“Lightweight” In A Good Way

July 6th, 2023

Bucs coach Todd Bowles.

Bucs coach Todd Bowles did not like his defense last year.

To Joe, this was apparent when looking at April’s NFL Draft. Bowles (and Bucs AC/DC-loving general manager Jason Licht) loaded up on picks for the front-seven.

As a result, per Gregg Rosenthal of NFL.com, the interior defenisive line of the Bucs ought to be a scary unit.

…  Lightweight rookie pass-rushing defensive tackle Calijah Kancey landed in a perfect spot next to Vita Vea. Greg Gaines and Logan Hall provide quality depth.

So what was it about the Bucs defense that may have annoyed Bowles? The defense was pretty good most of last season, but it needed improvements, especially at edge rush.

Bowles always preaches stopping the run. It’s his core belief. But the stats show the Bucs were surprisingly bad stopping the run last season. Per Pro-Football-Reference.com, the run defense coughed up 4.5 yards a carry. That ranked No. 22 last season, which had to nauseate a defensive coach like Bowles.

So how do you go about fixing a run defense? You build a foundation from the inside. And it seems that was the offseason goal.

13 Responses to ““Lightweight” In A Good Way”

  1. A Bucs Fan Says:

    Kancey will be an above average pass rusher but he doesnt have the length to be a 3 down DT. He’ll get washed in the run game because of it. I’ll be glad to be wrong but I doubt we’ll see a lot of him on early downs.

  2. Defense Rules Says:

    Building the defense from the inside out makes perfect sense Joe (especially since our big guys inside had limited availability last season), but we were also killed by the runs outside the tackles. IOW our containment really sucked at times.

    So did our giving up far too many BIG PLAYS in the run game (say runs over 10 yards). Cleveland game was a great example (we lost in OT 34-31 and gave up 189 yds rushing on 34 attempts). Browns made SIX big plays rushing the ball for 10 yds rushing or more, totaling 117 yds. That meant that on 28 rushing plays our defense only allowed 72 yds rushing (2.7 YPC average). That’s not that bad, but those 6 big plays (less than 18% of the total runs) broke our back (accounted for 62% of their total yards). And oh ya, factored into 2 of Cleveland’s TDs in a big way.

    As long as Vea & Gaines stay healthy, we should be OK inside in terms of run defense. But our containment outside looks to be concerning right now just due to lack of experience. Hopefully guys like JTS, Hall, Diaby and others will step up this year.

  3. shankasorous Says:

    So Bowles liked the 18 points per game offense?

  4. teacherman777 Says:

    Suh and JPP.

    JTS on passing downs.

    Logan Hall on passing downs.

    Suh and JPP on 1st and 2nd.

    Why didn’t we keep two legends?

    Without JPP and Suh, we would not have won the Super Bowl

    JPP and Suh changed the culture of our defense.

    After Gerald “let’s have fun and be nice” McCoy was kicked out of our locker room.

    I still feel we BETRAYED Suh and JPP by not letting them play with Tom Brady for his last season.

  5. SufferingSince76 Says:

    Suh went to another Super Bowl with the Eagles, so he probably feels fine about it.

  6. Lt. Dan Says:

    It’s curious to see Rosenthal relegate Greg Gaines to second string as in depth piece. He was a teammate of Vita Vea at Washington. Does Rosenthal not think Gaines and Vea will have instant chemistry?

  7. shankasorous Says:

    The media is quoting Mike Evans saying a few days ago:

    “Kyle’s improved a lot,” Mike Evans said, via Bobby Kownack of NFL.com. “I’m really impressed with what I’ve seen from Baker. Whoever the quarterback will be, I’m positive they’re going to make the right choice and we’re going to win some games.”

    Has that been covered here? No. Because Joe didn’t find those benign, company line quotes remotely interesting. Of course Kyle has improved. He’s getting more time and attention, and he’s maturing. Baker should be impressive with no defense in his face with a coaching staff that’s embracing him. –Joe

  8. Tony Says:

    I understand about how the team wants to be younger but the team still needs some veterans on it. The younger guys can’t develop themselves. They need some of the veterans to help them.

  9. Alanbucsfan Says:

    Letting Whitehead sign with the Jets was devastating to the Bucs run D.

  10. ATLBuc Says:


    They have already made up their minds that Mayfield will be the starter and will not write or quote anything positive about Trask. Plenty to comment about without making up things about Joe. Thank you. –Joe

  11. OR Buc Says:

    Thanks Joe!

  12. Mostly Peaceful Trask Fan Says:

    “Of course Kyle has improved.”


  13. garro Says:

    The grand experiment.
    Serious doubts about he lighter quicker DL being able to stop the run.
    Defense Rules points out the othe problem from last year. We at times could not contain and would not/could not fill with ILB. Hoping that Hall, JTS, Diaby and White/Dennis can improve that situation.

    Go Bucs!