The Tampa Bay Buccaneers have hired the former New York Jets defensive coordinator Kacy Rodgers as their defensive line coach.
Rodgers follows the former New York Jets coach Todd Bowles, who is now the Buccaneer defensive coordinator. Bowles has worked for years with Arians, so his word carries plenty of weight. He clearly wanted his guys from New York.
Rodgers hiring does not come without possible consequences, however. Last season, Brentson Buckner was the defensive line coach. Behind his no nonsense coaching style, the Buccaneer defensive line made massive improvements.
Buckner joined the Oakland Raiders staff last week, as he posted on twitter.
Rodgers best year in New York was 2015. Comparing his unit’s defensive statistics from 2015 to the Tampa Bay Buccaneers in 2018 is a night and day difference.
In 2015, the New York Jets ranked top 10 in defending the run. The Tampa Bay Buccaneers ranked no higher than 24th in any other rushing defense category.
In passing defense, the New York Jets ranked no lower than 15th in any category. Compared to the 2018 Tampa Bay Buccaneers, that is incredible. The Buccaneers ranked no higher than 26th in any category. Pass rush and pass defense go hand in hand.
The Buccaneers could use a serious spark on defense, and behind Bowles and Rodgers, that could happen.
There is some questions around personnel for Rodgers though. It has been rumored that the Tampa Bay Buccaneers are considering the release of six-time Pro Bowl defensive Tackle Gerald McCoy.
McCoy is due 13 million dollars against the cap next season, and could be cut to make improvements in the secondary and on the offensive line.
However, Jason Pierre-Paul should be back next season. Pierre-Paul was able to break the 13 year long curse of double digit sacks last season. The last Buccaneer to get 10 sacks in a season before Pierre-Paul was Simeon Rice in 2005.
Vita Vea and Carl Nassib should continue their growth on the defensive line, and the unit could be a formidable one next year with some acquisitions.
2019 could be a great year for the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. As many people say, defense wins championships.
A defensive turnaround could go a long way for Tampa Bay.
Fire the cannons!