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More Pro Football Focus: Bucs Pass Rushers

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And we're back with some more Pro Football Focus. This time, they're taking a look at pass rush production from different position groups. We'll start with the edge rushers, the position group with the most change going into next season. For the Bucs, Stylez G. White and Kyle Moore were the starters last season, but neither player is expected to make it back to the regular season roster. White because he's not under contract and signing him would go against the Bucs' youth movement, while Moore has simply shown too little to make it out of training camp in an open competition in my opinion.

Of course, PFF's numbers don't agree with me, again. White was the 19th best pass rusher over these past three seasons, which should certainly be good enough to earn a new contract. Contrast that with Tim Crowder who is more likely to return as at least a training camp body, and he does have the skills to make the roster. Despite that, PFF ranked him as the 7th worst pass rusher in the NFL last season. Yep. The 7th worst. And Michael Bennett, the man who's almost certain to make the roster, did little better: he was 11th. Either Pro Football Focus is dead wrong, or the Bucs' front office has gone mad.

Pro Football Focus ran the same numbers for interior linemen. Only one Buccaneer makes any of those lists, but it's a good one: Gerald McCoy was the 20th best interior lineman pass rusher last season. That made him the second-best rookie behind - no, not Ndamukong Suh, but behind Bengals DT Geno Atkins. Yep, that fourth round pick had one great season, but Gerald McCoy making that list underscores his quality and potential going into next year. Especially when we consider that there was a long stretch of games in which he had little impact. When he figured out what he needed to, he made a big impact. 

Finally, PFF looked at pass-rushing linebackers.Unsurprisingly, Barrett Ruud is way at the bottom of the qualifying list, though I have a hard time believing he rushed the passer 103 times last season. No other Bucs linebacker qualifies for either the one-year or three-year list, though, including supposed pass-rush savant Quincy Black, who apparently didn't rush the passer nearly as much as Barrett Ruud, though Black did miss numerous games. Barrett Ruud's lack of pass rush ability is no surprise, it's simply not a part of his game. It must be said that Barrett Ruud progressed as a pass rusher as the season went on, though, having a number of impact plays toward the end of the season. 

In conclusion, it appears that just as none of the Bucs can pass protect, none of them can pass rush either - except for Gerald McCoy.