With Bucs training camp quickly approaching the PewterReport.com staff asks – and answers – 15 critical camp questions that need to be addressed this August as Tampa Bay prepares to embark on the 2019 season. Over the next 15 days PewterReport.com will offer up its thoughts on the topics that the Bucs will need to sort out in order for the team to be successful this season and possibly compete for a long-awaited playoff berth.

These are the things that the PewterReport.com staff will be following closely in camp, and invite our readers to share their thoughts as well in the comment section.

How do the Bucs replace JPP’s production?

With Todd Bowles’ blitz packages providing pressure.

There’s no replacing what Jason Pierre-Paul did for the Bucs last season with just one person. In his first year with the Bucs, Pierre-Paul broke a decade-long drought of double-digit sacks, notching 12.5 on the year. It’s going to take a group effort to sustain the type of consistent pressure that he brought.

The top edge rusher for the Bucs now becomes Carl Nassib, who also had a succesful year in his own right with 6.5 sacks. But he doesn’t have the luxury of the opponent having to game plan for Pierre-Paul on the other side anymore. Asking him to recreate what Pierre-Paul did would be a stretch.

What the real X-factor comes down to for the Bucs to replace that production will come from what Todd Bowles draws up. Bowles is known for an aggressive, blitzing style of defense, so it will be that along with adjustments such as playing the corners on the line of scrimmage that will make a difference for the team.

As the head coach for the Jets, Bowles had New York blitzing 29 percent of the time in 2018, which was good for seventh best in the league. The Bucs weren’t terribly far off, coming in at 13th in the NFL with 23 percent. Now Tampa Bay didn’t need to rely on the blitz as much as the Jets did because they created pressure with just the line, but that won’t be the same with their best pass rusher gone. Look for Bowles to continue the high amount of blitzing while coming up with creative ways to get to the quarterback.

Bucs DEs Jason Pierre-Paul and Carl Nassib - Photo by: Cliff Welch/PR
Bucs DEs Jason Pierre-Paul and Carl Nassib – Photo by: Cliff Welch/PR

In Bowles system, those that will benefit most from an increased blitz package will be the middle linebackers, Lavonte David and Devin White. Under a Mike Smith defense where the main concern was not to give up the big play, David was not used as much on the pass rush.

If you look back at his history though, David was at his best when having the ability to be aggressive and utilize the entire field. This included a 2013 season under Greg Schiano when he recorded a career high seven sacks en route to earning All-Pro honors. One of Devin White’s best attributes is his speed, where he ran a 4.42 at the NFL Combine’s 40-yard dash, which would be best handled attacking the passer.

It won’t just be the middle linebackers that will bring the pressure on blitz, as Bowles can dial up the pressure from the nickel or money backer position. Whether it’s Sean Murphy-Bunting, M.J. Stewart, Mike Edwards, or Deone Buccanon playing the role, someone will be coming.

With the different set ups that Bowles can run to bring pressure, it becomes a collective effort to replace Pierre-Paul’s production. The Bucs don’t need just one player to get 12.5 sacks, they are better off if they have the Vita Vea’s, Noah Spence’s and Shaq Barrett’s of the team each notching anywhere from four to six sacks a player.

Outside of Pierre-Paul and Nassib, only one player had more than three sacks last season, and that was Gerald McCoy with six. That means that out of the Bucs’ 38 team sacks, almost 70 percent came from that trio, and only six and a half of those 38 came from someone other than a defensive linemen.

If the entire defensive unit sticks to their coaching assignments, the role players can each chip in on the pass rush to raise everyone’s production. They will get to the quarterback in different ways this season other than relying on the front four. That will all come up from Todd Bowles and the blitzes that he designs.

Previous articleFive Bucs To Start Camp On PUP, NFI List
Next articleBucs Make Roster Moves As Camp Nears

23 COMMENTS

  1. White and David blitzing up the middle will look nice, Bowles will figure out a way to bring some pressure.

    +21
    0
    Rating: +21. From 21 votes.
    Please wait...
  2. Safeties, corners, ILBs, the pressure is coming from everywhere. Need secondary to cover and DL/OLBs to help out.

    +17
    0
    Rating: +17. From 17 votes.
    Please wait...
  3. Bucs are gonna Miss JPP’s production dearly. They are even gonna miss those double teams GMC use to get.
    Outside of Nassir, I have no confidence in our remaining DE’s. I’m praying we somehow can get a steal from some teams waiver wire this year. You gotta have a pass rush in this league guys. Its mandatory. That is..IF..you want to win games.

    +11
    -12
    Rating: -1. From 23 votes.
    Please wait...
  4. I don’t think there is much of a question about JPP’s impact this year. I feel bad for him personally for what has happened, but the impact he will have on the Bucs this year is all negative.

    +8
    -1
    Rating: +7. From 9 votes.
    Please wait...
  5. It’s a bucs life ……..

    +7
    -3
    Rating: +4. From 10 votes.
    Please wait...
  6. JPPs production will be missed but something else is strange to me. I’m curious to know why he is not showing up on either the PUP or NFI list. The CBA allows for these type of designations to be used on players you plan to use in the future. He was seen in a neck brace just 2 weeks ago so he’s clearly still injured. This could be a huge indicator that JPP is……….. I’m not making any predictions here but you can hit a Homerun at RG or RT for 7.5mil.

    +9
    0
    Rating: +9. From 9 votes.
    Please wait...
  7. I think JPP’s swagger and leadership will be missed as much as taking down a QB once in 3/4 of the games. JPP had the cred’ to speak up against the dearly departed GMC.

    To me it’s when the sack occurs and it’s impact on the game that matters. Having much tighter coverage on the WR’s and our fast ILB’s being able to sniff out passes to the backs will help create sack opportunities for whoever is coming off the edge.

    Might just have someone surprise.

    +9
    -1
    Rating: +8. From 10 votes.
    Please wait...
  8. The goal is obviously to have same amount sacks or more than last year but coming from lot guys getting a few than 2 guys getting a lot. I really hope Nassib wasn’t a flash in the pan and continues to be good like last year.

    I’m surprised the Bucs blitzing were 23% and Jets under Bowels 30%. Figured Jets be lot higher. I bet most Bucs blitzing came though from Duffner after Smith hit the road. Smith was so bad he never blitzed once against Bears and Tribisky was one of leagues worst rated passers against the blitz. He was horrible! It’s biggest reason Koetter was canned.

    +14
    0
    Rating: +14. From 14 votes.
    Please wait...
  9. This is a brand new defense with a lot of new players that have never played together in this system before. How can JPP be missed when he’s never been around, let alone played a snap with the players who’ve been here through all the OTA’s? You can’t miss something you’ve never had! Last years Buc’s defense would miss him big time. This years Buc’s defense doesn’t even know who he is. Our new defensive leader rookie Devin White would only know JPP if he was able to shake his three finger hand! I don’t think they’ve ever even met. This Buc defense will miss JPP like a hound dog misses fleas!

    +3
    -6
    Rating: -3. From 9 votes.
    Please wait...
  10. We have four OLBs who are good pass rushers who each should get 5 sacks apiece. Suh and Vea should get 4 apiece, and White and David blitzing should have six apiece and even Gholston got three sacks the first year he started in limited number of games and Bucannon is a big blitzer who can get 5 too. Then an occasional Safety or CB will blitz and even add to that total. Without JPP we will have more sacks by far than last year. Remember the QB will have to hold the ball longer with our press coverage which accelerates our blitz total. No worries! Trust BA.

    +5
    -1
    Rating: +4. From 6 votes.
    Please wait...
  11. I didn’t and I still don’t see how JPP/Nassib we’re going to be consistent sackers coming from a 4-3 to a 3/4.
    I really have no clue whether our present three man front is going to be successful or not; I guess I’ll just have to hope they will be. I guess I’m still waiting for a big trade to bring in a credible experiened 3-4 rusher? Right now I don’t see one this on this team; the existing ones will come through or what happens if they don’t?

    Anybody else has any views on this?

    +2
    -2
    Rating: 0. From 4 votes.
    Please wait...
  12. Horse, that is a good observation seeing as the Bucs got JPP because the Giants were moving to a 3-4 and they didn’t think he was a fit for the scheme.
    Nassib actually played in a 3-4 in Cleveland but as a DE, not as an OLB.
    Whatever the case, I think the Bucs are waiting to see how his Xrays look like in a few weeks. If they show the neck is healing as it is supposed to they keep him. If not, they cut him and use the extra salary cap money to sign a DE to replace him even though he was slated to play OLB.

    +3
    0
    Rating: +3. From 3 votes.
    Please wait...
  13. I think the point that is missed in terms of Bowles lack of success in New York was did he have the right talent? Coaching is important if you have the talent but without it Coaching can only do so much. The goal is to have good Coaching AND good Talent. I read where Bowles Defense in NY improved the first year he was there but the Ownership and GM didn’t spend the money to keep good Talent and he struggled because of that. So now with him being here, if we truly do have the talent, hopefully that will lead to success! Only time will tell. Can’t we get this thing rollin already?!

    +2
    -1
    Rating: +1. From 3 votes.
    Please wait...
  14. My question to Spitfire is there more talent her on Bucs roster than on NY with the release of Kwon , McCoy and now injured JPP.
    Can 2 Rookie and 2nd stringers DB from other teams and a rookie MLB
    Keep the WR and QB from Saints, Panthers, Falcons in check.
    Yes Bowles was DC in 1 playoff win and 1 playoff loss in AZ 4 years ago.
    Three years in NY not even 1 year in the top 25 defenses.
    I checked NY spent the same cap dollars as 31 other teams all three years.
    He had control of three drafts and 3 years to bring his 3-4 to the top but spent all three years in bottom of league with defense.
    As for JPP he is not going to play a down this year are Bucs going to pay him 7.5 or 14 million
    I still wish I could see look on the face on Glazzers when they heard he had already “cashed his check for 7.5 million” days before he drove his car into concrete wall coming home from bar 2 am on same night his teammates were in camp without him.
    Some people create their own luck in this case Glazzers and JPP have nowhere to look but in mirror!

    +7
    -6
    Rating: +1. From 13 votes.
    Please wait...
  15. You never know help might com from. Today the Redskins, a 3-4 team released ILB Mason Foster. Foster still lives in Tampa (originally drafted by the Bucs is 30 and was paid 2.25mil. Last season, Foster racked up 131 tackles, one sack, two interceptions and two fumble recoveries starting all 16 games for the ‘Skins. The Bucs could do this if desired. They could also do CB Morris Claireborne to add some exprience to the CB room after the Ryan Smith suspension. Go Bucs!

    +5
    0
    Rating: +5. From 5 votes.
    Please wait...
  16. I knew that would draw the Troll out Haha. Unfortunately I don’t respond directly to Trills anymore.

    0
    0
    No votes yet.
    Please wait...
  17. Unfortunately Bowles suffered from low Cap Spending 2016-2018 with
    2016 – 11 teams spending more
    2017 – 30 teams spending more with their spending at an all time low
    2018 – 22 teams spending more. Bowles came close to bringing the Jets to the playoffs in his first year when they had decent personnel and spent money with Fitzmagic duping them with a decent season and then promptly getting a huge contract only to turn around and do what he does best and shit the bed when they started to have Faith Hahaha. The Jets then had no QB until finally drafting Darnold but the Jets stopped spending, leading to them having one of the highest available Cap Space this year.

    I feel bad for Bowles because I feel like he was lured into a Raheem Morris situation where the Owners probably needed to save money for a couple years and while having some talent, didn’t have the backing to truly have a chance. Good thing is it will lead to him at least taking his HC experience and get back to focusing on Defense at a time where we shed a lot of Dead weight on Defense, namely McCoy and Alexander never really playing as good as some of their numbers may have made it seem. He has Veterans that either weren’t here to be damaged by Mike Smith’s terrible influence and a healthy amount of Youth to mold himself. Unfortunately some people don’t understand how to look at numbers as well as behind other numbers to see the truth. The important part is we have a fresh start and with any Luck this Ship can be righted and start sailing in the right direction! Go Bucs!

    0
    0
    No votes yet.
    Please wait...
  18. For any Non-Troll that cares Hahaha

    0
    0
    No votes yet.
    Please wait...
  19. Bucs 2017
    Cap Space $18,797,828
    Jets 2017
    Cap Space $20,975,908

    the difference being dead money from 2016
    which bowles was part of .

    +1
    0
    Rating: +1. From 1 vote.
    Please wait...
  20. I agree with folks that said the defense is a different scheme. I wasn’t sure JPP was a good fit in this new defense as an OLB, especially if he had to drop into coverage. I actually thought the Bucs might trade him during the draft for a 2nd round pick considering his impressive 2018 production as a 4-3 DE.

    In the mean time, I think the defense can win with natural 3-4 OLB’s Barrett and Spence filling in for JPP.

    If and when JPP comes back, I wonder how effective he can be. He definitely won’t be in football shape. I would sit out the year if I was him. Let the neck heal and get my strength back.

    +2
    0
    Rating: +2. From 2 votes.
    Please wait...
  21. A smart team..Notice I emphasized smart..would have cut JPP after that neck injury. If you guys think he is
    coming back to his old form 100 or even 75%, You smokin some Star Trek Sh.. This is what I loathe about my Bucs. We hold on to assets to long. JPP is done. Stick a GD fork in’em. Now watch what I tell you. Check him out upon his return. Just like..Easy money Sweezy. Money..down the drain. No worries though fellow plank walkers, Its a..Buc Life baby!!!!

    0
    0
    No votes yet.
    Please wait...
  22. Jpp should have been traded on draft day along with a few others twspin & bigsombero are right. Our team is usually late on moving on from players. Jpp is not scheme fit other players value in the market is dropping. along with back 5 win seasons. people have to go.

    0
    0
    No votes yet.
    Please wait...
  23. Buccaneers.com reports that JPP has been moved to Active/NFI. Interestingly he was not moved to Reserve/NFI. Beckwith is on reserve/NFI. Doesn’t count toward roster, cannot play this year, team doesn’t have to pay him anything. Active/NFI just means JPP isn’t physically able to practice right now, still counts against roster. Allows them to wait on deciding what to do. Which means he is still being paid. Go Bucs!

    0
    0
    No votes yet.
    Please wait...