Prediction: Calijah Kancey To Make Biggest Leap

July 7th, 2024

Bucs fans will smile in 2024, too.

Joe has been typing this for a few weeks. Sometime this month before training camp, Joe will publish a story about second-year defensive tackle Calijah Kancey that will blow your mind.

Simply put, Joe thinks this Kancey is going to be the next great Bucs defender.

Another person barreling down the road on the Kancey bandwagon is Brianna Dix of She believes Kancey will take the biggest leap forward for the Bucs this fall.

He finished the year with 10 tackles for loss, which tied for second among rookies with Texans’ Will Anderson Jr. Kancey also had the fourth-highest stuff rate among defensive tackles (minimum 150 snaps) per Next Gen Stats, routinely imposing his will in the trenches. Kancey logged 577 snaps for the Bucs in 2023 as a starter, predominately lining up as Tampa Bay’s three-technique. He posted 4.0 sacks and quickly asserted himself as a disruptive force. …

Kancey came into the league last year with the reputation of being just a pass rusher. He showed Joe that he can play the run, too.

What rookie who cannot play the run gets 10 tackles for loss? Guys who cannot play the run don’t do that.

Don’t buy into this nonsense that Kancey can’t play the run. He sure as hell can.

Kancey had 10 tackles for loss in 14 games (he missed three games to injury). This was after he missed nearly all of training camp when he messed up a calf muscle last July.

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20 Responses to “Prediction: Calijah Kancey To Make Biggest Leap”

  1. BigMacAttack Says:

    Make that Bucs Super Bowl bet now because the odds are going to drop fast once they start imposing their will on teams. Baker is the ultimate replacement for the GOAT and he’s got firepower on offense. This team is stacked from top to bottom and it’s staring us and the NFL right in the face. I honestly feel that after making it to the final 8, that their chances of another Lombardi are better this year than in 2020. Look how hard they are all working. They get it and it’s gonna happen. Bet !!!

  2. Dave Pear Says:

    Just stay healthy, big man. See the trainers, stretch everything, stay hydrated, you know the drill. And for gods’ sake, stay away from Logan the Oaf.

  3. Pickgrin Says:

    Good assumption – and a pretty obvious one.

    Which means….

    The Bucs WILL have an effective pass rush this year – from where QBs hate it the most – straight up the middle.

    Vea and Kancey (who both have better pass rushing skills than most DTs) will provide the inside push that forces QBs to bail from the pocket – right into the OLBers.

  4. Drunkinybor Says:

    I’m All in on Kancey. I mentioned before that seeing him destroy the eagles rep after rep after rep was amazing. It wasn’t highlights it was literally rep Win, rep Win, rep Win, I was shocked I thought the tape I was watching was highlits from the entire game nope. This dude is different and he’s going to make his mark. I’m all in Special K that’s me nickname for him.

  5. Defense Rules Says:

    Like Ybor, I’m ‘all in on Kancey’ too. He played well, especially for a rookie, but he needs to become more consistent this year to really excel. Calijah played in 14 games, averaging 41 def snaps per game (appears that Bowles used him situationally, which would be expected). He got the majority of his 2023 stats in just 5 games …

    o Lions: 1 sack – 2 QB Hit – 1 TFL – 3 Tackles
    o Texans: 1 sack – 1 QB Hit – 3 TFL – 4 Tackles
    o Titans: 0 sack – 2 QB Hit – 2 TFL – 3 Tackles
    o Colts: 1 sack – 1 QB Hit – 2 TFL – 3 Tackles
    o Falcons: 1 sack – 1 QB Hit – 1 TFL – 3 Tackles

    Total (5 games): 4 sacks – 7 QB Hit – 9 TFL – 16 Tackles
    Total (14 games): 4 sacks – 12 QB Hit – 10 TFL – 26 Tackles
    Total (other 9 games): 0 sack – 5 QB Hit – 1 TFL – 10 Tackle

    It’s interesting that of Kancey’s 26 tackles on the season, 19 of them were solo tackles. Of those, 12 were TFLs. Seems to have a knack for getting in the backfield.

    BTW in looking at the Texans game, 1 name kept popping up time & time again for the Texans … Tavierre Thomas (now a Buc). He had an incredible game: 10 tackles (6 of them solo), 1 FF & 1 TFL. Impressive.

  6. 2023 Surprised the Hell out of me Says:

    hmmm, good analysis D.F.

  7. heyjude Says:

    I am all in on Kancey too. Can’t wait for your story about him.

    Kudos to Brianna Dix! Read in the article that Scott Smith mentioned McCollum making a big leap too. Great stuff!

    Drunkinybor – Like the nickname Special K! Good one.

  8. The Truth be Told Says:

    This Team gets a Pass Rush and can actually run the ball-watch out!

    Let’s get Baked! Go Bucs!

  9. 1#bucsfan Says:

    Also a lot seem to forget that a rookie coming into the nfl is a hell of a lot of busy work between pre draft work outs meeting with owners agents flying all over the place. Kancey and yaya to have a real off-season to train like a pro and not have to deal with all the coming into the nfl stuff will really help. These guys are also training like they are vets wanting to be the best. JL did a great job drafting these guys

  10. Beeej Says:

    Not having a decent complement to Vita the last couple years was wasting his talents, bet Vita blows up this year

  11. geno711 Says:

    Defensive Rules. Isn’t that typical for all Defensive Tackles not named Chris Jones. Some impactful games, some not.

    If most of his games are impactful, I am pretty sure that he will be a pro bowler.

    To be a good starter, probably just need him to get up to about 55 to 65% of games impactful statistically. Closer to Quinnen Williams or Javone Hargraves then Chris Jones.

  12. Joe in Michigan Says:

    Dave Pear Says:
    July 7th, 2024 at 12:32 am
    Just stay healthy, big man. See the trainers, stretch everything, stay hydrated, you know the drill. And for gods’ sake, stay away from Logan the Oaf.
    You must be new to this football thing, guys get injured sometimes, and it’s very rarely Logan Hall’s fault.

  13. ModHairKen Says:


  14. Defense Rules Says:

    geno711 … ‘To be a good starter, probably just need him to get up to about 55 to 65% of games impactful statistically. Closer to Quinnen Williams or Javone Hargraves then Chris Jones.’

    I would dearly rather believe that Kancey (6’1″ & 281 lbs from Pittsburgh) is the 2nd coming of Aaron Donald (6’1″ & 280 lbs from Pittsburgh), but that’s a LOT to ask. Donald averaged 850 def snaps each year over his 10-year career (probably close to 80% of the Rams total def snaps each year). His average productivity speaks for itself: 11 sacks, 26 QB Hits, 18 TFLs & 54 tackles per year. I’d take that any day of the year (so would Joe I have a hunch).

    Donald’s best year was 2018 (Rams lost in the SB) when he got 20.5 sacks, 41 QB hits & 25 TFLs in a single year. Wow! Their defense ranked #20 that year, but he had Ndamukong Suh & Michael Brockers on the DLine with him. That year Donald had 90% availablity (def snaps), Suh had 88% and Brockers had 67%. Who you have playing with you (as well as staying healthy) is key IMO, and both Suh & Brockers were excellent DLinemen.

    The key to Kancey putting up great numbers will be Vea & Gaines in the middle IMO, as well as how well our OLBs progress. Kancey’s got tons of talent, but in the NFL you need help from your friends. And especially against elite teams.

  15. BA’s Red Pen Says:

    Kancey + Diaby = 20 Sacks

  16. SlyPirate Says:


    I recall CK saying he was finally healthy right before the playoffs. In the Bucs’ final two games CK recorded 1.5 sacks, 2 TFL, and 6 Tackles. Those are crazy numbers. If healthy, CK could be looking at 10-12 sacks on the year and be headed for the Pro Bowl.

  17. Joe in Michigan Says:

    A truth for the wanna-be “comedians” out there…You can’t use the same stale material over and over, such as calling Todd Bowles “Bowels”, calling Logan Hall “Logan The Oaf”, or saying Jason Licht should take a kicker in the 1st Round several years after he took one in the 2nd Round. If you say the same sh!t over and over, you’re a f¥€£t@rd.

  18. Dave Pear Says:

    Just take more Midol, Hoe in Muschi. You really get that triggered by some harmless play on words? Some of us like to have fun. You apparently don’t. That’s fine. Medication and booze might help. Or get some good “material” on line and hit the bathroom with a jar of Oil of Ole.’

  19. Rod Munch Says:

    Yeah, I agree with this take, I expect big things from Kancey. He showed all the signs of being a big time star last year – and normally it takes a year or two for DT’s to develop.

    With that said, you need to do the eyeball test and see how he’s changing the game, not just look at the stat line since, in this defense, DT’s don’t put up big sack numbers – so if he got 7 sacks, it would be like getting 10 in a 4-3.

  20. garro Says:

    100% agree on Kancey being a monster Joe. However just looking at Diaby and his Physique combined with the report that they both have been to Sack Summit with Sapp and reportedly both have been relentless in persuit of excellence.We could have two monsters.

    10 TFLs for a rookie after missing camp blows my mind!

    Go Bucs!