Interior Rush Defense Mediocre

April 15th, 2015
Bucs GM Jason Licht stated the Bucs were going to rely on interior pressure to get to quarterbacks. But what about rush defense from tackles?

Bucs GM Jason Licht stated the Bucs were going to rely on interior pressure to get to quarterbacks. But what about rush defense from tackles?

Lately, the Bucs, almost in a public display of surrender, seemed to have thrown their hands in the air about trying to find that elusive defensive end to get double-digit sacks since Simeon Rice left nine years ago.

Draft picks, tens of millions of dollars, they have gone up in smoke in a futile effort to find a stud defensive end, through three general managers and four coaches.

Recently, Bucs general manager Jason Licht hinted Tampa Bay is going to try to get pressure from the interior instead, sort of a Greg Schiano-like move of bulking up the secondary since you can’t get pressure up front.

Led by Gerald McCoy, the Bucs have a formidable stable of defensive tackles. But what about the run defense? It seems, per the spreadsheeters over at Pro Football Focus, the Bucs’ interior rush defense is rather mediocre.

In breaking down the best and worst 15 defensive tackles against the defense, nary a Bucs player is listed, not even GMC in the top-15.

Old school football people might get their panties all twisted over this, but don’t fret. The NFL is more and more becoming a passing league. So while being stout against the run is nice, getting heat on a quarterback and being disruptive is a whole lot more important.

Maybe that is what Licht is getting at.

11 Responses to “Interior Rush Defense Mediocre”

  1. Pickgrin Says:

    “trying to find that elusive defensive end to get double-digit sacks”

    He’s already on the roster. Jacquies Smith will get double digit sacks in 2015.

  2. Bill Says:


    Not related to this post, but I’m inclined to point out that it’s hard to listen to a radio link when an HP ad is playing at the same time. I love your site, and wanted to express a valid concern.

    Noted. Yes. That can happen once in a while.-Joe

  3. Pickgrin Says:

    I 2nd that valid concern Bill.

  4. Buc1987 Says:

    Can someone tell me how long it took Flacco to get the ball off in that beat down that we, the Bucs took last season? What kind of pass rush can we put together to actually stop that? How fast do they have to be?

    Joe…You’re damn right it’s a passing league these days…

    Dare I say Flacco would have ate the 99 Bucs for lunch in that game, that’s how fast he got the ball off in that game.

    Do I have answer for that? Nope.

  5. #1OverallPick Says:

    In way I’m glad the Bucs are going thru this not being able to find a pass rusher because its time to draft and develop your own your guys. The Ravens , Steelers . Jets , have been drafting and developing their own guys on defense. Forget the X’s & O’s it time to develop.

  6. rayjay1122 Says:

    I have another remedy. Build an offense that can actually stay on the field and score a lot of points!

  7. pick6 Says:

    we go through this statistical conundrum whenever the bucs have a pathetic team. there have been a few years since the superbowl where we have been so inept offensively and outcoached overall, that teams were regularly able to stop thinking about passing on us. i’d bet in almost all our down years, our pass defense has been worse than it looks and our run defense has been better than it looks. it just so happens that by the second half, teams are pounding the run and have no need to make our pass defense look bad

  8. ToesOnTheLine! Says:

    Fortunately a projected “game changer” at DT/DE is available in this year’s draft if the Bucs want to use the #1 on Leonard Williams. Pair him with McCoy and you have immediate pressure up the middle

  9. LargoBuc Says:

    Well even the fastest defender would have a hard time getting to Flacco when he perfectly executed his three step drop. You can try to blitz a linebacker.
    I noticed the Bucs repeatedly went out in what looked like a cover 3. With the cornerbacks going deep up field, they didnt have a chance to jump in the passing lanes. Had they played in more of a shallow zone or even some aggressive man coverage, the damage could’ve been reduced. The Bucs didnt adjust nearly quick enough so the Ravens just kept doing it early and often. I cant beleive Leslie didnt try to change it up after it was 14-0. Its almost like he thought they were just going to stop even though by us still going cover 3 they had no reason to stop. Thats also when Lovie should’ve interfered and said hey Leslie the offense is doing this counter with this. Im not one to constantly criticize Lovie like some on here but this is one of those times I have to place alot of blame on him. He trusted Leslie, but it was almost to a fault this instance.

  10. port richey george Says:

    Dante Fowler Jr florida gators mike mayock of nfl network’s top pure pass rusher in the draft. he did visit the bucs a couple weeks back. leonard Williams uses power and strength and can be used anywhere on the d-line. Dante Fowler Jr uses speed and is best pure edge rusher.
    also, Dante Fowler Jr hasn’t been accused of rape, stole anything from publix and I bet he doesn’t throw the ball like Byron leftwich. LOL

  11. Buc4life1979 Says:

    Not buying this latest pile of warm mess from the spreadsheeters, sorry… I’ve witnessed GMC blow up one too many run plays in the backfield because he’s so fast thru the gap in front of him b4 o-lineman can even move in his direction…I find that fact weighed against the “spreadsheeters” stats laughable at best.