Shaq Season

August 11th, 2020

Sparked defensive turnaround

Joe hopes “Shaq Week” turns into “Shaq Year.” Again.

Last year, the Bucs’ outside linebacker turned the NFL upside down on a prove-it contract after being a backup for years with the Broncos.

So what did Shaq do? He blew up and led the NFL in sacks in his first season as a starter.

For Joe, who grew accustomed to the embarrassingly awful Bucs pass rush of The Lost Decade, which basically gave quarterbacks 10 seconds on each snap to survey the defense and allow quarterbacks to book offseason vacations to the Dominican, what Shaq did was just about indescribable.

Famed columnist Ira Kaufman called Shaq’s first month of the season the greatest defensive first four games in NFL history.

How important was Shaq to the Bucs? Well, jet-flyin’, kiss–stealin‘, data-analyzin’, Bucs-film-studyin’, limousine-ridin’ Thomas Bassinger of the Tampa Bay Times, typing for Football Outsiders 2020 Almanac, documents what Shaq did was lead a team about-face.

Thanks in part to Barrett, Tampa Bay’s defensive pressure rate surged last season to 32.9%, which ranked seventh. They had ranked last and next-to-last in the previous two seasons.

That’s damn near worst-to-first stuff.

Joe has said it before and will say it again, once teams realized who Shaq was, he got shut down. But when Jason Pierre-Paul came off the injured list, he took heat off Shaq, who resumed his sack-happy ways.

The key to Shaq and the Bucs defense being as good or better than last year is to keep JPP healthy and fresh. Without him, Shaq is rendered nearly another JAG.

Image courtesy of Tampa Bay Buccaneers.

14 Responses to “Shaq Season”

  1. Roy T. Buford Says:

    Love the picture. In today’s world, isn’t that exploitation and cruelty to animals (those poor Great White fishes)? I’ve seen a lot better media stuff coming out of the Bucs themselves this year. Lack of public access to the franchise due to the China Virus has clearly made them step up their PR game.

  2. Tampabaybucfan Says:

    I’m thinking we get more pressure from our LBs this year…..

  3. 813bucboi Says:

    i think you’re right…along with the DBs…

    GO BUCS!!!!!

  4. bucsfan951 Says:

    i do expect his numbers to go down for two reasons.

    1. teams will game plan against him better this season

    2. the human turnover machine, jameis winston, wont be here to give the other team more opportunities to have the ball.

  5. Ndog Says:

    Don’t worry 951 he can still be a no show when the games on the line or when playing the Saints cause all know he likes to feast when it doesn’t mean crap.

    Maybe he will do us all a favor and actually show up this year for the two Saints games?

    Na I doubt it…

  6. Cannon Says:

    ^ Drew Brees is notoriously tough to sack.

  7. 813bucboi Says:

    im just happy winston wont show up in a bucs uni!!!…lol…

    GO BUCS!!!!

  8. Half-Caucked Jeudy Says:

    hey potlickers, lets just hope it doesn’t become shart week

  9. SB Says:

    Lol…….Now the toy poodle is harping on the NFL Sack leader for having two bad games!
    PRICELESS I tell ya.

  10. Ndog Says:

    Um two bad games?

    Where was he when the Giants walked the ball right down the field to win the game?

    Where was he when Seattle was scoring like a pinball machine on us time and time and time again and they walked the ball right in the field at the end of the fourth quarter in an overtime to win the game?

    Where was he versus the Falcons in the last two drives and they marched right in the field back to back times the fourth quarter for two game time field goals?

    And then yes where was he for both Saints games as not only did he not get sacks he literally had one tackle in two games if that’s not a no-show not quite sure what it is?

    But we know we know the defense is phenomenal and it was James’s fault the defense couldn’t stop them no matter who was playing quarterback cause they couldn’t get pressure and the precious wonderful S. Barrett was MIA. Yes it was Jameis’s fault that they couldn’t stop anybody ever in those two games or the Giants game or the Seahawks game or the Cardinals game.

  11. 74 Bucs Fan Says:

    NClown turns this into a Jameis conversation again. Clown – had Jameis been even an average QB related to turnovers, he would still be leading our Team. Where does the fault lie that he is 3rd string now? Who’s fault is it? It’s your fault Clown, that’s who.

  12. Craig Says:

    If double digit sacks is a down year, then Shaq will have a down year.

    For the Bucs ten or more sacks is a miracle, so Shaq will still be a miracle worker.

  13. unbelievable Says:

    Jaq Smith didn’t have any problems getting to Brees… and that was playing alongside McIceCream, when Brees was even younger lol.

    And I’m not hating on Shaq at all, He’s a beast.

    But you gotta show up against the best teams too…

  14. Hank Rearden Says:

    What was their “pressure rate” once JPP returned?