Tagged: Jason-Pierre Paul

Bucs Extra: Improved Defense, Kicking Problems Continue

This week, I start a new feature called “Bucs Extra.”  It will focus primarily on other elements of the game that might otherwise go unnoticed.

What a little pass rush can do

The Buccaneers sacked Nick Foles three times in this game, and disrupted him on many other plays.  Remember when Tampa Bay had no pass rush whatsoever?  Gerald McCoy, Jason Pierre-Paul and Kwon Alexander all sacked the Super Bowl MVP.  That helped ease the pressure a bit on an injury-plagued secondary.  Ryan Smith also had a strong game.  The defense allowed over 400 yards for the second week in a row, but they made enough key plays to be a factor.

 

Struggling running game

As great as the offense has been, the Bucs have struggled to get much of a running game going through two weeks.  43 yards rushing isn’t going to cut it.  Second-round pick Ronald Jones has been a healthy scratch for each of the first two games.  What’s up with that?  He did struggle in the preseason, but I wonder if there’s more we don’t know.

 

Inconsistent Kicking

Can this issue please go away someday?  Chandler Catanzaro missed an extra point that really could’ve come back to haunt the Bucs.  The PAT needs to be automatic; end of story.  He also missed a FG last week in New Orleans.  Ever since Connor Barth’s basketball injury way back in the day, our kicking situation has been a mess.

 

Photo Courtesy: Tampa Bay Buccaneers

 

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Whoa! The Bucs Just Overhauled Their Defensive Line

The Buccaneers’ defensive line – you know, the one that couldn’t rush the quarterback – is going to look a lot different next season.  And on paper, it actually looks impressive.

 

The biggest move came today, when the Bucs got Jason-Pierre Paul from the Giants.  Throw in Vinny Curry and Beau Allen, and with Gerald McCoy already in the mix, you’ve got a unit that looks sure to get more than the 22 sacks Tampa Bay got all of last season.  Robert Ayers and Clinton McDonald are both gone.

 

As I mentioned, this all looks intriguing on paper.  Will any of it matter as long as Mike Smith is still the knucklehead running the defense?  And lest we forget how awful the secondary was last year.  Part of that was a lack of a pass rush, but part of it was the generally-awful play of the corners and safeties.

 

And just to get caught up on all-things-Buccaneers, offensive stars Mike Evans and Cameron Brate both have new deals.  They also signed a new center – Ryan Jensen – who will hopefully help the offensive line.

 

But Jason Licht is opening his checkbook, ladies and gentlemen.  It’s not often the Bucs go on spending spree like this.

 

Photo Courtesy: Associated Press