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The Buccaneers need some quarterback hits

Brad Barr-USA TODAY Sports

Pro Football Journal has a season in review written by Nick Webster about "More Stats You Need to Know - QB Hits, 2015". The article reveals a direct effect on QB hits, without accounting for sacks. The big number it identifies is the completion rate difference between is about 20% lower when a QB is hit. Also, QB hits induce more interceptions by 181% more than when not hit. That article is a great read and I encourage you to have a peek.

The site ranks the top 18 players who have had QB hits.  Here are some notable names:

Pro Football Journal
2015 QB Hits (sans Sacks)
Rank Player Team QB Hit Sacks Total QB Pressures
1 JJ Watt Houston 32 17.5 49.5
2 Olivier Vernon Miami 30 7.5 37.5
6 Michael Bennett Seattle 21 10 31
10 Muhammad Wilkerson NY Jets 17 12 29
16 Adrian Clayborn Atlanta 14 3 17

Vernon and Wilkerson are possible candidates to become free agents.  Former Buc Clayborn is also set to be a free agent from Atlanta's roster. Bennett is a former Buc too. There are no Bucs  in the top 18 of QB hits stat.

Although sacks is a great metric for QB pressure, QB hits seems as though it is becoming a very quantifiable thing. A QB hit can induce less accuracy and more possible interceptions. The more QB hits, then the higher the probability of such occurrences.

Yes, it is apparent former Buc players are on that list of top 18, with Adrian Clayborn being the most recent Buc. He was not re-signed for 2015. Instead, the Bucs chose to make a trade for DE George Johnson, due to a botched up poison pill in the RFA offer sheet. Johnson had zero sacks for the Bucs. Yet, there is Clayborn with 3 sacks and 14 QB hits.

This brings up a different question besides who to look for help in FA at the DE position. That question is do the Bucs' have a competent talent evaluator because it seems for two consecutive seasons the organization has bombed out on Michael Johnson and then George Johnson.  If not lack of talent, then is it the coaching?