Dominant Front

June 25th, 2021

Shaq Barrett

For the people who like to parrot the football axiom “You win in the trenches,” the Bucs are for you.

For the moment, despite the Bucs having a damn good offensive line, Joe is going to focus on the defense.

CBS Sports recently picked both the top-10 edge rushers and the top-10 interior linemen. The Bucs have a top-five player at each position, Bucs sack king Shaq Barrett and Vita Vea.

Here is Jared Dubin’s capsule on both.

5. Shaquil Barrett, Buccaneers

Barrett might be the best value bet for Defensive Player of the Year. The Bucs defense is going to be one of the best in the league. He is going to collect a lot of sacks and a lot of hits, and due to his age, he is less likely than Jason Pierre-Paul to have his snaps managed throughout the year. He’s one of the rare free agents that probably actually did take less money to stay with the team of his choice, which shows that he realizes how good he has it playing alongside JPP and the rest of that defensive front. You know Todd Bowles is going to send him after QBs early and often, and those QBs will pay dearly for it.

4. Vita Vea, Buccaneers

… He was able to return for the NFC title game and Super Bowl and played a role in helping the Bucs get their championship, but he wasn’t at the peak of his powers. He should be able to get on the field for even more snaps in Year 3, and he has the benefit of playing alongside Barrett, Pierre-Paul, Ndamukong Suh, and Steve McLendon, with Todd Bowles putting them all in position to succeed. He’s going to have great success.

Now, you throw into the mix Ndamukong Suh, Jason Pierre-Paul, Lavonte David and Devin White, that is a powerful, powerful front-seven. Is there a better one in the NFL? Joe doesn’t believe so.

Just think how radically times have changed. Two years ago, in the summer of 2019, if you walked into Big Storm Brewing and hollered that the Bucs would have a top-five pass rusher and a top-five tackle, the Pinellas County Sheriff’s office just down the street would have shown up and dragged you to the psych unit at St. Anthony’s Hospital in St. Petersburg for an overnight eval.

Either that, or just called you an Uber and told you to go home and sober up.

Thinking back just two years ago, it’s mindblowing to realize how far this Bucs defense has come.

22 Responses to “Dominant Front”

  1. Tackleblockwin Says:

    I love good defensive football. I realize shootouts are fun for most fans. Seeing lots of scoring can be exciting. However, for me, nothing beats watching a dominate defense suffocate a high powered offense.

  2. Casual Observer Says:

    I think their no. 1 draft pick will only add to this mystique. In a very positive way.

  3. AlabamaBucsFan Says:

    Hopefully within the next two years, we see Joe Tryon added as a top 10 rusher.

    Speaking of Tryon, it’s going to be tough to have your first round pick sitting warming up the bench the entire year. I imagine he spells JPP for some relief work.

  4. Pine Hills Says:

    I think giving Tryon snaps was the plan from the start

  5. Anonymous Says:

    Would like to see Kahlil Davis in the rotation

  6. gp Says:

    DR should be eating this one up!
    Yes , shoot-outs are fun, but defense wins championships.
    A strong front seven makes the job of the secondary much easier. When the secondary can blanket receivers, it gives the front seven more time to get to the QB. If both are strong at the same time, you start pitching shut-outs.
    I think there’s a strong possibility we’ll see a couple of those this year.

    Tryon may get more snaps in than we think. He should be able to give a breather to Shaq as well as JPP here and there. I’d like to see him get some quality time on the field so he can develop.

  7. 813bucboi Says:

    folks might be sleeping on nelson and cam gil….tryon has to earn it…

    GO BUCS!!!!

  8. DavidBigBucsFan99 Says:

    The only thing is every time the defense was supposed to step up because of its prior improvements it has always disappointed. All these people talking about how great it will be are banking on checks that haven’t cleared yet. In years past when it had great run stats, it was obvious because it couldn’t stop the pass. Last year was some of the same, that’s why it almost lost to all of the heavy pass teams and to the Daniel Jones, Justin Herbert’s and Taylor Heineke’s of the NFL. It’s why they gave up 200 yards to ONE receiver and found it hard too many times getting itself off of the field. People need to temper their oohrah before they become like the Chiefs and their fans. Reality has an ugly way of dumping on people’s unrealistic beliefs.

  9. Casual Observer Says:

    Agree that this could be a good year for Nelson too. I also like Davis. Lots of talent in this D.

  10. Oneilbuc Says:

    Without a good defense ain’t no team winning the superbowl.

  11. Defense Rules Says:

    gp .. Actually I chuckled at Dubin’s analysis and Joe’s additions. I saw every name in there, including Steve McLendon’s, EXCEPT Will Gholston. Guess who led the Bucs last year in QB Hits? Yup, Big Will. I’m beginning to think that he’s the Rodney Dangerfield of the Bucs’ defense.

    Like Joe, I’m convinced that we’ve got the best Front-7 in the NFL. Being #1 in the NFL against the run for TWO years in a row says a lot to be sure. But beyond that, the Bucs’ D didn’t really get the respect they deserve UNTIL we won the Super Bowl.

    Nick Shook wrote an interesting article titled ‘Top 10 NFL defenses for the 2020 season: Steelers, Saints lead the field’ back on 10 Dec 2020. He used a lot of NextGen stats to make his point & ranked the Bucs’ defense #8 in that article … the same ranking we ended up with at the end of the year based on Points Allowed.

    His Bucs’ analysis started with “The Buccaneers still need to figure out how to keep opponents out of the end zone (19th in red-zone percentage) and limit their effectiveness through the air (22nd in passing yards per game), but the yardage totals tell us what we see on film: You might get lucky a few times a game against the Bucs, but they’re going to make things difficult for the majority of the contest.” We improved a bit in red-zone percentage after that, ending up #11 by the end of the season. We peaked at the right time obviously.

  12. AtlBuc Says:

    The D Line has always held its own, rushing wise . But the pass rush and db’s were pathetic

  13. Tampabaybucfan Says:

    And don’t forget Will Gholston… slouch……didn’t he have the most QB hurries or hits? Solid player and very stout against the run.

    We really don’t miss Carl Nassib….but some dude does!!!

  14. Infomeplease Says:

    I sure wouldn’t want to be the offensive coordinator for the opposing team!!! (Defensive Coordinator either!) This year is gonna be fun!! GO BUCS!!

  15. Buczilla Says:

    You gotta have talent no matter what, but Bowles is a vast improvement over Mike Smith. I haven’t had this much fun watching our defense in a long time.

  16. gp Says:

    813bucboi Says:
    June 25th, 2021 at 1:07 pm

    folks might be sleeping on nelson and cam gil….tryon has to earn it…

    GO BUCS!!!!

    No arguments there, It’s good that our back-ups have the talent to develop

  17. Duane Says:

    The front 7 are elite. Easily a luxury to have young guys to bring along. Lovie and Mike Smith made us forget what good line play looks like. They also make Bowles look like a genius. Cant wait to see what he has dialed up this season.

  18. Sport Says:

    This analyst missed the mark when talking about JPP getting his snaps managed. JPP manages his own snaps and NEVER comes off the field.

    He is a Nasty DAWG! Do not tell that man he cannot do something.

    In BA I Trust!

  19. Lakewood Ranch Phil Says:

    Hey Joe, we all know the first drive for an offense is scripted. How much can a defensive first drive be scripted?

  20. #1bucsfan Says:

    HELL YEA!!!! Loving this. Can’t wait for football season.

  21. Slugglife Says:

    Lest we all forget about the dominance of Montez Sweat and Chase Young…

  22. Wild Bill Says:

    My take is the Bucs are going to score a lot of points. That should allow for some rotation of backups especially when the Bucs are up big. Its a long season for a playoff team. Rotating starters out for breaks (especially the pass rushers) could keep guys like Suh and JPP fresher all year. Getting reps will also prepare the backups in case of injury to a starter. Its highly unlikely to go a full season without one or more starters missing at least a few games ( or worse).