Monday, October 15, 2007

Where is the Pass Rush

Much has been made of the resurgence of the Buc defense this season. They have been flying to the ball and the younger guys seem to have brought back the athleticism and attitude this team used to be known for. While the defense has looked like it has had a resurgence, their is one huge thing missing this season that used to be a big part of the Buc defense, a pass rush.

The Bucs have 11 sacks in the first 6 games of this season with 3 coming against the Panthers, 2 on Kerry Collins in back to back plays, and 1 that was the result of Vince Young tripping on his running back. The sacks that the Bucs are getting come from either coverage sacks, or the offense running the wrong play. The Buc front four has been over matched by every offensive line that they have played so far. The Bucs have tried blitzing with corners, safeties, and linebackers, but that hasn't helped. Without a pass rush the Bucs will find themselves on the field longer than they should and giving up points that they should not be.

The Tampa 2 defense relies on the front four to get pressure. It is a zone coverage and if a passer gets enough time back in the pocket he will be able to read the zone and find the holes in it. The Bucs have had some coverage sacks so far this season, which has been nice, but it is supposed to be the other way around. Jovan Haye has been the best defensive lineman as far as sacks go and he only has 3 sacks in 6 games, meanwhile Giants' defensive lineman Osi Umenyiora doubled that in one game. The Bucs knew this was going to be a problem, which is why the drafted Gaines Adams with the fourth overall pick, but he has done nothing so far. Adams did have his first "sack" yesterday, but that came when he touched Vince Young down after he tripped over his own back. Adams has been dominated at the line this year and at times has looked lost trying to get to the quarterback. Spires and Carter have looked much better at defensive end this year and as much as they need Adams to get on the field, they need to have a pass rush more.

Patrick Chuckwurah was brought in to replace Dewayne White, and has looked good after coming back from injury, but he went down with a shoulder injury against the Titans. The Bucs will need Greg White to get over his injury and try to rotate in and get a pass rush going. The Bucs don't necessarily need sacks, but they do need to disrupt the quarterback in the pocket. If the Bucs do not get the pass rush going, they are going to picked apart this week by Jon Kitna.

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