What kind of impact will All-Pro cornerback Darrelle Revis have on the Buccaneers’ defense? According to his new teammate and fellow Pro Bowler, Gerald McCoy, the answer doesn’t have to be measured in points or yards, but in seconds. And not even plural, but singular. As in, one second.
One more second is all McCoy wants. In many cases, it’s all any defensive lineman wants. It’s the difference between turning and watching a pass zip downfield (no fun) and getting up off a recently-flattened quarterback (lots of fun).
Gerald McCoy made the Pro Bowl for the first time last year, in his third NFL season, despite the relatively non-flashy sack total of 5.0. Obviously, all-star voters, which included his peers on the playing field, could still see the impact that McCoy had on a game, which included nine tackles for loss and 16 quarterback hits. Tampa Bay’s run defense was stellar, and the team ranked first in the NFL in yards allowed on the ground and tackles in the backfield. The pass defense wasn’t nearly efficient, and the sacks were particularly lacking. The Bucs ranked 31st in the NFL in sacks recorded per pass play on defense.
A team’s sack total does not tell the full story about its defensive proficiency, but there’s no denying that a sack can be a game-changing play, particularly when it occurs on third down and/or forces a fumble. The Bucs want more of them. McCoy says Revis will help them achieve that goal by providing that one extra tick on the clock before the ball is released.
“You can’t beat that,” said McCoy. “You can’t beat having time. There were a lot of times [last year] where I would hit the quarterback or run around in the pocket and he would have a chance to get the ball out. [Adding Revis] is going to help all of us.”
McCoy notes that the Bucs also added All-Pro safety Dashon Goldson to the secondary. The defensive backfield was massively overhauled, while the front line saw some assets leave town and some others arrive. It remains to be seen the impact that newcomers such as Akeem Spence and William Gholston will have on the Bucs’ defensive line, but McCoy has no doubt that the additions in the secondary will produce a very helpful chain reaction.
“I looked at [a list], and I was, like, second in the league for D-Tackles in QB hits,” said McCoy, who knows another second here and there will turn some of those QB hits into outright sacks. “That’s the additional second that these guys who have been added to the team will give us, and that will be great for everybody.”