Searching For Sacks

November 26th, 2020

Warming up?

If the Bucs defense is missing sort of an edge, it may be because of the edge.

That is, edge rusher Shaq Barrett. The NFL’s sack king, Barrett, an outside linebacker, is having a much lesser season than last year. Shaq, who had 19.5 sacks in 2019, is way down to five through 11 games this season.

Shoot, it took Shaq only three games to have five sacks last year (eight sacks through three games, actually). To be fair, Joe is pretty convinced opposing teams didn’t respect Shaq until a few games into his Bucs career. And opposing coaches now have had all offseason to figure out a way to neutralize Shaq.

Shaq could be warming up. He’s had a pair of sacks in his last three games. There are those who will scream and holler that Shaq’s getting a lot of pressures. He is, though a pressure is far from a sack.

Entering Monday night’s game against the Rams, Shaq was tied with Bud Depree for third-most pressures (41), one behind Aaron Donald (42) and far behind T.J. Watt (57).

(The Steelers have three of the top-five guys in quarterback pressures. They are undefeated. Hhhmmm?)

With Jason Pierre-Paul having another outstanding year in sacks, what’s up with Shaq? Bucs defensive coordinator Todd Bowles discussed this morning.

“He’s getting a lot of pressures,” Bowles said of Shaq. “The ball is just not there [in the quarterback’s hands.

“That’s just the minuscule difference of having a sack and not having a sack. But we’re happy with the pressures. We’re happy with the way he is playing right now.

“You are not getting 19 sacks every year. He is knocking the quarterback down. He just has to continue to keep grinding and the sacks will come.”

Now Joe has heard the concept floated that because Vita Vea is out, some teams are shifting bodies toward Shaq to stop him.

Yeah, pressures are nice. But like Bowles said in his presser, they are not sacks. Sacks stop plays. Sacks are a loss of yards. Sacks are often drive-killers. Sacks can lead to fumbles.

So of course the Bucs want sacks. A sack here or there could be the difference in a game, especially in the playoffs.

19 Responses to “Searching For Sacks”

  1. Jonathan Limpchimpi Says:

    Sacks are down, jumping offsides at inopportune times are way up, however.

  2. Miller5252 Says:

    Against the Rams, very few times did Shaq or JPP have a chance to get to the QB because of the Rams game plan. Saying that, Shaq hasn’t been impressive at all and he’s seeing a lot of one on one. He just seem like he can’t beat anyone for a sack. I do think this is tied to Vea as well. With Vea blowing up the middle of the line QB’s tend to fall in his lap. Monday night Gronk said on the pre game show with Moss that you don’t get paid for blocking. Same goes for Shaq, not going to get paid for pressures and no sacks.

  3. UKBuccaneer Says:

    Sacks are an overrated stat. I don’t know how many times this has to be explained.
    Consistent pressure is vital – sacks are only part of that. Warren Sapp (according to the book written in his name) had no sacks in his best ever game.

  4. JA Says:

    A few more losses and continued bad QB play might make one think it will be time to TANK FOR TRASK!

  5. UKBuccaneer Says:

    Bill Belichick is famously apathetic towards sacks. But what does he know, eh?

  6. Sesteprenelicus Says:

    It looks like Shaq has gotten a number of offsides penalties, trying to jump the snap count. That may have been the secret of his success last year in part, and teams have learned to neutralize it?

  7. Georger Says:

    Put Shaq back on the other side. Problem fixed!!!

  8. bojim Says:

    Where were the pressures Monday? Bet he’s glad he at least got the franchise tag. I like Shaq anyway. Go get em.

  9. Destinjohnny Says:

    Went into the season with a massive gut…..
    Didn’t have it last year……

  10. Bucfan81 Says:

    Dude won’t be getting paid all that money next year without those big sack numbers and the salary camp going down. I would let him walk if he doesn’t take 10 million per year. He isn’t worth more than that and JPP to be honest is the better player and he needs to be kept above Shaq.

  11. BucEmUp Says:

    Remember when Mike Smith got fired, our corners started playing tighter coverage and the dline could actually have time to get to the qb? Well for some unexplainable reason Bowles has been doing that latley. Its a balance.The secondary and the pass rush both comliment each other.You.cannor get to the qb when someone is always open. Enough with the soft coverage, start pressing again, start blitzing again.and the sacks with magically start to show up again.

    Three corners who thrive playing physical and we keep making them play soft zone. I.promise you that jpp, Barrett and suh are plenty good enough to hold down the line.As usual with this team the problem coaching.

    Someone needs to.have a talk with Bowles, and then go fire leftwich

  12. David Says:

    The edge rusher‘s have been average in the loss of Vita Vea and his taking double teams away from Suh for the push-up the middle has definitely hurt.

    The main thing, though seems to be a sudden reluctance to blitz, at least against the Saints and Rams.

    The games they have won have two major factors staring at them in the face-
    Defense- consistent pressure throughout the game, with or without the blitz
    Offense- RUN THE BALL, ALL GAME !

  13. D1 Says:


    Maybe Bowles doesn’t believe his corners can play press well enough to be effective without pressure up front. It makes sense to blitz but it seems there’s a reduction in blitzs since Vea was injured.

    Also, if JPP and Shaq are the best at getting after the QB , why is TB dropping them into pass coverage? If you eliminate 2 of the teams best rushers by having them drop into coverage, then it’s going to require more players to make up the difference and perhaps even more to be really successful.

    Then there’s a question about pass coverage. I understand trying to be creative from a DC, but I don’t see any reason to not put the individual players in the best possible position for them to succeed. Especially if the reason is based on the idea of out thinking the opposing team. Players play and coaches coach. Let JPP and shaq do what they do best and leave pass coverage to players more suited for the task.

  14. Bangkok Buc Says:

    I simply don’t buy into the belief that Sacks are overrated. It is at worst, a loss of 5-10 yards, huge potential for a fumble and putting your D in a great position to get off the field. Constant pressure is critical too but a sack on 2nd or 3rd down can change the outcome of a game

  15. Issac haggins Says:

    Devin White was by far the glaring problem against the Rams and Winfield wasn’t far behind ……….. those guys got abused and showed no adjustments and didn’t make or even come close to making a play.Play after play came there way and they were horrible and that gave the d line no chance .Pitch and Catch in front of those two All game long …….. That was the D line Pressure Problem !!

  16. Capt.Tim Says:

    Hmmm. 19 sacks last year.
    Lets move him to a different spot.

    Yup. Buc logic

  17. Issac haggins Says:

    It wasJpp and Shaq that requested the move it’s the COACHES that have to manage it !!

  18. Mirrormirroronthewall Says:

    The defense and referees gave the Bucs ample opportunities to win the game against the Rams. Brady could not get the job done PERIOD

  19. Brad Says:

    I’ve been saying this since the first game after the injury. You can’t replace Vita, outside of Donald, what he does is unmatched. There aren’t 350LB freak shows rag dolling NFL guards and mowing lawns. Forget how dominant he is in the run game, you can’t block him with 1 in the pass game. Too big,strong, and quick. Constantly pushed guys in QBs lap no matter what #99 says.