NFL

Bucs’ post-Denver game struggles feature lack of sacks

12/2/12 in NFL   |   BrianMaddock   |   1429 respect

Tampa Bay Buccaneers defensive tackle Gerald McCoy started the season at a fast pace as a pass rusher, racking up three sacks in under three games. But eight games since there’s been no addition to that number.
 
Moreover, defensive end Adrian Clayborn’s season-ending knee injury has allowed rivals teams to slide protection Gerald McCoy’s way. And although the Tampa Bay Buccaneers have been disruptive of the quarterback at times, they’ve failed to improve on last season’s ranking by dropping to 28th in the league with only 18 sacks, of which seven can be credited to fourth-year defensive end Michael Bennett.
 
"There's never just one thing. If there was, you'd get it fixed and there wouldn't be a problem," Tampa Bay Buccaneers coach Greg Schiano stated of their pass rushing struggles. "One time, a guy makes an assignment error. Or there could be a technique error. He has him beat … and doesn't finish the rush.”
 
"Another time, it may be a different scenario where he didn't have the rush where he can go from speed to power and he didn't,” continued Greg Schiano. “So there are so many different things. It's not just, 'There's the quarterback and go get him.'"
 
However, pressuring the quarterback today won’t be an easy task for the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. Denver Broncos quarterback Peyton Manning is known for his sound work ethics and dedication towards running each route innumerous times during practice. The Tampa Bay Buccaneers will find sacks rare against Peyton Manning since he throws with great anticipation and speed. Although Peyton Manning has been sacked the just as many times as Tampa Bay Buccaneers starting quarterback Josh Freeman, Manning has thrown 60 more passes this season.
 
"We just do what we're coached. We've got to start owning plays that are called more. We can't always look for a different call,” said Gerald McCoy. “Whatever they call is what we have to play. Last week (against the Falcons), I don't think we played as fast as we have in the past or as physical. That's going to be highly necessary (today)."
 
Tampa Bay Buccaneers defensive coordinator Bill Sheridan had an elaboration on Gerald McCoy’s “Whatever they call is what we have to play” statement.
 
"I think sometimes if you're not having the success that you planned on or you're playing for, you tend to look for reasons why," said Bill Sheridan. "We are, too. We brainstorm all the time trying to find new ways to rush and put together pressure. I think he's referring to that.”
 
At several instances this season, Gerald McCoy has coordinated with Bill Sheridan to reduce the number of stunts and twists the team runs on the line.
 
"The thing nowadays is people aren't going to sit back and take a seven-step drop and wait for the ball to be thrown all the way down the field,” stated Bill Sheridan. “They're getting rid of the ball, and the guy we're playing is as good as anybody.”
 
“(Peyton Manning) is not going to sit in there and dare you to pressure him. He's always going to have a route to get the ball out."
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