Priority No. 1: Stop Cowboys’ Pass Rush

January 12th, 2023

Tristan Wirfs explains.

This is a helluva cat-and-mouse game Bucs coach Todd Bowles is in the middle of.

Center Robert Hainsey has a sore hamstring, an injury he suffered Sunday in Atlanta. He was limited in practice today. Can he go Monday night? Time will tell.

Then there is Pro Bowl center Ryan Jensen. He is in the final week of a 21-day window in which the Bucs could activate him. He has been sidelined since the second day of training camp in July when he blew his knee out.

(The fact the Bucs have never released the exact nature of Jensen’s injury riles some Bucs fans to this day.)

So what is a guy like Bowles supposed to do? He could sure use a healthy Hainsey or even a 90-percent Jensen because it is a fair bet the Cowboys, who have a helluva pass rush, might bring the kitchen sink thinking if they can get to Brady it’s all over for the Bucs.

One guy who expects that is Bucs All-Pro right tackle Tristan Wirfs. When he spoke in the Bucs’ locker room today, Joe asked Wirfs if he believes if the Bucs can stop the pass rush, the game will then be on a silver platter for the offense.

Wirfs didn’t disagree.

“I think the biggest thing they are going to do is use their twist games, to generate pressure using twist games,” Wirfs said of the Cowboys’ pass rush. “Us picking that up and doing our best to shut that down is going to be huge.”

Joe knows veteran offensive linemen will talk all night long how offensive line is different than, say, a skill position, as the line gets better as the season grows older if all the linemen can stay on the field.

So Joe doesn’t know if plugging in Jensen — in January — after missing almost all training camp, all preseason and the full regular season is really good or maybe not so good.

Let’s just say Joe would take the chance with a Pro Bowl center, especially against a strong pass-rushing outfit like Dallas.

47 Responses to “Priority No. 1: Stop Cowboys’ Pass Rush”

  1. Darin Says:

    Bowles will run the ball alot in the first three quarters so the team will be rested in the fourth. Yeeeehawww Todd. Hopefully by then it’s not 30-6. Don’t want professional athletes wore out atta boy

  2. ClwJB Says:

    Last point is the main reason you want him at guard not C if at all possible, conditioning and limiting his thinking to just one assignment – not be the orchestra leader at C

  3. NEfan Says:

    So let’s see what Bowels & Leftnut’s game plan is. The Bucs ran it down Dallas’s throat last time so my guess is they go right into run mode, whereas some more creative coaches might come out with play action and hit them with something they DON’T expect. I doubt Bucs do anything creative.

  4. bob Says:

    draws and screens …….old time football ……slow down the rush

  5. D-Rok Says:

    When Joe says:
    (The fact the Bucs have never released the exact nature of Jensen’s injury riles some Bucs fans to this day.)

    D-Rok has been screaming all season long about the Case of the Missing Diagnosis. It’s criminal, man, just criminal, making us fans squirm all season long.

  6. D-Rok Says:

    Heck, even Mrs. D-Rok asked me the other day why that fiery red-head isn’t playing this year. All I could remark was, “I dunno, honey – I JUST DON’T KNOW!!”

  7. Redeemer Says:

    Bucs will need to have some semblance of a running game. No way Brady can drop back 50 times and hope to win. The defense will need to limit Dallas to 24 or under. I think that’s a victory. You need to score in the playoffs. Dallas has one very good corner. The rest of the secondary is suspect. We’ve all been waiting and praying for an offensive explosion. I think we see it Monday night. Go Bucs!!!!!!!

  8. Joshua porter Says:

    I don’t think Jensen would go out there and take someone else off the field if he couldn’t get it done. If he ready let him light that fire under the other guys maybe it’s just what this offense needs.

  9. Buc4evr Says:

    Shotgun, no huddle to set up the run. Would be nice if Brady could roll out a few times? But I expect Leftwurst will ruin the first half with run plays on first and second down. . 3rd and 7 sucks…..

  10. JBBucs_06 Says:

    We ran down their throat w/ a rookie LG and 1st time center Wk1. Let’s move Leverett to center (if Hainsey can’t go) and fill in Walton or Mouchon at LG (with Jensen on deck) and test their manhood. Will slow down pass rush. Mix in play action in 1Q.

    Depending on the results, shift to no huddle in 2Q and use 1TE, 3WR, 1RB. Put the TE on Parsons side and/or chip w/ the RB. Tire them out and go into halftime with hopefully a 7pt lead (resting the D). come out in the 3rd in no huddle and 4th quarter go back to pounding them to keep our D fresh.

  11. Goatfarmer Says:

    One must admit, the Bucs OL seemed to play more consistently in the Panthers2 games and in the first half of the half-pregnant Falcons debacle, for a continuous period of time, than they had most of the season. The running particularly Gio and KV looked ok running against the Fowlclowns in half 1 and Tom had time.

    Better have Lenny ready to splatter Misha Parsons again so she shows her ass for a Twittergram encore. What a biotch.

  12. DBS Says:

    Please tell me this guy does not think he is another Jon Cooper. Place Kuch on IR for the season and bring him out for the playoffs?

  13. D-Rok Says:

    Just listened to Leftwich presser. He cracks me up. I always push pause and make sure I’m about 3 beers in before I can listen to him.

    His latest? OK remember Joe Pesci in My Cousin Vinny ( a New Yorker with his mafia-esque-speak) when he talked to the Judge? “Those yutes.” The Judge (Herman Munster, LOL) was all like, “Scuse me?” Pesci: “Yutes!” “Oh, you mean YOUTHS!”

    So Byron just referred to young chillen as “Youffs.”

    Good stuff, man. First there were youths, then there were Yutes, and now we have Youffs. Say it with me….YOUFFS.

    I can’t make this stuff up, I promise. Leftwich’s pressers are must-see TV.

  14. D-Rok Says:


    Do you slam 3 Bromosa’s right before a Lefty presser? C’mon man, I know you do. I know you have to.


  15. Bojim Says:

    You’re right. How can Jenson help in the playoffs or even this year f If that matters.

  16. Chris@Apple Roof Cleaning Tampa Says:

    Because of their pass rush, we might have too go to max protect.
    Though Jerry Jones has come out and said that his Coaches Job does not depend on the outcome of this game, we all know that is BS.
    So you can BET Mike McCarthy will have his players all coached up, and ready to play us, so we had best be ready.

  17. BashingBucs2520 Says:

    Run the hell out of the ball and let Dak lose the game. We should have a double move off play action ready for Diggs who loves to gamble. We could win this with 17 points if the D keeps everything underneath.

  18. Goatfarmer Says:

    D-Rok, you are a brave man, armed with beers or not, to watch that mumbling head of bok choy. I can’t do it, makes me want to hurl stuff and break stuff. He triggers me. Although Blowes is getting close. Have you noticed, Blowes is more and more frequently adopting the Belichikian mumble, speaking between the almost-clenched teeth method of answering questions. Maybe he thinks that’s the secret to being a head coach. Too bad Glazers don’t have the Big Red Button they could just press and it would vaporize the Bloweswich tardful twosome and give the Bucs a chance.

  19. D-Rok Says:


    Just laugh, man. Just laugh. I do.

    One thing I’ve noticed this year from coach’s pressers? They are condescending. They look upon the media questions as below them, beneath them, and that concerns me going forward.

  20. D-Rok Says:

    And I’m SURE the Joes have noticed the condescending attitude, and I gotta ask (or aks): How do you deal with it, Joes?

  21. A Says:

    We ran the ball pretty well last time we played them…I think the idea was to do power runs right at Parsons. I’d to think that Dallas has figured out how to counter that…whatever we do I’d like to see us do it out of hurry up…it does add stress to the offense, since getting 1st downs is the key to making hurry up work…but how much time do you really save running on 1st down and maybe even 2nd down out of the standard huddle? We seem so lethargic on O….

    Go Bucs!

  22. Goatfarmer Says:

    I really want Joes to ask what their plans are after they’ve been fired for profound negligence and incompetence.

  23. D-Rok Says:


    Just watched Evan’s latest presser. Man, love listening to this guy. He’s cerebral, funny, sarcastic, optimistic, matter-of-fact, and some gangsta. Evans for real, dude.

    Love me some Evans.

  24. D-Rok Says:

    My dream WR room: (7)

    Rice, Moss, Evans, Calvin Johnson, Edelman, Godwin, Owens/Rison.

    And if the Earth was gonna be destroyed, and I had to pick a TE2, and 3, I think for consistency, I’d pick TE2 Gonzalez and TE3 Coates or Kelce.

  25. Goatfarmer Says:

    ME13, he’s my favorite Buc right now. I proudly wear my ME13 red jersey. Everyone thinks it’s because I’m an A&M fan. LOL.

  26. D-Rok Says:


    ‘Preciate to hear you say that bro. One of my fave WR’s. Skill and charity work and his pressers, he’s really smart methinks.

    Thanks for the positive feedback, yo!

  27. Beeej Says:

    “It’s always cool going against Brady because, sh*t, none of us know when his last game is,” Parsons said Thursday. “So, hopefully, we get the win and get to be known for being the last.

    “Like any other QB – he bleeds the same way. He’s just a better QB than most. So the challenge is higher.”

  28. Rich S Says:

    If Hicks and Vea do their job collapsing the pocket….we. Will do just fine.

  29. Bucsfan13 Says:

    Our starting LG who is also the backup center is also injured. Brady created this entire mess. He should’ve rested the entire game along with the rest of the starters. It was all set into motion when he decided he had to play last Sunday. He should be grilled on this tomorrow during his press conference

  30. Jmarkbuc Says:

    Jenna Laine IS pretty terrible.

    I thought she was having a stroke during her NFL Live hit this afternoon.

  31. Bucsfan13 Says:

    Wirfs is right on the money about the twists by the DL, but the worrisome thing is that the OL has been very bad with stunts and twists the whole year. You have literally free rushers up the A gaps every game. It’s enough to stifle an offense. It’s funny how our OL coaches have skated criticism this year. They’ve presided over the worse running game in NFL history and a meager pass protection group. Will anyone have the heart to question Harold Goodwin and Joe Gilbert. Brady stays very engaged with his OL all game. I even saw him with his pads off on Sunday in Goodwin’s ear.

  32. Tony Says:

    We’ll be running the ball on first down like always then pick up a yard & probably do the same crap because Bowles & Leftwich probably haven’t learned how to adjust to anything yet. It’s either gonna be a one score game or one of them aren’t gonna show up & it ends up being a blowout.

  33. Buc king Says:

    Honestly they’re bad coaches if they can’t test him and see if he’s ready to’s not really that difficult..send vita after him n nicks in practice if he holds up ..he’s ready

  34. Woodenman Says:

    13 where you been under a rock what abunch of Jibberish

  35. Rod Munch Says:

    Who are these dopes that think Bowles is calling the offensive plays? The God-awful offense is 100% on Leftwich. Bowles is as involved with this offense as Gruden was involved with that SB winning defense.

  36. Redeemer Says:

    Rod, I doubt Bowles has much to do with the offense. But he probably should. The autonomy BL has apparently had this season, has proved disastrous. I don’t know of any true head coaches who give up that much power. Is he just a Head coach in name only? He has a headset.

  37. Redeemer Says:

    Lest we forget, one of the bucs most successful running games this season was against Dallas. They have to do something to take the pressure off Brady. If he has to throw 50 times, I can’t Invision a victory.

  38. Cardiac kidz Says:

    Hainsey has to play, activate Jensen but start Hainsey. Playoff Lenny in the backfield on a 5 step drop. If it’s there take ‘‘em deep, if the heat is comin hit Otton over the middle for 6 yards.

    We will need Jensen the next 2 weeks when we must run the ball to win. San Francisco and Philly in January is no place to throw the ball. Safe Jensen until then.

    Take your heart meds early and often for Monday night’s game,

  39. Rod Munch Says:

    Redeemer – Well, remember that Bowles was handed the head coaching job on March 30th and didn’t have a say in any of his coaches. Arians said in 2019 he came back with the Bucs in order to get Bowles and Leftwich head coaching jobs, and clearly, with Brady almost certainly in his last year with the Bucs, Arians thought Bowles and Leftwich had one last chance to win, before the Bucs are due for a rebuild. So he handed off a team to them that was Super Bowl read, which we can confirm since the Bucs were the odds on favorite to go to the Super Bowl from the NFC.

    To be sure, I don’t trust Bowles on offense or think he’d do a good job picking someone, but this offense was meant to just be a holdover from Arians, it was supposed to be Leftwich just calling the same plays that have been called the last three years. But Leftwich isn’t the brightest guy, he thinks extremely highly of himself, and is ultra conservative, something Arians had talked about many times over the years (people didn’t listen, but Arians said a number of times that he had to get on Leftwich for him to open the offense up in games).

    But Bowles, I do not believe, is in any way involved with this offense. I also don’t think he’s a real head coach. I don’t know what the Bucs are paying him, but he was handed that job because Arians retired on March 30th. You’re not doing a full blown coaching search on March 30th. Arians knew what he was doing by waiting – he was making sure the Bucs had no other options.

  40. Rod Munch Says:

    Cardiac kidz Says:
    We will need Jensen the next 2 weeks when we must run the ball to win. San Francisco and Philly in January is no place to throw the ball.


    The 2002-03 Bucs went into Philly, won the game below freezing for the first time in franchise history, and did so with 49 yards rushing.

    That was 20-years ago, and the Bucs didn’t need a rushing game to win. All you needed was the NFL’s best all-time passing defense and Ronde Barber scoring TDs.

    Also, that playoff run included a blow-out victory over the 49ers. Another game where Ronde had a TD, which was erased because that knucklehead Rice decided to punch an offensive lineman on the return.

    The 2002-03 Bucs defense ended that playoff run giving up only a net of 3 points, or 1 point a game, all against top 8 offenses. To think, if Rice doesn’t punch that guy, the Bucs defense would have outscored the opposing offenses and give up a net of -4 points. That’s remarkable, and as far as I know, no other defense has ever had that sort of run.

  41. Goatfarmer Says:

    Blowes has been emphatic that they will be more conservative, All, Year, Long.

    REsult has been the historic destruction of a once potent offense that only shows spark when Tom takes it to no huddle. Blowes sucks and Byemoron Blowes. Simple.

  42. gotbbucs Says:

    Dallas doesn’t have the horses in the secondary to sit in Cover 1 all game long and take care of the throws to the running backs on the dump offs. We don’t need a running game if White and Fournette catch a combined 15-20 balls.

    Cowboys are averaging 2 sacks a game the second half of this season. Parsons has 1.5 sacks total in the last six games. Chip the hell out of him early and he’ll start playing off ball. Brady can manipulate him after that.

    Just make sure Dak stays in the game. If he gets injured and Cooper Rush comes in it will get harder to win. Dak is the new Jameis Winston giving out turnovers.

  43. Rod Munch Says:

    Remember Fournette blowing up Parsons in the first game, then someone posting the clip, then Parsons whining like a woman saying the play should be illegal. LOL! Then that idiot whines and cries that his fellow players didn’t pick him for the all-pro team. Gee, I wonder why they didn’t pick Mr Popularity.

  44. steele Says:

    I expect the predictable Bowles to repeat what they did in week 1. Exactly the same things. Because that is what Bowles does, thinking he can “impose his will”. I also expect Dallas to be ready with adjustments. It is at that point when the real test begins.

  45. Goatfarmer Says:

    gotbbucs has the gameplan. Why am I confident that Eggplant and Bok Choy will just run it over the injured center / left guard?

  46. catcard202 Says:

    All I know is that if this game comes down to a 50+ yd FGA…Bucs are at a disadvantage w/ Succop.

  47. Buc Says:

    Early Friday morning. Can’t sleep. So with coffee in hand Im trying to imagine how our Online is going to look and play. Can’t do it though because afaik, they still haven’t said who is playing which position. Story of this entire year. Nothing but questions and unknowns.. well, other than first down up the gut no matter which player is manning the line.