Pass Rush Is Invaluable

July 14th, 2021

Nothing beats a pass rush.

Joe firmly is entrenched in the core belief. In a passing league, if you hope to make a playoff run, you better have a pass rush or you are just p!ssing in the wind.

There is nothing more important than a pass rush. It makes an entire defense better, helps the secondary and in some cases, opponents may become more one-dimensional because they don’t want their quarterback getting beaten to a pulp.

Thomas Bassinger, typing for the Football Outsiders Almanac 2021, points out another reason a pass rush is vital. It cuts down on explosive plays.

You would expect a defense to experience some regression after a dramatic turnaround, but that never happened for the Buccaneers. Tampa Bay rose up the leaderboards in yards allowed per drive, three-and-outs per drive, punts per drive, turnovers forced per drive, and drive success rate. The Buccaneers repeated as the No. 1 rush defense (the first team to do so since the 2015-2016 Jets, also coached by Bowles) and jumped from No. 13 to No. 5 in DVOA against the pass. Under Bowles’ tutelage, the Buccaneers have shed their reputation as a soft defense. They attack quarterbacks (finishing among the top seven in pressure rate in back-to-back seasons) and are no longer prone to explosive plays (allowing the fourth-fewest plays of 20 or more yards last season).

Joe is having flashbacks now the way a Vietnam vet Joe knew back home used to have in a bar when he suddenly thought he was back on the wire. When watching home games, Joe became violent watching the disgraceful non-pass rush the Bucs used to have.

Gutless and appalling. It’s a good thing Joe’s neighbor can hang drywall.

Do the Bucs have a top-five secondary? In the playoffs they did but not so much in the regular season. Still, the Bucs won games and the pass defense did just enough. Why? Because quarterbacks didn’t have time to throw.

Lawd, thank you for the days of Ghost Johnson and Robert Ayers being long behind us.

16 Responses to “Pass Rush Is Invaluable”

  1. Slugglife Says:

    Lest we forget the tree jumping loafer- “Swaggy Baker.”

  2. Slugglife Says:

    Humping. Fat boy couldn’t jump anything but a buffet.

  3. Bucsfanman Says:

    It’s hard to believe how awful those previous defenses were, and from front to back!

  4. Chris l Says:

    Joe – has there been an ira kaufman podcast since June 29? Haven’t seen any but wanted to confirm

  5. #1bucsfan Says:

    Sacks and pressure will end offenses. Was tru in 2002 when we won it all and now 2020 it’s still the same. Weather it’s a passing league or a running it’s still the same. Get to the QB often and make sure they go down hard. Lol

  6. Tampabaybucfan Says:

    The pass rush is most important but right behind it is stopping the run……and we do that better than anybody.

  7. August 1976 Buc Says:

    When opposing QB’s have pic nics in their pwn backfield, you end up consistently getting beat.

    Lunch time has been over for the most part since T Bowels took over the Defense.

    GO BUCS!!!!

  8. Jason Says:

    Putting up 30+ points a game, and forcing the other team to pass a lot helps the pass rush as well yes?

  9. Joe Says:

    It’s hard to believe how awful those previous defenses were, and from front to back!

    It really is!

  10. Defense Rules Says:

    Bucsfanman … Talented players & quality coaches have to go hand-in-hand. Gotta have the horses to start with; even an excellent coach will at best achieve mediocre results with mediocre talent. But the reverse is also true IMO. Talented players being directed by a mediocre coach will also achieve mediocre results.

    Unfortunately Bucs had a long string of having too many less-than-talented players coached by average-at-best coaches. Perhaps the name ‘Den of Depression’ was earned by both our offense & our defense?

    Right now Bucs are in about the same position as the Lightning IMO. LOTS of talent combined with strong leadership AND excellent coaching. Chances are salary CAP issues will significantly impact BOTH in the years ahead.

    But not today … let’s enjoy the ride.

  11. Joe Says:


    Ira has been out of state on vacation.

  12. Bucsfanman Says:

    Defense Rules- No doubt. And when you consider how “celebrated” Robert Ayers was, you gain perspective on the caliber of players.
    Coaching? Goodness gracious! Passive, cushioned, and pathetic are the only adjectives that come to mind. If we had at least been aggressive, some of these inefficiencies over the years might’ve been overlooked.

    I am so happy to have the team we have! And the coaching!

  13. Eddie Marz Says:

    Having a great offense makes for a great defense. Without that 31-9 lead the defense would not have been so aggressive. Beat then from both sides of the ball. GO BUCS!

  14. Stanglassman Says:

    Remember the Mike Smith defenses that gave all the teams Wrs 10-15 yard cushions despite the down and distance. Nothing was more frustrating than that in my opinion.

  15. Defense Rules Says:

    @Eddie Mars … “Having a great offense makes for a great defense. Without that 31-9 lead the defense would not have been so aggressive.”

    Not sure Eddie that our Super Bowl win was the best example to support your argument that ‘a great offense makes for a great defense’. IMO it was the other way around.

    Bucs offense held the ball for 31:23 TOP while the Chiefs had it for 28:37 TOP (kudos to our defense for that). Bucs had 340 total yds of offense; Chiefs had 350 total yds of offense. Bucs we’re 4-for-13 on 3rd & 4th down conversions; Chiefs were 4-for-14. Bucs had 26 first downs while Chiefs had 22. Bucs punted 4 times; Chiefs punted 3 times. Bottom line: those particular offensive stats aren’t dramatically different.

    But now look at the game from the defensive standpoint. Bucs forced 2 takeaways; Chiefs had 0 takeaways. (Bucs offense only scored 3 pts off those 2 takeaways BTW; the 2nd takeaway allowed us to run out the clock). Bucs held the Chiefs to 3 FGs total on the night; Chiefs held the Bucs to 1 FG … plus 4 TDs. Bucs ended 2 Chiefs’ drives on downs; Chiefs ended 1 Bucs drive on downs. Bucs defense only committed 2 penalties; Chiefs defense committed 8 penalties, several of which were crucial in keeping Bucs drives alive. And oh ya, Bucs held Patrick Mahomes to 53.1% completion rate (while picking him off twice).

    Point being Eddie that the Bucs played excellent COMPLEMENTARY FOOTBALL in that game, but the Bucs’ offense had a LOT of help in putting up those 31 pts (actually more help from the Chiefs defense via penalties than from the Bucs’ defense IMO). For their part though, the Bucs’ defense smothered the Chiefs offense from the git-go. Bucs were super aggressive from the opening bell & held the Chiefs to 3 punts & 1 FG in the first 4 drives (that set the tone for the game). That must’ve frustrated the daylights out of the Chiefs; and chasing Mahomes all over RayJay all night must’ve really added to that frustration.

  16. Wild Bill Says:

    This season match-up with the Chiefs will be a true measure assuming both teams have all their starters healthy. Mahomes had to run for his life with a patched up offensive line in the SB. I am eager to see the rematch with both teams at full strength. Bucs are very likely to play the Chiefs twice this year. Both teams going head to head at full strength and with two of the best QBs in the game should be huge.