Shower Test For The Storm Front

May 2nd, 2018


Last fall, Tampa Bay’s season opener was sabotaged by a major hurricane. This time around, the Bucs have an opportunity to unleash their own force of nature.

It’s called a pass rush.

While some Buc fans are already cringing about meeting the Saints in the Superdome, I think the timing is rather perfect. The inhabitants of One Buc Place couldn’t pick a better venue to announce to the world that these visitors are a new breed.

We’ll find out from the jump whether Jason Licht’s offseason makeover up front is the real deal.

If Drew Brees walks off the field without the need of a shower, that’s a bad sign. If he trudges off battered and bruised, the Bucs are in business.

Business has been awful for the past decade, with the Bucs finishing in the NFC South basement six times in the last seven seasons. If the Glazers are serious about competing in the NFL’s premier division, a dynamic pass rush has to be a key part of the turnaround.

Better Buffet

Instead of lazy Swaggy Baker bringing everyone around him down, Mike Smith now has his choice of Beau Allen or Vita Vea next to Gerald McCoy.

Instead of hoping Robert Ayers has something left, Smith will confidently dispatch Jason Pierre-Paul and Vinny Curry.

And if Noah Spence is ready to contribute, join the party. Don’t be shy, there’s enough sacks and pressures to go around for everyone.

What’s a better proving ground than the Superdome?

Since Brees arrived in New Orleans, the Saints have finished among the top five scoring teams five times in 12 years. Never in that span have they been worse than 12th.

In terms of total yards, the Saints have been top 6 every season with Brees under center, including six No. 1 rankings.

So here come Dirk Koetter’s Bucs, armed with five new defensive linemen. With McCoy, Vea, Curry and Allen, Tampa Bay is poised to pressure Brees where he lives and thrives — up the middle.

That’s easy to say and very difficult to accomplish.

Ending The Goose Egg

Every defense goes into a game against New Orleans determined to generate interior pressure, but this is Tampa Bay’s best chance since Warren Sapp left town in 2004.

Don’t discount Vea as a factor on the pass rush and if the first-round pick struggles early, Curry can be very effective when moved inside on third down.

And let’s not forget about another Buc who has shown skills as a pass rusher. Yes, I’m talking about Lavonte David, who registered 7 sacks in 2013 and 5 takedowns in 2016 as a blitzing linebacker.

Last year? Zero.

“We’ve gotten better up front,” Koetter says. “We’ve gotten bigger, we’ve gotten more physical, we’ve gotten deeper and we’ve added a couple of speed rushers.”

Brees is 16-9 in his career against the Bucs, with 48 touchdown passes, his most against any team. The Saints went 7-1 at home last season en route to a division title, so the Bucs will have a chance to torment Brees and spring a Week 1 upset that would reverberate up through Charlotte and Atlanta.

Goodbye, hurricane. Hello, storm front.

Text “TAKEOVER” to 345345 today. Step 1 for joining Ira, Joe and legions of Bucs fans in New Orleans.

33 Responses to “Shower Test For The Storm Front”

  1. '79Defense Says:

    After last year, I can’t believe the league puts us in a position again where a week one game is potentially postponed because of a hurricane. The chance might be slim but didn’t they learn anything from last year?

  2. Lord Cornelius Says:

    I’m so f*cking pumped I’m going to this game. I don’t think I’ve ever been to a season opener.

    We should have somewhat of an advantage in that most the Saints starters are the same as last year; while we have an entire new D-line basically around McCoy + hopefully a more aggressive defensive philosophy and better CB play.

    Our O-line will also be completely different than what they last faced and it’ll be the first time seeing Rojo in action.

  3. DB55 Says:

    Week 1 will be great but I’m looking forward to

    Vita Vea vs Will Hernandez

    11/16/2018 at MetLife Stadium

    Let’s road trip there. Who’s with me!!!


  4. 813bucboi Says:

    can we lay the “no talent, no depth” excuse to rest now?……I think we can all agree we have both talent and depth along the dline that will not only provide pressure on the QB but improve our secondary…..

    will smitty step up now that he has an upgrade in talent and depth?……will he blitz more?….will he still deploy the soft coverage from the CB’s?…..will he adjust or die trying?…..


  5. Bucsfanman Says:

    Last year, Brees was seen ordering JimmyJohns in the huddle and was able to eat during passing plays!!!

  6. Wausa Says:

    I think last years team is keeping a lot of Buc fans tempered in their expectations, but the Bucs have appeared to have turned what was the worst DLine in the NFL into a strength.

    Most analysts and pundits are very lazy in their predictions so I’m sure the Bucs will be predicted them to finish last in the NFC South, but if you look at the Bucs roster there is no reason why they can not be in a position to win the division when we get to December.

  7. AlteredEgo Says:

    what Wasua said !

  8. TheDailyCoroner Says:

    Why assume it won’t be Allen and Vea? Or Curry and Allen?
    Gerald McCoy is 28 and needs a blow now and then. Now he has some guys who can go in for him and create havoc!

  9. Guzzie Says:

    Only took 5 years to realize we might need to get better on the defensive line, 3 draft picks in 5 years, what could go wrong

  10. Pickgrin Says:

    It only took 4 years – but Licht did finally get around to fixing the trenches this offseason.

    Oline and D-line were primarily responsible for last years ugly results IMO.

    Our offense rarely “clicked” and was one dimensional in 2017 because both starting Guards couldn’t run block to save their lives (professional lives that is – both will be gone this year).

    Aside from McCoy and good play from McDonald off the bench and 1 1/2 games of production from Noah Spence – our D-Line in 2017 was pitiful. Turrable. No one (including LBers) could get to the QB. Secondary players (mostly young ones at that) were hung out to dry. Our stellar Linebackers were practically neutered by terrible play in front of them (and injury).

    Lets hope all these new additions up front can gel quickly and start playing with wild abandon as units. The rest of the team really feeds off physical domination of an opponent on any given play. Its up to the biggest guys on the field to set the physical tone and “kick the dude’s ass in front of you” – the stand out one-liner during questioning by the Tongan when he visited OBP pre-draft.

  11. since1976GoBucs Says:

    Had the pleasure of seeing my Bucs lay waste to the Eagles 21-6 in Philly in 1995 season opener. Wore my creamsicle orange Dilfer jersey and had hair painted orange. Sat next to a wonderful African American gentleman in the end zone , he was even nice enough to share half his philly steak that he brought into the stadium. First play was a 64 yard bomb to Hi-C to make it 7-3. Nickerson and crew savaged Cunningham for 5 sacks and Ricky Watters said lay out over the middle? For What? For Who? when questioned by reporters. Glazer era’s first season and the last for Wacky Wyche. Perhaps I will venture to NOLA for this seasons opener in tribute to a new beginning of something great. Winning the last game of the season in 2017 will definitely be in the Saints memory banks. Just win Baby!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  12. AlteredEgo Says:

    Guzzie….see the offensive side of the roster

  13. Pryda ...sec147 Says:

    We as Bucs fans have suffered so hard for so long we deserve a magical turnaround

  14. AlteredEgo Says:

    Pryda….2 years ago the Bucs picked 19th in the draft, self explanatory,…last year was a off year by every measure….they’ll better better next September by a large degree…assuming all the “big” names are healthy and not “suspended”…

  15. Svenson Says:

    ’79Defense — I totally agree about the scheduling.

  16. Bama Rich Says:

    I’m sure Sean Payton is going to be fired up based on the post game interaction with Dirk last year. Time to be a stick carrier Dirk!

  17. SCBucsFan Says:

    One thing about the NFL is you can turn things around in a season if talent is there.

  18. Mike Johnson Says:

    I won’t buy into any type of..Buc Hype. Not for a single minute. Sure on paper, we seem to have improved our Defense. On paper that is. Our D last season was beyong terrible. So We shall see. I just don’t wanna hear the excuses. And I want to see mr. Smith actually coach instead of sittin in the pressbox with his binoculars for his..better View. We don’t need your better view Mr Smith, we need You..on the sidelines coachin’em up!

  19. Howard Cosell Says:

    Tired of getting excited before the season every year only to be let down by the Glazers half-arse efforts to build their team.
    I expect more of the same. Pre-season hype to sell tickets and then a huge letdown to draft talk in October.

    Bucslife yadda yadda siege your wallet

  20. SCBucsFan Says:

    MJ I’m not buying into it but I’m glad we didn’t stand pat. Only time will tell but I’m cautiously optimistic.

  21. DBAG56 Says:

    Ira, can you add anything to the rumor that Bucs might be moved to UK in 2020?

  22. Licht’s Out Says:

    A shat storm front indeed. We should know early on just how competitive this team will be…looking forward to seeing what the these Bucs are made of. Now…if Smitty could just “suffer” a Fred Sanford fake heart attack like Tedford did a few years back we just might be in business.

  23. Defense Rules Says:

    Got to thinking about Bucs schedule this year versus schedules for other NFC South teams. Don’t laugh, but potentially we have the easiest schedule of the 4 teams in our division.

    In addition to playing each other twice, we ALL play the following teams: Browns, Giants, Redskins, Ravens, Bengals, Eagles, Cowboys, Steelers. As usual, there are only 2 games where we each play different opponents this year. Saints play Vikings & Rams. Panthers play Lions & Seahawks. Falcons play Packers & Cardinals. Bucs play Bears & 49ers.

    Might be wrong, but I’d take our schedule over that of the Saints, Panthers or Falcons. Of course, it won’t matter a bit if we can’t win in our division. If we can at least break even in the NFC South, Bucs have a decent chance of having a winning season.

  24. uckinator Says:

    DBAG56 – You must write for the NY Times.

  25. Merriam Says:

    By the way Coroner,

    McCoy is 30 and yes he definitely needs some rests at his age.
    Philly was so good because of depth.
    Keep em fresh and keep em coming

  26. SCBucsFan Says:

    Uckinator sounds more like the post

  27. Pickgrin Says:

    “rumor that Bucs might be moved to UK in 2020”

    LOL – whatever DBag.

    So the NFL is going to host the 2021 Super Bowl in a non-NFL stadium???

    Cmon man….

  28. gilhealy Says:

    We are so deep on the d line. Those guys should be fresh all game. Allen and Unrein were ranked 1 and 2 for run stop %. Vea, Curry, Spence, McCoy, JPP, plus the UDFA’s we signed to take a look at. Get the corners to play press, rush and collapse that pocket consistently. Both of those guys, plus Whitehead, are bad boys. They can play. They will be in the grill of the wr’s all game. Grimes will be the only guy playing off. Check out Whitehead’s highlights. He was a heck of an offensive weapon at Pitt. We could see him returning punts.

  29. Rob Says:

    Not to be the guy who’s all picky about it, but I hope we don’t start branding the pass rush as the storm front… that’s the neo nazi website.

  30. GhostofSchiano Says:

    Storm Front? Oh IRA, bad, bad, bad.

    McCoy’s Marauders, Smitty’s Minions, Tampa Terror’s,

  31. TampaTown Says:

    @DB55: Four of us already have our tickets. But I’m looking forward to Vita vs Saquon.

  32. Duke Says:


    The fact that the NFL plays it’s UK games in two stadiums and both are owned by NFL owners not named Glazer should not discourage you from believing that the Bucs rumors.

  33. Fire Lichtt Says:

    6 of 7 seasons… it’s the curse of Matt Bryant.