cummings of the The Tampa Tribune.

The Bucs could piece together the edges of their defensive front this season and still improve their pass rush, Licht said. How? By getting dominant play from interior linemen Gerald McCoy, Clinton McDonald and Henry Melton. It is certainly not a conventional approach, but Licht recently rolled out some interesting numbers to back his belief that it can work. … “We have four of the best interior defensive linemen in the NFL,’’ Licht said without mentioning Akeem Spence (four sacks the past two years).

It is past the point of ridiculousness that a team has gone this long without finding an edge rusher, drafting so many and wasting so many millions of Team Glazer cash. The Bucs are no better off than where they were when Simeon Rice left.

Of course, it didn’t help that Michael Bennett was allowed to walk away for no good reason. Look, it is so bad that Stylez White would be an upgrade for crying out loud!

It started with Bruce Almighty and Chucky. Then with Dominik and Raheem Morris and Schiano. Now with Licht and Lovie. That’s not a trend; that’s not an accident; that’s a friggin’ curse. This team can’t even have an accident and find someone on the edge to get double-digit sacks. Geez.

If Licht (and Lovie) truly believes this – how many times have we been told Lovie needs an edge rusher for his defense to excel? – it tells Joe the Bucs are after an offensive tackle with the No. 34 pick.

19 Responses to “Inside Out”

  1. ToesOnTheLine! Says:

    “Instead of looking for en edge rusher, Licht said, the Bucs will try to get more pressure from the interior,…”

    Hmm kind of coincidental that the BPA on many draft boards just happens to be a beast of a DT that can also shift to DE. Hmm, I wouldn’t count out Leonard Williams as the #1 pewter pick just yet. Glad the Bucs are keeping the draft somewhat interesting…very savvy play if their preferred action is trade down for more day 1 picks in 2015/2016.

  2. LargoBuc Says:

    It’s not easy to replace a Simeon Rice type. Its almost not fair to expect that kind of all pro production. At the time Greg Schiano and his stunts were very frusterating but in hind sight it makes sense. Just sending out on over matched right end to put on pressure with no results (Leslie Smith’s approach) is kind of stupid. If our ends cant take advantage of Gerald Mccoy drawing TRIPLE teams, then Leslie has to work on changing sub groups and working in more blitzes. Line Lavonte up at sam and blitz him outside the tackle. Initially offenses will be confused and when the offense respects that and adjusts, send Lavonte back to will. Or even mike. There are so many subs they could do with Lavonte its not even funny especially with Mccoy occupying the center.

  3. Buccfan37 Says:

    Schiano would be better than Lovie as coach of the Bucs. There is really no comparison imo. He would keep trying and trying and realize success much sooner than Lovie as a legitimate builder of the Bucs. I still don’t get why he was run out of town here.

  4. tmaxcon Says:


    Lovie is to stubborn to take advantage of a players strength. Lovie forces players into his antiquated system and style of play. LVD would be smart to get away from Lovie as fast as possible not only for wins but to maximize his talents.

  5. jfat Says:

    Yep because LBs have such a terrible history in Lovie’s system.

  6. ToesOnTheLine! Says:

    @ Buccfan37

    Obviously I agree with you, unfortunately we are in the minority. it’s p!ssing into the wind at this point, but I still believe with Schiano and all his “crazy stunts/high school defense” the Bucs end up winning the historically bad NFC South last year. The Bucs had a cream puff schedule last year and won 2 games…yikes. Ah well got my gripe out, I feel a little better.

  7. bucs4lyfe Says:

    Some of you sound like morons, what’s with the lovie hate? Again Clayborn had a great rookie year but nothing since, lovie comes in and signs jac Smith in season and he ends up having a good season. Damn haters he hasn’t drafted a defensive end yet and got more sacks from his line than raheem more schiano ever did. Stfu already it’s so tired, schiano in need of pass rushers let athe best one we had walk. If you don’t know why he was run out of town you were in a damn comma for 2 years. Not that you conscious again lovie is the coach and has yet to draft a defensive player having only 5 picks last year. Stop comparing a coach to ones who coached here multiple years and got fired it’s stupid

  8. Howard Cosell Says:

    Don’t worry Joe, we’ll have our great edge rusher
    with the #1 pick in the 2015 draft.

  9. port richey george Says:

    [Not sure what this has to do with pass rush. Sorry, this isn’t a message board. If you believe something is very important, you can always e-mail Joe. — Joe]

  10. The Buc Realist Says:

    The Funniest part was all the dominick sheep saying that his DE draft picks were just .5 second to getting the sacks, and it was all the secondary’s fault that no qb pressure. They now finally realized that Adrian Clayborn was a bust and they had a bunch of nobodies!

    At least Coach Schiano knew they sucked and would stunt the crappy DE to get confusion with the LB’s!!!

  11. Joe Says:

    It’s not easy to replace a Simeon Rice type. Its almost not fair to expect that kind of all pro production.

    Not comparing anyone to Rice, but since Rice left, how many teams have found a guy from the edge to get 10 or more sacks in a season?

  12. rayjay1122 Says:

    If the Bucs do not draft a QB with the 1st pick, then we better have the best defense of the history of football who can outscore other teams as well as a damned good punter because the offense will be 3 and out the majority of their possessions and football gamblers can get rich by betting the under. Our games will continue to be the most boring games every week. Just saying. Be careful what you wish for to those pining for Leonard Williams and trading down. It will just be more of the same. Why would anyone in their right mind want that???

  13. Dick2111 Says:

    Not having a double-digit DE since Simeon Rice is overblown in my opinion.

    Bad defenses tend to look bad across the board. It’s easy to blame the DE’s for not getting to the QB, but if the LBs, CBs and safeties can’t cover, NFL QBs take advantage … big time.

    Look at the Baltimore game last year when Flacco just ate us alive with quick releases (5 TDs in the first 16 mins?). Was it the DE’s fault for not getting to the QB fast enough, or the secondary’s fault for not being able to cover? The fact that the Bucs secondary allowed opposing QBs to complete 69% of their passes on the year pretty much tells the story.

    Add the offense’s woes to that, and it’s easy to see why the Bucs defense performed poorly. The offense barely kept the ball for 27 mins each game last year, while the Bucs opponents had it slightly over 33 mins per game. Six mins per game may not seem like much, but I’m sure that it’s huge to players like Gerald McCoy because of all the extra plays it represents.

    Granted, the Bucs DE’s aren’t exactly household names and we certainly could use an upgrade or two, but NFL football is a team sport last I looked.

  14. Seminole Bill Says:

    I am one of the “trade down” commenters on this blog but, if we are to draft a QB as number 1, then we better draft a quality O-lineman with our second pick. Or,……trade that second pick for an already-performing O-lineman. Else, Jameis will spend the year on his back or running for his life. Donald Penn – where are you when we need you?

  15. rayjay1122 Says:


    Very solid post!!! You are right on the money with your comments. We especially could not cover Tight Ends. Weak DE play was only a fraction of the defenses problems. They wore down in games because the offense could not stay on the field. I guess some fans enjoyed watching that.

  16. UF Alum that likes a few Noles here. Says:

    Inside out this fanbase has become F’d up.And, nobody has been here longer than me.

  17. LargoBuc Says:

    HUUUUH! Joe quoted me! Im star struck!

    Anyway I just infer that maybe the Gruden/Allen regime took Rice for granted. They were kinda counting on Gaines to replace him and omg was that a fail.

    And tmax I know about Lovie and his system and how he uses players in his system. But turning every comment into a Lovie sucks rant would be pointless and repetetive. I stated before how I feel about Lovie as of now and that will stand until further notice as im sure your opinion will also not change, even if he succeeds next season.

  18. Capt.Tim Says:

    The Bucs have had a flawed methodology of selecting DEs. They always draft DEs that can Rush the passer-And are strong against the Run.
    JJ watts and Justin Huston both were said to be weak against the Run- coming out of College. Clayborn was considered a strong run stopper, and pass rusher.

    The knock on Simeon Rice, when we traded for him- was that he didn’t play the run
    I believe that it was Monte Kiffin he said he’d” stop the run on his way to the QB”

    Draft a long, lean DE who is only interested in sacking the QB. Like Texas has done with Watts- they send him after the QB constantly- and don’t slow him with run stoping assignments.
    That’s worked out pretty well.
    Worked out pretty well here with the legendary Mr.Rice! He didn’t scare RBs, but QBs lived in fear! He disrupted offenses.
    Possible because of Mr. Sapp collapsing the pocket up the middle.

    McCoy has being doing that for years. Next year- 1st round- hopefully we are smart enough to Draft a blazing fast DE, and free him to hunt.

  19. Teacherman777 Says:

    @Largo Buc

    Great thinking!

    I agree. LaVonte is a great Blitzer.

    Under Schiano, he had a record breaking season!!

    What was it? 6 ints, 6 sacks, and 3 FF??

    Anyway, I agree, LaVonte sould be used more even as a mike backer in our nickle package. Let him roam centerfield. Hes as fast as some safeties.

    Also, Gerald McCoy should line up at DE sometimes. He would destroy any RT in the league one on one.

    Then have Melton and McDonald at DT and then rotate any one of DE’s at RDE