How YaYa Diaby Got On Todd Bowles’ Radar

December 26th, 2023


Bucs coach Todd Bowles is all about stopping the run. Like most defensive guys, he believes (and he’s right) that the best way to shut down offenses is to make them one-dimensional.

In the pass-happy NFL, Bowles takes an unorthodox method in focusing on stopping the run, not necessarily the pass. So when speaking about the Bucs’ new sack leader, rookie YaYa Diaby with 6.5 sacks, Bowles said what caught his eye watching tape of Diaby at Louisville was how good Diaby was against the run.

The way Diaby was used at Louisville, his pass rushing skills didn’t fully show up on tape.

“When we drafted him, the biggest thing for me was that he was a shutdown run defender and he could close off the edge,” Bowles said. “We knew he could run straight ahead. We didn’t know that much of the pass-rush arsenal that he has because he played inside as a three-technique at Louisville.

“We knew he was very athletic and once we saw him when he got in and we saw the movements, we said, ‘This guy has a chance to be a very good football player.’

“He’s continued to grow and grow and progress and you’re kind of seeing a lot of that right now.”

First, how friggin’ sad is it that all the Team Glazer loot the team has invested in edge rushers that a rookie leads the team with 6.5 after 15 games? That’s outrageous and frankly p!sses Joe off!

The flip side here is the Bucs are on the cusp of winning the NFC South despite a rookie with just five starts leading the team with 6.5 sacks.

(Since Bowles broke down and started Diaby over Joe Tryon-Shoyinka, who has regressed to the point he’s just an expensive lawn chair, the Bucs are 4-1. Coincidence? Joe doesn’t believe in coincidences in the NFL.)

Joe can’t imagine what Diaby will do next year after a full offseason in an NFL weight room. That doesn’t mean the Bucs should ignore another edge rusher in the draft. That is, unless Markees Watts learns to cover dudes in the passing game enough so Bowles can put him on the field.

30 Responses to “How YaYa Diaby Got On Todd Bowles’ Radar”

  1. SufferingSince76 Says:

    Bowles is like Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde. His thought process is confusing at times.

  2. garro Says:

    Warren Sapp 3 sacks in 8 starts. Diaby 6.5 in 5 starts. Rookie years for both.

    Yall know I am not a stat geek but that is a down and dirty fact stat right there. Not a PFF made up subjective stat.

    Bodes well for Mr Diaby and our beloved Bucs.

    PS don’t tell Warren I posted this.

    Go Bucs!

  3. Chris O Says:

    I was so wrong about the Bucs this year. I predicted 4 wins. Lots of young guys playing well.

  4. Lt. Dan Says:

    About Ya Ya – looks like Tarzan, plays like Tarzan.

  5. Hodad Says:

    JTS is where he should be, coming off the bench. Not sure his contract status for next year whether it makes sence to part ways, or bring him back. Glad Licht hit on Ya Ya, and Cancey.

  6. TheBucsAnthem Says:

    I dunno about him yet or this defense………the jury is still out.

    What we saw from the Jags was an Absolutely disintegrating team infront of our eyes……..that Jags team was clearly outta sync on all levels and Tevor Lawerence looks hurt or something is wrong with him mentally.

    Now……if this Bucs team and can do the same defensive effort against a decent team with a good offensive line, then I think the we got something.

  7. IrishTony Says:

    Something about Diaby reminds me of JPP. Swag? The teams draft somehow shifted this year. Was always critical of Licht’s d line drafting but have to give it to him this year.

  8. Leighroy Says:

    Hodad – Spotrac is a great resource. JTS cap hit next year is 3.5mil, and if released would carry a dead-cap hit of about 1.4mil.

  9. westernbuc Says:

    Licht is the executive of the year. Why anyone still doubts how he runs this franchise is beyond me. I hope he applies the same creativity he used this offseason going forward

  10. Hodad Says:

    JTS, young back up money. Makes sense to bring him back at that price. That’s assuming he earns a roster spot. Licht will keep him.

  11. Jeff Says:

    If the best player available in any round is an edge rusher the Bucs should draft them. The San Fran And Philly model.

  12. dmatt Says:

    Please no mas no mas, as in JTS. This guy is just not nfl material. He trots like a new horse on the block. Did anyone notice that Desmond Ritter in two games this year made up in his mind that while inside the red zone he was going to run for a td on the side defended by JTS. The tds he scored in both games showed JTS trotting n failing to make what should have be a tackle or at least some contact. He’s a waste folks.

  13. PSL Bob Says:

    Lt. Dan, that’s good! Made me laugh.

  14. BelleGladeBuc Says:


    If you’re mad before, then this will not help.

    Through the first 10 games Ya Ya Diaby only played an average of 35% of the defensive snaps per game as the clear backup.

    Through the first 10 games JTS played an average of 54% of the defensive snaps per game as the clear starter.

    Through the first 10 games as the clear starting OLB/DE JTS had 3 sacks.

    Through the first 10 games as the clear backup OLB/DE Diaby had 4 sacks.

  15. Buc4evr Says:

    Think Ya Ya is the real deal, but not sold on Kancey from what I have seen. Think we need another Edge rusher and a big DT in the draft. As far as JTS, the guy is now totally expendable. I thought the same thing about Hall, but the last few games he has played well, so maybe he will continue to develop.

  16. Steven007 Says:

    Ironically, or perhaps not so ironically, JTS played like a demon on special teams Sunday. Had a total of three or four tackles on returns.

  17. adam from ny Says:

    i think the jury is in on rookie yaya…

    – he’s good
    – he gets sacks
    – looks like tarzan
    – plays like tarzan
    – has a really cool name
    – sports a mighty big smile
    – wears a cool number
    – and possibly chews glass in his spare time with goedeke


  18. bucsince79 aka bumanner Says:

    Being over $75M in dead cap space I thought that we would win bet. 6 to 9 games… 4 in a row & only need 1 win to take NFC South for 3rd year in a row!!!
    Kudos to the coaching staff for turning 1st & 2nd year players into speedy studs…

  19. orlbucfan Says:

    It sure looks like Bowles and Licht hit pay dirt bringing in Canales. That move takes pressure off Bowles, and he can concentrate on his specialty: defense. Diaby is slowly maturing, and Bowles knows good young D talent. Plus, he’s got Licht who has worked well with every coach since the Bucs hired him back in 2014. Looking forward to the final 2 games. Bucs can not let their guard down around the Panthers. They only beat them by 3 in the first matchup. This last one will be in Charlotte, and all these guys are pro football players with a lot of competitive pride. Go Bucs, Bowles, Offense, Defense and Special Teams!!

  20. Buddha Says:

    Saints may be a tough out. We’ve won four straight against them and this game is win or go home. The pass rush will be crucial. Saints will not be able to run the ball. It would be demoralizing to lose this game and a real blow to team morale. They are not a super bowl team but they can compete against anyone in the NFC.

  21. Leighroy Says:

    Buc4ever, if you’re not yet sold on Kancey, then you need to get educated on YouTube. There are some folks doing excellent game film breakdown, entertain yourself next time you’re indisposed for 10 minutes on the can. I’m not saying he’s arrived, he has had some injury trouble this year, but he’s making plays.

    Kancey has 4 sacks, 10 TFL and 11 QB hits in the 9 games he’s played this year (not counting the 1 series he played in week 1). The latter two stats are better than VV’s totals for the year. I’ve seen him twice the last week feel out a screen and help snuff it out – something I don’t think I ever saw ol’ softy do once in his career (ok that might be a cheap shot).

  22. CHRISTOS Says:

    He has been good no doubt but give him time to develop and play more before we start crowning him.
    The biggest conclusion i get from his play is how JTS and Hall are looking like they were bad picks. Hope they can improve because our 4 man rush is average at best. But it doesnt look promising on that front. Barrett has lost a step too.
    Go Bucs

  23. adam from ny Says:

    GMFB and peter shrager are raving about yaya…

    they just did a whole thing on him

  24. Leighroy Says:

    Should read twice the last two weeks on the screen snuffs, not that anyone cares.

  25. Joe in Michigan Says:

    “That doesn’t mean the Bucs should ignore another edge rusher in the draft.”

    I totally agree.

  26. Mike Johnson Says:

    Get the D line up to par next season. Draft a good one. We need him. We have witnessed in the 1st half of the season what nightmares lack of a pass rush can cause a team.

  27. DavidBigBucsFan99 Says:

    Blowels started seeing Ya Ya when he stopped being amazed by JTS. This ain’t Water Boy playing Slap Hands Slap Hands!

  28. WillieG Says:

    “ Joe can’t imagine what Diaby will do next year after a full offseason in an NFL weight room”

    Noah Spence says “hold your horses!”

  29. teacherman777 Says:

    OLBs and DE’s are some of the most expensive free agents.

    Players who get sacks, get the bag.

    We have too much dead money right now to think about complain about our pass rush Big Joe.

    Joe Tryon Shoyinka was worth the risk. He’s 6-5 and freakishly fast. He’s just not strong enough to break the edge as an OLB in a 3-4 defense.

    I think he was still worthy of a late first round pick. He is a freak athlete.

    And Logan Hall has been solid all year. I think he will be a capable replacement for Gholston for years ahead.

    Jensen: dead money.
    Brady: dead money
    Donovan Smith: dead money
    Russell Gage: dead money

    Shaq Barrett: solid but not special anymore.

    We should be able to afford a lot more help on defense next year.

    Zion is a legit starting CB. But Davis is getting some wear and tear. He has sacrificed his body since game 1. Dean looks dazed and confused half the time.

    So, we need to find 2 long, tough, fast, smart corners immediately.

    And of course.

    When Jensens contract expires, I want to sign the best center in free agency.

    Or draft the best center in the draft in the first round.

    Extend Stinnie for 2 more.

    Go Bucs!

  30. Wild Bill Says:

    Yaya may be one of the best athletes on the Bucs. Shame on Bowles for not playing him more early in the season. JTS may be a good athlete, but not as football player. Skipping a season in college should have been a red flag especially for an early draft pick. He isn’t super fast and not overpowering. He looks like a thoroughbred but plays like a plow horse. After 2 mediocre seasons why did anyone expect much this year? His most frequent play is to be the second or third defender on the pile. Rare to see him be disruptive. And his sacks usually come after someone else has blown up the pocket. Sorry to be so negative but his sacks mostly come after someone else has flushed the qb out of the pocket.