The Bucs were good against the run last year. And a man who follows the Bucs closely thinks they have improved.
Last year, the Bucs tied for seventh in yards allowed per rush at 4.3 yards. The Bucs were third in the NFL in total rushing yards allowed (1,573) and no team was rushed less than the Bucs. Teams just didn’t run on the Bucs, with just 366 attempts.
And while the Bucs lost a monster brick in Ndamukong Suh’s rushing wall (Joe thinks it’s fair to suggest he left because he’s still looking for work), Buccaneers.com’s Scott Smith is confident that the Bucs will go better against the run this season.
Why is that? Well, Smith points out that while losing Suh is tough, look who the Bucs have added on the defensive front.
What I find interesting is that if you go back one more season before the arrival of Bowles and Suh and all that, to 2018, the best defense in the NFL belonged to … the Chicago Bears, who put featured Pro Bowl defensive lineman Akiem Hicks in the middle of the trenches. Hicks had 7.5 sacks that season and a total of 23.0 from 2016-18, which obviously has a lot to do with his star recognition, but the 6-foot-4, 335-pound defender was also a key part of that stifling run defense. .
The Buccaneers used their first draft pick of 2022, [No. 33 overall]on Houston defensive lineman Logan Hall, who they’ll place in the three-technical position to hopefully generate some pressure from within.
As Smith points out, Hicks’ health will be key.
Joe sees Smith working here. It’s not like Akiem Hicks is bringing Akeem Spence to his knees. This guy is very, very strong. And Joe understands that the Bucs are very eager to see Logan Hall hit the pads and face Shaq Mason and Ryan Jensen. Just like Joe.
So yeah, even though the Bucs lost Suh, in theory the Bucs could be better up front against the run.
– NFL (@NFL) June 4, 2022