Film Study: Calijah Kancey Displays Moves Of Aaron Donald

June 28th, 2024

Monster in the making.

Even though this may be hyperbole, it gets Joe fired up on a sunny Friday Florida morning.

So let’s be clear: former 11-year NFL offensive lineman Brian Baldinger of NFL Network was and is a big fan of Bucs defensive tackle Calijah Kancey.

The two met last summer after the Bucs drafted Kancey and Baldinger ran into Kancey by chance on a South Florida beach. Kancey was there working out and Baldinger was there because he’s a beach bum and waterdog when he’s not otherwise on TV.

The two struck a friendship and since both live in South Florida, they regularly work out together. Joe likes this because Kancey can bounce ideas off Baldinger’s noggin and get feedback from an offensive lineman’s perspective.

So when Baldinger breaks down film of Kancey, he’s not exactly an objective source. But to hear the excitement in Baldinger’s voice raving that Kancey has a move that is like Aaron Donald’s (video below), Joe gets stoked hearing and seeing that.

Now comparing Kancey to Donald is borderline irresponsible. Yes, they both attended Pitt, but Donald is one of the greatest to ever play. Kancey is coming off an injury-abbreviated rookie season, though he sure displayed skills that get Bucs fans fired up for what may be.

Kancey is a guy Joe really believes can blow up this year. If that happens, the three-man front of the Bucs is going to be a damn difficult unit for offenses.

Oh, and Baldinger said on NFL Network that Kancey is expected to be at Von Miller’s “Sack Summit” this weekend in Las Vegas.

30 Responses to “Film Study: Calijah Kancey Displays Moves Of Aaron Donald”

  1. Senor Harry in Costa Rica Says:

    I can’t help myself to get excited when I see things like this. Baldinger’s stuff is good. I respect him, even if he might be bias in this case.

    But IF Kancy and Yaya can have that 2nd year rise in performance, that will be fun to watch. Then add in a lighter VV and we are only one decent edge rusher from having a scary D. Who will that 4th player be? I can tell you it won’t be “never met their potential” Gregory or JTS.

    Man, you add in a Hassock with those guys and we really could have kicked some butt.

  2. Proudbucsfan Says:

    Remember the success Sapp and Rice had ? Kancey and Diaby could have that same impact or even better. Even though that was a 4-3 to a 3-4 this franchise would be blessed to have two sets of defensive lineman of that caliber. If you’re a Bucs that is exciting. Go Bucs 🏈😁

  3. Dude Says:

    Geno Atkins-esque

  4. geno711 Says:

    Love the shout out to Geno.

  5. lambchop Says:

    I hope people stop comparing him to Aaron Donald. Can we not put so much pressure on him and let him be the next Calijah Kancey?

  6. Joe Says:

    I hope people stop comparing him to Aaron Donald. Can we not put so much pressure on him and let him be the next Calijah Kancey?

    Yes, exactly.

  7. Smashsquatch Says:

    He’s going to wreck sh!t! Although unproven, I’m loving our d-line. It’s a good combo of youth and experience. Feeling some mojo from this position group. Can’t wait for them to surprise.

  8. Jack Burton Mercer Says:

    The second move in the video looked like Sapp’s ghost move.

  9. Jonny Says:

    I will continue to compare him to Aaron Donald, because the kid has the tools and the mean streak and because why the heck not. He is the only player on D-line that has the upside to be a generational talent. Even if he plays at a level of an extremely underrated Grady Jarrett, he would become a home run draft pick for the Bucs. But I will hold out hope that he is a game wrecker in the making like Donald was. Vea has to be dominant in his own right to allow for Kancey to prosper and it is good to see Vea take his weight and fitness seriously, which may allow him to play more snaps.

  10. BridleOaksBuc Says:

    Play that guitar baby!!

  11. Defense Rules Says:

    Senor Harry in Costa Rica … ‘But IF Kancey and Yaya can have that 2nd year rise in performance, that will be fun to watch. Then add in a lighter VV and we are only one decent edge rusher from having a scary D.’

    Oh ya … Kancey, YaYa AND Vea. But it’ll take at least 2 more guys to step up for our DLine to really excel … Braswell & Gaines. Offenses are getting a lot better, and unlike OLinemen who can play 100% snaps, DLinemen are generally in the 50-80% range (and some less). Last season, Vea was available 56% of the time, Kancey 53% & Diaby 47%. Obviously some excel in certain roles (pass rush vs run defense) and are rotated in tactically based on down & distance, so there are no guarantees that any 3 or even 2 of them will be on the field for any particular defensive play.

    Kancey IMO needs Vea to draw a lot of attention so his pass-rushing talents can be maximized (have heard that Kancey isn’t the greatest at playing he run either, probably because of his size). Same goes for Diaby though; he’s not a 1-man wrecking crew. And that’s why Braswell & Gaines NEED to step up to the plate for this DLine to really excel. Personally I think they will.

  12. Craig Says:

    We heard this comparison when he was drafted, and had high anticipation all season. Ended with a couple of splash plays.

    To be comparable he would have to be consistent. That will take time, if it happens at all; Donald had help. Kancey might not get any.

    Let him develop into himself, don’t build boxes around him. This D-line is going to need everything going for it that it can get, still too many questions about the personnel.

  13. Rayjay1122 Says:

    I didn’t know much about Kancey when we drafted him and I really look forward to watching his impact as his career progresses. Also, he has a very cool name that just sounds like a star player type of name. I think as long as injuries are minimal, that this defense can be pretty special this season. Go BUCS!!

  14. Dave Pear Says:

    In the early days of Creamsicle, the Bucs 3-4 defense terrorized the league because they were able to get heat on the QB rushing 3! Of course the immortal Lee Roy Selmon could be seen beating triple teams. In ‘79 it was Wally Chambers on the other side and Randy Crowder in the middle. I remember Crowder getting injured in 1980 and the Bucs D took a nose dive, that’s how important his nose play was. Then in 1981, Bill Kollar played well opposite Selmon and Dave Logan was stout at NT. Not quite to the ‘79 standard which was one of the best of all time, but damn good.

    Wouldn’t it be something if the Bucs could get back to that?

    Go Bucs.

  15. Dude Says:

    “Kancey IMO needs Vea to draw a lot of attention so his pass-rushing talents can be maximized (have heard that Kancey isn’t the greatest at playing he run either, probably because of his size).”

    Kancey does get washed out by combos, & chips but it’s not often. I’d guess that’s some of the motivation for the muscle he’s added to his frame this offseason, because the kid is built like an adolescent rhinoceros.

  16. Cobraboy Says:


    That is some strong juice when a smart guy compares a yout’ to an All-Time Great DT.

    If only…:deep in fantasy meditation…:

  17. Dave Pear Says:

    Heat with Three. Hopefully Vita’s conditioning makes him even more formidable. Then if someone could replace Logan The Oaf, we’d have a nasty front 3.

  18. View from 132 Says:

    Encouraging. Immediate d-line pressure is everything now. It can make any secondary look decent and make the blitz optional. That opens a lot up for Bowles to tinker with if he doesn’t have to blitz just to get pressure.

  19. SlyPirate Says:


    In Baldy’s clip you watched a recording in slow mo. In real-time that play was a blur. The ball snapped, the QB went down, everyone was wondering what happened, and Kancey was dancing.

    The announcers had to go to the replay to figure it out. EVERYONE watching that game had an, “Uh oh, this guy is going to be a real problem,” moment. So proud!

    CK was the FASTEST DT in Combine history. Literally #1 all time. He broke Aaron Donald’s combine records. He’s the same height, weight, and speed (albeit slightly quicker) as AD. They even went to the same school. Plus, he’s a very mature football junky. Literally every GM in the NFL wishes they would have drafted AD. So, how does every GM get presented with a 2nd chance at AD and pass? Its mind blowing. Good job Licht.

  20. Senor Harry in Costa Rica Says:

    DR, I agree. Hopefully Braswell will have at least a Yaya level rookie season. I think we have seen the best Gaines has to offer, but there is alway hope, Especially if he has a strong group beside him.

  21. catcard202 Says:

    Admittedly, I was not a big Kancey guy on draft night…At 6’1″ & t-rex arm length…It scared me…However, I am man enough to admit my mistakes…This Kancey kid has grown on me as I watched more & more tape (Pitt & TB)…He quick & powerful…I look for a serious jump in production in yr2 (as long as no injuries bite him like the calf did in 2023)

    Baldy is a legit source for quality analysis…He’s preaching gospel as far as OL / DL analysis in my book. One of few paid guys in the biz, that I trust without hesitation.

  22. Tucker Says:

    That adolescent rhino line had me in tears 😂. Kancey’s acceleration is elite such an exciting player to watch. Go bucs!!

  23. Cobraboy Says:

    I hope folks begin to realize that “short arms” is almost meaningless in football, makes almost no difference at all.

  24. Cobraboy Says:

    @Dave Pear: If Braswell shows some juice, a passing down of Diaby, Kancy, Vea, and Braswell might be fun to watch.

  25. Saskbucs Says:

    The #1 player I am excited to watch this year. Someone mentioned consistency, I think we see it this year if he doesn’t get set back by injury again. That clearly started him slow last year but I seem to remember almost every game in the back half of the season, Kancey living in the backfield. His speed and hand fighting are incredible. Fully believe 8-12 sacks are in the cards if Vea stays healthy.

  26. Jake been there since the beginning Says:

    Can’t wait to see him go Beast Mode on the field. He’s like full of a pretty awesome power and speed. I love it, Let’s Go Bucs!!!!

  27. Mike Johnson Says:

    Thats going a little to far. Kancey may be displaying a move or 2 but..he in no way approaches the status or strength of an Aaron Donald. That man was a straight up Beast. He is up there with the 2 or 3 best pass rushers in the history of the game. A lot of teams and O linemen are elated that Donald retired. Dude had a motor and then some.

  28. BillyBucco Says:

    Where Kancey struggles in the run game because of size, he makes up for in the run game with speed and tackles for loss. He said 10+ sacks is a given for goals this year. Im actually thinking 12. YaYa will have more moves this year and will be improved. Im thinking 9-11 for him. Vea could be anywhere from 6-10. Now if Gaines and Hall can get a combination of 8, and the other OLBs also get a combination of 8, we have close to 45-50 sacks, JUST from the D Line. Throw in blitzes from David and Winfield and Tykee Smith and you could approach 60.
    I fully expect 50+ this year which would be Todd’s best in Tampa.

  29. Badbucs Says:

    Pure hopium there Bucco. Gotta love it. Maybe we get some surprise help from Watts or one of the UDFA. GO BUCS!

  30. garro Says:

    Baldy’s breakdowns are always spot on Joe. Hyperbole? We shall see.

    Go Bucs!