No Pass Rush, Season Is Toast

November 8th, 2023

No sacks, no playoffs?

Joe has been harping about this, kvetching about this, hollering about this, stomping feet about this for years and years.

And except for a three-year period with a healthy Jason Pierre-Paul raising holy hell with opposing quarterbacks (with Shaq Barrett on the other side of him for two of those years) the Bucs simply cannot develop a consistent pass rush. It makes Joe want to throw rocks at traffic!

Name a star edge rusher Tampa Bay drafted and developed since their very first draft pick 47 years ago, Lee Roy Selmon. Good luck finding one.

Nothing is more important for a defense than putting the opposing quarterback on his ass. Not just a sack here or there but all the GD time.

Don’t think so? These stats and these stats tell the story. No pass rush? Good luck winning.

Joe’s good friend Mike Tanier of The Messenger wrote about three players that must play top-shelf football each and every week if the Bucs hope to have a prayer of making the playoffs. One is Bucs sacks king Shaq Barrett.

Tanier believes the Bucs are a second-rate slimy Saints team trying to win with defense like teams did 30 years ago. The catch here is that the slimy Saints can actually bury quarterbacks.

Grade: C–

… They should have been trade deadline sellers but instead talked themselves into keeping veterans like Mike Evans who won’t be around when the team is truly competitive again.

Tampa has lost three games by a combined 11 points. They can still turn things around with Evans, Lavonte David and Shaq Barrett playing at a high level and Baker Mayfield doing enough to not be part of the problem. But the Saints perform the “expensive veteran roster aiming for nine wins” routine much better than the Buccaneers do, and the NFC South has no need for two such teams.

Earlier this week when Bowles spoke in his day-after presser, he was matter-of-fact and sarcastic about his pass rush. Or lack thereof.

While people harped on Carlton Davis and Ryan Neal for ole‘ pass defense, Bowles reminded folks that a pass rush is a defensive back’s best friend. And Bucs pass rushers are letting the defense down just as much as Davis and Neal.

In recent years, the Bucs have invested pretty heavily on the front-seven, specifically with pass rushers. Has Joe Tryon-Shoyinka improved since he was a rookie? Logan Hall?

At what point does Team Glazer start asking folks at One Buc Palace why major investments in the defensive front-seven are going belly-up?

It’s a fair question.

45 Responses to “No Pass Rush, Season Is Toast”

  1. Buc Fan in CO Says:

    We’re as bad at developing Edge rushers as we are at drafting QBs.

  2. SufferingSince76 Says:

    Ok, Todd, what are YOU doing to ensure there is a better pass rush? Accepting mediocre? It is what it is? Giving up?

    ‘A good pass rush is a defensive back’s best friend’ is true. But your defensive backs damn sure better be able to do their job once the pass is in the air.

  3. PaBucsFan Says:

    Take a look at who Licht is drafting on the Dline and you have the answer to the problem. Drafting blindness to quality pass rushers and running backs. Consistently bad drafting. Not sure who evaluates these positions in the draft but they need to make a change.

  4. SlyPirate Says:

    Our DLine is actually good. Our OLBs are the problem.

    DL (Good)
    Vea. Stud
    Hall. Solid pro. He’s Booger/Gholston 2.0. Good but not great.
    CK. Potential to be awesome. Needs a year.

    OLB (Bad)
    Shaq. 70-80% of his former self. Not an impact player.
    JTS. He’s soft. Failed experiment.
    Yaya. I really like him. Needs to develop.
    Nelson. Solid contributor. Not a starter.

  5. CChead Says:

    I was all for being sellers at the trade deadline. Another Licht blunder. When does Licht start catching crticism for his draft picks?

  6. Jeff Says:

    Chase Young was available for a 3rd round pick

  7. Jack Clark Says:

    Even the Pillsbury Doughboy isn’t softer than our pass rush. Put YaYa Diaby in, start developing him, get him more experience, and keep JTS goofy looking as on the sidelines

  8. BrianBucs Says:

    In a 17 game season aiming for 9 wins is just totally pitiful.
    Are we back in 1976 again?

  9. Bucsfan951 Says:

    Didn’t the season start off strong? 12 qb sacks before the bye. I don’t know how many qb hits. But this was against 2 qbs that are mobile. It’s as if the defense has given up since the offense sucks so bad. To be fair, it does have to be a kick to the groin to stop the opponents only for your offense to score 17 points in the game.

    Ever since the bye, this team is not the same as before. It’s as if there has been no adjustments made while the other teams are adjusting.

    The Bucs simply are getting out-coached and it shows. I have no faith in Todd and his crew.

  10. Jeff Says:

    Bucs strapped for cash. Kancey might pan out if he can get stronger. I love how Lynch in SF, a secondary guy, realizes how CRITICAL a pass rush is and prioritizes the D line above all. It’s not that hard folks. Let’s recognize these GM’s and coaches really aren’t that smart.

  11. Beej Says:

    Montez Sweat could have been had for a 2nd round pick.

  12. DJB Says:

    LaVonte looked as if he aged a couple of years between the first and second halves of the Texans game.

  13. John Sinclear Says:

    Brian – Nope. In ’76 we had hope, enthusiasm, a loyal fan base.

  14. Havenbuc Says:

    Reports are Jpp is looking for anything, even a practice squad spot. How he can’t find a spot on this roster, the team he won a super bowl for is blasphemous. Fire em all. Could take JTS snaps starting next week with his familiarity with the scheme.

  15. bucsfaninOregon Says:

    I’ve been saying for years that Licht is the main culprit of this mess. JTS is such a failure for his draft status. What is Bowels to do with him? Make him a TE. Just get him off the field on defense. That’s just one example- -Trask is another. Just a waste.

  16. ScottyMack Says:

    Major investments? Hardly. Wasted draft picks, sure but they are cheap, salary-wise. Since the Bucs apparently suck at finding pass rushers in the draft, perhaps they should make an actual major investment and sign a couple of proven veterans. Of course, that takes cap room – something they would have if they shed the salaries of the two most overpaid corners in the league.

  17. It's Corn Says:

    When Jason Pierre-Paul was in the lineup, Shaq was outstanding… but when JPP was injured, Shaq even in his best years was pretty much shut down.

  18. gofortheface30 Says:

    No wait wait just a GD Minute, Mike Evans is a Buc for life, I want to selfishly let him ROT here in his remaining days as a player. Even though we will be 6-11 for the next 5 yrs, and Evans gets pedestrian numbers on pedestrian offenses with pedestrian quarterbacks -it doesnt matter, Mike Evans is a Buc okayyyyyyy. I am a football fan with low emotional IQ that cant seperate big picture thinking and my own nostalgia. I dont care if we need to rebuild and Mike wants 20 million a yr, Mike Evans is a Buc…

    Did I get that right dweebs

  19. Joe Says:

    Major investments? Hardly. Wasted draft picks

    Which are major investments.

  20. WiscoJoe Says:

    I like Tanier but to say they should’ve been sellers and then to come around and say they can still turn it around is contradicting.

  21. Mike Johnson Says:

    When Bowles is handed his walking papers, Joe Tryon needs to leave with him. We could have had Sweat and Young. But Licht was afraid to pull the trigger.

  22. NJbucs23 Says:

    “Fat Shaq”. Lose weight you overpaid bum.

  23. pepsi Says:

    Joe, name a stud pass rusher that the brought in.. you named 2 – JPP and Barret, neither needed development. you think the Giants developed JPP? or the Broncos developed Barrett? the problem isnt coaching development.. the problem is we rarely bring in or draft anyone legitmately good. Guys like Watt, Miller, Mack, J.Bosa, N.Bosa, Chubb, Garret, Hutchinson, Parsons – you think it was their coaches that developed them? Licht needs to bring in legitimate pass rushers. and you dont get guys like them in round 2-7. This year we need to get our hands on Laiatu Latu, and sign someone good.

  24. Leopold Stotch Says:

    We could have had TJ Watt. Koetter had to have a freaking tight end. Even tho Brate was awesome. Nope, had to get OJ Howard. TJ FREAKING WATT.

  25. PowerOfPewter Says:

    To be brutally honest, Shaq’s production has dropped each year. Bucs have a poor pass rush when not blitzing. Bucs have a huge investment in $ and top draft picks in their front 7, and they simply aren’t producing. It’s either the wrong players, the wrong coaching, or both.

  26. TonySoprano Says:

    Look at all the teams that dominate on the line. Eagles, 49ers, Browns, Ravens…

    They all draft/sign big, strong, mean dawgs that can impose their will. Licht has taken the complete opposite approach: drafting underweight, small, finesse linemen. It hasn’t been working (JTS, Hall, Hainsey) but he keeps doing it (Kancey, Mauch).

    But per usual, Joes are not allowed to negatively utter Licht’s name in any article.

  27. MelvinJunior Says:

    I don’t care who and who not could’ve been had for a 2nd and 3rd Round Picks. The bottom line is the Bucs should have been SELLERS. Period. End of Discussion. THIS ‘Team’ as currently constructed is NOT CLOSE to being a Super Bowl Contender, & going NOWHERE, fast… This is not a team ascending, heading in the right direction, etc. This is an OLD Team with several declining players, whose better days are now, behind them. You HAVE TO get some ‘value’ out of them, then rebuild and retool… You’re only delaying the inevitable, while just making it HARDER. Clear cap, improve your Draft-Position, and load-UP on ‘Offensive-Line’ for your NEW (rookie) QB!!!! You ‘owe’ Bowels NOTHING. And IF this is the ‘main reason’ for NOT moving guys and acquiring assets, then that is ALLLLL on Licht (&/or) Ownership. Sure doesn’t help tho, having guys like Davis and DWhite playing bad in the WRONG system!!!! You sure would think Davis, Dean, (maybe) Vea, & (of course) Evans would at least have some decent ‘value’ there… Licht (&/or) Ownership have played all of this… Just soooo WEAK. The people complaining on Licht’s scouting/drafting in thes past 4 years or so, are spot-on… Tho, I would argue that it always has been pretty ‘sketch’ at best, outside of him hitting on TOP-10 PICKS, & even those are not looking so hot NOW, with Vea and DWhite. Then, you throw-in trading UP for the FSU-KICKER when literally, NoooooONE ELSE, was taking him THAT high… RIDICULOUS. I mean, even not trading-up and taking him with your very next pick there, would’ve STILL been EMBARRASSING. I never liked “Licht” before Brady and believed HE just got lucky… REALLLLL LUCKY!!!! But, I was willing to give him a chance to change my mind, by growing and improving through experience, & learning from Brady, Etc. I Haven’t Seen-It… And, I Don’t Believe I Will. He Is Either, Being Held Back By Ownership, OR He Is 💯 Incapable!!!! Regardless, this franchise is heading in the wrong direction and there MUST BE Wholesale Changes & FAST… Cause, It’s Just Gonna Get WORSE. Much Worse. And, will only be harder to dig out of. Hopefully, this Tampa Bay Tech “Penix Kid” will stay healthy, & ride high on some of that ‘Local’ MAGIC!!!!

  28. ChiBuc Says:

    Shaq is no king, more like a court knight. He doesn’t, never has, elevated others. He requires a force opposite him or garbage stats in garbage time against garbage teams. Time to let go of that 19 sack season and face reality

  29. ChiBuc Says:

    I feel like Licht is too maliable to the whims of his coach du jour. I still believe that Bruce reached out to Licht, rather than Licht luring BA out of retirement

  30. Since76 Says:

    The defensive line isn’t getting it done and licht has invested heavily there. The offensive line other than Wirfs is terrible. Licht is responsible for building the roster and I would say he failed in those two areas right now. I know he was salary strapped for the QB position so he gets a pass there.

  31. Hodad Says:

    Here’s a crazy idea. How about making D. White a pass rushing OLB that just goes after the QB? He can’t cover, or play zone, get Dennis on the field for that. Rush White from either side, on every play he’s in the game. You might get more out of White that way, and help the pass rush at the same time. Better try something Bowles, a little outside the box thinking would help.

  32. RGA Says:

    I agree Hodad, use him like he was Lawrence Taylor, a strength of Whites is rushing the passer. His weakness seems to be in coverage.

  33. caradoc Says:

    We could have drafted Josh Allen, but Bowles wanted 45

  34. pepsi Says:

    Devin White can shed blocks to make a run stop. what makes you think hes going to be a good pass rusher. hes had sack numbers on splash plays where we dial up a good blitz. Moving him to OLB to rush the passer means hes not blitzing, meaning hes going to be accounted for every play. and hell be trash

  35. pepsi Says:

    cant* shed blocks

  36. orlbucfan Says:

    Joes, seriously, go back and do some serious research on this team from their very beginnings. Now, the season is toast. Really? Says who? Vegas and the gamblers and dimwitted NFL ownership? Guess we fans need to just give up on the Bucs, right?

  37. orlbucfan Says:

    BTW, Devin White better show up again Sunday with Shaq Barrett helping out.

  38. TonySoprano Says:

    The vast majority of White’s sacks are due to schemes blitzes where he rushes the QB untouched. He regularly gets manhandled by TEs and even RBs. The dude is also like 5’10 with stumpy arms. Going up against OTs on every play would make him even more useless than he is now.

  39. GP Says:

    Joe says
    At what point does Team Glazer start asking folks at One Buc Palace why major investments in the defensive front-seven are going belly-up

    To me, the answer couldn’t be any more clear, this is a coaching issue. The talent and athleticism is there. What are the coaches doing to prepare these young men for the game, each and individual game.

  40. Schindlers Lisp Says:

    As the great Shane Gillis said “we got some guys out there going half-assed”
    End of take

  41. Swampy Says:

    ESPN projects that the Bucs will get the 11th pick in the draft. There are enough dominant linemen who will go in the first 10 pics, and the teams who drafted their potential franchise QB last time won’t pick a QB in he first round. Since we might not get to choose one of the top 3, do we go further down the list? Those guys might not be better than Mayfield. Maybe a top running back plus Mayfield would produce more offense than a second tier rookie with the same lack of a running a running game that’s killing the offense now.

  42. Dom>Licht Says:

    Lack of talent OR bad coaching???? Both fall on JasonLicht not doing his job!

  43. statguy Says:

    Nelson and Yaya need to be out there

  44. Allbuccedup Says:

    Shaq 3 sacks in 8 games 17 mil a year?

  45. Daniel Hammond Says:

    That’s the first game the defense lost this the rest of the games were lost by Mr Mayfield