Bill Polian Talks Bucs’ D-Line

June 30th, 2019

Defensive line chatter.

Though Bucs fans know two sure starters on the defensive line, barring injuries, the third starter on the new-look 3-4 defense is a mystery.

It even perplexes Hall of Fame general manager Bill Polian.

Recently on an edition of “Late Hits,” heard exclusively on SiriusXM NFL Radio, Polian broke down the Bucs’ defensive line as part of his preview of the NFC South while co-hosting with Friend of Joe, Alex Marvez.

“[Carl] Nassib is a pass rusher only in a 3-4,” Polian began. “Maybe he plays outside linebacker, I’m not sure but it would have to be on the strong side.

“Vita Vea is a great nickel rusher. [Gerald] McCoy is gone. [Ndamukong] Suh comes in. Suh plays up and down. You don’t know what you are getting from week to week in terms of sack production. He turned it on at the end of the year in the playoffs and was a dominant force again. What will he be like with this team? … We will see.

“I don’t know where — in my mind — I can’t see Vita Vea and Suh — if Vea is the nose tackle and Suh is the athletic tackle on the move, then who is the other end? it is certainly not [Jason Pierre-Paul] who is out injured right now. That’s a work in progress.”

Some people believe every quarterback’s nightmare, Will Gholston, will become the starting end in place of JPP. Joe isn’t sure Gholston has ever played as an end in a 3-4.

Bucco Bruce Arians has said the roster is still fluid. Joe is guessing that given more time to find out what may or may not happen with JPP, the Bucs will be hunting for a defensive end.

Joe believes this would be a good start.

As for the defense as a whole, Polian said of Bucs defensive coordinator Todd Bowles, “He is as sound as can be.”

30 Responses to “Bill Polian Talks Bucs’ D-Line”

  1. casual observer Says:

    IMO, Gholston is overrated. I suspect someone else will step up – and look pretty good.

  2. Ndog Says:

    Don’t rule out Becker from Mizzou. I know he was a late draft pick but before he got hurt a few times he was the top overall recruit in the country. So we know he has some skill and some determination to keep coming back, so hopefully he can be a decent to good player in the pros. You never know but I will be watching.

  3. Tampabaybucfan Says:

    Could still be Nassib…..I suspect we will have a rotation there…..

  4. Duthsty Rhothdes Says:

    5-11 OL and a defense that MAY gel by week 8

  5. geno711 Says:

    Yannick Ngakoue – Ok I am for him too.

    Besides an obvious 1st rounder what else do you think we would have to give up to get him.

    Then if we gave up the 1st rounder, then you would want the Buc’s to lock him up to a longer term. So this is the NFL where over 50% of the guys when they change teams do not work out. So we pay him this year and guarantee a 5 year 70 million contract with 30 million guaranteed (All quick guesses).

    If you say a 2nd rounder or lower, I think all fans would say make the deal.

    Just because he is wanting a new contract why wouldn’t the Jags keep him at 2 million for this year. Yes and they can franchise him next year.

  6. geno711 Says:

    I continue to believe that the JPP reports initially were exaggerated and we will be seeing him play by 1st week of October.

    But the good news there is if he is not close to ready on Sept 1st the Buc’s can still cut him.

  7. Andrew Says:

    Yannick is way too light to be 3-4 DE.

  8. OneBuc55 Says:

    ***May be a duplicate post, my original post went into moderation then disappeared; not sure what’s up with that***

    I think Bowles will find a way to put these guys in a position to succeed…

    From my understanding, Gholston has been asked to put on weight and is currently around 290…Imho he was always more suited to be a 3-4 end than a 4-3 end to begin with…

    How these guys are used by Bowles will be very interesting to see…if we’re in our base 3-4 alignment and Vea, Allen, and Suh are your down linemen and Nassib, White, David, and maybe Barrett or Spence are your LB’s I think that could work…I’m quite sure we’ll see alot of different personnel groupings in this new scheme…

    Ultimately, nobody really knows until the bullets start flying…that said, Bowles track record as a DC is pretty solid; Imo he has just as much to work with here in Tampa (if not more) than he did in Arizona and was still successful…The good thing is, this defense has been so bad the last decade just getting it to above average would be a huge accomplishment in my book…

  9. TexBuc Says:

    Primary QB pressure will be from OLB’s, ILB’s, and secondary in this defense. Any additional pressure from DL will just be icing on the cake.

  10. macabee Says:

    Not to worry! The D-Line in the Todd Bowles 3-4 defense is gap control. The attack and juice come from the LBs and safeties. The draft makes that fairly obvious. LVD and Devin White will thrive. Look for LVD to have his best days reminiscent of the Schiano days. Go Bucs!

  11. Buccaneer Bonzai Says:

    geno711, if he can’t play he won’t count against the cap and there won’t be a need to cut him.

  12. Buccaneer Bonzai Says:

    Try Caleb on DL. Lord knows he cannot succeed on the OL!

  13. Jean Lafitte Says:


    Nassib – Vea – Suh

    How hard was that?

  14. TOM Says:

    Nassib will be outside LB. Simple huh?

  15. Mike Johnson Says:

    Arians will soon find out..You can’t will a team to win with big talking. Bucs are a big Defensive End away. For those of you thinking Gholston is the answer..You’re on one. Truth be told Nassir is probably our best DE right now. And he needs help. Both Vea and Suh will be..up and down. Suh does not play hard every game..only when he wants to. Polian calls it like he see’s it and is not influenced drink to nice cold Buc Kool-aid. Neither am I. We shall see.

  16. Cobraboy Says:

    Once again Polian reveals his ignorance about Buc scheme and personnel.

    An “end” in a 3-4 is really a tackle. Gholston is most likely the guy there, a better fit than DE in a 4-3.

    The OLB in a 3-4 are really more like athletic stand-up “ends” in a 4-3.

  17. Alanbucsfan Says:

    Don’t overlook Anthony Nelson, 4th round pick

  18. Jean Lafitte Says:

    ^^^^ right!

  19. SC Bucs Fan Says:

    Polian seems obsessed with the Bucs. He should have paid as much attention to the AAFL.

  20. Ghost of Darrell Henderson Says:

    “Don’t overlook Anthony Nelson, 4th round pick”

    Is that the guy who’s half blind, or the guy with 3 bad knees?

    Just kidding.

  21. Pickgrin Says:

    Gholston has the perfect body type to be a 3-4 DE.

    One of only 2 remaining Dominic draft picks, maybe Will can become the new Luke Stocker for this team.

    Bucs held onto Stocker for like 4 or 5 injury plagued. ineffective years before he became a very good blocker and valuable contributor for this team.

    Is 2019 – Will Gholston’s 7th NFL season under his 4th Head Coach – the year he finally “arrives”??

  22. Clw JB Says:

    Agree with the previous post – your front three is Allen at NT and Vea and Suh over the guards outside shoulder – on first down at least – 990 lbs controlling the a and b gaps

    WG comes in on pass downs suh or Vea take turns moving inside Allen comes out

    JPP plays outside on 1 st down and rotates anywhere on passing downs

    Gotta believe it was JPP /Spence rotating on one side and Nassib/Barret on the other before the injury

    White and David clearly the two ILB

    I think we have a very competitive front seven- not all world, but not league worst

  23. Cobraboy Says:

    @CLW JB: good take. With Allen, Suh and Vea in the middle, that will be a difficult front to run against inside. Passing down, Allen and Gholston switch with Vea going to the middle.

  24. Jean Lafitte Says:

    Gholston, Nassib, and Nelson are all close to the same height and weight

    6’7″ 275lbs

  25. Alaskan Abdominal Snowman Says:

    I like Nassib or Nelson there tbh. If they are too light you put Beau in the middle and Vea/Suh on the ends.

  26. BA FAN Says:

    Will Gholston will thrive at DE until JPP comes back. We’ll be just fine on our front. Our Second String will likely be Beau Allen at NT with Nelson and Becker as your DE’s and they are good enough to use in rotation to keep our First String Defensive Front fresh to win in the fourth quarter if needed. Nassib and Barret will be our starting OLBs with Spence and either Kenny or Daniels on the other side. Bucannon will come in on Special Defenses and will be very effective in blitzes.

  27. Oneilbucs Says:

    We suck at defense cause it’s Jamies fault!!!! Lol lol lol

  28. Stanglassman Says:

    Keep an eye out for OLB David Kenney #46. He was a 4 star guy going into college at IL St. . He has been out of football for a year after withdrawing from college ball for personal reasons He was a Bucs walk on tryout that was so impressive that BA told the press he made the 90 man squad right after the practice.

  29. KingBuc17 Says:

    I think we use the rotation:

    ROLB – Barrett, Bond, (JPP) week 10
    RDE – Suh, Gholston
    NT – Vea, Allen
    LDE – Nelson, Beckner
    LOLB – Nassib, Spence
    SILB – White, Minter
    WILB – David, Cichy

    I beleive we can weather the storm until JPP comes back

  30. KingBuc17 Says:

    Barring injuries I seeour Projected Depth chart on 01 June 2019 looking like this:
    Def (26)
    ROLB – Barrett, Buchannon, Bond, (JPP) week 10 (PUP)
    RDE – Suh, Gholston
    NT – Vea, Allen
    LDE – Nelson, Beckner
    LOLB – Nassib, Spence
    SILB – White, Minter
    WILB – David, Cichy
    SS – Edwards, Denis, Brice
    FS – Whitehead, Evans,
    CB1 -VHIII, Dean
    CB2 -Davis, Smith
    CBS -Bunting, Harris

    OFF 25
    WR1 Evans, Watson
    WR2 Godwin, Johnson
    WRS Perriman, Miller
    TE, Howard, Brate, Auclair
    LT Smith, Liedtke
    LG Marpet, LeRibeus
    C – Jensen, Smith
    RG Watford, Cappa
    RT -Dotson, Bennenoch
    QB – Winston, Gabbert, Fitzgerald
    RB- Barber, Rojo, Anderson

    ST- 3
    PK – Gay
    LS – Triner
    P – Pinion

    Anderson Beats out Ellington
    Brate beats out Legget but is possible traded before preseason is over.
    Gholston barely beats out Nunez-Roches(PS) but is either traded or cut
    Smith barely beats Allison (PS)
    Denis pushes Stewart off roster
    Bond Barely beats out Kenny(PS)

    However, I do feel we are going to loose two or three players from the above depth chart and go after a Guard or DE better suited for our blocking scheme or attacking Defense.

    Two camp Surprises:
    Denis (Safety)