No Sacks = Horrible Defense

November 10th, 2017

Hall of Fame GM talks Bucs defense.

Joe is just going to guess loyal readers are aware the Bucs defense stinks on third down.

And it isn’t getting any better.

Opponents are converting an average of 49 percent of third downs against the Bucs, dead last in the NFL. To make matters worse, in the last three games, opponents are converting 53 percent of third downs.

That’s obscene enough for a Glazer to pull a Bobby Knight and wing a suite chair onto the field of the Den of Depression.

And don’t expect this to improve much if at all. That’s the word from Hall of Fame general manager Bill Polian. Co-hosting “Late Hits” with Alex Marvez earlier this week, heard exclusively on SiriusXM NFL Radio, Polian said the reason for the ghastly third down defense of the Bucs is simple.

“You don’t have anybody who can generate rush on their own and who can really stretch the offense,” Polian said. “And if you don’t have that and the passer has time, I don’t care how good of a coverage team you are, you are not going to do well in those third down conversion statistics. That part is clear.”

And how exactly is the NFL-worst pass rush (what edge rush?) going to improve?

Jacquies Smith was hurt (again) and cut. Noah Spence blew out his shoulder (again) and is on injured reserve. Will Gholston suffered a scary neck injury last week and is out for Sunday’s Josh McClown/ASJackwagon Homecoming Game Sunday. Who knows when or if he will return? Robert Ayers might play Sunday but he hasn’t practiced all week with ankle and calf injuries.

Anyone with any pedigree of getting to the quarterback has already been signed off the street. And apparently Bucs AC/DC-loving general manager Jason Licht can’t bribe DeMarcus Ware out of retirement (assuming Licht tried).

So, as winning Bucs coach Dirk Koetter is famous for saying, “These are our guys.”

As Joe told a few readers on Twitter in recent weeks, don’t expect the pass rush to improve until at least March.

48 Responses to “No Sacks = Horrible Defense”

  1. Buc believer Says:

    It won’t improve until March or until the doll playing softie oh know did I hit you to hard here let me stop and pray with you in the middle of the field so everyone can see what a caring great guy I am meanwhile I stole a 100 million dollars from the Glazers #93 Gerald Mccancer is no longer on the team.

  2. BucfaninMi Says:

    Why not try Joe Dirt at DE? Can’t get much worse. High motor guy and a vocal leader. They’ve really got nothing else to lose.

  3. Roy T. Buford Says:

    I don’t think any pro-Bucs media right now should be disparaging names of any player coming into the Ray-Jay right now, even ASJ. Joe even said yesterday, to the effect of “Oh, the Bucs play good D at home.” The Curse is in. Every time any reporter/blogger said they should bounce back, get revenge, right the ship…it has been the opposite. I have a $10K season ticket package and have already had the next two home game attendance guests to the All New West Club…cancel. One was honest–sorry, but we really need to get some other stuff done at this point…and the others just said “we can’t make it afterall.” I am dreading going and sitting in our stadium, getting ripped off by the Aramark concessionaires, and watching a meaningless game with the season just half over. And it’s been over for us since 2-4. So I don’t blame them. But this team is so bad, if they lose at home like they lost against Carolina, so many of the even die hards fans won’t be back again this year. I won’t. Worsst part if the Bucs have made it nearly impossible to sell your tickets anywhere other than NFL Ticket Exchange…where you can’t discount the tix and cut some of yours losses. No one wants to see this team anyway. The fan experience has really sucked all around this year anyway…even in the All New West Club. go bucs. Please go.

  4. Ron Says:

    Your silence on Gerald McCoy speaks deafening loud! Just because he goes to pro bowls doesn’t mean he shouldn’t be left out of your article or Polians comments about our weak defensive line. McCoy said in the offseason that he felt like he was disrespected a little by the national attention. Can’t remember the exact quotes but these circumstances are exactly why! McCoy is the REAL deal! He is the main ingredient of the last decade of losing and its time to depart from him. Not saying that it’s because he’s not any good. Saying it because his name and face is the one we see thru all these losing seasons.

  5. Roy T. Buford Says:

    ^^^sorry for all the typos. Still waking up.

    Joe Dirt at DE. I like that idea. Seriously. He sure can’t be any worse. At least he has some fight in him. They also need to get Ryan Griffin in at QB for at least four games so we can see if he can be a viable backup. Let’s at least close the door on one unknown, shall we? Keep getting Ryan Smith some work, and dump him end of season if he doesn’t get better.

    Here we are again. At least three years out from a realistic shot at playoffs.

  6. LUVMYBUCS Says:

    If we stay with the 4-3
    Get ready to throw a boat load of money at..

    –DeMarcus Lawrence DE 25 DAL
    –Ezekiel Ansah DE 28 DET

  7. Roy T. Buford Says:

    This is what, year 4 of no pass rush, and not a double digit sack guy since S. Rice. I think back and laugh how we thought we were deep at CB this year. Remember preseason losses to the Bengals and Browns and Skins because we couldn’t seem to get touchdowns? Many thought we were just not revealing the Jameis-DJAX connection and exploiting the maturing Mike Evans (who is a joke of a man, not to mention leader) who’d really tear it up this year.

    The exodus of Bucs season ticket holders will be a sharp increase. The prices have gone up very significantly the last two years, and many new “members” were due to excitement over Jameis…who increasingly looks like an average QB and a big bag of wind–may be not franchise at all. Add to that, the Bucs got all cocky with fan restrictions for re-sells and limit transfering your tickets (to anyone, even Bucs fans) or they threaten to take your tickets. Here’s an idea: Play better and people will come. I dare them to drop any members this year.

  8. Anynmous Says:

    LUVMYBUCS: Honestly had the same thoughts at looking at upcoming FA DE and those were the only two players I’d consider. Slim pickings for sure.

    It might not be popular, but, Bucs need to at least double-down on DE on the draft. Bolster lines, get at least one RB and call it a day!

    Might not be flashy, but other areas will improve with additions to those positions.

  9. Roy T. Buford Says:

    @LuvMyBucs…I think one problem with the Bucs is throwing big money at who they think are big players…who then just come here and seem to think they are bigger than the team…smarter than the coaches. Decide when they want to contribute, not when their team needs them. The Bucs scouts and GM need to recognize who is on the rise and snatch them before their heads (and money) get too big to get through the door. After this year, and seeing that locker room, I’m skeptical of any free agent building, especially high-priced free agents. But you are right…we definitely need TWO DEs right off the bat.

  10. LUVMYBUCS Says:

    @Roy T. Buford

    I agree – well said.

  11. C eh N eh D eh Says:

    They need to switch to 3-4 next year…the interior DL is old! and not deep…strength is with the LB unit

  12. Dooshlarue Says:

    Great rants Roy T.
    I think you speak some sad truths

  13. LUVMYBUCS Says:

    C eh N eh D eh

    I thinking the samething – but if we keep the 4-3

    • DeMarcus Lawrence $14M
    • Ezekiel Ansah $14M
    • Malcolm Butler $14M
    Total: $42M

    • DeSean Jackson $12M
    • Doug Martin $7M
    • William Gholston $6M
    • Robert Ayers $6M
    • Chris Baker $6M

    Fill in the rest of the holes …
    >>w/Lower Tire Free Agents & Draft.

    But we need a Jerry Reese type of GM to close the deals.

  14. Not there yet Says:

    “You don’t have anybody who can generate rush on their own and who can really stretch the offense,”

    @lee lol it’s funny how you didn’t mention GMC in this article at all. Media keeps trying to say he’s good because his name it’s Geraldine McCoy. He’s a poser that media Saturday it’s our best player even though he rarely shows up on stat sheet. Ayers is old you all admit it but his stats are better than Geraldine

  15. LUVMYBUCS Says:

    I was thinking the samething – but if we do keep the 4-3
    “We need a Jerry Reese type of GM to close the deals.”

  16. LUVMYBUCS Says:

    Lower Tier Free Agents

  17. MadMax Says:

    Dwight freakin FREENEY!!! 3 sacks in two games after signing with seattle…..and how did we not go after him?!?

    Yes Luv, agreed on Ansah. I always wanted him before he was drafted….just had that feeling and liked what I saw.

  18. Pelbuc Says:

    The most glaring example on why GM Licht should be fired.

  19. BucFanFromOH Says:

    Sign DeMarcus Lawrence and Ezekiel Ansah, pay WHATEVER it takes, idc. Draft a DE and a CB in the top 2 rounds. Rest of the draft all O/D lines. Bye Bye Doug, Ayers, Baker, and Ward!

  20. Dusthty Rhothdes Says:

    Jason Licht can really craft a team and build a winning defense…….like Pelbuc said FIRE LICHT

  21. Conte Piscateli Says:

    Just stop with the sign this and that free agent wish lists. There isn’t a single quality player in the league that wants to WIN, that is going to sign with the Bucs this off-season unless we make a miraculous hire of a marque coach, which had about a 2% chance of happening because everyone knows we for coaches like we’re upgrading iPhones. The only free agents we can get here right now are the “football is a business” guys looking to collect checks. Sorry folks that is truth. This team needs to gut the problem players and build with young players of practice squads and the draft. People trying to prove something in this league, not players looking to cash in on what they did before.

  22. LUVMYBUCS Says:


    Dwight freakin FREENEY!!! 3 sacks in two games after signing with seattle…..and how did we not go after him?!?

    SMH I asked that question at nauseam – ALL offseason

    June 1st, 2017 at 9:07 am
    Am I the only one who ‘thinks’? DE/OLB Dwight Freeney (37) would be a great mentor for this kid (Noah Spence).

  23. tmaxcon Says:

    Once again joe gives the senior captain and highest paid defender a free pass for his season long disappearing act…. its truly pathetic the quick first step leads to more loafing than sacks…. im tired of he needs help garbage …. every year they draft or bring in a free agent and cancer93 sucks the life and desire to win from them prior to week one… how many more coaches does cancer93 have to quit on before joe finally accepts his underperforming mancrush is a huge part of problem…. i have stated many times bucs will never win an important game with cancer93 on roster. Cancer93 is doing everything in his power to prove me right. Im always right about these soft quitters

  24. Destinjohnny Says:

    Talent isn’t there and won’t be for a while
    when u draft a guy it takes him his first two seasons to sort it all out.
    We are in total rebuild mode.
    Our gm over estimated how good his talent was.

  25. 813bucboi Says:

    Sign DeMarcus Lawrence and Ezekiel Ansah, pay WHATEVER it takes


    GO BUCS!!!

  26. tmaxcon Says:

    Cancer93 sucks the life and passion from every draft pick and free agent that walks through the door at 1 buc bat cave…. get rid of the soft quitter and you guys wont have to come up with so many creative excuses to justify the basement years and double digit blowouts led by captain blowout cancer93

  27. Joe Says:

    For those wanting to turn this into an anti-GMC screed, you will notice Joe didn’t mention any defensive tackle because a team’s pass rush should be coming from defensive ends.

  28. Buc1987 Says:

    It’s Jameis Winston’s fault. Even before he was drafted by the Bucs they had no rush, but JW’s his fault.

  29. Defense Rules Says:

    I’ll say it again: ‘You are where you are’. Wishing for this FA or that FA in the middle of the season is irrelevant. What is relevant is to find out what you have NOW that you can move forward with next year. And yes, that includes not just players but coaches & management.

    Bucs have MAJOR issues right now, and you’d be hard-pressed to find anyone who thinks we’ll make the playoffs this year. But that doesn’t mean we should trash the season & shoot for a Top-5 draft pick. If the guys who are playing aren’t getting it done, try someone else. Or something else (like more of a 3-4 Smitty? Or more Peyton Barber & more Chris Godwin Dirk? Or letting Jameis be Jameis when he returns & using him more like we did in 2015?). Let’s see what we’ve got that’s worth keeping & building around. And yes, that may include moving Marpet back to Guard. It may even include blitzing on just about every play. If what you’re doing isn’t working, PLEASE TRY SOMETHING DIFFERENT.

  30. C eh N eh D eh Says:

    GMC is the one constant through these terribly lean years…Time to move on…Draft a 3-4 OLB and a 3-4 DL in the draft…only way out of this DL mess…

  31. Says:


    Our entire defense is hurt. Remember when we were plucking kids from Minneapolis high schools to field 11 on D against the Vikings? All those guys are still hurt! Even if you don’t practice, you don’t heal when you have to strap it on on Sundays and are on the field for 80% of the game. All of our defense is hurt. All of them. They get no breaks, no byes, no First Downs from Dangling-Shoulder-Franchise-QBs. Fix the O-Line. It is pretty clear.

  32. Dusthty Rhothdes Says:

    warren sapp had 16-17 sacks pre simeon rice i believe

  33. Blake_Bucsfan Says:

    Hire Bill Polian as VP of Operations.

  34. Says:

    Joe Dirt at Defensive End!
    Ryan Griffin at QB!

    Listen to what we are saying! Is this what it has come to?!

    I will watch to see what Fitz has
    And I will watch to see what JW has in return

    BUT, my emotional investments will be made in areas other than Buccaneers football. I can’t hit it straight, the fish don’t bite… considering taking up gardening.

  35. BUCLUV55 Says:

    That is your weakest response yet in defending gmc. The pass rush should come from the DE’s? Really? I agree our edge rush is weak sauce, but gmc sure sure ain’t doing anything to improve the situation. Aren’t your great players supposed to bring up the level of play of others around them? What is his contribution right now? Opening holes for the running back with his quick first step? Face it, he is a finess player in a position that needs toughness. Would have made a great diva WR. Being in the back field right after the snap is useless if you just run right past the play.

  36. tmaxcon Says:

    C eh N eh D eh

    your right gmc is the constant leader and face of the basement years. nothing to be proud of.

    the only constant GMC has proven is his ability to fool people with his dolls and smiles while QUITTING ON 4 COACHING STAFFS!

    so all these players that were brought in that proved themselves at real organizations just magically forgot how to play football. Sorry not buying it. Get the smiling locker cancer out of building and watch these young guys thrive.

    going to church on Sunday and kissing everyone’s arse does not compensate for QUITTING on multiple coaches. Only bad character hypocrites play that card.

  37. tmaxcon Says:

    Dusthty Rhothdes

    that does not support joe’s narrative that GMC is god and the absolutely the perfect DT that is above reproach.

    Entire career making excuses for the smiling clown. The BS dungy / Dominic character curse has screwed this team. They want clowns not talented football players. it’s embarrassing to watch these guy quit week in and week out and even more pathetic listening and reading low standard buc fan make excuses for it.

  38. Mike Johnson Says:

    Yep thats right Koetter, These are our guys like you say. But next year we will hopefully be saying, These..are our new Coaches!!

  39. StPeteBucsFan Says:

    So Joe’s post covers the ONE thing I believe we all agree with. The Bucs clearly have no pass rush and just as clearly we do not have the TALENT…at least as they are currently positioned….to create a pass rush.

    So I go along with everyone leaning to more of a 3-4…especially rushing LVD more…I want to experiment with GMC out wide…he has an explosive getoff which he could mix in with the occasional bull rush…he used to fighting two OL how would he do against a single OT. Bottom line is we have nothing to lose.

    DK says he’s not for a 3-4 because it takes his best player out of this highly valued 3 DT spot. So freaking what at this point! Let’s just see what GMC can do outside.

    And let’s create some “Ronde” style blitzes for VHG.

  40. tmaxcon Says:


    putting a slow overweight unproductive DT outside is a recipe for disaster. he wears down by the second qtr now. how is he going to handle the outside… Not to mention the selfish hypocrite POS said he will only play 3 tech… real team guy that quitter…

  41. derrickbrooksforGM Says:

    If they keep Licht, that defense is years away from being any good. No scheme is going to fix lack of talent. LBs aren’t very good. Dline needs a complete overhaul yes GMC too. Secondary is in shambles.

    Need 3 good defensive heavy drafts to get that defense right again.

    A savvier GM will mix some good FAs with some gem draft picks to get them there much faster. Licht cannot do that.

  42. Conte Piscateli Says:

    I seriously hate Madden right now, it had people believing that if you want a free agent the only thing that matters is money and you can have anyone you want. Only crap check collecters like we’ve been signing can be bought. Real players care about playing for a team with stability, a chance to compete for titles, large media markets to make a legacy and build a brand. What does Tampa honestly have to offer them? Look at Simon Rice, if he played for the Giants out Cowboys he is in the hall of fame, but he dominated for the Bucs, and as such no one outside of Bucs fans and his family remember that. Stop dreaming of great free agent signings, because we aren’t going to get them no matter how much money we throw around until the league and the national media think Tampa is a place to be for football.

  43. Dusthty Rhothdes Says:

    TMAX right on and i was just stating one year of sapp’s sacks of like 16, one year… if GMC was to get 2 they might have a parade from mons to the space ship at oddysey

  44. Destinjohnny Says:

    Need derrick brooks
    He doesn’t fail at anything

  45. JMarkBuc Says:

    It’s ok, once the defense learns to be aware of the sticks, everything will be better. Insert sarcasm here.

  46. Lakeland Says:

    The Bucs don’t want a Edge Rusher that’s capable of rushing the QB. They want the run-stopping DE, and get pressure from the DT.

  47. orlbucfan Says:

    Someone ought to blitz MSmith and shake up the rocks in his head. Maybe he’ll get more creative with our walking wounded defense. Start by making LVD the spy and launch him at the QB. Is the Kwonster 100% yet? Hamstring injuries are a b!tch. Beckwith will only get better as he continues to play. They are 3 top tier LBs so why doesn’t Smith design more plays around them? This ain’t no 2-6 team. Next year Licht will concentrate on the defense. Whatever. Go Bucs!!

  48. George Says:

    Dusthty Rhothdes Said:
    “… if GMC was to get 2 [sacks] they might have a parade from mons to the space ship at oddysey.”

    GMC would need a hit off the oxygen tank upon arrival.