Buccaneers Gets Back Pass Rushing Spark Plug

After missing an entire year of football, Bucs pass rushing specialist defensive end Jacquies Smith is now healthy to play. He’s back just in the time of need.

Smith tore his ACL in the opening game of the 2016 season. Before that season, he had accumulated 13.5 sacks through the previous two seasons. His production was behind only Gerald McCoy.

The Bucs defense has only generated one sack through three games.

They failed entirely to sack the Vikings and Giants quarterbacks. Most of that is due to the quarterback’s ability to get the ball out fast.

Every facet of the Bucs defense was underwhelming against the Vikings due to their flawed game plan.

Defensive Coordinator, Mike Smith tried to mimic the defense that the Pittsburgh Steelers use to limit the Vikings offense.

Against the Giants, they continued to blitz but were without both Lavonte David and Kwon Alexander.  This left the linebacking core ineffective at rushing the passer.

Pittsburgh blitzed the Vikings at every opportunity and didn’t give the backup Qb, Case Keenum, a chance to settle in.

The Vikings knew what the Bucs wanted to do, so they used quick release routes and max protections to accommodate their Qb. The Giants also ran more rapid routs to get the ball out of Eli Mannings hand quickly.

The Buccaneers left their young cornerbacks on an island with little help, and by time coach smith adjusted, it was way too late.

Welcome back to Tampa Bay Mr. Smith

(Photo Credit: Jeff Haynes/AP Images for Panini)

The addition of Jacquise Smith allows the Bucs to get back to what they do best.

The Bucs staple is to put pressure on the quarterback with four rushers and disguising coverages behind it.

Look for Jac Smith and Noah Spence to add dynamic speed rushes off the edge.

Couple that with Gerald McCoy’s and Chris Baker’s ability to create havoc up the middle, the Bucs can see rapid improvement on defense.

With a game together now under their belt look for the Buccaneers starting front to get after and hurry Tom Brady early and often.


Rod Thurman is a contributor for ProFootballSpot.com covering the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. Follow me on Twitter @BucBoy