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R&P: Defensive Line paper thin? Inexperienced?

 
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REDandPEWTER


Joined: 31 Aug 2011
Posts: 8650
PostPosted: Sat Aug 10, 2013 9:34 am    Post subject: R&P: Defensive Line paper thin? Inexperienced? Reply with quote

Heading into the season, two of the most important positional units that needed to be addressed was Secondary and Defensive Line. Dominik and Schiano really made the effort to improve the secondary, adding 2 All Pros in Revis and Goldson, and used our first draft pick in round 2 on big, lengthy physical playmaker Jonathon Banks.

The Defensive Line also had its struggles, especially since losing Clayborn and Bowers to injuries. Bowers returned and played a limited role last year and looked good coming off the injury. What I question about this unit? Is our depth too inexperienced?

At Defensive Tackle, we have a pro bowler and I believe All Pro in the making talent in Gerlad McCoy. His presence alone being back on this defense healthy, helped transform a 32nd ranked run defenise in 2011 to #1 in 2012. No question this guy is disruptive. However, he has had a past injury history that would make you want to be aware of and add some one who can play his position if he were to wear down and have an injury this year? From my eyes, Derek Landri, Gary Gibson, and Akeem Spence are more suited for the Tilted Nose position, leaving no one to come in and even spell McCoy some snaps. Even All Pro Geno Atkins didn't play nearly as many snaps as McCoy did last year and he had a double digit sack season. I don't like that the Bucs are experimenting kicking Bowers inside, who is not a true inside defensive tackle. To me, that is a terrible idea moving guys out of their natural position. I think the waiver wire/free agency, Bucs should be scouring the market for a DT. Richard Seymour would be a perfect addition as he can play both DT positions and strengthen our depth. I really like what Spence brings and he has upside as a pass rusher, but as you can see, he's a rookie who many should not expect to develop at a fast rate. I think that is what the Bucs are counting on. That's too much in my opinion. Gibson is a quality run stopper to rotate in as well. I think adding a guy like Seymour would only improve Gerlad McCoy's productivity.

At defensive end, there is talent there no doubt. But unprovent talent with injury risks. Adrian Clayborn is a guy I really like at DE. He's a man-child. Non stop motor, with a good blend of size, speed and strength. After his rookie year, I thought he just needed more development in pass rush moves and better supporting cast and he would be a 10+ sack guy. However a torn ACL in week 3 stunted that development. Going into his 3rd year, he looked even better shape. However a nagging Groin injury has kept him out. The only thing I;'m questioning Clayborn is can he stay healthy? If he can, he can be difficult to deal with at RDE. Bowers is about to take over Michael Bennett's position. Bowers throughout his career has not been a full time starter when healthy. He's s flashed his ability in a limited role. But can he take over for Michael Bennett full time?

Behind them? We have Daniel TeoNeisheim, who was solid and productive in a limited role. Steven Means and William Gholston, who have talent, but are again, rookies. Aaron Morgan is an undersized end, but has a lot of speed off the edge, but nothing to rave about. What I start to question now: for 5 million a year, why not re-sign Michael Bennett? Did he have a shoulder injury? Sure. But remember the saying, "you can never have enough pass rushers". Sure he had 9 sacks last year and his strength was against the run, but a DE rotation of Clayborn/Bowers/Bennett/Teo Neisheim while the rookies Means and Gholston Develop?

Again, Dom and Schiano are relying a lot of Rookies to step up. The only reason I'm questioning the dline, is , we haven't proven there is a mainstay of health there. Bennett played well last year with that nagging shoulder injury. Miller played well with a nagging knee injury. Bowers has looked horrendous and dissapointing in camp. Is he a starting LDE or is he a rotational guy?

These are very important questions that need answering. Because, quite frankly, we need improvement on the dline for our secondary to be successful.

Comments are welcomed. Thanks guys.
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Buc Ball


Joined: 09 Oct 2011
Posts: 1199
PostPosted: Sun Aug 11, 2013 1:03 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Great post RP!

I still can't get my head round the Bennett move, especially since he can play the 3 tech as well as the end postion. I understand that Schiano wanted to make Bowers feel like he was the guy, but he should be made to earn his spot as a starter.

I would really like bringing Seymour in based on how much he could benefit McCoy as a mentor- something McCoy talked about last week when he said he didn't really have a vet he could learn from when he first got here.

I think the best way to address the DT situation is to plan as if we won't have McCoy for an extended period. Who would play the 3 tech then? Right now, I don't think I want to know the answer.
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REDandPEWTER


Joined: 31 Aug 2011
Posts: 8650
PostPosted: Sun Aug 11, 2013 3:11 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

http://www.joebucsfan.com/?p=93484#comments

Quote:
Now, after Bowers has been publicly pushed and challenged by the New Schiano Order, yesterday the defensive end admitted hes not yet adjusted to the pace of practice.

Huh?

Bowers was asked to assess what he likes and doesnt like about his 2013 training camp performance.

I think Im still a little winded at times, Bowers said. Im not in the best shape, still getting used to the speed of practice. But other than that, (training camp) has been decent. I wasnt real happy with my game performance [against the Ravens.] A little banged up, no major injuries. But you know, Im ready to go. Just got to get better and grind.
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bucstopshere


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Joined: 21 Dec 2007
Posts: 14109
Location: Las Vegas
PostPosted: Sun Aug 11, 2013 3:49 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I still believe we should have brought in Abraham. First preseason game he got a sack and FF too....Biggest question mark on our team for sure
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