Back To The Drawing Board

October 4th, 2017

Joe has been hammering home for years the organizational ineptitude the Bucs have had in trying to develop an edge rush.

Joe’s beaten this drum so badly, he’s just about tapped out finding newfound ways to express his football rage and moral outrage over this subject.

It is a complete and total organizational #fail that spans three general manager administrations and five coaching staffs, who have gone through untold draft picks and burned through truckloads of Team Glazer loot in a fruitless effort to find/recognize/draft/sign/develop an edge rusher.

And when the friggin’ team had a guy who could rush the passer, they let him go for no good reason!

At this point in the season, at this point in the past decade, the Bucs have likely hit rock bottom when it comes to an edge rush (“What edge rush?”). The Bucs are dead last in the NFL in sacks through three games with one — ONE!

Do you understand how many scrubs are playing that have one sack at this point in the season, and that is as many sacks as this entire Bucs squad? Unreal!

Yesterday, of course, Bucs defensive coordinator Mike Smith was peppered with questions about the edge rush (“What edge rush?”). It seemed Smith, like many Bucs fans, is simply exasperated with the edge rush (“What edge rush?”).

“We’ve got to be better and we’ve got to be more productive though in terms of putting pressure on the quarterback and affecting the quarterback,” Smith said. “We’ve got to do it, as coaches, a couple ways. We’ve got to look at what we’re doing schematically first. Secondly, we’ve got to look at the guys that we’re asking to do it and what we are asking them to do. That’s something that we’ve really dove into the last two weeks after the way that we rushed the passer. There [are] some things I can do better. There [are] some things I think that all of us can do better. The guys that we’ve got are the guys that we’ve got and we certainly hope that we can produce more pass rush whether it is something that we do schematically, moving guys into different spots. We’re willing to try anything when you have two games that you haven’t had the production that you need.”

Of course, the two guys the Bucs banked on to provide an edge rush (“What edge rush?”) have hit significant bumps in the road. Noah Spence, who has the team’s lone sack, blew out his surgically repaired shoulder on the first play of the game in Minnesota. Just like last year, Spence is basically flying with one wing.

Then there is oft-injured Jacquies Smith, who tore up his knee in the first game last year and hasn’t seen a snap since after undergoing major knee surgery. The way winning Bucs coach Dirk Koetter and Mike Smith talk, there is no telling when Jacquies Smith can get on the field.

Mike Smith wasn’t about to bawl in a towel over injuries, however.

“Nobody is 100 percent after Game One,” Smith said.

Joe wrote many times that fans hoping for Jacquies Smith to provide 10 sacks off the edge is akin to hoping the tooth fairy leaves some change under your pillow tonight. With Spence, you talk about awful luck. When Joe was talking to him after the Vikings game, Joe was sick to his stomach hearing Spence recount how the injury happened, how he sucked it up and had his shoulder jammed back into place in an effort to stay on the field, and how his injury left him virtually one-armed. Again.

The thing is, there likely will be no fixes until March at the earliest. NFL teams aren’t going to feel sorry for the Bucs and trade a quality pass rusher unless they can completely take Bucs AC/DC-loving general manager Jason Licht to the cleaners.

25 Responses to “Back To The Drawing Board”

  1. Roy T. Buford Says:

    They are going to have to reach down and find something of a pass rush for Thursday or it’s going to be one-sided early by Brady alone. And then there is Gronk and hopefully…TJ Ward? Man I hope Ward’s a go…don’t think Conte come close. Amendola – Grimes….I feel a lot better about. Yup, gotta get to Brady somehow.

  2. C eh N eh D eh Says:

    This is the scenario Brady strives on…no pass rush!…I hope some creative blitzing is in the game plan…no chance with Brady comfortable in the pocket…

  3. Pickgrin Says:

    Its hard to imagine that Jac Smith won’t be available soon. We’re coming up on week 5 and he hasn’t played yet. Seems to me that just after cut-downs, they would have put Jacquies on IR w/ eligibility to return at mid season if they thought he would miss the 1st 4 or 5 games.

  4. Defense Rules Says:

    Here’s a plan: Keep Brady off the field (as in ‘control the clock’) and beat the Pats in a shootout because Bucs scheming won’t keep them from scoring. Through 3 games now, Bucs have averaged 27 mins TOP … that’s unacceptable with this offense. We need to be up into the 33-37 mins TOP range to give this Bucs’ defense even a remote chance. Jameis is completing a much higher % of his passes this year (63%) but we’ve only scored 7 TDs in 3 games, and only 1 of those was a rushing TD … again, unacceptable on both counts. We’ve actually attempted more FGs (8) than we’ve scored TDs (7) … yuck.

    Our defense is banged up (2 starting LBs out; 1 starting Safety out; 1 DE out & another playing hurt) & we lack depth (at DE & CB especially). BUT … our offense is full strength tomorrow night. No more excuses for the offense. They’ve put up 64 pts through 3 games (defense got 7 pts) … an average of 21 pts per game … and held the ball for less time (27 mins) than most teams in the league. That won’t cut it against the Patriots.

    Other teams have shown us how to beat the Pats. Run the ball effectively 25-30 times, use a bunch of short passes with a handful of deep passes sprinkled in, control the clock & don’t beat yourself through penalties & turnovers. Defensively I’d play a lot more man-to-man in hopes of getting Brady to hold the ball just a tad longer so we can get 3 sacks or more (playing zone he’ll eat us alive). Using a gameplan like that, we’ll beat them 42-35. Stick with what we did the first 3 games and we’ll lose 45-21.

  5. RayJameisStadium Says:

    We won 9 games last season without a 10 sack guy or a Joe approved pass rush. I think he successfully programmed many here to follow his chant.

    Smitty might be the key tonight.

    Monday JoeL got beaten worst than a piñata full of candy. Tuesday’s hungover must have reach new heights for JoeL. If we beat Mr. Deflated and BillyCheat, a second piñata beating labeled “Den of Depression” may take JoeL to his nearest AA meeting. Two piñata beatings in one week will have JoeL calling in sick with Hangover #2.

  6. The Buc Realist Says:

    The priority has been to create an elite NFL offense the last few years!!!!! And that goal is close to being realized!!!!!!! would you trade that potential for the so called search for a 10 sac DE????????

    I wonder why Joe does not mentioned the Big Money DE’s on this team???? They are good against the run, but that does not mean they have to get pancaked block every passing down!!!!!!!

    And what of the the training camp wrecker GMC???? Why does it seem if he is the greatest DT in the league, none of the Free agent DE seem to want to line up with him!!!!!!!! We know that NFL GM Licht has offered and chased many free-agent DE!!!!!!!!

  7. Bucn Enough Says:

    The responsibility SQUARELY falls on our GM. Quit cutting him slack all the time, he has been here for 4 years and has failed to draft / trade / sign a quality pass rusher…instead, he signed a ghost, he chose to draft a headcase TE in ASJ, a kicker and safety that has tackling issues, a running back ( Sims ) who belongs on dancing with the stars…these are all high draft picks that were either not needed or were gambles, either by poor vetting or poor talent evaluations…these errors are WASTING time, GMC is getting older and so is LVD….then you will have more holes to fix on defense…

    Should have drafted a running back in RD 2 this was the responsible correct thing to do, instead, we are also gambling on a running an inconsistent oft injured running back to come back…

    Another irresponsible decision by the GM…l

    If he was doing a great job, then were is the contract extension?
    ( I hope he does not get one )

    He is the GM, the “BUC” stops with him….

    Our GM is weak…fix that problem first.

  8. Buccaneer Bonzai Says:

    The Buc Realist Says:
    “The priority has been to create an elite NFL offense the last few years!!!!! And that goal is close to being realized!!!!!!!”

    I think people are forgetting this. With a franchise quarterback like Jameis, you build around him with guys who can grow with him. That’s pretty much done, except for RB and RT.

    The best thing right now for Jameis is a good defense to keep him from having to take risks because we are behind. So we do need a pass rush. We won’t get the answer thru new talent this year though. It will have to be through the next draft.

    There were a couple guys in free agency the Bucs could have gotten the last couple years, but only 1-2 and at very steep prices.

    I just hope they involve DJax more soon, or he’s going to want out after this season.

  9. Buccaneer Bonzai Says:

    Bucn Enough, we have LVDs replacement on the tez …Beckwith. And if LVD doesn’t start making a difference soon he’ll be replaced.

    Just poiting out the bad picks makes Licht look horrible, but you have to remember that he also struck gold in every draft, multiple times.

    He needed to build offense first.

    We’ve been a defensive town forever. This is how you change all that. Licht will get the defense up and running now that the offense is mostly completed.

  10. The Buc Realist Says:

    @Buc Bonzai

    Let this be a lesson for any player that wants the ball!!!!! Show up to OTA, Practice with JW3 after practice!!!! It really seems that all the players in rhythm with JW3 have to put in a lot of reps!!!!!!

  11. Tampabaybucfan Says:

    The one thing we haven’t tried is signing older proven DEs like Freeny & Peppers…..there are always two or three available at the end of their careers….and they usually have some sacks left in them.

  12. AlteredEgo Says:

    Brady can see and feel the rush while totally focused down field moves accordingly….this is McCoy’s game….disrupt the pocket and hands in Brady’s face….sacks are just a bonus…
    I’ll say it again,if you live in the Bay area and have never seen Brady play live go see the game…TV simply does not do justice to his arm

  13. Destinjohnny Says:

    Maybe we can start by drafting a d lineman???
    Any d lineman

  14. Conte Piscateli Says:

    It’s true we don’t have the talent to line up and beat o linemen in 1-1 matchups. What bothers me is that we don’t try to create pressure with scheme. We line 4 guys up and hope they can beat their man. How about a damn stunt or a twist sometimes. Maybe try to create situations to get DE matched up with a RB. We run the most vanilla 4 man pass rush in there league and it shows.

  15. Capt.Tim Says:

    Desean didnt put in the time in the off season.
    Yet hes already turned into a prima donna, crying in Jameis ear.
    Hes proving to be more distraction than use.
    Our best receivers are Evans, Brate, Humphries. In that order
    Id start getting Godwin and Reedy more snaps, because I think they will all be here next year, and Desean wont be.
    He reminds me of The way Kellen Winslow tormented Freeman.

    If we think that this is a playoff team- this year, then we have one possible option
    We trade probowl Linebacker Lavonte David for a good DE.
    That puts Kwon in Davids spot, And Beckwith in the Middle.
    Glanton and Lynch have proven they can play Strongside LB, a position that is on the field less than half the snaps. Wasting Beckwith there.

    If we keep playing Noah Spence, at 6’2″ and 250 pounds, at DE. He is always matched up against 6’5″, 310 pound OTs.
    Ok for pass rushing meybe, but they are crushing him against the Run. His shoulder is gonna stay hurt.

    If we are gonna stand pat- then we need to play Will Clark and Ryan Russell more. Both may develop in to a pass rusher. It ussually takes 2-3 years for a pass rusher to develop.
    Drafting a rookie next year, probably will not be much immediate help

  16. Destinjohnny Says:

    In the deepest defensive line draft in 20 years last year we draft a undersized lineman with one move. We also draft a small undersized slow db

  17. firethecannons Says:

    can we not dial up some safety/cb blitz? why not?

  18. Capt.Tim Says:

    Because to blitz a safety or CB, you have to leave a WR or TE open.

    Try that against any Experienced QB.
    For every sack you may get, you’ll give up a TD or big play.
    In a 4-3 Defense- DTs disrupt the pocket, and DEs sack the Qb.
    We have two disruptive DTs now. McCoy is an elite DT.

    But once he glushes the QB, the QB just scrambles a bit to either side. Our DEs have no rush ability. The QB only has to avoid McCoy- and he has all day

    If only we had a DE . . .

  19. buc15 Says:

    Safe to say next draft will be focused on filling the holes on D.

  20. Not there yet Says:

    Geez…… Exaggerate much? What Bruce Allen’s an Mark Dominick did as GM plays no part in what Jason licht is doing. I agree they should have drafted someone in the last two years even though I was not a fan of drafting someone small like Spence, I wanted a big stud edge rusher. It just depends on what the guys licht passed over are doing.

    He’s had the opportunity in the draft to get a defensive end so I’m just curious why no one in the media is bold enough to ask why he didn’t

  21. Lord Cornelius Says:

    Well he’s only had 1 premium pick on a DE. Ayers wasn’t a bad signing. The pressure was actually pretty good most the 2nd half of last year; and wasn’t bad against the Giants.

    But don’t worry I have my post saved from the summer for a Realist bump – when I said we need DE/DT heavy in next years draft. The D-line is the only old position group on the team at this point. The rebuild doesn’t happen overnight but we are pretty much there.

  22. The Buc Realist Says:

    OMG its a Lord Cornelius Repost!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    “Lord Cornelius Says:
    July 13th, 2017 at 2:09 pm
    I think R1 priority will be BPA among DT/DE/OT. Maybe CB if it’s a Howard like value as Joe said.

    Our D-line is old (all DTs are like 28/29+)

    Outside of Will G & Spence we don’t have much else at DE in terms of youthful promise. And both of them have limitations. Would be nice to have a young DE who can rush the passer and defend the run like Ayers.

    We have a nice group of youthful guys at CB developing in VHIII/ Ryan Smith / Javeon Elliot / Hey Jude. We will need to add a body if Grimes leaves but I don’t know if needs to be R1. A pass rush will make any CB look a lot better.

    Basically in the end for me on defense it’s always front 7 > secondary in terms of where I’d spend my $$; and the D-line happens to be our oldest position group as well”!!!!!!!!

  23. 813bucboi Says:

    The Buc Realist Says:
    “The priority has been to create an elite NFL offense the last few years!!!!! And that goal is close to being realized!!!!!!!”

    thing is, defense wins championships….always has…always will…what happened last year with atl and that potent offense….say what you want about “they should’ve ran the ball” but the turning point was when hightower came up with that strip sack….

    my thing is, when is #weaponsforwinston too many weapons for Winston….don’t get me wrong, I wanted weapons but its not like we had an empty clip…and we’re already seeing djax getting a little frustrated…theirs only 1 ball…too many weapons may cause jameis to forces some passes, which we’ve seen vs. minn….

    we need a DE so bad aint aint even funny…but @realist said something that caught my eye….Why does it seem if he is the greatest DT in the league, none of the Free agent DE seem to want to line up with him!!!!!!!!

    that’s a great question…in addition to that i’ll ask why doesn’t anyone that plays along side of him get better?…I thought great players make those around him great….big will is still the same…ayers may have regressed or at best still the same player he was…Ryan Russell is still the same…George Johnson is still the same….no one gets better playing with GMC…that’s not to say he isn’t a good productive player, he’s just not that type of player that makes players around him better….GO BUCS!!!!

  24. 813bucboi Says:

    regarding a defensive game plan for brady….I say smitty takes a page out of bill’s playbook and drop 6 maybe 7 into coverage….

    we aint getting pressure no way with our front 4 or even on an occasional blitz from the lb’s…stuff the run and on obvious passing downs have 6 or 7 dbs in the game…then you can blitz a cb or s…blitzing the lb’s aint cutting it….GO BUCS!!!

  25. Cover Deuce Says:

    This is where the loss of LVD hurts the most I think. He’s always had a knack for blitzing/hitting the QB that is unique for a 4-3 guy. Not saying he could get to 10 sacks, but I have to believe he had a sizable role in Mike Smith’s blitz packages.