Picking Up The Blitz

September 16th, 2016
Will the Cardinals try to gang up on Donovan Smith with blitzes?

Will the Cardinals try to gang up on Donovan Smith with blitzes?

Last year, the PFF tribe simply crucified left tackle Donovan Smith for reasons Joe can’t quite figure out.

Of course, Bucs fans began to parrot what the numberscrunchers typed, as if the PFF tribe is a gaggle of football sophists. From what Joe has learned from NFL types, when it comes to analyzing offensive lines, the PFF tribe is anything but.

Fans hammered Joe so much on Twitter claiming Smith was a waste of flesh. As a result, when the Bucs traveled to Indianapolis, Joe focused on Smith with his binoculars each and every play to document what was going on.

Facing a 34 defense, Smith did just fine blocking defensive end Robert Mathis in the first half. However, in the second half, the Colts began blitzing Trent Cole to Smith’s inside and it appeared he got exposed badly. But it appeared the Colts used Mathis as a decoy to run delayed blitzes for Cole after Smith attacked Mathis.

It’s unclear whether a running back was supposed to pick up Cole, or whether Smith should have stayed in his lane and let a running back pick up Mathis. Still, the blitzes to Smith’s inside worked as America’s Quarterback, Pro Bowler Jameis Winston, was pounded quite a bit that second half.

This brings Joe to Sunday’s game at Arizona. Yesterday, Dirk Koetter discussed how Arizona likes to bring the house on passing downs.

“They blitz a lot,” Koetter said. “They did a little bit less blitzing with their [defensive backs] last week, but when we watched a ton of their stuff from last year, we did not watch the Patriots game from 2015, but we did watch a lot of games in which they did bring their safeties.”

So if Arizona blitzes a lot, and they surely have film of the Bucs struggling at Indianapolis with blitzes, Joe has a hunch the Cardinals might just do what the Colts did and blitz inside of Smith, or at least attempt to.

Perhaps this is one reason the Bucs signed Jacquizz Rodgers this week. Along with his pass-catching skills, he is known as a stout blocker.

16 Responses to “Picking Up The Blitz”

  1. DemBoyzFromDaBay727 Says:

    Excellent points Joe, if I’m the Cardinals I’m doing just that. And so will other trams until Smith can prove that he’s not gonna get beat constantly inside. It seemed he had trouble with speed rushers as well. It will be very interesting to see if Smith can progress throughout the year and get better. I pray he does because that is a very important position, he’s protecting Winston’s blindside. And I like your point about RB Rogers possibly being signed for helping pick up blitzes cause u know Arizona is gonna bring the heat so u better be ready.

  2. The Buc Realist Says:

    As is CS34!!!!! Maybe we do not see as much of DM22 because of the 3 is the weakest at pass-pro!!! and running screens and routes!!! Also Big opportunity for the TE to chip then sneak behind the blitz for quick catch to big YAC!!!!!!

  3. Tampabaybucfan Says:

    Dink & Dunk my friends…..dink & dunk….there is nothing wrong with it……how about the dink & dunk to Sims last week?

  4. tnew Says:

    The confidence to check down slows the blitz down. Also, Jameis has improved his footwork in the pocket. These two things will help.

  5. orlbucfan Says:

    That’s the one factor about this DK offense. The TEs have to be able (all of ’em) to CATCH the ball as well as block. If they do so, they will catch a blitzing defense off guard. Nothing like catching a ball and having nothing but green grass between you and the end zone. 🙂 Koetter knows what he’s doing, that’s for sure. Sims is another receiving weapon. He also is a smart player who watches Famous, and will angle back if his QB is in trouble. I watched him do it in the preseason. Sunday will be interesting. Go Mighty Bucs in the Desert Sunday!! 🙂

  6. feelthepewterpower Says:

    If they blitz, we may hit Sims on a few long gainers with screens, quick hits.

  7. feelthepewterpower Says:

    Jameis will need to get rid of the ball hot with good technique…ala Brady (three step drops) and utilize his backs and TE’s more this game…and even slot with hump.

  8. DislocatedBucsFan Says:


    That’s what NE did to them last week. Garappolo had a 72% completion rate and is half the QB that Jameis is.

    We need to be efficient on offense and protect Jameis. Smith needs to have a great game. I don’t think leaving the TE to chip and release will work too well, especially if they send a delayed blitz. If the TE hangs in too long waiting for the blitz the subsequent route is pretty much nullified by timing. I agree with Joe on this. I hope to see a lot Sims and Rodgers hanging in to protect if and when they start bringing the heat. We have a nasty screen game. It’s effin beautiful. That will slow their blitzes.

  9. Poor Glennon Says:

    #3 must read defence. Sometimes they’ll blitz and jam on the WRz. Leaving them susceptible over the top. Or blitz and drop leaving crossers and checkdowns open. I worry about Evans getting doubled. I don’t think Humphries and V-jax scare anyone over the top. So they’ll be defended tight. A Shovel pass should be added to the play book. We have a much better defence this year. To stop these “many weapons” offences. Thanks to quality depth at corner.

  10. blind melon Says:

    2 TE(Blocker) sets, Extra Lineman… Slows everything down. It’ll work.

  11. Defense Rules Says:

    Last year Koetter used 2 TEs a bunch I thought to help protect Jameis when the opposing team is blitzing a lot. That still leaves 2 WRs and 1 RB for the passing game, plus either of the TEs after they release from their blocking assignment. I’d expect the same thing against the Cardinals Sunday. If they want to blitz, fine … make ’em pay.

  12. BigPoppaBuc Says:

    It may be a little off topic, but I rewatched last weeks game and man dud Jameis get hit a lot in that first half. I was getting pissed. It seemed Falcons were diving at Winston’s legs at the last second on every throw. There was way too much pressure from the inside, which caused a lot of his inaccuracy early. We must do a better job giving JW a clean pocket to step up in. You better believe Arizona will be bringing it… They’ll blitz inside, inside, inside then bring the honey badger off the edge and try to blindside Jameis. Like most of you have said… Quick drops, reads and releases will be absolutely necessary on Sunday. Still, the best thing would be to establish the run to take some heat off the franchise.

  13. Bob in Valrico Says:

    lI look for koetter to bring in extra blocker as needed.tall recievers still have the advantage if ball is well thrown.

  14. jerseybuc Says:

    Instead of going heavy with two TEs and max protection I would like to see us spread the field and make them match up with us. If Jameis can recognize and get the ball out quickly that will slow down the blitz. Of course it all hinges on the O line and whether we can establish a run game to keep them honest.

  15. Strider ....Sec 147 Says:

    Jameis is going to carve up this defense and feed everyone

  16. Pickgrin Says:

    Let em blitz. Koetter will get the sense of what they are doing and will be calling screens, quick slants and max protecting on longer developing plays at the times he anticipates them bringing extra rushers.

    Put the game in Winston’s hands and let him pick them apart with quick slants and outs. Then quick fake another short pass and go over the top when you see the safeties start to take that 1st step forward. Draw plays and screen plays and shuffle passes are good blitz busters and sometimes become huge plays when you catch them just right.