Saturday, October 26, 2019

Buccaneer Run Defense Through Six Games—Quite Good

By John Turney
Vita Vea
Through six games the Buccaneers new hybrid 3-4 defense is making a mark in run stopping by allowing 2.89 yards a rush, best in the NFL so far this season.

Here are the top 35 (through six games) since 1950.
Actually, a lot of these teams are recent, which surprised us a bit, i.e. few in the 1970s and 1980s. But, of course, it's early in the season.

Bucs defensive coordinator Todd Bowles changed the 4-3 defense the Bucs had run for years into a 3-4 one-gap defense allowing Vita Vea to plug the middle and Ndamukong Suh to play three-technique full time. Suh was a nose tackle with the Rams in 2018 and a left defensive tackle with the from 2010-17 with the Lions and Dolphins. As a left tackle, he played both three-technique and a shaded nose tackle, depending on the strength of the offense and the front call (over or under) of the defense.

This year, based on film study, Suh is almost always over a guard at three-tech (similar to Aaron Donald for example). It seems to be paying dividends.

William Gholston is the base end who doesn't play on pass downs does a find job at stacking and shedding tackles to create piles and contribute to the success of the run defense. Every team needs a player like him.

The linebackers get good rush (Barrett has 9 sacks) and find the ball. Now, if the pass defense can rise to the level of the run defense, they'd be quite formidable.

1 comment:

  1. Lots of Raven teams on the list. Forgot how difficult they were to run on for nearly a decade.