Inside The 2019 Pass Rush Numbers

May 23rd, 2020

Some really meaty football stuff on the Buccaneers pass rush here. And it identifies one clear deficiency.

The Bucs blitzed a whopping 293 times last season and got just 14 sacks out of it. That’s not good. Combine all the ways to measure affecting a quarterback on a blitz, knockdowns, hurries, sacks, pressures, etc., and the Bucs ranked 14th in the NFL from all those blitzes.

The numbers above were barked out on SiriusXM NFL Radio this week during an analysis of the Tampa Bay pass rush by former Jets linebackers coach and personnel chief Pat Kirwan.

The Bucs were the NFL’s No. 1 blitzing team on first down last season, Kirwan noted, and they led the league in blitzing on second down.

Kirwan wagged a finger at Devin White and Lavonte David for their lack of production.

“When you call that many pressures and the inside linebackers combine for 4 1/2 sacks and the secondary has 2, now you see why they’re not getting there with all those pressure calls,” Kirwan said.

Lavonte David blitzed and blitzed and blitzed some more under Mike Smith in 2017, and he came out of that season with zero sacks and has just 4 1/2 sacks the past two seasons.

Reality says David is just not the blitzer he was years ago. White is learning, and Joe hopes there’s great improvement in his sack numbers this season, assuming the Bucs keep sending the pressure.

Kirwan is confident the Bucs blitzed so much without great success because it was forcing single coverage on Jason Pierre-Paul and/or Shaq Barrett. Overall, Kirwan doesn’t expect the Bucs’ pass rush to better this season, and he says they’ll be lucky to get the same production, which was pretty strong.

“I don’t see a big improvement because you cannot point to the new guy who’s going to make it better than it was,” Kirwan said.

Joe agrees. It’s unreasonable to think Shaq can duplicate his monster season. And the last time JPP had to play a full season he weakened down the stretch. Those blitzes have to start getting home more often!

Still, if the Bucs pass rush is close to what it was last season, then it should be good enough to be a key cog in a playoff team.

24 Responses to “Inside The 2019 Pass Rush Numbers”

  1. Steven007 Says:

    White simply has too much speed to not be successful if they send him enough. David is better in coverage anyways. Similar production to last year with a better performance by the secondary and we’ll be just fine.

  2. Formerly Tampa 2 Says:

    Then how do you explain Shaq’s 19 1/2 sacks, along with JPP’s, and a few more. Seems Mr. Kiwwin is full of scat.

  3. El Buco Realisto Says:

    It is easy to protect, when you know exactly what is coming!!!!!!!! toilet bowls defense was beyond predictable as stated by Mr. NFL Kirwan!!!!!!!!!!!!! The sheep better hope that it was only predictable because of rookie and roster limitations like in years past!!!!!!!!!! There should be no excuses this year if this defense gets lit up like it did last year until they played some backup QB’s at the end of the year!!!!!!!!!!!!! The sheep say the coaches are great and that the roster is great, so let’s see it!!!!!!!!!!!! No excuses!!!!!!!!!!!!! The “real” fans don’t care if they have massive injuries!!!!!!!!!!! No EXCUSES!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    go bucs!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  4. james west Says:

    they’ll be bringing the heat with a saftey blitz often this coming season with mr winfield jr

  5. DanBucsFan Says:


    I think u need a new woman bro. You seem to be like a guy who’s lady messed around on him one to many times and now nothing she does or says is good enough or right lol. Man I sure think this is a good roster and also think our coaches are solid. But I do agree with your ” lets see” approach. I have fallen for the banana in the tailpipe one to many times myself lol, but with Tb12 this seems real this time. Have a good weekend Bucs fans !!

  6. Youngbucs Says:

    Just get off the field consistently everything else will follow.

  7. Casual Observer Says:

    Overanalysis. Our front 7 is as good as any team’s.

  8. K2 Says:

    There is one big difference! The Bucs secondary will be on the same field as the other teams offense…opposed to taking a seat and watching the game. Here are a few more reasons…JPP was hurt half the year, White was out 3 games and was learning how to play, the entire defense was learning a new system, the secondary has improved, and hopefully Justin Watson or Antoine Winfield will actually play. It ‘s amazing that you guys can never find a reason to be positive. Brady’s breaking into houses and should be locked up, he’s too old, his arm doesn’t work, we have no running game, and there is no way Brady’s can score like Winston…but he might throw less interceptions. I get there has been no reason to be optimistic for about 15 years why start now???

  9. Destinjohnny Says:

    Jason has had 7 drafts
    After 7 drafts, wouldn’t it be reasonable to think he would hit on one pass rusher?

  10. AlabamaBucsFan Says:

    We might not have been all that successful on getting sacks with our blitz, but it did kept the opposing team’s offense on their toes. Our CB improved by mid season and by the end of the year they were top 10 talent in pass defense. If we can ride off the later part of last year, the blitz should improve this year.

  11. Sport Says:

    Our Run Defense is a RB wood chipper. How often did the opponents run on first and second down? Did that have an affect on running lanes? Hhmm I wonder.

    I get it, many of you think sacks are the only stat that matters (ahem Shill Joe) Disruptions to timing, getting a QB of his mark are valuable characteristics as well. Our front seven made a mess of plays. Our young secondary is learning and improving.

    Health and continued improvement from our rookies to 3rd year guys will be a critical ingredient to bring us to the promise land.

    In BA I Trust!

  12. CalBucsFan Says:

    No doubt Nassib will be missed.

  13. Tampabuscsbro Says:

    Honestly I am okay if pass rush takes a dip, so long as the insane amount of takeaways the defense generated keeps up.

  14. Barack's Crack Pipe Says:

    “I don’t see a big improvement because you cannot point to the new guy who’s going to make it better than it was,” Kirwan said.

    A handful of DBs maturing in their 2nd or 3rd season in the Bucs’ secondary will indirectly help the pass rush.

    Go Bucs!!

  15. Barack's Crack Pipe Says:

    The “real” fans don’t care if they have massive injuries!!!!!!!!!!!

    I hope you’re not trying to jinx the team, Realist.

  16. Barack's Crack Pipe Says:

    Destinjohnny Says:
    “Jason has had 7 drafts
    After 7 drafts, wouldn’t it be reasonable to think he would hit on one pass rusher?”

    It would be nice to not have to go buy another JPP or Barrett to cover our drafting ills. Hopefully next draft, we’ll get someone for those guys to mentor.

  17. Cobraboy Says:

    LB blitz pick-up force a RB or interior OL to take attention away from the edge and DT’s…which is where the Bucs spun sack gold.

  18. Cobraboy Says:

    The sacks increased with better DB play, not just because of front seven play.

    Better coverage the last half of the season is what caused sacks to increase, including with JPP’s return.

  19. Joe in Michigan Says:

    So the Bucs blitzed 293 times on 664 passing plays (44% of the time)? Or blitzed 293 on 1,026 overall plays (28.5% of the time)? I don’t remember the Bucs blitzing nearly half the time, but to count run plays into this equation would be skewing the numbers, IMHO.
    There are several reasons to think the pass rush and blitzing will be better in 2020, including teams being forced to pass because the Bucs have the lead, Devin White having a year under his belt, Antoine Winfield Jr. being an effective blitzed, the CB’s continued improvement. So it’s not all doom and gloom, like some people try to sell. I’m not buying it, though.

  20. Joe in Michigan Says:


  21. rrsrq Says:

    Mr. Kirwin said last year with GMC and Ayers gone, also potentially JPP missing the season, the Bucs would not get to the QB – well, how did that prediction work out. So this year he says how do the Bucs improve on that stat, he never mentions that JPP only played a half a season and he kept Cali g Shaq Barrett, Shaq Barnett, so really not a fan of his when he speaks about the Bucs. It’s like the year he kept calling Ali Marpet our center after we had signed Jensen and DK had already moved him to LG.

  22. Godlovesbucs Says:

    Sounds to me like there were a lot of run blitzes, seeing as they were the #1 most blitzing team on first down. If the blitz numbers are taking into account on runa nd pass plays, the numbers are skewed. How often did they blitz on 3rd down?

  23. m0j0 Says:

    Yeah, of course they are going to run blitz on 1st and 2nd down… this is a case where the adage about stats is appropriate: “There are three kinds of lies: lies, damned lies, and statistics”.

  24. Jason Mclaurin Says:

    I agree with the assessment somewhat. JPP is here a full season again which is enough to change the difference. I predict he and Shaq will have close to 20 sacks apiece. They need to utilize White more as a Blitzer and White must improve in pass coverage. David is showing more pride and I feel he will take a career leap this year. The secondary is deep and talented enough to give the depth depleted LB group some rest with dime coverages and again JPP will allow that to happen by suiting up at DE while I feel sleeper Khalil Davis will be another great DE in dime and nickel package. Again the biggest take I got from this article is White really needs to turn a corner this season and I predict he will. This team may feature a record number of players on the All Pro and Pro Bowl respectively. JPP, White and David will be dangerous in nickel and dime sets with Suh and Vea on the front line drawing so much attention from the opposition.