June 9th, 2016


It’s the time of year when Bucs fans begin focusing on training camp, less than seven weeks away.

(Yes, Joe will use an educated guess and pencil in July 27 as the start of camp.)

People want Kenny Bell to be on that practice field; Bucs fans need Austin Seferian-Jenkins on that practice field.

Foggy from the afternoon rains, the Bucs’ crystal ball has some trying to see through the humidity and name a breakout player for 2016. Joe Kania of wipes off the condensation and sees DE Jacquies Smith.

The majority of the offseason has been spent talking about players the Buccaneers need to add, with one of those positions being defensive end. But Tampa Bay has a productive pass-rusher returning in Jacquies Smith, who picked up four sacks in his first three games a year ago. Smith was a starter for the Buccaneers for 11 games in 2015, but was in and out of the lineup with injuries. Like Austin Seferian-Jenkins, Smith has proven to be productive if he can stay on the field.

Smith is a solid choice for a couple of reasons: First, the right side of the defensive line should get more pressure. There is no question the team upgraded there with Robert Ayers and Noah Spence over sackless Houseplant Johnson.

If Ayers and Spence get pressure, that means Gerald McCoy may be set free. And if those two positions start getting loose on a regular basis, one would think opponents will have to free up folks somewhere, and that could be where Smith patrols on the left side of the defensive line. There could be a beneficial domino effect for Smith.

The key for him is to stay healthy.

17 Responses to “Breakout!”

  1. DemBoyzFromDaBay727 Says:

    When u can have multiple players creating havoc along the D line, that opens it up for the rest of the players to take advantage. And Jac Smith has shown flashes of greatness at times, like when he tortured Brees in NOLA and got 3 sacks and FF. His only problem has been staying healthy, not production. So if he can manage to stay on the field for 16 games there’s no doubt in my mind he will break the double digit sack curse. And I’m willing to bet if he doesn’t do it this year someone will. Now that we have more than 2 decent pass rushers I think it will create openings for the other guys like I stated above. U make everyone around u better when u can get pressure from more than one guy. Look at Denver, that was the reason Malik Jackson got payed. He was beneficuary of the 2 beast on the edges. This has to be the best line talent wise since the glory days. And that’s pretty sad to say we haven’t had a decent line since then.

  2. OneBuc55 Says:

    I expect our defense will be a pleasant surprise this upcoming season…if our offense is top 5 again and our defense can get somewhere in the top 15 we’ll be a very dangerous team…

  3. DemBoyzFromDaBay727 Says:

    I think we could very easily see Kenny Bell & ASJ have there breakout season. They will certainly be given there shot. The talents there for ASJ, he’s just gotta stay healthy, and keep his head right.

    And yes we haven’t seen much of Bell to predict if he’s gonna have a great season, but the talent, speed, and opurtunity is there, he’s just gotta take a hold of it. This team is desperate for a deep threat, and kenny can become just that. He’s easily the fastest guy we have on the 53. And it doesn’t hurt that Jameis likes him either.

  4. The Buc Realist Says:

    I do think that JS56 will have a good year this year. Not in sack totals. But in being a DE!!! We have to stop thinking in terms of just rushing the front 4!!!
    @Joe start watching which DE’s start to cover flats and short drop zones in Training camp!!!

    This will be a good thing as the book is out if JS56 is a full starter. Run at him and it wears him out or he gets injured!!! With better rotation and other duties he will not be worn out in run defense like he has been the last 2 years!!!!

  5. tmaxcon Says:

    Realist nailed it. better rotation will protect Jac Smith from the run and being over used should keep him fresh and healthy.

  6. Bucsfanman Says:

    Yea, count me in too Realist. Keep ’em fresh and I think we’ll see good things.

  7. William Walls Says:

    I’ve said it for months. I’ll take 4 excellent D-linemen over 3 merely good ones with one dominating pass-rush specialist. If you have one superstar, the offense knows who they have to account for and game-plan against (see McCoy). Once you have legitimate threats all over the field, none of them has to be a superstar for the offense to suddenly find itself in panic mode.

  8. BigPoppaBuc Says:

    I think Gholston could have more of a breakout year. If coach Hayes can teach him some nuances of pass rushing he’ll have the chance to be a more complete, every down DE than Smith. I’ve just always seen Smith as a rotation/situational guy.

  9. 1sparkybuc Says:

    Jones could be the surprise player on the DL. He’s even overlooked here.

  10. Fsuking Says:

    I think we have three starters at DE plus Gholston who will play a little. When Ayers moves inside is when our rush gets really deadly. Smith and Spence coming off the edge with two proven pass rushers on the inside. And either Levonte or Kwon back there to hit the A gap. Who can block that? Nobody is the answer.

  11. LakeLandBuc Says:

    All this talk about Jack Smith, Will Gholston, Howard Jones, Noah Spence. But George Johnson might surprise in the preseason, and he could have a good season in 2016.

  12. 813bucboi Says:

    @Bigpoppa….I agree…that’s who I would go with…i cant wait to see what hayes will do with him….he has a similar fame as carlos dunlap and that kid is a beast…in regards to j.smith….keep him fresh….damn…the kid is only 28 years old….he is fresh….you don’t see von miller being subbed out to stay fresh…that was demarcus ware….you don’t see k.mack being subbed out to stay fresh….better conditioning, hitting the weight room and the proper diet will help him avoid injuries….sure the rotation will help but only if he becomes a more rounded de….otherwise he will only be a situational rusher….if a team sees he’s on the field on obvious running downs they’re going to run right at him…GO BUCS!!!

  13. Fsuking Says:

    George Johnson sucks

  14. Bucsfanman Says:

    @Big- (I am not calling anyone Big Poppa!) You’re right about Gholston. He stands to benefit as much as anyone on this line IMO.

  15. C2 Says:

    To the person who stated ASJ might have a big year, it does not appear he will do so for the Bucs given todays recent development.

  16. muvlodge Says:

    If the entire DL can stay relatively healthy I believe they will be very productive and as another poster eluded to add in the LBs blitzing and this D is going to look much much different than under Coach Buzzkill. If you remember last season, when we blitzed the LBs blitzed it was quite effective at times and why they didn’t utilize it more is beyond me. Good ol’ McLovie

  17. LakeLandBuc Says:

    Fsuking…. after 5 seasons as the NFC South BOTTOM FEEDER, the entire team SUCKS. So Big George has as good a chance as any Buc to succeed this season. It’s not like the Bucs D-Line consist of studs linemen.