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michael89156

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: February 05, 2013, 12:11:17 AM



Defensive end a need? Rubbish!

2013 Offseason Needs: Buccaneers need defensive ends?




By Sander Philipse on Feb 4, 7:03p




J. Meric



The Tampa Bay Buccaneers have several needs on their team, but sometimes, I just can't make sense of what analysts are saying.




Evan Silva of Rotoworld has produced a big ol' list of teams, ranked by the quality of their teams and their remaining needs. I'm not sure why, but he apparently thinks that the Buccaneers have fewer pieces to work with than all but seven teams in the entire league. He has them ranked behind such talent-filled squads as the Cleveland Browns, the Buffalo Bills, the Philadelphia Eagles, the San Diego Chargers, the Miami Dolphins and even the Carolina Panthers.
 
 
That's fairly ridiculous on its face, although all of those team rankings generally are. But the Bucs did have three Pro Bowlers this season -- and that was with Carl Nicks, Davin Joseph and Adrian Clayborn on injured reserve. Doug Martin was one of the best running backs in the NFL, while Vincent Jackson was clearly a top 5 receiver. on defense, Gerald McCoy is a tremendous building block, while Da'Quan Bowers looks like a future star and Lavonte David and Mark Barron looked very promising. Sure, there are some holes at cornerback -- but this team isn't that far off from being a playoff-caliber team. But I can deal with that ranking. It's not that important. What annoys me, is the asinine assumption that the Buccaneers must find MOAR DEFENSIVE ENDS:



DE: Top defensive end Michael Bennett is scheduled for free agency, and would-be bookend Adrian Clayborn is coming off a torn ACL. 2011 second-round pick Da'Quan Bowers has yet to establish himself as a capable starter. The Bucs finished the season last in the NFC in sacks, exacerbating deficiencies in the back end. They must find a core pass rusher this offseason.
 
CB: A combination of no pass rush and utter lack of reliable cover men can quickly torpedo any pass defense. So it isn't surprising that the Bucs surrendered the most passing yards in the league in 2012. Top corner E.J. Biggers is up for free agency, and Eric Wright is expected to be released. Tampa Bay currently does not have a cornerback it can count on to be a 2013 starter.
 
QB: After a 2012 season that wasn't nearly as good as his stats suggest, Josh Freeman will enter a contract year without any plans from the Bucs to give him an extension. Freeman still struggles with accuracy and when surrounded by bodies, even if his vertical-passing arm is among the league's elite. GM Mark Dominik plans to upgrade the backup quarterback spot on Dan Orlovsky.
 
DT: Gerald McCoy is a difference-making three-technique tackle, but nose guard Roy Miller is an unrestricted free agent and defensive tackle already had depth concerns. Even if Miller re-signs, the Bucs could use a third interior lineman to bolster the rotation and provide productive snaps.
 



Now, to be fair, defensive end is indeed a need when you assume that Michael Bennett is going to walk. That's unlikely to happen, and I would frankly be pretty angry if it did happen, but it seems that Silva made the assumption that a team's free agents would walk for the purposes of his article. That's fine. Also: note the lack of tight end as a need. Luke Stocker's amazing as a starter, everyone!
 
Here's the thing, though: the Buccaneers have plenty of talent on the defensive line. No, that talent has not turned in amazing production, but if you look at what's actually happening up front it's only a matter of time before it does and before the team as a whole starts producing more sacks. Do you know what priority one for that purpose should be? It should be making sure that the team stops giving up 10-yard passes on three-step drops every other third down. That would certainly help, wouldn't it? It would also help if the Bucs could learn how to design blitzes so as not to have two people running into each other on damn near every snap.

Talent isn't the issue here. Da'Quan Bowers looked like a monster despite never being fully healthy. Gerald McCoy was disruptive throughout the season, though I do think he lacks that closing speed to the quarterback needed to rack up huge sack numbers. Michael Bennett was a disruptive force while playing with a shoulder injury. And then the Bucs were even lacking Adrian Clayborn for all but two games (and a few snaps in a third game).

What stands out when you look at the Bucs' sack numbers is the fact that only eight people managed sacks. Eight people, despite a constantly rotating secondary, multiple injuries along the defensive line and relentless blitzing. Mark Barron never got a sack (although I can't recall him blitzing much), and the secondary as a whole managed a ridiculous two sacks: one from Ronde Barber, and one from E.J. Biggers, who may be one of the worst blitzing cornerbacks I have ever seen.

See, the issue isn't really talent, here. When you look at the names and status, they're all good players. And when you watch those players individually, they're all good, too. The tackles for loss show this quite obviously: Michael Bennett had 18, Lavonte David had 20, Mason Foster had 13, Gerald McCoy had 9 etc. etc. etc. For reference's sake: Aldon Smith had 18 tackles for loss, Chris Long had 15, Justin Smith had 9, Haloti Ngata had 7, Von Miller had 28. Here's another fun statistic: both Michael Bennett and Gerald McCoy had a whopping 16 quarterback hits. Von Miller had 25, Haloti Ngata had 13, Chris Long had 19.

Or, you can just watch the games and pay attention to the defensive line to see the simple truth: the Bucs' defensive linemen can beat their opposite numbers. That is not the issue, and I'll keep saying that until I'm blue in the face because it is the truth. Does that mean I'd say no to some sack master in the draft? Of course not! Every team wants as many freakish defensive linemen as they can find. Bring it on! But I wouldn't call defensive end a need at all, provided the team re-signs Michael Bennett.

But the Bucs can do several other things to help their sack numbers improve rapidly. One thing would be to get better in coverage. When the quarterback can always get rid of the ball before a lineman even has a shot at being in his face, that quarterback simply isn't getting sacked. The other thing would be to drill the stunts, games and blitzes to death. Too many of those plays are simply executed extremely poorly. All too often I'd see two linemen get in each other's way trying to shoot the same gap. I'd see what was supposed to be an overload blitz get blocked up perfectly. That has everything to do with the design of those blitzes, and the coaching these players are getting. If the Bucs can improve in those areas, those sacks will come.

First things first, though: re-sign Bennett already.





http://www.bucsnation.com/2013/2/4/3952420/2013-team-needs-buccaneers-need-defensive-ends

nybuccguy

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#1 : February 05, 2013, 01:45:18 AM

I agree with this post completely. I think our d-line should be low on our list of priorities.

The Anti-Java

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#2 : February 05, 2013, 01:47:50 AM

I agree with this post completely. I think our d-line should be low on our list of priorities.



IF.....they resign Bennett.


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#3 : February 05, 2013, 01:52:28 AM

Bennet is a good; but I don't believe he is a top tier talent. Defensive line in football is one of those positions where you can never have enough talent

The Anti-Java

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#4 : February 05, 2013, 01:55:05 AM

Bennet is a good; but I don't believe he is a top tier talent. Defensive line in football is one of those positions where you can never have enough talent


Agree, but I am hoping signing Bennett, leads to signing his bro.  We need a TE bad.


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#5 : February 05, 2013, 08:05:47 AM

It would be great to sign Bennett, but the Bucs got along without Clayborn for most of the season, Bowers too, and no mention was made at all about Teo. It's pretty obvious that we have depth at DE. If the DL is going to be addressed, it should be to upgrade Miller at DT. Get another impact DT and who do you double team? The Bucs could field a DL like the Giants had a few years ago when they nearly killed Tom Brady in the SB. I would be fine with a DT in the first.

JavaRay

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#6 : February 05, 2013, 08:14:28 AM

Corner, safety, QB and linebacker are the weaknesses of this team.


dalbuc

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#7 : February 05, 2013, 08:24:12 AM

So wait, we had enough pass rush last year? We had Bennett and we had Clayborn for some of the year too. Things weren't good.

I don't think that Bennett is a real pass rusher. He's the other guy...and Clayborn is sorta the other guy too. Bowers might be that guy but dear god I don't think going into next year expecting to be one of the worst sack/pressure type teams is the way to go.

All posts are opinions in case you are too stupid to figure that out on your own without me saying it over and over.

lyronmewis

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#8 : February 05, 2013, 08:24:16 AM

Yeah but if we have a chance at a good prospect then it would be dumb not to take them.

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#9 : February 05, 2013, 08:40:25 AM

So wait, we had enough pass rush last year? We had Bennett and we had Clayborn for some of the year too. Things weren't good.

I don't think that Bennett is a real pass rusher. He's the other guy...and Clayborn is sorta the other guy too. Bowers might be that guy but dear god I don't think going into next year expecting to be one of the worst sack/pressure type teams is the way to go.

Read the last full paragraph of the article.

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#10 : February 05, 2013, 09:00:23 AM

The pass rush will get better when we have better corners and scheme. The pass coverage will get better when we have more pressure on the QB. Itś interrelated. I would draft the best pass rusher available, let Bennett walk, save the money. Pick up a couple of rentable FA corners this year and draft two new ones next year. Draft a FS and LB to replace Ronde and Black, then the defense would be stable. Replace Miller with someone who can pressure the QB as well as stop the run.

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#11 : February 05, 2013, 09:19:01 AM

We need to resign Bennett, draft the best interior lineman (dt). We can address the corner position via FA and the draft.

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#12 : February 05, 2013, 09:34:27 AM


"No, that talent has not turned in amazing production, but if you look at what's actually happening up front it's only a matter of time before it does"

Seems to me that Sanders here is bashing others for evaluating the team on what it currently is, instead of using his preferred method of evaluating them on what they might possibly become. Homer whining.

Illuminator is a good poster. He sticks to his guns and makes good points. Some don\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\'t like that.

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#13 : February 05, 2013, 10:08:11 AM

We got how much pressure out of this D-Line? I can think of 2 games all year where we pressured the QB well. One against Dallas, notably early in the season after they shuffled the players on their O-Line all to new positions, and two against Atlanta in the finale where Lavonte David deserves as much credit as any D-Lineman for pressure applied. The Bucs are dying for someone who can get pressure off the edge. Particularly for those 2 games a year against Brees, and for any other games they may have against Elite QBs (not you Matt Ryan) the Bucs need someone who can pressure the QB within 2 seconds of the snap from the edge to go with McCoy's interior pressure. MAYBE Bowers could become that guy, but he hasn't done it yet and I'd prefer a guy who's body type is more suited for speed rushing. That's also why I'd like Freeney, and I'm willing to let Bennett walk because even though he is our second best D-Lineman right now (behind McCoy) Clayborn and Bowers have much higher ceilings and are similar type players. 

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#14 : February 05, 2013, 10:30:21 AM

Seriously we had more passes thrown on our D than any team in history and we were last in the NFC in sacks. I am not sure why everyone is so in love with Clayborn and Bowers. They said Bowers looks like a future star in the article but he hasn't shown me that at all. I think Bennet can be a starter but these guys are just gonna be a mediocre DE group. I REALLY hope they prove me wrong because on Sundays I love all these guys... at least while game is on and we aren't getting our asses kicked. With that said our need for secondary and interior linemen is a little larger of an issue.
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