The Slimy Saints Won’t Be This Stupid, Will They?

September 18th, 2022

Rookie LG Luke Goedeke

Watching Playoff Lenny get 127 yards last week against Dallas was a thing of beauty. Of course, it helps to have the horses to block.

Ben Muth, who used to play left tackle for Stanford, types a column each week for Football Outsiders that focuses often on trench warfare.

A big reason Muth believes the Bucs had so much success on the ground is twofold. The first is Playoff Lenny having a great night. The second is the overloaded front he ran behind. In other words, Playoff Lenny had a convoy in front of him.

What Muth cannot figure out is why the Cowboys never adjusted. They played right into the Bucs’ hands.

The Bucs showed a lot of this overload look to the Cowboys and had good success with it throughout the night. Tampa Bay has three tight ends aligned to the left side of the formation, and that creates a lot of gaps for Dallas to defend. I’m really surprised the Cowboys didn’t shift their defensive alignment pre-snap—the Mike linebacker (Leighton Vander Esch, 55) is the only player that seems to adjust to the strong side at all—and as a result they just get outmanned and out-angled at the point of attack. Especially with Tampa Bay pulling the back-side guard (Shaq Mason, 69).

A lot of the reason this play is successful is because the offense has just flat-out out-leveraged the defense, but you still have to block some guys no matter how good it looks pre-snap. Tight end Ko Kieft (41) has the toughest job as he’s all by himself blocking a head-up defensive end. He’s helped out by the fact that the defensive end immediately declares for the inside gap, where Kieft was trying to seal him anyway. Regardless, this is a very effective block.

From there, the other key block is the combo block from the left guard (Luke Goedeke, 67) and left tackle (Donovan Smith, 76). Taking care of the down lineman here is expected, but climbing to that plussed-over Mike is really great work. Smith does a great job of knocking the 3-technique totally onto Goedeke and then boogying up to the Mike. When he gets there, look at how strong he is with his outside hand to turn the Mike and force him to try a half-assed spin move before finishing the play and knocking him to the ground. That is a great block.

A couple of things in the full article (and video Xs and Os) jumped out to Joe.

The great detail of the Bucs’ blocking scheme, it was like each blocker knew what to do and where to go based on what others in front of him did.

Also, in pass protection, Goedeke was, in Muth’s estimation, at least partially responsible for both of Micah Parson’s sacks. And Goedeke sort of went there with Joe personally last week.

Goedeke told Joe the speed of some Dallas defenders caught him off guard and Goedeke singled out Parsons. But you know what, Goedeke is a rookie and last Sunday was his first game. The speed of NFL defenders should no longer be anything close to a surprise for him today.

The key to all of this is the Bucs ran down Dallas’ throat, in part because Dallas never adjusted to the Bucs’ blocking.

Dennis Allen and the slimy Saints won’t be this stupid, will they?

10 Responses to “The Slimy Saints Won’t Be This Stupid, Will They?”

  1. BucsBro Says:

    The easiest thing for a rookie offensive lineman to do is run block. Pass blocking is harder and takes more time to learn and master. So run it.

    The best way to attack the Saints is to run it on them. They don’t like that. In one of the games last year, we had success running the ball with RoJo against them.

    If Lenny is healthy enough, and White is ready for some real carries, then just pound the heck out of the Saints front. Run the rock, hold the ball, and set up the play action. The defense will do the rest.

    Risk It Biscuit is not a great strategy against the Saints. Socking them in the mouth with the run game is the way to go.

  2. Defense Rules Says:

    Joe … ‘Dennis Allen and the slimy Saints won’t be this stupid, will they?’

    I’m gonna assume that’s a rhetorical question Joe. But I’m not sure that it really matters how well the Saints adjust; if Lenny’s healthy, he’ll get his yards.

    Saints run defense didn’t look all that stellar against the Falcons last week IMO. Looking at their 2022 vs 2021 starting defensive lineups, they pretty much have the same DLine & LB personnel, with 2 exceptions: DE Kentavius Street came over from San Fran, and LB Pete Werner got a lot more playing time (Saints didn’t re-sign Kwon Alexander). Their interior DLinemen (Onemata, Tuttle & Ringo) don’t strike me as being anything spectacular, but they seem to fit their defensive philosophy well. Maybe it was just growing pains.

    In any event, I fully expect that the Bucs will use a lot more balanced run-pass attack today than we have in the past, if for no other reason than to protect Brady better (and to keep New Orleans off-balance as much as possible). Both Todd Bowles & Dennis Allen seem to be masters at playing the cat-and-mouse game defensively (disguising formations, etc) so both QBs will have their hands full in trying to CONSISTENTLY move the ball. Still think the Bucs will prevail though.

  3. BucsfanFred Says:

    We’ve got this

  4. BucsfanFred Says:


  5. David Says:

    They were great at the run blocking. That Pardons spin move to the inside was on Smith but I don’t think a left tack in the league stops it.
    I get that Goedecke was double teaming with the Hainsey and he should’ve been able to take a step left to help with Parsons. I guess it was the speed. I am also assuming helping the new center over the vet left tackle was the initial priority.

    Anyway you look at it, there’s a lot of promise there with Hainsey and Goedecke and I look forward to them getting better and better throughout the year.

    KO also had some serious blocks out there. Would love to see him slip off of one and catch a pass this game

  6. Mike Says:

    The Bucs can run the ball, the Saints didn’t do well against the run vs. Atlanta. Seems to me the Bucs will once again lean on the ground game vs. the Saints.

  7. Hodad Says:

    Go 11 personal first play, then play action deep with max protect. They’ll never see it coming. N.O. is going to try and shut down our run game from the start. Play action on first down should be the way to go all day. Their D has had their way with us because they’ve always put us in situations they’re prepared for. Need to keep them guessing, stay away from 3rd, and long.

  8. Rob In Land O Lakes Says:

    The other beautiful thing about going unbalanced is if the defense does shift, they run the risk of getting outflanked on the weakside if the Bucs choose to pull a couple of blockers and counter that way. LFG!!!

  9. Goatfarmer Says:

    I’m sure they won’t let us keep getting 7-10 yards a clip sweeping left. We’ll need some straight on bull moose blocking. Make them think it’s wide, seal the end from the right and bash the dive. Need Sneak activated, he hits the hole hard and fast. Maybe use Gio and Rashaad out wide together since they can both run routes and block and our WRs are dinged up.

    I’d ask to deactivate DardOn but I know they won’t. Let’s just hope he doesn’t cost the game for us.

    Still waiting for my plate of DardOn crow. C’mon man!

  10. Crickett Baker Says:

    I’m with Goatfarm on Darden. My mind is made up. No one seems to be mentioning Otton but he did pretty darn well, too. Hainsey did particularly well. Do you know who else did great? Todd Bowles!