Monday, November 1, 2010

Bull Rush

Not going to say a lot today but being 5-2, especially after a week where the media made fun of Coach Morris for saying we were the best team in the NFC record wise, is pretty damn sweet.

By the way, who's laughing now?

I thought the defensive line played pretty well even the defense gave up 28 points. Over Stick was again a part of the game plan and I believe they called it five times to some pretty good results. One thing the defensive line still needs to work on is backing off the ball and gaining ground on their steps when they run the Pirate stunt. Its a good stunt but they aren't getting near as much out of it as they should.

Also Arizona killed the defense with reverses. I would expect to see more of them in the coming weeks. I thought they played the bootlegs a lot better than they did against the Rams though.

Even though they only came home with one sack I still thought the pass rush improved. The biggest thing now is that the guys have to get better on being on the details both individually and as a group in order to get that sack number higher. That means guys using their hands better and more efficiently, running the a tight hoop when they beat their guy and as a unit keeping the quarterback contained in the pocket. They probably would have come home with at least two or three more sacks had that been the case.

On to the individual breakdowns.

Kyle Moore: I keep waiting for Moore to have a breakout game but he still seems to be feeling his way through. He had 2 assists yesterday, was good on a bootleg getting in the quarterback and had a nice pass rush against the tight end. But he needs to get more explosive. First and foremost he could start with working on his get off. Its harder to get off the ball when a tight end is in front of you but when he has the open side he should be flying at the snap of the ball. Also he should really work on dominating the tightends when they are to his side. He comes off and uses his hands well but you don't see him really push the guy back and change the line of scrimmage on a regular basis.

He also needs to develop one signature pass rush move. I don't care what it is but he needs to find one move and work on it every day until he can do it in his sleep. When he is at left end he just doesn't seem to have much of a plan most of the time. Whether its a bull rush or a rip or whatever, he needs to be able to have a move that gives offensive tackles trouble on early downs.

He would also benefit from backing up off the ball when he is running a Pirate stunt so that he has enough room to take a good step inside and then get up the field. Right now Moore as well as several other defensive linemen, continue to go too lateral on the stunt and end up getting washed instead of penetrating in the gap. That allows running backs to continue running down hill instead of making them change their track which is a big part of why you run the stunt in the first place.

Moore also had the offsides penalty on 3rd down which I think was a matter of him lining up wrong. And he continues to be mostly a non factor rushing inside on 3rd and long. But with Brian Price out there really aren't a lot of other options at the moment.

It wasn't a bad day for him but as the starting left end its time for him to become more of a factor for the defense.

Gerald McCoy: McCoy had a pretty good game with 3 tackles and an assist to go along with 2 pressures, a hit on the quarterback, and at least 2 other good rushes and 2 other good moves. But he is one of the main guys I am referring to when it comes to being on the details of his pass rush. He ends up giving up his chest to the guards all too often because he is trying to reach for their shoulder pads instead of knocking their hands down, especially on inside moves. I know why he is doing it though, because it works all the time on the college level. But on this level if you keep reaching for shoulders guards will punch the life out of you in your chest more times than not.

If he just tightens up his aiming point to the wrist or the elbow he will find a lot more success when he comes inside. The main thing you want to do as a pass rusher on the pro level is keep the offensive lineman's hands off you so they can't grab anything.

Also he needs to really work on running the hoops drill and finishing his pass rushes low and fast. Several times during the game he made a really good move but he was too high to really turn on the jets and get to the quarterback before he got the ball off. He should really work on dipping his inside shoulder, leaning towards the quarterback and mashing the gas.

Roy Miller: I thought Miller had a better game this week but he still had some plays where he gave too much ground. I had him down for 1 tackle and 3 assists. He had some really good penetrations on a couple of plays and he held the point on double teams a lot better for the majority of his snaps. The holding call against him was bullshit in my opinion. But he really could have helped himself by getting low when he felt the pressure until one guy came off.

He also had two more plays where there was a Pirate and he didn't loop around for containment. Thankfully the quarterback didn't try to scramble either time but its really too late in the season for him to be making those kinds of mistakes.

Stylez G. White: Stylez had a really good game again yesterday. I had him with a sack, caused fumble, another hit on the quarterback, 1 tackle for loss, 2 other tackles, 2 pressures, and 3 other good rushes. One of the tackles he made was a situation where we ran a zone blitz and he dropped to the flat and had to bring down the running back in a one on one match up. Had he had some help from the other side containing the quarterback he probably would have had at least 1 more sack also.

Now that the Bucs are running Over Stick and White is making occasional inside moves on pass rush you can see offensive tackles not being as comfortable in their pass sets. It really paid off at the end of the game where the Bucs were protecting a lead of just three points and he was able to sack the quarterback, cause a fumble and keep the clock running down.

I do have a complaint though and that is the terrible EX and TEX games he ran with Moore at the end of the game. Both were wasted reps ad if they are going to run them that bad they might as well just go straight rush.

But all in all I thought he played the kind of game Bucs fans have been looking for him to have all season. And if he can continue playing that way for the rest of the season and even improve on it, opposing teams and the rest of the league will have to start taking notice.

Tim Crowder: I only had Crowder with 1 assisted tackle but I still thought he played ok. He did however let the quarterback break contain when he was rushing from left end on a play where White would have probably gotten a sack. In fairness he got chipped by the back but as a left end you always have to be guarding against a right handed quarterback trying to escape to your side.

Its hasn't been a problem for Crowder up until now so I expect for him to get it cleaned up by next week.

Michael Bennett: I swear, you watch Bennett play and at times its apparent he has all the tools to be a dominant left end. But he continues to mess up on little details like reading his keys. Arizona ran a shuffle pass and Bennett's key blocked down inside. When that happens you are supposed to get your head inside and look for a pulling guard or a kickout block from the fullback or backside tight end. Had he done that he would have seen the shuffle pass coming and likely knocked it out for no gain.

Instead his eyes went upfield at the quarterback as the play is designed to do and when he went for him the shuffle pass went to the running back up inside of him. Its a testament to his athletic ability that he was able to turn around and make what was essentially a solo tackle on the running back down the field. But it never should have come to that.

I had him with 2 tackles and 1 assist. He had a couple of really good plays where he jacked up the tight end, pushed them back and ripped off inside to make a play. He also had a pretty good level rush on one play. But he also lost containment on one pass rush which again gave away a potential sack.

If Bennett can ever put it all together I think the sky is the limit for him. he is big, physical, and he has a knack for pass rushing. But until he starts reading his keys and being on the details he is never going to live up to his potential.

Ryan Sims: I didn't have Sims down for any stats but I thought he played well for the most part. He gave everyone a scare when he went down holding his knee, especially because we only had three defensive tackle active for the game. But thankfully he was able to shake it off and play the rest of the game.

That's it for now. I'll try to get my TGTBATU post up later today. Until then as always just leave remarks or questions in the comments section.


  1. I know you hate them, but I thought the 3-man fronts they ran yesterday worked better than previous games for some reason.

  2. Ok again, up under the comment box that has "comment as" beside it. PLEASE start using some kind of moniker so when I address a question or answer its not to several "anonymouses". It really doesn't matter what moniker you choose just as long as it differentiates you from other commenters.

    I hated the 3-3-5 because we were using it too much and only going with a 4 man and sometimes 3 man rush. Yesterday we used it sparingly but when we used it, aside from the very end of the game, we blitzed out of it. I have no problem with that as long as we are sending pressure.

  3. Steve,
    Ronde seems to be making a lot of tackles this year and he's just all over the place. What do you attribute this to primarily? The Bucs also have 14 Int's now which is 2/game and do you think the rush yesterday lead to Geno's pick? That was a thrilling game to watch and entertainment at its best. Thanks, Great Read

  4. Steve,

    Thanks for the great analysis. I have been following your blog all season and feel like I have such a better understanding of defensive play, especially at the line. It makes watching football even more fun.

    What are your thoughts on Barrett Ruud this week? I felt like I saw him in the right place most of the time in the running game (I think he got burned in the pass game a few times...), though he allowed a lot of yards after contact on running plays.


  5. Steve, I see you have positive review for our D-line for the most part, but I thought our pass rush was sub par. I mean Derek Anderson and Max Hall are scrubs, and they were having their way against our secondary for the most part. I thought it was because of lack of pressure on a consistent basis. Do you see a need to draft a DE? Do you have any college DE in your mind you think would fit very well on Bucs.