The Buccaneers are in the middle of camp and the defensive line has been a big talk of the town thanks to some dominating clips of Jason Pierre-Paul demolishing some one on one drills. The team has shown multiple groupings and rotations when it comes to first team, second team and pass rush specialist grouping that includes Pierre-Paul on the inside with Spence sliding in off the edge to accompany McCoy and Curry as well. In fact, the team has been so heavy with four man fronts that it prompted a question for a fellow site. Joe Bucs Fan asked the question, link here to article, and Buckner made no butts about it in his response. “You ain’t gonna see it. I got four dogs on every snap, why wouldn’t we let’em out? … That’s not the plan now,” Buckner added of the Bucs using a 3-4 front.
Tampa Bay fans should applaud and cheer for this man with a statement like this. Injuries a year ago and an overall lack of pass rush in general led to multiple looks along the defensive front. Mike Smith honestly had no option other than to mix things up a good bit. With additions like Pierre-Paul and Curry along with the return of Noah Spence, this team shouldn’t be looking to do anything less than get all the horses to the starting gate and letting them off from the start. This is good news for the defense as a whole as the back end of the defense is going to need a lot of help from the front seven. This year, with this group, four men can and should be the winning ticket to an improved overall defense.
One question that will remain to be seen is how this front will line up with the growth and development of first round pick Vita Vea. Battling through an injury for now, Vea will need to produce. Beau Allen will need to produce. These men are not heavy pass rushers, *yet* anyways for Vea, and will be relied upon heavily to plug the middle and help free up Gerald McCoy and the ends. This should allow for a more realistic mix and rotation up front, one that needs to be figured out quickly as our own James Yarcho touched on already.
For now, let’s all take a sigh of relief as Brenston Buckner surely sounds like the right man for the job at the right moment for this Buccaneer defensive line group. Here’s to hoping Coach Buckner gets these guys minds right and unleashes four pillaging Buccaneers on the opposing offenses snap after snap. As always, Go Bucs!