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The Tampa Bay Buccaneers didn't blitz as much as you think

The Tampa Bay Buccaneers appeared to run a defense based on blitzes last seasons, but appearances can be deceiving.

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J. Meric

The Tampa Bay Buccaneers lost several games because they kept blitzing and failing to get to the quarterback, leaving gaping holes in their secondary last season. And yet, the Bucs didn't actually blitz much compared to the league average. According to Pro Football Focus, the Bucs blitzed on just 29.7% of pass plays. That ranked 17th in the NFL last season, and was actually a lower percentage than a year before when they had a blitz percentage of 33.7%.

That's a fairly intriguing result, and I'd be interested to see how the Bucs did on blitzes compared to four-man rushes. I would guess that they did poorly on both, but fared worse on blitzes -- but right now, I don't have the data to back that up.

This does tell us one thing, though. There were so many disastrous blitzes that they stick out in my mind much, much more than the actual percentage of blitzes would warrant. Regardless of blitz frequency, the Buccaneers simply need to get better at them. Better at designing them, better at executing them, and better at holding up in coverage. Adding Revis and Goldson will surely help with the latter, but the former is a coaching and scheme issue. And that may be a little harder to fix.

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