Which Robert Ayers?

May 27th, 2016
Key to turnaround.

Key to turnaround.

Joe has spoken to new Bucs defensive end Robert Ayers a handful of times, but no way Joe can claim to know him.

And while Joe is doubtful Ayers can be a double-digit sack guy — Joe has referred to him as an expensive Will Gholston — there is no question where Ayers’ heart is. They guy is smart as hell and does a lot of homework to try to gain an edge. Just talking to him, you can understand the research he puts into his craft.

Now whether Ayers can consistently make quarterbacks wet their jocks on Sundays is a different matter. Conor Orr of NFL.com believes Ayers is a key if the Bucs can turn things around defensively.

Robert Ayers had a fantastic resurgence with the New York Giants, though his market price might have been decided by sack numbers that are no longer realistic. Ayers put up nine sacks in 2015 but will be 31 before the start of the season. If nothing else, he should be a great bridge player until Spence is ready to contribute, but can he be a lead pass rusher?

Boy, this Orr sure likes to use flowery prose. “Fantastic?” Ayers has never had a double-digit sack season and just once has he had more than 5.5 sacks in a season. “Fantastic?” If Ayers had, say, 11 sacks, how would Orr describe that, orgasmic?

Is Ayers an improvement over sackless George Johnson? A houseplant could play just as well.

But, yeah, if Ayers gets 10 sacks, Joe’s will guess the defense is playing just fine.

29 Responses to “Which Robert Ayers?”

  1. BigHogHaynes Says:

    These guys brought in by God-like GM LICTH are old, may be we should concentrate on our UDFA’s!!

  2. Jolly Bucs Fan Says:

    Houseplant Johnson shall be his name. Another infamous buc, along with Ghost Johnson, Toast Jenkins and Loaf Jennings and many others

  3. 813bucboi Says:

    aside from the sacks he also caused a lot of pressure…last year we had zero pressure….it was either sack or completion….if ayers can make qbs step up or slide in the pocket or hold the ball a split second longer, his impact will be felt….GO BUCS!!!

  4. Defense Rules Says:

    Joe, I can understand that your articles are as much commentary as reporting. But if a writer like Orr wants to use a word like ‘fantastic’ to describe Robert Ayers’ 9 sacks in 2015, hey, no big deal. Personally I’d be ecstatic if Ayers gets 9 sacks this year.

    What I don’t get is why you keep harping on George Johnson. Every Buc fan knew exactly what to expect when Lovie signed him. He had exactly 1 good year (6 sacks) and was playing with what proved to be a fantastic DLine (ooh, there’s that word again) when he did so well. Hmmm, maybe there really is something to this ‘TEAM thing’ after all.

  5. Bird Says:

    Man. Give this guy at chance to play one snap before you start ripping this move. I am stoked he is on the team.
    George Johnson was a lovie guy and enough said. Hayes now has some weapons in arsenal instead of just 1 or 2 guys like in years past. Can’t wait for season. Just need guys to stay healthy which prolly won’t happen

  6. Tampabaybucfan Says:

    I would be very happy if no Buc reached double digit sacks……but if all linemen averaged 6……

    Ayers 6
    Spence 6
    McDonald 6
    Smith 6
    Gholston 6
    H. Johnson 6

    Add 3 from each LB and 4 from the CBs and 2 from the S position and we have a total of 51

  7. Rrsrq Says:


    you not counting on GMC

  8. Bill Says:

    As was recently discussed in another post, it’s not all about sacks (or is it?). Ayers did an impressive job pressuring the QB as well as the 9 sacks. He had a good year, and if we can get 15 sacks over the next two years out of this signing I’ll be happy.

  9. LakeLandBuc Says:

    @Tampabaybucfan , you mean Howard Jones, Johnson shouldn’t even be on the opening day roster.

  10. Joe Says:

    Houseplant Johnson shall be his name.


    So it is written. So it shall be. 🙂

  11. Joe Says:

    What I don’t get is why you keep harping on George Johnson. Every Buc fan knew exactly what to expect when Lovie signed him.

    Just a hunch, but am pretty sure just about every Bucs fan expected one sack from Houseplant.

  12. godzilla13 Says:

    In his last two years with the Giants, Robert Ayers produced 94 pressures (15 sacks, 25 hits, and 54 hurries) on 602 pass rushes—one of the most productive 4-3 defensive ends on a per snap basis over those two years. I don’t understand why he can’t reach double digit sack numbers this year? Comparing him to William Gholston just because he can play inside is nonsense. In Gholston’s last three years he has a total of 7 sacks. In Ayers last three season he has a total of 19.5 sacks. Ayers can defend the run but Gholston is better at it. Ayers is critical to this years success in pressuring the QB. When playing inside with Gerold McCoy they can collapse the pocket and open it up for Noah Spence and Jacquies Smith. George Johnson is planning on getting “revenge” this year, haven’t you heard?

  13. salish_seamonster Says:

    Flowery prose? Because he uses the word ‘fantastic’? Weird.

  14. James Walker Says:

    I am hoping Spence has taken his job by the bye week.

  15. unbelievable Says:

    He doesn’t even need double digit sacks of we are getting pressure from all our d-lineman on a consultant basis. If ayes gets 8 or more I’ll be happy. GMC is good for 8+ as well. Jac Smith healthy could honestly be our double digit guy. Then throw in the other guys like TBBF said.

    Man, Joe sure seems to have an axe to grind with other media members today.

  16. Rod Munch Says:

    31 isn’t a big deal at DE, certainly not when you haven’t even been a full-time starter your entire career, age shouldn’t be a concern as of yet. But why only his production from a half-season is taken in account is a concern and it has bust written all over it. Considering all the terrible FA moves Licht has made since he’s been here he doesn’t really have my confidence. I just hope he has learned from his huge mistakes thus far and nails this like they’ve been nailing the draft.

  17. Buccaneers Says:

    I think a big reason they signed Ayers and never sniffed at Mario Williams is because of the leadership qualities and work ethic he brings. They knew they were drafting a rookie DE and they knew it could be Spence, who has shown some immaturity. You can’t bring in a kid like Spence unless your prepared to shown him the “right way” to do things.

    Ayers can help us on Sunday’s. But he can also do a lot more for the development of our young stud DE. Very valuable piece of the puzzle IMO.

  18. Sacbuc$ Says:

    I say pick McDonald running mate McDaniel back up. Go get Jenkins that the Giants released Ayers running mate from last year. Let Akeem Spence, George and Golston go. We gave Akeem a spot next to McCoy and he didn’t do squat. He had no pressure from Roy Miller who played his best football in Jacksonville and we drafted Roy. Don’t get me started on Golston. I’m happy we got Coach Hayes for Will benefit because I’m so TIRED of watching him BULL RUSH on every play of his career. The last 3 years I said if somebody teach this kids another move he might sniff the QB. At 6’6 he can’t JJ Swat because he always gotta hand full of jersey. He should be knocking all them out routes to the ground. I’m disappointed! Chris Canty is good for TV but I want him on the Bucs right now before somebody get that dude. He intelligent and tough.

    Don’t give me that OLD SHH if it takes a village to raise a child why would I want my team filled with kids and nobody to raise them.

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

    I like what you said Buccaneers. Makes a lot of sense to me.

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

    Godzilla that was some nice insight as well bro.

  21. Kevin Says:

    At least his eyes make it hard to tell what direction hes thinking of going…

  22. Pawel Says:

    So just imagine GMC getting hurt, DLine will suck bad.

  23. BigMacAttack Says:

    Sack? What the hell is that? Is that like a pressure?

  24. 1sparkybuc Says:

    What good is a sack if they throw for a first down on the very next play? I remember that happening, and worse yet, not being surprised. Consistent pressure is more important. Disrupt their timing and force incompletions or interceptions. Our defense doesn’t have to carry the team anymore, just be respectable. The offense should be able to score some points and win some games. If the key players can stay healthy, the playoffs are possible.

  25. DemBoyzFromDaBay727 Says:

    Good point sparkybuc, the defense would make a great play like a sack or a TFL and give up a 1st down on the next play or 2. That’s why we sucked. We weren’t that bad in sack totals. But you couldn’t tell watching because we would still end up letting them keep the drive alive despite a sack or TFL. Unexcusable. When u get a sack it should be the end of that drive. The D played way too soft and that’s why we gave up 1st down after 1st down. The offense will dink and dunk all the way down the field if you let them, and that’s what we did, playing ten yards off the receiver. I’ve never seen a HC who refused to adjust when they are getting beat by the same sh*t over and over. I’m SO GLAD he’s gone. That scheme was going no where fast. Our defense was never gonna play to there capabilities with him around. Mike Smith will get the most out of the talent we have. Wich I’m very excited to see just how good we can become.

  26. BuccaneerBonzai Says:

    Ayers = Bust until he proves otherwise.

  27. Owlykat Says:

    I’ve watched the Bucs avoid some over 30 yoa has been sackers in free agency only to watch those same free agents sack our QB more than once. So give Ayers a break. With the flexibility to move inside and his mentoring ability I am glad the Bucs have him, especially where we failed to draft a DL this year. We have plenty of speed rushers now but we needed another sacker who could also play the run and DT on third downs. I hope Ayers has a good year.

  28. DemBoyzFromDaBay727 Says:

    Bonzai your opinion is a Bust until proven otherwise.

  29. godzilla13 Says:

    Thank You Nole on Sat.-Bucc on Sun.

    Are we a better team without Robert Ayers? C’mon.. Mario Williams wasn’t signed by us because he was not interested in playing here.