Saturday, October 17, 2009


I am sure many people are wondering what does the Gaines Adams trade mean in a tangible way for the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. Well here is how I see this playing out.

First of all Greg (Stylez) White will obviously be your starter at right end until something changes. I think at least in the short term this will be a good thing for the defense. White may not be as physically gifted as Gaines was but his technique in pass rush is definitely superior. What that means is when a team is passing on first and second down we now have a greater likelyhood that White will still be able to get pressure on the quarterback. I think the one thing we don't know long term is how well White will hold up physically. One thing about great players is that some how some way they find a way to avoid injuries that keep them off the field. Hopefully White will have that same kind of durability.

I think this trade also tangibly helps Jimmy Wilkerson. By trading Gaines it takes the pressure of the Bucs of having to have him on the field on 3rd downs. For that reason its highly probable that now Wilkerson will be allowed to pass rush from his left end post which is where he has been most productive, instead of from an inside tackle position. With the way Wilkerson has been playing so far this year I expect that his production will actually pick up some and that is going to be a scary thing for opposing offenses.

Of course with Wilkerson now rushing from left end on 3rd down that opens up a spot for a pass rushing defensive tackle. Enter a now healed up rookie Kyle Moore who had some flash pass rushing in the preseason. What we really need from Moore more than anything else is to get push in the pocket enough so that the quarterback can't step up to avoid the speed rush from the defensive ends. I think he will do a great job of that and then some and I also think he will have some pretty good production as well.

Tim Crowder will also benefit as he is now going to be the primary backup probably to both the left and the right end positions. I guess that Moore could possibly play both end and tackle and its something that we have historically had on the defensive line, a utility guy who can play both. But because Moore has missed so much practice time I have to believe at least at first Crowder will be getting the extra snaps that White used to get in more of a 3 man rotation rather than the 4 man rotation they have been using. Crowder has actually played relatively well so far as a back up, he just hasn't had many splash plays. But he has played fundamentally sound football when he has been on the field and he has given great effort as well.

Another guy to keep in mind is the recently signed Michael Bennett. He is the little brother of Dallas Cowboys tight end Martellius Bennett and played well in the preseason for Seattle. He may or may not be a factor this year but if there is an injury among the defensive ends it is likely he will be the guy who gets into the rotation.

Now I personally think this will have a positive impact on the defense as a whole. I think that starting this weekend you will see a very noticable difference in how much time opposing quarterbacks have in the pocket to get the ball off before they get hit, especially on third downs. That should also help keep down the number of deep balls our secondary has to defend against as well. I can't promise that it means we will come away with a victory against our division foe, the Carolina Panthers. But I can say that I feel much more optomistic now about beating them than I did a couple of days ago.

Don't forget to catch my recap of the defensive line play on Monday at to see if my predictions were right.

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