Writers of Pro Football Prospectus 2008

13 May 2011

Debunking Three Tampa Bay Myths

Sander Philipse, one of our 2010 game charters, uses the FO game charting data to look at some questions about the Tampa Bay Buccaneers: Is there anything wrong with rushing just three? Did Gerald McCoy struggle as a rookie? And how good was Davin Joseph last year?

Posted by: Aaron Schatz on 13 May 2011

13 comments, Last at 20 May 2011, 9:30am by Michael LaRocca


by Shattenjager :: Fri, 05/13/2011 - 5:43pm

I found it hilarious that one of the commenters called Trueblood "The Sabby of the O-line."

How long will Sabby be the word for "worst player" to TB fans?

by MilkmanDanimal :: Fri, 05/13/2011 - 10:06pm

I was watching something on NFL Network the other day and they were showing footage of a couple of 2009 games. Over the course of about five minutes, I saw Sabby Piscatelli utterly whiffing on three separate tackles in different clips. When I was at the Bucs-Rams game this fall, I was within throwing distance of Piscatelli's head, and I still struggle as to whether I made the right decision in either A) throwing nothing or B) teaching my son how to throw at his head. "Sabby" will be the equivalent of "crap" for a long, long, time.

I propose a new term for "Football Suck"--"Sabbylicious". As in, "Wow, that Jimmy Claussen, he was totally Sabbylicious last year."

I think it's unfair to point out Trueblood's missed blocks; amongst Bucs fans he's really known for holding penalties and personal conduct fouls. Let's focus on his core strengths, people. As for Joseph, I find that surprising, and will generously assume he was fighting through injuries. He was at least an excellent run-blocker for a number of years, and I don't recall him being a real detriment in passing in the past.

by Theo :: Sat, 05/14/2011 - 7:24pm

The laugh is not over, he's on the Cleveland Browns roster now. He could play receiver for them.

by speedegg :: Fri, 05/13/2011 - 8:00pm

Oh man.....were's MilkmanDan? Wonder what he has to say about the Buccs. Interesting article, thought Buccs were going to try and blitz more, but looks like they're going with coverage, maybe putting the "Tampa" back into "Tampa-2".

by Sander :: Sat, 05/14/2011 - 11:56am

Well, Morris is still blitzing significantly more than Dungy or Kiffin ever did. And there have been some risky plays. But the basis of his scheme remains safe pressure - there's not a lot of risk taking, although he did put Talib on an island a couple of times. Compare it to what the Pittsburgh Steelers are doing under Tomlin and LeBeau. yes, Pittsburgh runs a 2-gap 3-4 instead of a 1-gap 4-3, but a lot of the concepts underlying the defense are similar.

by JonFrum :: Fri, 05/13/2011 - 8:41pm

I wouldn't be judging a defensive tackle by sacks - it's a small part of their game.

by tuluse :: Fri, 05/13/2011 - 11:04pm

It depends on scheme and the player. Sacks were a pretty big part of Warren Sapp's game.

by Sander :: Sat, 05/14/2011 - 6:16am

Not in the Bucs' scheme. Gerald McCoy was asked to penetrate and disrupt plays, and get to the quarterback.

Of course, this isn't close to being the full story on Gerald McCoy and looking at sacks and pressures alone doesn't come close to painting the whole picture. But sacks and pressures are a very important part of playing 3-technique in Tampa Bay's system.

by MilkmanDanimal :: Sat, 05/14/2011 - 10:36am

McCoy was clearly becoming more and more disruptive as the season went by, and was really doing well until his injury. Sure, Suh's a monster, but I'm very happy having McCoy in the middle; he was really playing well after he settled in a bit (4-5 games or so). Assuming either Bowers or Clayborn pans out, it'll be fun to watch what McCoy can do when the opposing offensive tackles actually need to stay awake once the ball is snapped.

by Theo :: Sat, 05/14/2011 - 8:38pm

You wouldn't believe this, but I started off as a wide receiver/corner back.
Then on my new team I was a cornerback/safety.
Then at some drills me and a coach saw something in me. We had a lack of big guys so we sold out against the pass; I became a defensive tackle. We had 2 6'4 defensive ends and 2 5'7 defensive tackles.
Speed kills, bitches.
As a DT, you have a gap. If you hold your gap, you've won. You only need one arm go guard of your opponent, the rest you can use to tackle the runner, I've made plenty of tackles like this. The thing with offenses is, they choose a gap/area. So sometimes they double team someone or put a fullback in there.
Defensive tackles are about gap control and about messing up the pass blocking. Not sacks and tackles. Sacks are good if you're not double teamed. Even as a 'small' guy I was double teamed, because with speed I could mess their play up if their guard was pulling.
I think Sapp was so good because he had speed to go with his strength. (am I kicking in an open door here?)
Teams didn't know what to do. You can't double team everyone on the defesive line.

Do I hate tickers, that thing on the right, holy shit that is annyoing, I don't want to click anything on there.
Who reads the shit that is on your TV at the bottom?
No one.
Really, who reads that.

by CoachDave :: Mon, 05/16/2011 - 5:39pm

Cocaine is a helluva drug man.

by Moderate Mouse (not verified) :: Tue, 05/17/2011 - 6:26pm

Ha! Ha! I was thinking the same thing.

by Michael LaRocca (not verified) :: Fri, 05/20/2011 - 9:30am

Yeah, but would they play better in orange?