On Edge

August 23rd, 2015
Training camp has not been kind to the Bucs' big edge-rush hope: Jacquies Smith.

Training camp has not been kind to the Bucs’ big edge-rush hope: Jacquies Smith.

Bucs fans’ hope for a legitimate edge pass rush this season largely fell on the shoulders of Jacquies Smith, who emerged from the scrap heap last year with 6 1/2 sacks in about half a season.

But there’s one big problem with that.

Smith, the former CFL backup and Jets practice squad player who was cut by the Bills and Dolphins, is injured. It appears he was hurt during the preseason opener in Minnesota, but he still was on floppy hat duty at practice yesterday.

Specifics of injuries don’t have to be declared in preseason, and Lovie Smith isn’t big on sharing details.

Joe thinks Jacquies Smith going down is a huge blow. It’s not like he’s a savvy veteran. This guy needs the work, and if Smith’s injury affects his speed, well, that’s 75 percent of his game.

Defensive end George Johnson is still around, and he’s been slowed through training camp, too, with mysterious injuries. The Bucs traded for him in the spring and hoped he would be a real-deal edge threat.

Joe asked Johnson about his health yesterday, and Johnson isn’t quite right but is hopeful.

“Gonna get there,” he said. “Camp is to break the body down. It’ll take up to Monday [night] to get my body back [to 100 percent.]”

Joe asked Johnson about his goal Monday’s game against Cincinnati, and his response was very specific.

“Just to start working with Gerald [McCoy]. It’s a long season, but if we can get the communication down, get our feel down with each other as far as rush-wise, then I think it will be a better season for us,” Johnson said. “That’s the main goal that [McCoy and I] have planned for this game.”

Joe sure hopes the Bucs get something from the edge against a solid Bengals O-line, something to offer some promise. The first-team edge rush might have been the worst aspect of the preseason opener.

23 Responses to “On Edge”

  1. Kevin Says:

    There is NO WAY IN HELL we don’t take a pass rusher with our first rounder next year. Hell our first two picks.

    I also wish we could get a bigger back at some point.

    A Chris Ivory

    A Marshawn Lynch

    A Leveon Bell

    An Adrian Peterson

    A Brandon Jacobs


  2. Pickgrin Says:

    Better find an edge rush from somewhere. This defense is basically neutered without it. It was short sighted not to bring Adrian Clayborn back to compete at DE. Bucs will have plenty of salary cap room next year – so if they can convince a big name free agent to come here (which they couldn’t this year – probably due to 2-14), they will have plenty of $ to throw at the position if needed. A DE in the 1st round of next year’s draft is a near certainty.

    Get well soon Jack Smith. We need you man.

  3. BlogTalkFootball Says:

    Is Freeney too snobby to take Glazer cash?

  4. BlogTalkFootball Says:

    Dixie Chicks will be lucky if Claiborne makes it to week 5.

  5. Bucolic brice Says:

    Agree…bad decision on clayborn

  6. Buccfan37 Says:

    No heat, no pressure then little pass defense. It’s a vicious cycle.

  7. Capt.Tim Says:


  8. Nole on Sat.-Bucc on Sun. Says:

    Kevin you consider Leveon Bell a big bull dozing back? Not hardly bro,but to respond to your wishes as far our roster is concern see Dominique Brown currently with the team. Check his measurable and playing style that might be your answer. As far as DE complaints which seem like folks here seek out something to complain about in reference to this team my question is this. Can anyone name the starting DEs for the Patriots? If so let us know they’re sack totals from last season.

  9. Waterboy Says:

    Agreed they should’ve brought Clayborn back for another year to compete for the job. He was pretty good at getting pressure on QB’s when he was healthy and wasn’t being asked to cover WR’s.

  10. Lord Cornelius Says:

    I was fine with letting clayborn go his style doesn’t really fit imo

  11. Stpetebucsfan Says:

    I’m not sure about all the Clayborn love? Perhaps he’ll have a decent year in Atlanta. But what did he do for us?

    He missed close to 50% of his time with us playing basically two of the four years with us.

    His production over the two years he played…he got us all hyped with 7.5 sacks as a rookie. Not franchise DE material but at least giving us hope that he could be a solid pass rusher. He played only three games in his second year and recorded ZERO SACKS in those three games. He came back for year three and we again were all hopeful. He notched 5.5 sacks. MEH. And of course his final year with us he played in only one game notching ZERO SACKS again.

    In four years with the Bucs Clayborn recorded 13.5 sacks or roughly four per year!!!

    I get the desperation. I do not get the love for Clayborn. If he would have come back for the right number of course I’d like to see him in the mix. But I do not mind seeing him walk instead of forking over 4.5 million.

    All moves are gambles but I do not think Clayborn was the answer. He had four years here and never broke through. His rookie year was his highlight and it was all downhill after that.

  12. Stpetebucsfan Says:

    BTW one thing I left out of my Clayborn criticism. He got these crappy numbers playing against perhaps the best interior rusher in the game who routinely gets double teamed.

  13. Stpetebucsfan Says:

    against = along side of

  14. Lou. Says:

    If Clayborn is the answer it sure was a stupid question.

    Also, it seems to me that fans are misunderstanding the keys to the T-2. The Bucs have to be strong up the middle at D-tackle, LB and safety. The edge rush is a luxury at this stage– as other posters have pointed out, the team has more needs than draft picks or quality FA to fill them. Sapp was a monster before Rice came. Maybe next year we’ll get DEs, but for now we have the meat in place. Potatoes have to wait.

    BTW, the big worry should be with McCoy. We don’t need a 3-technique with anorexia.

    Just sayin’.

  15. Miguel Grande Says:

    He should have hired Dini ‘s agent, and got huge money for “disruptions” and telling us about how great a leader he is.

  16. Buc1987 Says:

    No pass rush, no wins, with or without an improved o-line.

    4-6 wins tops.

  17. DavidbigBucsFan Says:

    Actually the DEs in the T2 are important because they have to keep them in the pocket then force them up in it into the arms of the interior. If teams don’t have to double team either end then our best rusher will always be double teamed. If the back 7 can’t cover atleast 2 seconds how will the front four have enough time to at least out worthwhile pressure on the qb? People who call the T2 outdated don’t know what they’re talking about because you can run any combination of defensive formation from it BUT you must have the right personnel for it that’s what makes running it so difficult. It doesn’t take much for it to break down. I myself would run a hybrid press man within each zone to reduce the size of the windows present in zone coverage then curl back in to catch any underneath tricky stuff. That would leave the CBs in position to blitz anytime and QBs won’t be able to guess when a blitz is coming. A faster end can try to cover a slower moving TE leaving LVD or the Kwanqueror to blitz. Different ways to make this defense run effectively.

  18. Another J Says:

    Roster cuts are coming, We’ll find another defensive end before the season starts.

  19. Brent Says:

    I don’t know about de being 1st rd lock next year. I’d like to see another ol guy. It depends where were picking and who is available. Id love to have young o-line like dallas. Def will have too get a de high in draft or fa.

  20. Louis Friend Says:

    Going to be a long year without a pass rush. There’s no other way to look at it. Get ready folks.

  21. Nole on Sat.-Bucc on Sun. Says:

    Brent I agree.. Brady hadn’t had a dominant DE since Richard Seymour but he continues to garner shiny hard wear. Add another young talent to my O line with next year’s first pick. My belief Lovie would prefer a vet DE anyway. Years ago when he added Peppers to his Bears deference it took an already suffocating unit and made them even meaner.

  22. Nole on Sat.-Bucc on Sun. Says:

    And Louis let me remind you the cowboys had a league low 28 sacks last season. Our O line will be better,our team over all will be better as a result of it.

  23. Lakeland Buc Says:

    We should keep pressure on opposing QBs, we know that we will get pressure from our DTs. We also can rush 5 players instead of 4, we have some speedy LBs.