Bucs Have One Of Biggest Roster Holes In The League

June 18th, 2024

Void in Bucs’ roster.

Joe is relieved to see others are noticing the potential forest fire.

Every team, no matter how good it may be, always has a hole in its roster. At least before the season kicks off. So in scanning the rosters of the 32 NFL teams, Kevin Patra of found what he thinks are the 10 biggest holes in the NFL.

On is right off MLK, Jr. Blvd. in Tampa just east of Himes. And it’s not a sinkhole, either.

Patra believes a giant hole is on the Bucs’ roster and it happens to be a pass rusher.

Shaq Barrett moving 200 miles south this offseason highlighted a gap off the edge of the Bucs’ defensive front. Barrett led all Tampa defenders with 44 QB pressures last season, per Next Gen Stats. The next two players were interior defenders (Calijah Kancey, 33; Vita Vea, 29), and fourth on the list was departed linebacker Devin White (27). The top edge defenders left are Yaya Diaby (26 pressures in 2023), coming off a stellar end of his rookie season, and Joe Tryon-Shoyinka (26), who hasn’t lived up to the first-round billing. Right now, second-round rookie Chris Braswell, who had 10.5 sacks last year at Alabama, is in line to see a hefty role out of the gate. Todd Bowles likes to play big, but finding edge aid remains necessary. I like this Bucs roster probably more than most, and adding some veteran help off the edge would boost the odds of taking a fourth consecutive division title.

He’s not wrong. But as Joe has pointed out several times, what did the Bucs lose in Shaq Barrett? Joe loves the guy to death but in the final nine games (including two playoff games) last season, Shaq had a grand total of a half-sack.

(It’s interesting that NextGen Stats has Shaq with 44 pressures. has Shaq with 19 and that puts Shaq at No. 74 in the league last season. Given that NextGen Stats uses GPS technology from sensors in players’ equipment and the ball, Joe will go with NextGen Stats over the eyeball test for pressures.)

Again, Joe’s a big fan of Shaq but there is no way around that. That stat — half a sack in the last nine games — is downright embarrassing.

Sure, Chris Braswell could be that guy but it’s rare for a rookie to be a stud edge rusher right off the bat (unless his name is “Bosa” or Josh Allen or Maxx Crosby). So Joe doesn’t expect a lot from Braswell this year. Great if he is but Joe won’t jump off the Sunshine Skyway Bridge if Braswell has a meh rookie season.

Joe also is a big fan of YaYa Diaby. Still, it concerns Joe that his production dropped after he became a starter last season.

If the Bucs had a consistent edge rusher, this defense could be scary good.

(Hell no, Joe didn’t forget about MIA Randy Gregory.)

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39 Responses to “ Bucs Have One Of Biggest Roster Holes In The League”

  1. Anthony Gironda Says:

    Jason Licht needs to wake up and fill this China-sized hole ASAP.

  2. Austing Says:

    Well have a well rounded well depthed team. Jason did great. I bet Kancey goes absolutely bananas this yeah and Yaya establishes himself as a powerhouse, dudes huge.

  3. Capt.Tim Says:

    We are a good Pass rusher, and a Left Guard,away from being a VERY good team.
    Although Id move Barton to left Guard,and sign either Center Mason Cole or Connor Williams.

    We only have so many Seasons left,with Godwin, Evans, David,and Vea.
    To be 2 players away- and just ignore it, is wasting a year in whats left of our Window..
    We wasted Bradys last season with a crappy line and bad pass rush.
    Guess we are gonna waste another year of Mike Evans career.

    Just 2 players.

  4. unbelievable Says:


  5. Pickgrin Says:

    Bucs have a whole room full of talented pass rushers.

    They are mostly all young and haven’t made a name for themselves yet but it doesn’t mean we are devoid of talent and HAVE to spend a bunch of $ to try and bring in an aging player whose name people recognize….

    Might as well quit bellyachin about it Joe – we’re not going to trade high end draft capital for Riddick and then pay him a fortune…. its just not happening – and that seems to be your only named ‘solution’ at this point. Which is completely unfeasible.

    YaYa should be good for 8-10 sacks this year off the right side. All we need is for 1 more player to step up and be productive off the left edge. Or even a combination of a couple people would be fine (Braswell and Watts for instance).

    Our Super Bowl year Shaq had 8 sacks off the left edge and JPP had 9 1/2 off the right….

    I believe the talent we have in house now will find a way to meet or exceed those Edge #s this year.

    Braswell is only a rookie – but he’s had great coaching in College and may be as NFL ready as any current rookie pass rusher out there aside from Latu.

    JTS knows its his last chance so perhaps we finally get to see him play with hair on fire in a contract year. Nelson has been fairly solid and continued to improve over the last 5 years… Beyond that, both Watts and Ramirez have legit chances to break out in their 2nd year.

    Bowles always finds a way to get 45-50 sacks on the books one way or another so you might as well just relax – let it play out – and see who emerges from that young pool of talent we already have on the roster….

    Some one will step up. Just because we don’t know who that is – yet – does not mean its time to panic and proclaim the Bucs are doomed this year because we don’t have a pass rush.

  6. Bring back the lawn chairs Says:

    The Bucs had a left guard. His name was Ali marpet. As soon as he got really good he quit at 29. One of life’s little mysteries. Another classic example of the best laid plans going astray. go figure. I mean how does a team account for a player going full on ‘Barry sanders’ and retiring 5 years before their shelf life?

  7. Bucs Guy Says:

    Agree. The Ali situation is tough. The Bucs should be drafting an O-Line or D-Line player in the 1st or 2nd round EVERY year. Almost half of your starters are lineman (9 of 22 [10 if you include TE]). So half of your top picks should be linemen — especially since you need at least average back ups to step in when someone gets injured. The game is won or lost in the trenches, so build the trenches).

  8. Obvious Says:

    Cpt. Tim is right. And Gregory is his own running joke. I’m 90% in on Jason Licht and the job he’s doing but the FACT that he Did Indeed Blow it Bradys last year here by NOT providing adequate O line support, I just can’t get past that. Jason….. you blew that big…. Also, he’s being a fool by not supporting the edge of this D line. And Pickins, you’re referring to HOPEIUM… That’s just Not good enough sir.

    In “Reality” the window IS INDEED closing QUICKLY. It’s now or never with the current “hall of fame” talent that we have in our receiving department. THAT’S REAL….

    So Jason, MAKE A MOVE SIR! There’s more than Reddick to chose from. We all realize that you attempted something concerning Gregory (weak, but something)
    But you’re focused just a touch too much on saving a cap dollar vs a SUPER BOWL APPEARANCE or at the minimum “more history in the making” with another division title…..

    Find us an at the least “decent ” edge rusher Jason… Gregory wasn’t it in the first place. It rings of being cute and trying to get a prize for cap dollar savings INSTEAD of THE REASON WE ALL WATCH THE GAMES! The BIG SHOW, THE ENCHALADA, THE BOAT PARADE, THE RING, and of course MOST OF “ALL” THE LOMBARDI!

    The saving a “cap dollar prize” is just NOT gonna get it buddy. NOT WHEN WE’RE POSSIBLY THIS CLOSE!

  9. Defense Rules Says:

    Some fantastic comments already in this thread. Pickgrin nailed it in that our ‘Bucs have a whole room full of talented pass rushers.’ I have every expectation that both Diaby & Braswell will have a solid season. At the same time, I apparently have a lot more faith in Todd Bowles than some JBFers do, since like Pickgrin also said … ‘Bowles always finds a way to get 45-50 sacks on the books one way or another’.

    Getting consistent PRESSURE on opposing QBs seems to be another story however. The major difference between Next Gen stats and Pro-Football-Reference stats is puzzling, however the ‘eyeball test’ from last season tells me that the Bucs were meh at best when it comes to pressuring opposing QBs.

    Last season we allowed QBs to complete 66.1% of their passes for 23 passing TDs & 249 YPG average. In 2022 we allowed QBs to complete only 63.9% of their passes but for more (29) passing TDs, although for much lower 204 YPG average. And in our best year (W-L record) of 2021, Bucs were pretty much in-between those 2 years; we allowed QBs to complete 65.4% of their passes but for somewhat fewer (26) passing TDs, although for higher 239 YPG average.

    Interestingly, our best year of the 3 from a pass defense (2022) was also the only year when our Bucs defense didn’t rank in the Top-10 in Run Defense in both Rushing Yardage Allowed & Rushing TDs Allowed. Bowles’ defense is very much priorities-driven it appears … Run Defense is Job-1. The year he compromised (2022) on that we did much better in Passing Yardage Allowed AND in allowing the lowest Pass Completion rates, BUT we actually gave up the most Passing TDs and the most Rushing TDs. I give him credit; he understands better than any of us what our priorities should be and that POINTS ARE MORE IMPORTANT THAN YARDS.

  10. Buccaneer Bonzai Says:

    Until I see otherwise, Chris Braswell may well be the next Bosa-type or whatever. He hasn’t had a chance to prove whether he is or isn’t. I’m certainly not going to assume he isn’t at this stage.

    It’s up to him to prove it, but I’m not a glass half empty type of guy.

    Assume upward until proven otherwise.

  11. Stanglassman Says:

    I really like our OLB group. IMO the WRs are the deepest on the offense and the OLB is the deepest in the defense side. I thought the only people still concerned were the national media and causal fans that don’t really follow the team. I suppose it makes sense that he’s wrote this article.
    Are far as R. Gregory is concerned we don’t really have enough information to know why he hasn’t shown yet. The guy’s ceiling is so high I’m still holding out hope that he shows up and has a great TC. I trust Jason to do the right thing. The team doesn’t have a lot invested in him and they’ll probably be pretty quick to cut him loose if he’s causing some kind of distraction or acting the fool.

  12. BucU Says:

    How is Gregory not cut yet? What are we missing here? Do some investigative reporting Joe. Does he have pics of Licht or Bowles in a dress?

  13. teacherman1983 Says:

    @bucs guy


    Half our starters are lineman.

    1st and 2nd round is only for lineman.

    Guards, nose tackles, centers, DE, OLB (a linemen in our defense)

  14. George R Says:

    Joe all we need is Braswell have the same season as YaYa.

    Braswell 7.5
    YaYa 11
    Kancey 9
    Vea 7
    STK 6
    Watts 5
    David 4
    Windfield 3

    That’s over 50 sacks Joe

  15. Glass Half Full Guy Says:

    Let’s see how new outside linebackers coach George Edwards coaches and schemes these guys up before we declare our EDGE dead in the water before Game 1. I think he was a great hire and have faith in what he can bring to the table.

  16. No Mercy Says:

    With all the different blitzes and packages Todd likes to have, we should be just fine. You don’t necessarily need a top tier edge rusher when you got Jordan Whitehead and Antoine Winfield who you can send at any point. Shoot add Tykee Smith to that list as well.

    And let’s not forget Yaya who has star potential in the making. I could easily see him getting 10+ sacks. We just have to pray he stays healthy

  17. Beeej Says:

    “I give him credit; he understands better than any of us what our priorities should be and that POINTS ARE MORE IMPORTANT THAN YARDS”

    Hence, the endless 10 yard cushions until they get into the red zone, where it’s easier to defend

  18. Dude Says:

    We’re kind of stocked in the OLB room, to the point that it’s going to be hard keeping Markees Watts on the practice squad any longer w/o worrying about some other front office trying to poach him. That man needs a gig on special teams and at least 15 reps on defense per game.

    Found a highlight reel of him from his time in college, guys his size shouldn’t be blowing up OLmen on that consistent of a basis

  19. Boss Says:

    Pickgrin nailed it. I think the pass rush comes alive this year. Provided the can cover mid field and the DBs don’t play 10 yards deep.

  20. heyjude Says:

    Yikes, that hole reminds me of the series “Outer Range” where people that fall into it come out of it in a different era.

    Absolutely agreed, the big hole is a pass rusher right now. Great comments on here. I always learn something new. It all seems up in the air until we get to pads and preseason to see what is going on. I am optimistically looking at YaYa in being a beast this season with sacks.

  21. garro Says:

    Agreed Joe!

    Watts is somone they may be counting on but…
    Not enough snaps last year to know what we have in him. The rookie? Depending on a rookie especialy as a pass rusher is not the smartest move.

    FAs (not named Gregory) out there Joe?

    Go Bucs!

  22. Bucnjim Says:

    I think it all goes back to the articles and comments from yesterday. The only way to get out of cap hell is to draft our way out of it. It’s asking a lot from the young guys but this was the price for a Super Bowl victory and we all knew it. I’ve said it before, but every fan who posts here should be extremely happy we’ve been able to win while rebuilding. A lot of talent on this team so the future is absolutely bright.

  23. BAKERSBucs says Says:

    Rite oh its Licht fault cause cheating Brady sucked here in his last 2 years baker played with the same line & did better than cheat brady blame game glad u people have no say in Bucs business ventures u r knuckleheads

  24. realistic-optimistic Says:

    Let me make sure I understand correctly. When the National media agrees with Joe’s takes, they’re good people.

    When they disagree with Joe, they’re out of touch morons?

    A little paraphrasing, but is that not the story, Joe?

  25. drdneast Says:

    The tale of the tape will be how well the edge rushers do in the preseason. Although most teams run a pretty vanilla offense with future financial advisers, insurance adjusters and Prime delivery drivers, if the Bucs aren’t successful against them it’s time to look for the unsigned FA veteran to get off the couch. Speaking of which, they already need to cut Randy Gregory. If he’s not interested enough in the game to make a mini camp, he’s not going to be interested in playing real games.

  26. ocala Says:

    I disagree. Bucs have depth at OLB and just invested a 2nd round pick on the position.

  27. Cobraboy Says:

    Yet….somehow the Bucs were tied for 7th in team sacks.

    How many think the Bucs will have fewer sacks in 2024?

  28. SlyPirate Says:

    Do you remember CK at the end of the year? He was unblockable. His just step move is a blur.

    10-15lbs of new muscle on the DE with the heaviest hands. He may hospitalize OL.

    To replace Shaq, he needs 4.5 sacks. He’s a sack artist. He’ll 4.5 by game 10.

  29. HC Grover Says:

    Here he comes to save the day….JTS is on the way….HAHAHAHA

  30. Obvious Says:

    There are indeed a lot of good points of view going around. I gotta say though concerning the edge collection we have that I do agree that we are stacked But here’s where I see a problem. Who’s the vet that can bring out the skill sets in there guys? We have No Veterans at all. Well, Nelson? JTS? That’s not what I mean…

    What we have is a WHOLE LOT of “Hopeium” going on. It hasn’t been since the first two years Brady walked our sidelines that the confidence level “fan wide” has been as high as this… Me Too, But it’s Still a cautionary tale without Veteran guidance. ESPECIALLY WITHOUT that Rare guidance. I Gotta admit that I’ve got that “Hopeium feeling” to. I fall more on the glass half full side BY FAR…. but then, I’ve fooled myself before buying into the whole rookie and 1st year guys and watched it ALL fall flat on its face year after year…. We NEED veteran guidance BIG TIME! I’m hoping Jason makes sure to At The Least MAKE SURE we have the proper teachers to give all of our “Unknowns” the best chance possible if not a PROVEN STUD! A lot of Hopeium going on on the edges INDEED!

    I’m going to reassert my feelings on Jason’s getting it done % in my book. I guess I Do fall more in 95% area than the 90%. It was so DEVASTATINGLY OBVIOUS that we needed front line help Brady’s last year when we lost 2 of our best guys on the front line that year and he pretty much nothing at the time to move in a supply HELP on 50% of whether a game is won or lost even with Tom Brady throwing the ball. Could you even imagine if we didn’t have the ULTIMATE PRO (GOAT) throwing the ball in THAT circumstance? NO WAY we get that second division title without that level of understanding in an EXTREMELY LOUSY situation (that includes Bradys drama that he drug us through). Though I’m quite sure there was a Whole Lot more going on behind the scenes than we’ll ever know…. But without his skill set with No O Line well…. No Way we even got the 8 wins we did. How many times did Brady put the team on his back and drag us to a win that year? At least a few!

    So YEAH! I BLAME THAT ON JASON LICHT FOR NOT SUPPLYING ADEQUATE HELP ON THE FRONT LINE AFTER LOSING 2 MAIN GUYS WITH LITTLE MORE THAN CHUMPS! You Baker or nothing people always smell of desperacy. I love me some Baker these days and he BELONGS with my “TEAM” but make NO MISTAKES about it, I’m a “TEAM FIRST GUY”! There is NO ONE MAN SHOW in the greatest “TEAM SPORT” EVER INVENTED and that includes Tom Brady! NOBODY IS ABOVE THE TEAM! NOBODY! And for those who weren’t around before your man crush begged for a job, we actually had other issues going on long before. Try your very BEST to get that through your desperate head and GROW UP! This last paragraph was for one OBVIOUS guy but for any other guy who wants to drop to your knees and prove your desperate to show you DON’T HAVE A CLUE AS TO WHAT YOU’RE TALKING ABOUT, feel free to expose yourself to ALL of us whom actually have been fans and are unfortunately VERY AWARE of OUR TEAM’S history….. And what it ALL MEANS TO US THESE DAYS vs Many, Many, Many Dark Days! And the “Hopeium” WE ALL HAVE that Baker IS INDEED THE GUY WE’VE BEEN LOOKING FOR. BELIEVE THAT! And if not, NEXT MAN UP!

  31. Hodad Says:

    What we don’t have is a big name pass rusher. We have a young group that needs to prove itself. YaYa, and Kancey are a good way to start. If Braswell, Watts come on people might be talking about how stacked we are with pass rushers. No one knows, the season hasn’t started yet.

  32. James Says:

    Shaq had a lot going on in his personal life last season…so it’s understandable that he has a down year, the buccaneers are wrong for moving on from Shaq

  33. James Says:

    Shaq had a lot going on in his personal life with the lost of his daughter last season…so it’s understandable that he has a down year, the buccaneers are wrong for moving on from Shaq

  34. PowerOfPewter Says:

    It’s not like Licht has ignored the problem, a lot of draft picks (and a few FAs) have gone towards the pass rush. The problem is they’re not producing. Once opponents no longer had to double-team Suh and JPP, the pass rush and sacks disappeared.

  35. Fan of the South Says:

    Although he Bucs had a high ranked defense against the run in 2023 they were far from great.

    Sure they might hold a team to 40 yards but with a 95 per game average that means another game they gave up 150.

    Bucs only won 2 games where thy gave up more than 100 and both were to the Panthers. Might not get lucky two years running vs CAR. Bucs only lost 1 game where they gave up less than 100 and that was to the Lions where Montgomery was injured just into the 2nd QTR, Gibbs never suited up, and they decided let their QB of the leash.

    If a team can run the ball they are not going to abandon it just because the opposing team is ranked high.

    If Tampa keeps going to the well expecting David to keep leading the team in Solo Tackles he is not going to hold up and that will create an even bigger hole for Good Teams to attack with the run.

    Defense was good enough and Offense did just enough to beat the weak teams in 2023.

    Both sides of the ball need to get at least equally better than the competition to have a chance at another Division.

  36. Irishmist Says:

    Shaq was a no name before we got him. If one of the young guys pan out it will help our salary cap immensely. Let’s give them a shot

  37. Defense Rules Says:

    Beej … ‘Hence, the endless 10 yard cushions until they get into the red zone, where it’s easier to defend’.

    Drove me nuts I admit, but the 325 Points Allowed was the Bucs lowest since the days of Monte Kiffin. And our defense did rank #3 in the NFL in the percentage of the time it allowed opponents to score TDs once they reached the Red Zone … only 42.6% of the time.

  38. CleanHouse Says:

    BakersBucs yo’ve got to be kidding me- You’re Obvious Hero can’t hold Brady’s Jock like him or not

  39. Mark Alstott Says:

    PowerOfPewter Says:
    June 18th, 2024 at 12:46 pm
    It’s not like Licht has ignored the problem, a lot of draft picks (and a few FAs) have gone towards the pass rush. The problem is they’re not producing. Once opponents no longer had to double-team Suh and JPP, the pass rush and sacks disappeared.

    During the Super Bowl run of 2020, the team registered 48 sacks. That was with JPP, Suh, Barrett and Vea. Without JPP and Suh in 2023, the team still produced 48 sacks. It’s a better theory to use Vita in that statement. Vea eats up the double/triple teams to free up the others to make the plays. Not the other way around.