Can The Bucs Improve The Pass Rush Without Shaq Barrett?

November 20th, 2022

Continued growth needed.

When the Bucs’ season was at its gloomiest, the loss to Baltimore, part of that overcast mood was Bucs sacks king Shaq Barret lost for the season with an Achilles injury.

And who knows if Shaq will ever be the same?

Over at The Athletic, Larry Holder decided to rank each team’s pass rush using a formula and ranked them Nos. 1-32.

The Bucs are currently No. 22 and have only played two games without Shaq.

The Bucs are pretty good when it comes to sacks. Joe’s a huge believer in sacks. Pressures are nice but sacks are game-wreckers. The Bucs, per Holder’s formula, are fourth in sack percentage and second (!) in sacks. (Joe didn’t realize the Bucs’ 32 sacks this season are second-most in the league,but now Joe wants to start mowing down Bromosas.)

It’s a lack of pressure that drags the Bucs down. Since Week 6, the Bucs rank No. 25 in QB pressures.

Last week at Munich against the Seahawks, Joe Tryon-Shoyinka had one of his best games since the Bucs drafted him in the first round last year. JTS was active and all over the field it seemed. He had a sack, a quarterback hit and a tackle for loss.

If that is the kind of production JTS can provide, it will help greatly moving forward without Shaq.

41 Responses to “Can The Bucs Improve The Pass Rush Without Shaq Barrett?”

  1. Jeffs Dad Says:

    Sorry for jeffs recent comnents he steals his moms phone and posts trash on this site hes a “real special kid”if you know what i mean

  2. BucU Says:

    If If If. I hear that a lot this season.

  3. Mike C Says:

    Much like the 2020 season….. Bucs were a train wreck before the bye.

  4. Mike Says:

    Having Vea and Hicks inside will allow for a lot of 1 on 1 opportunities for JTS. He’s got to take advantage of that.

  5. NEfan Says:

    The opportunity was for the taking but Philly signed him. It appears from the reaming schedule the only game Bucs will play in cold temperatures is the Briwns, I hope Bowels is preparing for this, I’m pretty sure they’re are not.

  6. Chris@Apple Roof Cleaning Tampa Says:

    The return of Hicks can not be overstated. I see a real difference in our defense since he has been back.
    I look for it to continue against Cleveland.
    And yes, JYS had a great game!
    Shaq might never be the same when he comes back.
    Let’s hope he returns at 100%, but he relies on speed, and nothing like an Achilles injury to slow you down

  7. Christos Says:

    You are right Joe sacks are drive wreckers if not game wreckers but you need constant pressure. Our Bucs dont have constant pressure especially with 4 man rush. You cant let a QB standing most of the time comfortable in the pocket.

  8. Bobby buc boob Says:

    We keep hearing pass rush, pass rush and more pass rush, where’s Logan Hall hiding,second round pick my a**!

  9. Conte Piscatelli Says:

    I noticed that they started moving JTS around last week, standing him up and allowing him to move around before the snap. It has to drive o lines crazy because you have to hope your protection is right. The main thing we need is to keep getting teams into known passing situations so we can get creative with the pass rush

  10. jimm Says:

    and have someone in the defense designed to maintain contains and can do that job.

  11. Goatfarmer Says:

    Avery hustles his arse off and seems to know what he is doing. JTS has been better of late, thankfully, and hopefully it continues. Defense has been solid last two weeks.

  12. Dooley Says:

    JTS got a lot of reps from the right side of the defensive formation against the Seahawks and I’ll be looking forward to see if that continues or gets tweaked coming out of the bye. With Shaq out, we’ve got to lean on guys like Nelson & Nassib to do more with the bump up in reps they’ll be getting. Gotta remember, yes position wise JTS rushes the passer, but he’s also been asked recently to jam a WR/TE off the snap, sink into shallow zones, or just straight up spy QBs with varying levels of mobility.

    I’m also keeping an eye on if/how the staff gets Genard Avery some more reps coming out of the bye. It hasn’t manifested in terms of filling out the stat sheet; as he hasn’t had much playing time(yet), but Avery’s motor is very noticeable off the snap and his hands are really, really active. My opinion, but Avery has flashed enough to see where we can fit him in our Barrett-less attempts to keep the pressure up with JTS, Nelson, and Nassib.

  13. Alanbucsfan Says:

    JTS was very productive in the 1st half vs Seahawks, not so much in 2nd half.
    Improvement, but more consistency is needed.

  14. BrianBucs Says:

    Bucs would have more sacks and pressures if Bowles would stop dropping the pass rushers back into pass coverage

  15. Biff Barker Says:

    JTS always runs into the play after its over.

    Remember, this is his first decent game ever.

    Jane’s bust is emminent but he’d be a first rounder on a flag football team.

  16. Crunchbuc Says:

    JTS is a B U S T!
    Hall is a bust in the making.
    Mark it down. Come see me afterward because I’m never wrong about these things. Buc since ’76.

  17. ModHairKen Says:

    Devin White is a good pass rusher. He’s not good on coverage. Can the coaches not see this? Let him be Shaq. From the Middle. He can choose Tackle to Tackle what path to take.

  18. Craig Says:

    The key now is keeping Hicks healthy. He will always draw a double team and that will leave someone else free. Those that are free have to make the best of it, not just get close.

    It is a possible thing, but not a sure thing at this point.

  19. NEfan Says:

    Brian, so Vea dropping back in coverage isn’t a good strategy??? Move White to the outside, he would be unstoppable.

  20. Kentucky Buc Says:

    You could maybe play white outside on obvious passing downs but teams would run right at him otherwise. He’s not holding up on the outside against the run with 330 lb tackles in front of him.

  21. Defense Rules Says:

    ModHairKen … ‘Devin White is a good pass rusher. He’s not good on coverage.’

    Bucs are currently the #3-ranked defense. I suspect that Todd Bowles has a pretty good idea of what works & what doesn’t work. The vast majority of our starters on defense were drafted or acquired (as FAs) since 2019 when Bowles arrived. I’ve got some great property to sell in the Everglades to anyone who thinks that’s coincidence (my gut feel is that he was the driving factor in their selection to fit his 3-4 hybrid defense).

    All that said, yes Devin White is a good pass rusher, largely because Bowles chooses to use him in that role. But when White rushes, Bowles is conceding a large portion of the center of the field IF White doesn’t get home for the sack. And guess what, most of the time he doesn’t. Last year he got 3.5 sacks and blitzed 133 times … 1 sack for every 38 blitzes. That’s a mighty expensive gamble.

    Hard to be good in coverage in the center of the field when your PRIMARY responsibility is run defense and/or blitzing (play dependent?). Personally I don’t think that Devin’s nearly as bad in coverage as some make him out to be (more a function of what he’s being asked to do?).

  22. Dooley Says:


    Wrong, Devin White doesn’t have the length or repertoire of moves to be effective off the edge and there’s a good amount of film of White vs OLmen in space that paints that picture. Also, when guys like Vea or JTS drops back, it usually means we’re sending an a-gap blitz, also keeps QBs confused. JTS had a rep against seattle where he basically jammed Metcalf off the line. Do you even watch Bucs games?

  23. THOMAS PFALZ Says:

    I agree that Avery needs more reps but I don’t think JTS or Hall will be busts. Maybe not All Pros but solid.

  24. Johnny D Says:

    Is Dee Ford healthy ?

  25. richbucsfan Says:

    Nearly every time JTS goes after the AB he takes himself out of the play with an extremely wide angle to the QB. If it’s that obvious to us one would think a position coach could address that with him.

  26. NEfan Says:

    Dooley, yes I do and if you believe taking Vea out of any play is a good move you haven’t watched the Bucs. Ever see Chris Jones, Boza, TJ Watt, JJ Watt etc drop back into coverage?

  27. Davenport Says:


  28. Defense Rules Says:

    Don’t know the answer to this (thus the question): Is JTS now exclusively filling Shaq’s shoes? I didn’t keep track last game of who was playing where. Not even sure how many times Vea & Hicks were on the field for the same plays (I suspect for only about 1/4 of the def snaps (52 total for our defense) however since Vea had 32 snaps & Hicks had 33 snaps.

  29. Defense Rules Says:

    Crunchbuc … ‘JTS is a BUST! Hall is a bust in the making.’

    JTS seemed to have stepped up somewhat in the last game. And I’m still convinced that Hall would be much more productive as a DE than as a DT (at least until he adds some muscle & refines his techniques). Hopefully they start playing him outside more.

  30. Tony1775 Says:

    @ModHairKen, great idea.

  31. TOMMY MORDUE Says:


  32. BucU Says:

    Logan Hall = The Invisible Man.

  33. Browsing from DC Says:

    Nunez-Roches (or baby Vea…I have to look hard at his uni # every time) does a good job as well. D. White has the speed to do what Judon does. Line up outside, loop around to the inside, etc. I’ve caught a few Judon/Patriots games and his technique is better but athletically he and D. White are similar in a lot of ways.

    Some guys just know how to get to a QB. Von Miller is a perfect example. Not very big or fast, but quick with great technique and a nose for the QB.

    I think the Bucs are doing fine with their pass rush as long as they keep their discipline and contain with mobile QBs. If they continue to stop the run like they did against Seattle, the DBs can take care of the back end.

  34. steele Says:

    Simple answer: no.

    Hicks helps, when and if he’s on the field. A big if, and doesn’t fix the rest.

    Shaq was not having a good season in the first place. They failed to bring in great edge pass rushers in free agency. Nassib is a rotational body. Nelson, although much hyped internally, isn’t great.

    JTS remains borderline bust. A better game against a bad Seahawks team does not make him a great pass rusher, any more than that game makes the Bucs a SB winner. JTS overruns plays, great first step always wasted as he is ridden 20 yds downfield, then runs in as the play is ending. Could he finally break out at some point? I don’t see it this season.

    Logan Hall, invisible as a rookie would be. He’s not Suh, he’s not Aaron Donald. Most impact he’s had was destroying Ryan Jensen.

    Bowles is going to have to do what he always does, blitz the LBs, blitz, blitz predictably.

  35. David Says:

    JTS seems to be getting better. Unfortunately, we needed him to be this good right from the get-go.
    Nelson is pretty good but can he keep it up as a starter?
    Hall has potential but he’s a rookie.
    Hicks being back helps greatly.
    With all his speed, they need to utilize Devon White on the pass rush more, kind of like Dallas does with Parsons

  36. Deeez NATZ Says:

    Wasted draft pick

  37. JimmyJack Says:

    Simple answer: yes.

    Because Shaq is not a dominate passrusher. Bowles can get a little more creative with Shaq out and we can get a better passrush from different angles. This was on display last week.

  38. SOEbuc Says:

    Get Logan Ryan back healthy like the beginning and the middle of the defense is a whole new ball game.

  39. brooks Says:

    Agree wasted Pick,

  40. garro Says:

    So far

    JTS is not using his hands well enough to get off blocks/Keep O-linemens hands off of him and is undisiplined in holding the edge on run plays and against mobile QBs. DE’s number one responsibility is to keep outside contain. Having guys like ours dropping into coverage is a dangerous proposition. But Bowles seems to pull it off.

  41. BA’s Red Pen Says:

    Don’t see any dog whatsoever in JTS. He’s OJ Howard 2.0, looks like Tarzan plays like Jane.