Through five games this season, the Bucs pass rush has been a mild disappointment. The team managed three sacks on Sunday, but missed a plethora of other chances. Several times Bucs defenders had Dolphins QB Jacoby Brissett dead-to-rights in the pocket, yet couldn’t finish the play. After the game, head coach Bruce Arians half-jokingly expressed his frustration.
“I told our pass rush they need to get in the weight room,” Arians said, chuckling. “Shit, they had [Jacoby Brissett] wrapped up about five times and couldn’t get him on the ground. Jacoby’s strong. We harassed him, but we need to get those sacks and finish those things.”
Bucs OLB Shaquil Barrett – Photo by: USA Today
Tampa Bay left 4-5 sacks on the table in Week 5, including a few by Jason Pierre-Paul. The veteran played 76 percent of the defensive snaps despite a club on his right hand that made wrapping up difficult. Pierre-Paul is still looking for his first sack of the season entering Week 6. Rookie Joe Tryon-Shoyinka played just 17 snaps in Pierre-Paul’s return from injury.
Brissett has been classically difficult to bring down during his career. Often compared to Ben Roethlisberger for his size and strength in the pocket, Brissett completed several passes after shrugging off or escaping defenders. He kept Miami in the game for awhile, completing 27 of 39 passes for 275 yards and two touchdowns, with one interception.
The Bucs will face a much better offensive line on Thursday night, and a much harder quarterback to corral in the Eagles’ Jalen Hurts. Defensive coordinator Todd Bowles’ pass rush must be better, or Tampa Bay’s secondary will be hung out to dry all night.
Jon Ledyard is PewterReport.com's newest Bucs beat writer and has experience covering the Pittsburgh Steelers as a beat writer and analyzing the NFL Draft for several draft websites, including The Draft Network. Follow Ledyard on Twitter at @LedyardNFLDraft
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