Vanishing Pass Rush

January 11th, 2021

Need him Sunday.

Something has happened to the pass rush of the Bucs and Joe isn’t quite sure what that is.

Now we all saw on Saturday night how the Bucs’ pass rush, besides sacks by Anthony Nelson and Lavonte David, and a deflected pass by  blitzing Kevin Minter that led to a first-quarter interception, was nearly a total no-show.

Joe thinks David getting a sack on a blitz was basically a shock to Washington that the Bucs would actually send David on a blitz. Including the two sacks, the Bucs had a total of six quarterback hits. Not nearly enough.

If the Bucs are going to beat the Saints, then the pass rush better play like it had much of the season.

Mike Tanier of Pro Football Network recently shared some interesting research on the Bucs’ pass rush.

Brady and the offense command so much attention that it is easy to overlook the Buccaneers pass rush. They ranked second to the Pittsburgh Steelers in the regular season with a 27.0% pressure rate against opposing quarterbacks (per Pro Football Reference).

If Drew Brees has his way with the Bucs’ defense like Taylor Heinicke had, it will be time to start studying free agent targets a week from today.

It’s hard to believe Jason Pierre-Paul has been shut out on sacks for four consecutive games.

35 Responses to “Vanishing Pass Rush”

  1. Chimichango Says:

    The fact that the saints beat them twice and are looking forward to beating them a third time should light a fire under this whole team’s butt on Sunday. This is the best the Bucs offense has looked against the saints. No more excuses. It’s put up or shut up time for this team.

  2. Tackleblockwin Says:

    I’m with you, Joe. Hopefully having White back this week will give this D a spark.

  3. Listnfrmafar Says:

    JPP has a bad knee and the WFT’s oline is really good. They did what they had to to win. Minter looked a little deer in the headlightish. Heinke made.some great throws and the.TF he ran in was Jackson like. Not knowing him didn’t help, preparing for Smith than get the opposite is Bowles fault, they should of been prepared for both. Anyway Brees is not that elusive, my guess is you see a lot of Hill. BA needs to tell Bowles to put down his resume and game plan for 2 QB looks.

  4. Brady is a cheater Says:

    What do you expect when your top pass rusher only has one hand lol

  5. FLBoyInDallas Says:

    JPP is wearing down and his chronic knee pain is getting worse. It’s been a long season for him. Wouldn’t be surprised to see him retire this offseason or maximum one more year.

    Shaq seems to have hit a wall for some reason. Maybe the book is out on him now and offenses have figured him out.

    Might be time to start giving more rotation time to guys like Nelson, O’Connor and Gill.

  6. Phx Bucs Fan Says:

    “Brady is a cheater Says” – I’m assuming your mother let you stay home from school today? Time to grow up.

  7. Robert Says:

    these men need to REALLY show up! Where is Simeon Rice when you need him?

    seriosuly, as someone else state other should get more snaps if they do not…and Gholston should get more playing time as well.

  8. Chris Boyd Says:

    this game is gonna come down to red zone trips. gotta force fg’s and score td’s. whoever plays best in the red zone wins this game

  9. PoundTheRock Says:

    Hey Joe…seven letters.

  10. Tampabaybucfan Says:

    The price for Shaq is going down……he should be willing to sign a multi-year $10 mil per year deal…..

    If he balks…….let him go….get a comp pick & use it to move up for a OLB…..& give his money to Godwin….

    I think Joe would like that…..

  11. Ugotrobbed Says:

    I think JPP’s knee is becoming an issue for him. He went down on a play and stayed down for a few seconds and took himself out. He did come back in the game but was ineffective. Bowles needs to get creative and switch some things up for the Saints game.

  12. 813bucboi Says:

    unleash nelson…lol…kid does have nice motor…gotta get him more playing time…

    i need more from gholston too…

    GO BUCS!!!!

  13. Rob in Land O Lakes Says:

    You know, I’m not a genius when it comes to scheming a defense, but it appears to me that there is a relatively clear path to victory here.

    1. In passing situations, bring Devin White early and often up the middle.
    2. I would use Winfield and Lavonte interchangeably on Kamari and Cook. Take them away at all costs
    3. Play man under with a safety high and take away everything underneath. This will force Brees to step up in the pocket (See Devin White) and throw deep which he absolutely struggles at lately. If he beats you deep, then he beat you deep and you tip your cap to him.
    4. This is a genius revelation but I’m gonna go with it anyways…When Taysom Hill is at QB, HE’S GOING TO RUN THE FREAKIN’ BALL 80%-90% of the time.

    Do this and you have a chance of really limiting them and get them to start pouting.

  14. BA4President Says:

    Our D’s problem wasn’t a lack of collapsing the pocket. It was that Heinicke was too fast!
    Defenses don’t normally worry about “Well let’s not collapse the pocket, because this QB is such a talented runner that we don’t want to let him loose”. When I think of that defensive approach, I think of Mike Vick, not some backup named Heinicke. I hope Heinicke get’s a decent shot in someone’s training camp next year.
    Needless to say, Brees is great but a super speedster he is not.

  15. dmatt Says:

    You give ur all with a creative n think outside the box mindset during playoffs. Heck, outta desperation, let AB play corner. I betcha with his experience n aggressiveness he won’t get burnt or deceived by the qb/wr. As a matter of fact he would probably embrace the opportunity to play cb if asked to. Or let him replace JMickens at kr because that guy is a 1 yd n done type player. From every aspect of the game we have got to get creative n mix it up. That’s how u beat Sean Payton n not with a the same ole song method of garbage in garbage out. This game falls on the shoulder of BA.

  16. Dandy Don’s Ghost Says:

    At this point, Bowles needs to get creative and start Devon White on the D-line and keep Minter in the middle. It worked years ago with Lawrence Taylor. Its worth a try now.

  17. TampaTown Says:

    Isn’t JPP playing hurt with a knee injury?

  18. dmatt Says:

    Dandy Don’s Ghost,
    I agree with you 100%. With DWhites speed n strength, the tackle would struggle trying to contain him coming around the corner. We’ll probably get lots of false starts called on them. Anyone else on board with creativity/think outside the box approach to stopping the saints offense. Please share!

  19. Tampa2-2002 Says:

    Can we move Shaq back to right End. He is way more effective rushing from the right than from the left.

  20. Pewter Power Says:

    Licht has been getting a lot of credit but only pass rusher he has drafted to do anything is devin white. Sooner or later a gm has to take shots at pass rushers and allow ba to develop and quarterback before he retires. It’s time to get younger on the d line.

  21. TOM Says:

    I myself thinks Minter played a darn good game. He always seems to play pretty good when he’s in there. On the other hand Bunting is horrible.

  22. unbelievable Says:

    The good news is that Drew Brees is not mobile like Heineken was.

    The bad news is he is still one of the best at moving around inside the pocket and avoiding contact, because they have an OUTSTANDING offensive line.

    The other bad news is that if we win, we probably play Green Bay who DOES have a mobile quarterback. I know we got the best of Rodgers last time around, but does anyone really think our defense will produce like that again after how they’ve played for the last 8 weeks?

  23. SOEbuc Says:

    I mentioned in a previous article about the Bucs defense. Vita Vea was by far the biggest loss of the season 😭

  24. Defense Rules Says:

    Seems like a lot of JBFers don’t appreciate that the Bucs don’t have the horses on defense, and especially up-front. Vea AND Suh together were the key to our pass rush. We were built for inside pressure creating outside opportunities, and when Vea went down at the end of the Bears game, Bowles had to get a LOT more creative to have any pass rush whatsoever.

    In games 1-5 Bucs had 9 takeaways and 17 sacks (1.8 takeaways/game & 3.4 sacks/game average).

    In games 6-16 (11 games) Bucs had 16 takeaways and 31 sacks (1.45 takeaways/game & 2.82 sacks/game average).

    So our ‘productivity’ decreased by roughly 20-25% AFTER we lost Vea. That despite Bowles being a lot more creative in terms of blitzing trying to keep the pressure on. For instance, Devin White had ZERO sacks, 1 QB Hit & 2 TFLs in the first 5 games. In the remaining 13 games (after Vea went down), White had NINE sacks, 15 QB Hits & 13 TFLs. Obviously he blitzed a lot more (91 total on the year), and there may be a correlation between that & the fact that his pass coverage wasn’t nearly as good this year (his Completion Percentage Against was up quite a bit over last year).

    As they say, every action has a reaction, and that may have been the price Bowles was willing to pay to generate as much pass rush as he could using our MLB. Just speculation though; we’ll likely never know.

  25. dmatt Says:

    Sean Murder Bundy is a disgrace, don’t give him the death penalty, just bench him.

  26. Brady is a cheater Says:

    Rob in lakes . no chance drew wil make swish cheese outta any bucs defense

  27. Christopher Schiefen Says:

    Yeah, two things…JPP tried running once and truly looked awful. That knee might be a thing. I don’t know if that’s why they didn’t have him at his better LE spot (RTs are usually heavier), but Shaq at LE and JPP at RE does not work. Shaq is just too small.

  28. BillMFL Says:

    Don’t think our dbs can cover the Saints excellent receivers. And Brees will pick them apart. Again. Our best chance would be to crack his ribs again in the first quarter.

  29. Aceofaerospace Says:

    We should all give JPP a hand for the effort he puts out every week.

  30. SlyPirate Says:


    I suspect White and Shaq were held out “due to Covid” intentionally. Just as the lack of the pass rush in the last game.

    The Bucs knew they would beat Washington with the offense. They also knew it was likely they would play NO in Round 2. By holding out their two most prolific pass rushers, they could surprise the Saints with new defensive looks.

    It’s both the game-within-the-game and the long game.


  31. Bucamania Says:

    No excuses Shaq. Time to get ‘er done!

  32. Listnfrmafar Says:

    We should of scored 40 plus points on a great WFT def. I believe Heinike played as well as any NFL QB that would of played against us. My question is why can’t we put up 40 on Saints?

  33. Trey Long Says:

    Bowles defensive game plan was awful.
    Tackling was awful. If D lays an egg against Saints fire Bowles!!!! I watched Patriots carve his defense up for years at the Jets. They have personnel.

  34. Trey Long Says:

    Impossible to forget Bowles had Tyreek Hill in single coverage for an entire half while he got 200 plus yards and 3tds. So dumb its off the Richter scale.

  35. Brady is a cheater Says:

    Sly pirate. That is the dumbest take I have ever read. Dude had covid no he don’t. You can’t fake covid asshol