Calijah Kancey Stepped Up When Bucs Needed Him

January 19th, 2024

Rising at right time?

Calijah Kancey made an impact in his very first NFL playoff game.

Maybe teams have a book out on Kancey, the rookie defensive tackle from Pitt? Maybe he is fighting through the dreaded rookie wall.

In the last few games of the regular season Kancey wasn’t making much of an impact. Since the Atlanta game in early December, Kancey hasn’t had more than three tackles in a game, one quarterback hit and just one tackle for loss.

Monday night, Kancey lit up Jalen Hurts and the Eagles.

Kancey has shown he can dominate. But can he be a double-digit sack guy as a tackle? That depends on who is playing as an edge rusher, Bucs defensive line coach Kacy Rodgers said yesterday.

Still, Rodgers likes Kancey’s chances.

“With everything in play, he can definitely be a double-digit sack guy,” Rodgers said. “He has that kind of ability, but a lot of other factors go along with it – who you have coming off the edge [and] playing with leads, but he has the ability to win one-on-ones at a high level, definitely.”

Kancey certainly did that Monday night. He worked over Eagles guard Landon Dickerson pretty well. Kancey finished the wild card round win with a half-sack, a tackle for loss and a quarterback hit.

For Joe, that’s a nice playoff debut.

20 Responses to “Calijah Kancey Stepped Up When Bucs Needed Him”

  1. Hodad Says:

    The safety on Hurts was caused by Kancy’s push up the middle. Him, and Ya Ya have been a big reason the Bucs D has been playing so well. Everyone’s punching bags, JTS, and Hall have also been contributing in a big way, tho must won’t give them props. I just did. Credit to Bowles getting McCollum on the field as a safety. Just might be the kids real position. Young Bucs are on a roll. Whatever happens Sunday, the arrow is pointing up for next season with promising young stars on the team.

  2. Fansince76 Says:

    Looks like Calijah Kancey could be a better version of David Logan!!
    which is pretty damn good.

  3. Ko Kiefer Says:

    Kancey is passing the eye test. What a dawg out there.

  4. heyjude Says:

    Let’s have the dreaded rookie wall this weekend! Bucs can win this.

  5. Jwbuc94 Says:

    I have a gut feeling Kancey might start receiving some double teams. Which will let vita eat one on ones.

  6. StormyInFl Says:

    “Jwbuc94 Says:
    January 19th, 2024 at 6:47 am
    I have a gut feeling Kancey might start receiving some double teams. Which will let vita eat one on ones.”

    Also why edge pressure is key. YaYa also showing out (and possibly lighting a fire in JTS) is just as important.

  7. A Bucs Fan Says:

    Kancey has made many plays and it’s exciting! However, I thought Gerald McCoys comments on him were the most interesting. He said Calijah is playing based off of pure talent and doesn’t know how to play the position yet. He says he uses the wrong hand often and doesn’t understand the game as a pro, but has all the tools to develop into a dominant player!

    That’s exciting if this year is just his floor.

  8. SteveK Says:

    I was ecstatic when we drafted this kid and even more pumped after watching his elite athleticism and attitude carry over just fine. He’s a beast in the making and only going to get better. I hope he, Vita, Logan, and Nelson can all wreak havoc on the interior for us. If Goff gets moved off his spot consistently and we can hold up on the run, we got a damn good chance.

    Kudos to Licht for using his vision of “big sexys” aka trench players. I am happy every time he picks a lineman bc those dudes are essential foundational pieces of a successful team.

  9. Larrd Says:

    Kancey is already about as good as peak McCoy and has been getting double teams all year, from what I have seen.

    I wouldn’t trade him for Detroit’s Hutchinson at this point. I am sure most fans would, though.



    Defensive starters drafted (or UFA) in last two years. I am counting Zyon because Bowles calls him a starter pretty regularly.

    R. White

    Offensive starters drafted in last two years.

    All of them are developing well, though some a little slower than others. I’d add Mayweather, Dennis, and Hayes to the list of developing guys, and potential starters, too.

    Kudos to Licht, but also to Bowles and coaching staff. The Bucs are going to be well set heading forward.

  10. Jarrett Says:

    Jason Lit has come a long way from drafting Vernon Hargraves

    It seems like every pick he’s made since then has been a stud, no way we win the Super Bowl without Jason Lit

    -Standout players from draft still on the Bucs

    -#31 Winfield
    – #45 Devin White
    – #50 Vita Vea
    – #78 Tristan Wirfs
    – #24 Carlton Davis
    – #35 Jamel Dean
    – #1 Rachaad White
    – #14 Chris Godwin
    – #0 Yaya Diaby
    – #94 Kancey

    All I’m saying is he is having some strong draft classes

    It’s a Bucs Life

  11. Larrd Says:

    I forgot to include Otton in my list of recent draftees who have already developed into starters. He is the perfect example, too, as he keeps getting better. Eighty-nine receiving yards in his first playoff game, despite the early drop. Outstanding!

  12. Bama Rich Says:

    I like the fire that has ignited JTS. I think he’ll move to the other side next year and Shaq Barrett will become a cap casualty. IJS

  13. stpetebucfan Says:

    Agree with both Larrd and Jarret.

    If Licht’s off season this season is as good as the past two the Bucs are going to be improving.

    Everybody grips about the QB position. Currently the Bucs are in good shape!
    Mayfield is not and will NEVER be Brady…he’s not 6-4 245 like Josh Allen. That TD run by Allen was just sick. But he can be Drew Brees if the team surrounds him with the right talent.

    As important IMHO is Trask. I hope that he is all that the Traskers say he is.
    Remember SF last year…Garrapolo is probably a Mayfield level QB when he’s healthy but he went down and Purdy saved the Niner’s bacon.\

    I like Mayfield but I have no reason to dislike Trask…yet. I HOPE the Traskers are correct because while I LOVE watching Bakers balls to the wall style it will eventually lead to the need to see how Trask performs.

    Two “competent” NFL QB’s on the roster would be awesome. I think Mayfield is a “competent” NFL QB…not awesome but competent and a great leader. I’m trusting our Traskers here that he is as well. I know I’m greedy but the thought of having two QB’s that are both capable of starting is great.

    I know…I know…if you have two QB’s you have none…I simply disagree with that bromide, especially if the coaching staff is strong and deals with it.
    Other than the fan base(prejudiced in part by UF guys) there have been no seriouis repercussions with two QB’s.

  14. garro Says:

    ROY candidate still? He showed up last week for sure!

    Go Bucs!

  15. Buddha Says:

    Linebackers and safeties are expected to make tackles. Tackles are set up guys. Fantasy football has made fans obsess over individual stats. Football is the ultimate team sport.

  16. orlbucfan Says:

    JTS has been getting into the opposing team’s backfield and disrupting for one than one season. Bowles has praised and kept him. He, and VV now have YaYa and Monster man Kancey. These four are developing into a unit. They stay healthy and finish that process……..simply wowsers!! Plus, they all like and respect each other. That’s imperative in this sport. Go Bucs!!

  17. orlbucfan Says:

    *for more* I hate Auto-edit!

  18. SlyPirate Says:


    I’m a Duck. Sewell is my guy. CK burned him!!!

    I’ve never saw Sewell get beat in college. Never. That’s impressive.

  19. Buckeyebuckchuck Says:

    Yeah, he looked impressive against the Iggles. When the guards are blocking air and he’s a steo behind them? Da-hay-um, just might be Donald 2.0 in the next few years

  20. Jake been there since the beginning Says:

    He’s definitely known at this point, and he is real good so far. I think he is gonna be great!!