Sunday’s Booger Factor Against Tom Brady Explained

January 15th, 2021

How will the Saints try and stall the lethal Bucs offense?

Joe expects the Bucs to mirror their gameplan seen against Washington: do everything possible to protect Tom Brady and give him a consistent pocket in which to find his crazy-talented targets.

Of course, the Saints are expecting to rattle Brady up the gut, and they’ll likely target Bucs first-time starter Aaron Stinnie at right guard. New Orleans has beastly talent rotating on its defensive line, very smart coaching and a run defense nearly as good as the Bucs’.

But it’s all about the pass rush, says Hall of Fame former Colts, Bills and Panthers general manager Bill Polian. He believes the Saints’ defensive front and approach is the key to Sunday’s matchup.

“The one way to handle Tom Brady is middle rush,” Polian explained on SiriusXM NFL Radio. “Interior middle rush. Get him off his spot. He is not Tom Brady when you rush him up the middle and you can get people under his feet up the middle.

“You can send two F-16’s off the edge and it won’t bother him. We did that for eight years in Indianapolis for eight years and it wasn’t until we got Booger McFarland to rush him in the middle, that we finally found the secret to success. “So the fact that [Sheldon] Rankins is back and healthy, and he is really a good pass rusher and the Bucs are going to be playing short at [right guard] is a problem.”

Nobody knows how good or bad Stinnie is. Nobody. Joe is curious to see how much the Bucs cover for him early with max-protect situations, play-action and Ryan Jensen shading in his direction.

As for the “Booger” factor and getting to Brady up the gut, Joe is not worried.

For general perspective, New Orleans had fewer QB hits and sacks than the Bucs did this season, and Joe wouldn’t worry at all if Brady was facing the Bucs’ front-7 on Sunday.

13 Responses to “Sunday’s Booger Factor Against Tom Brady Explained”

  1. Alanbucsfan Says:

    If Taysom Hill doesn’t play- that will make it easier for Bucs to pressure Brees.

  2. Cobraboy Says:

    Imma go review the first two Saints games. I expect to see not many play-action sets.

    Expect Fournette and McCoy staying in as an extra blocker up the middle, too. That works well with play-action.

    I expect many 6 & 7-man protection schemes, and won’t be surprised with some Brady setting up behind guards/tackles on the left side, and not under center.

  3. Robert Says:

    That may be true….but one thing I saw early in last weeks game is that the very split second he saw someone break through the line he threw it away. I mean immediately. It was a thing of beauty. Then he settled in and probably got a little looser and Larsen let some guys through. You can bet they will rush him hard, but he will let it go before the sack. And man was Gronk money. better than an extra lineman! I think they are ready for the Saints D…..whether our D is ready is the question!

  4. Listnfrmafar Says:

    Cobraboy, when you watch the games, very little movement, a lot of penalties and most of all, ALL deep passes, I think in both games I saw one flare pass to backs o e to Fournett and one to Rojo. NO screens.

  5. Tampabaybucfan Says:

    Has anyone asked why Larsen replaced Cappa instead of Stiinnie?

  6. Ryan Jensen’s Hair Says:

    Run at them. Tunnel screens. No or very few empty backfield sets. Motion TE from 13 personnel look to pick up A-Gap blitz packages or when they give a covered look

  7. Buccaneer Bonzai Says:

    This game is going to be intense, and I lost my blood pressure pills.

  8. bojim Says:

    Brees doesn’t like it up the middle either. Miss Vea a lot.

  9. Cannon Says:

    @Tampabaybucfan They suited up Larsen as the backup because he could snap the ball at center in a pinch. Cappa went down, so it was next man up for Larsen. Now that we had a week of prep, the coaches felt that the bigger body’d Stinnie would be a better fit at Guard.

  10. RLBuc17 Says:


    Because Larsen was active due to being able to snap the ball and Stinnie was inactive game day

  11. JustBucNwin Says:

    As a former F-16 crew chief, I love the reference! Creative pass pro designs and lots of motion from our speedy/illusive receivers is key!

  12. Sorryjackchuckiesback Says:

    Dude here you are again with the hits and sacks…. They beat them before because they got a ton of pressure in his face!! You know that word you don’t think exists? Pressure!!…. They need to stop the IDEA of pressure!! Once he gets that in his face a few times it’s in his head and he plays awful!! Have to keep them off of Brady! It’s ok if they get a sack or two but they can not have constant PRESSURE on him or the bucs will lose

  13. Mark Says:

    We talking the Booger performance in the AFC title game where he had 0 sacks, 0 qb hits and the Pats scored 34 points?