For most, the pass rush was a huge issue of contention last season with the Bucs producing 26 sacks. Through three pre-season games this year the Bucs already have 13 sacks, half of what they produced as a team through 16-games in 2010.
The inevitable turnaround can be directly attributed to the hiring of Keith Millard and Grady Stretz, of course the additions of Adrian Clayborn and Da’Quan Bowers has helped. But the majority of the credit can be summed up with three words: NFL caliber coaching.
To a man just about every defensive lineman has had rave reviews for Millard and Stretz while stopping just short of throwing former line coach Todd Wash under the bus for his antiquated teachings.
Illustrating just how effective they have been so far we can look at last year’s pressure percentage for the team and compare it to this pre-season.
In 2010 the team had 26 sacks, 38 quarterback hits and 88 pressures for a total of 152, they faced a total of 547 pass attempts (521 passes plus 26 sacks) for a pressure percentage of 28% meaning they were able to pressure the opposing quarterback 28% of the time they attempted a pass or once every 3.6 times they dropped back to pass.
Through three exhibition games this pre-season the team has 13 sacks, 13 quarterback hits and 25 pressures for a total of 51 total pressures. They have faced a total of 95 pass attempts (82 passes plus 13 sacks) and have managed to get pressure 54% of the time the opposition has tried to pass or once every 1.86 times the opposition has dropped back to pass.
The defense has increased the regularity in which they are getting pressure by 26% and decreased the number of attempts the opposition can drop back before pressure is applied by half over what they produced in the 2010 regular season.