SOS: Same Ol’ Stuff From Bucs’ Pass Rush

October 21st, 2023

Bucs coach Todd Bowles.

Man, Joe has lost count of typing this same damn thing.

The Bucs cannot get a pass rush from their front line so they rely on a series of wild, exotic Todd Bowles blitzes. But the blitzes haven’t been getting home.

It makes Joe just want to punch the JoeBucsFan office wall.

Per Rich Hribar of Sharp Football Analysis, Bowles is trying to cook up a pass rush. But he’s being sold out by guys up front not getting to the quarterback — and dudes not getting home with the blitz. Where have you heard that before?

The Bucs are blitzing at the third-highest rate in the league (38.8%) but are 25th in pressure rate overall (31.2%) and 26th in pressure rate when they do blitz (37.3%).

Why is Joe tormenting himself by typing this schlock? Well, as rotten as a quarterback that Dixie Chicks’ signal-caller Desmond Ridder is, he almost looks like an NFL quarterback when he can get time to throw, per Hribar’s data.

When kept clean, Ridder is completing 69.5% of his passes for 7.1 y/A with five of his six touchdown passes.

When pressured, Ridder is completing 48.1% of his passes for 5.9 Y/A with one touchdown.

Joe heard someone ask Bowles (again) this week about safety Ryan Neal getting burned on a deep pass, one where all he had to do was turn around and he may have had a pick against Detroit that turned into a Lions touchdown. Bowles mentioned it wasn’t just Neal. If an edge rusher could have gotten to Jared Goff or a blitzing linebacker could have gotten home, no one would be whining about Neal, Bowles said.

Bowles isn’t wrong.

Regarding the stats Hribar cited on the poor Bucs pressure rate, Joe wonders how much of a factor rookie defensive tackle Calijah Kancey could be in improving them? Those stats only included one game with Kancey on the field for a good chunk of plays.

NextGen Stats claimed Kancey had one of the best games for getting after the quarterback by a rookie defensive tackle in years. So Joe hopes Kancey can bring hope for the pass rush tomorrow.

And more importantly, put this Ridder on his ass in the grass!

44 Responses to “SOS: Same Ol’ Stuff From Bucs’ Pass Rush”

  1. Tampabaybucfan Says:

    We certainly aren’t getting much from JTS & Shaq…..most of the pressure from the inside.
    We need to be batting and tipping some passes if we can’t get there…..

    You can’t excuse a poor play by the secondary by blaming the pass rush…..they each stand on their own.

  2. Popcorn Mike Says:

    Again Joe, my question is, if you keep plugging players into a position and you keep getting the same results shouldn’t we start to look at the position coach

  3. Larrd Says:

    If Sirvocea can handle third downs, they should put Devin White on the edge some. Sacks are good in a contract year.

  4. Beej Says:

    I can’t see continuing to pay Shaq all that money when he simply isn’t very effective anymore

  5. Defense Rules Says:

    Beej … I agree, unfortunately. Time looks like it’s caught up with Shaq, like it does with all players eventually. Bucs have the option to move on a year early from his contract at the end of this year. If he keeps playing like this, my guess is that they will move on.

  6. A Bucs Fan Says:

    Shaq still isn’t 100%. It’s obvious. He may never be with the Achilles injury. Bucs will need to address Edge rush again in the offseason with Shaq’s contract situation and JTS being a bust.

  7. Popcorn Mike Says:

    A Bucs fan. As I said before, do we need to keep addressing the edge rusher situation or maybe move around or replace the position coach. For what I’ve seen we have some very good defensive players on the team we just need to getthe best play out of them

  8. Beej Says:

    At least JTS is inexpensive whilst being ineffective

  9. NCBucfan Says:

    Well it was fun while it lasted. Before Shaq, we were pitiful on the edge ever since Simeon. Now it seems Shaq is getting a little washed. There may still be some hope with diaby, but we just seem to have no luck drafting edge guys. JPP was traded to us, and Shaq was a great FA find, but damn, we have to hit on an edge rusher in the draft at some point, it’s just laughable how many missed picks we’ve had there. Come on diaby, I believe in you. JTS is soft soft soft soft. Just call him Casper the friendly ghost.

  10. Buccaneer Bonzai Says:

    I would hate to see ashaq go, but Beej is right.

  11. Lakeland Steve Says:

    Let’s give YaYa some more snaps and sit JTS. Shaq is coming off an Achilles and it’s going to take time for him to return to form if ever. However, we know what Shaq can do when right. We also know what JTS can do. Nothing, except a speed rush to the outside. As far as Bowles saying that Neal would have been Ok if our rush would have got home, that still doesn’t excuse Neal for letting someone get behind him and giving up a score.

  12. Marine Buc Says:

    JTS is on track to have a 10 sack season… Not sure why some folks are so down on him.

    There are certain aspects of his game I would like to see improved but he isn’t as bad as some people believe he is and this is only his 3rd season in the NFL…

  13. Marine Buc Says:

    Plus – JTS has an OTC Valuation of over $10M and he is only making $2.8M this season….

  14. Dom Says:

    Yeah I agree with Marine Buc. The JTS hate is too much. No he will never be a star but he is developing to be a solid number 2 pass rusher. They got to find a dominate OLB to play with him. Unfortunately Shaq isn’t that guy anymore and the Bucs restructured his contract in a way that all but guarantees he will be on the team for at least another year, maybe 2.

  15. Defense Rules Says:

    Marine Buc … I agree about JTS. Projecting his current stats through 17 games, he’d end up with 10 sacks, 14 QB Hits, 14 TFLs, 48 Combined Tackles (37 of them solo), 3 FR & 3 PDs.

    That’s not all that shabby for an OLB in his 3rd year, and especially for one who hadn’t played for a year prior to being drafted. None of our other OLBs are even close to achieving that same level of performance. Matter of fact, JPP & Suh TOGETHER had fewer sacks, TFLs & FRs than that in their last year (2021) with us and played a lot more def snaps than JTS will be playing. The one who we need to step up his game is Shaq.

  16. Vsports Says:

    Football is a complimentary sport. If the secondary are bad , poor tackling, bad angle, soft on coverages, then you can’t get to the qb on time, and vice versa the falcons OL won’t just lay there. They’re going to look for Neal and Dean. Maybe it’s Bowles. Scheme. Prevent the deep ball. Look for the secondary to be busy. They are going to look for Neal and Dean

  17. Marine Buc Says:

    @ DR

    I hope Shaq can ramp up his game the rest of this season but I have my doubts.

    If we cut him next year I believe it will be a $27M dead cap hit… yikes.

    Plus we will owe Mike Evans another $13M or so.

    That’s $40M in dead cap with just those two players. Here we go again… Salary Cap Hell for another off-season.

  18. bucsfaninOregon Says:

    Please for my elder brain’s curiosity, how you statistical geniuses arrive at 10 sacks, etc.?
    I missed one game (#2) due to the horrors of YouTube. He had to rock the field with that game to come up with 10 sacks, etc.
    I’ve seen nothing but bust.

  19. NCBucfan Says:

    Against the good teams, see eagles and lions, JTS comes up very short. I’m sorry to tell you guys, but that’s where the good players show up. The only pressure we were getting on Goff, was up the middle. Sure, he may flash against the bad teams, but he needs to show up more in the big games, where he could justify being a 1st rd pick.

  20. Marine Buc Says:

    @ bucsfaninOregon

    It’s pretty simple really – JTS has 3 sacks in 5 games. There are 17 games in a season… I’m not guaranteeing JTS will have a 10 sack season but he is on that pace if he continues at his current rate.

    @ NCBucfan

    JTS recorded a sack against the Lions last week. Again – I also see certain elements of his game that need improvement. All I am saying is he isn’t as bad as some folks here think… If he has an 8 sack season he will probably be signed to a 5th year option.

  21. NCBucfan Says:

    I’m with you marinebuc, I’m definetly rooting for the kid. I’m just sick of us barely getting to the qb when we only rush 4. It leaves our backend vulnerable.

  22. Marine Buc Says:

    @ NCBucfan

    I agree. A better pass rush would help our secondary for sure. But most teams in the NFL have to blitz in order to create pressure on the QB. Very few teams can generate consistent pressure with just their front 4 or 5 and the ones who can are probably heading to the playoffs.

  23. orlbucfan Says:

    I don’t get all the JTS badmouthing either. The few times I look at the tube, being a Bucs Radio fan, he’s always in that backfield which the opposing O does not like. He’s starting to get those sacks, too. So, I don’t get it.

  24. A Bucs Fan Says:

    @Popcorn Mike perhaps. It’s George Edwards first season as the OLB coach and his career has been good and bad. Most of his success was coaching inside linebackers (Lavar Arrington, Jeremiah Trotter…). Bucs should address the EDGE regardless because it looks like it will be Shaqs last year.

    No way they pay 21 million next year unless he breaks out in the second half of the season.

  25. Defense Rules Says:

    Marine Buc … Bucs have only had 3 great DE/OLBs in our 47-year history: Lee Roy Selmon, Simeon Rice & JPP (all 3 were 1st Rnd picks, but we didn’t draft Rice or JPP). IMO all 3 belong in the HOF, they were that good.

    We’ve had several average DEs, but most were below average IMO. And a lot of them were 1st Rnd picks (Adrian Clayborn, Gaines Adams, Regan Upshaw, Marcus Jones, Eric Curry, Keith McCants, Ron Holmes), not counting JTS (yet). IOW, Bucs do not have a good history of drafting OR developing DEs/OLBs.

    JTS is ahead of where Shaq was at this year in his career (Shaq only had 14 sacks in his first 4 years with Denver; JTS has 11 sacks in his less than 2.5 year career thus far). Shaq exploded in his 5th year (19 sacks) & earned a huge contract as a result, but in his total 9 years he’s only got 55.5 sacks … roughly an average of slightly over 6 sacks per year. If JTS stays healthy, he should be well ahead of that pace by the end of his 4th year next year. Folks just need to cut him some slack and let’s see if he can keep growing.

  26. Beej Says:

    JTS has had at least 2 “cheap sacks” that I’ve seen. Bigger issue is he’s utterly incapable of getting past a decent tackle….dude just bounces off him like a pinball

  27. Marine Buc Says:

    @ Beej

    Using your logic we should take away most of GMC’s and Shaq Barrett’s sacks…

    Sapp and Rice as well.

    His first two seasons JTS had a ton of QB pressures but was not converting those into sacks. This season he is getting QB pressures and is starting to convert those into actual sacks.

    Let’s not run the guy out of town quite yet. He needs to improve certain aspects of his game but he still has plenty of room to grow and has shown progress over the past three seasons.

    That’s all i’m trying to say bud…

  28. Mike Johnson Says:

    Yep Joe, you spot on about Ridder. I have watched him a lot. Given just a little time the kid is quite accurate. Bucs gotta bring it. Our Pass rush from the line is not there. Bowles will have to go into his Defensive bag of tricks with many blitzes come Sunday.

  29. Marine Buc Says:

    @ DR

    “Bucs have only had 3 great DE/OLBs in our 47-year history: Lee Roy Selmon, Simeon Rice & JPP (all 3 were 1st Rnd picks, but we didn’t draft Rice or JPP).”

    So sad but true… I agree – all three belong in the HOF.

    “JTS is ahead of where Shaq was at this year in his career (Shaq only had 14 sacks in his first 4 years with Denver; JTS has 11 sacks in his less than 2.5 year career thus far)”

    I agree – that’s why I am somewhat pleased with JTS’s progress at this point. He needs to continue making strides but I believe he is on the right track…

  30. HC Grover Says:

    Plan 9 has moved in to a lower orbit this year it seems. He occaisionally fires his retro rocket to make a play before bouncing off the atmosphere.

  31. Jack Clark Says:

    The only person we can blame for our beta male edge rushers is Jason Licht. If Jason Licht gave Todd bowles talented edge rushers then Bowles wouldn’t need to rely on creative blitzes to get pressure/sacks from bypassing pass protections because he could just send four pass rushers and have everyone else drop back into pass coverage.

  32. Fred McNeil Says:

    Shaq’s contract rewrite all but guarantees him a roster spot next year. I think he will prove to be at least pretty good. JTS probably won’t see his 5th tear option, but he won’t get cut either. With all the contracts coming up we are not gonna sign a big-name free agent come spring.

    It’s off to the draft lab see what’s on the slab. I shiiivver with anticipation.

  33. BillyBucco Says:

    You have to remember though Shaq was coming off of the bench because of Von Miller and didn’t have nearly as many snaps as JTS has.
    I understand that year 5 was still a breakout year and could still happen for JTS, but surely he has had way more chances at this poin his career.

  34. HC Grover Says:

    SOB…same old Bucs

  35. Bucs2023 Says:

    Why hasn’t Markees Watts seen a single snap? What’s Bowles afraid with that kid? He can’t do any worse than the rest of them. JTS had his Noah Spence game (3 sacks against guys Seattle pulled off the street that week in order to have 5 players suit up for the game) against Chicago. He’s been abused for the better part of the season. Give Watts a chance to hit or miss. Drives me crazy when coach’s talk about someone as having potential, then you drive splinters in their rear-end by keeping them on the bench.

  36. Bucs2023 Says:

    Meant to say what’s Bowles afraid of…

  37. Joe Says:

    Give Watts a chance to hit or miss. Drives me crazy when coach’s talk about someone as having potential, then you drive splinters in their rear-end by keeping them on the bench.

    If the Bucs do bench JTS, it won’t be for Watts. It will be for YaYa.

  38. Defense Rules Says:

    BillyBucco … ‘You have to remember though Shaq was coming off off the bench because of Von Miller and didn’t have nearly as many snaps as JTS has.’

    Great point; relooked at both to try to find a common def snaps point. After 3 full years, Shaq had 11 sacks and a total of 1,581 snaps. After almost 2.5 years (today), JTS has 11 sacks and a total of 1,614 snaps. Nearly identical numbers.

    A question I wondered about was WHY did Shaq blow up so much (19.5 sacks) that first year here (2019) playing for Todd Bowles? We had both Vea (16 games) AND Suh (16 games) that year, but JPP only played half a year (8 games). So the surrounding cast was essentially the same as in 2020 & 2021.

    What I did notice is that Shaq got 889 def snaps in 2019 (79% of our total). Out of that he was credited with 174 blitzes, far more than in any other year (121 in 2020; 15 in 2021; only 8 last year and only 2 so far this year). Bizarre differences in the number of blitzes.

  39. unbelievable Says:

    I would wager $1000 that JTS will not reach those stats through 17 games.

    Hope I’m wrong, but don’t think I will be.

  40. D Cone Says:

    Does Joe think that Tampa is the only team getting rid of the ball fast? That along with focusing on stuffing the run will reduce QB pressure.

    I suppose ‘rotten signal caller’ could be used to describe Ridder but that same assumption could be made of Baker last week.
    You can expect some rotten play from a guy with 10 career starts. For a guy with almost 80 starts you would hope there won’t be two of those in a row.
    Ridder is 5-5 to start his career. Baker was about the same at 7-7 with the help of a 1000 yard rusher.

    Ridder is young and not rotten and if you go into a game underestimating him he might just take another jump along the learning curve and make your veteran QB look rotten and saddle you with a loss.

    There is a long way to go before Tampa can claim the NFC South. Only team that can ruled out is the Panthers and even they can hang a loss on you and might just end up determining who does win the South.

  41. UKBuccaneer Says:

    Question: Does good pass rush help your secondary or does a good secondary help your pass rush?

    Answer: Both.

    Our DB’s aren’t great. Seriously, they’re not. If they could cover consistently and make a QB go to high his reads, the pressures and sacks would increase.

  42. Tye Says:

    Since the moment the Bucs moved Bowels to HC, I think its more like S.O.L.!

  43. garro Says:

    Glad to see you post this Joe! Bowles is not wrong.

    Bowles manufactured sacks last season pretty successfully. But the NFL is catching on to his “exotic blitz” stuff I think, and we ave been pathetic outside of Vea with the front four getting sacks or consistent real pressure. The official pressure stats are BS. Our front four as a whole is not bothering QBs enough. Goff got “pressured” alot Sunday…Bothered? Not so much.

    As far as Ridder and “pressure”/completion percentage is concerned I’m pretty sure that holds true for most starting QBs in the NFL.

    Go Bucs!

  44. geno711 Says:

    I’m on Joe’s side when it comes to the Bucs’ defensive strategy – they don’t seem to bring enough heat with just a quartet of pass rushers.

    However, it’s a different story when they unleash that fifth player into the mix.
    They get reasonable pressure. At least what my eyes see.

    And it’s not “exotic blitzes”. Nothing that I see, is something that I have rarely seen. They are very typical blitzes in today’s NFL. I’ve seen those same ones for 20 years so not sure how we get to exotic.

    This fifth guy’s role is meticulously designed every single time. The goal? Prevent any deep coverage breakdowns and thwart any explosive plays. It’s all about fitting perfectly into Bowles’ scheme, making sure everything stays right in front of the defense.

    But Bowles defense, the Bucs defense, would be better if we got pressure with 4 guys like the Jets or 49ers do.