Tampa Bay Buccaneers: ESPN Stats & Information

Johnson, Verner by the numbers

March, 12, 2014
The fine folks at ESPN Stats & Information were kind enough to pass on some numbers on two of the newest Buccaneers, Michael Johnson and Alterraun Verner.

A lot of people are pointing to the fact that Johnson had only 3.5 sacks last year. But he did lead the league in another important stat. That’s batted passes. Johnson tied with Connor Barwin for the league lead with eight passes batted down.

Another nugget on Johnson: Since his rookie year (2009), the Bengals allowed a 42.8 Total QBR when Johnson was on the field and a 51.4 Total QBR when he wasn’t.

Now, let’s move over to Verner. He is one of 12 cornerbacks in the NFL to start every game in the last two seasons. He has never missed a game in four NFL seasons. Verner, who had five interceptions last season, tied for second in the league in pass breakups with 17, one behind league leader Lardarius Webb.

Over the last four seasons, Verner is one of just four cornerbacks to total 3,500 snaps and 250 tackles. Cortland Finnegan, DeAngelo Hall and Tramon Williams are the others.

Tracking 2014 draft order

December, 2, 2013
TAMPA, Fla. -- There haven’t been a lot of positives for the Tampa Bay Buccaneers this season. But there’s one compelling story worth watching closely over the final four games.

That is the NFL draft order for 2014. According to ESPN Stats & Information, which figured in tiebreakers, the Bucs would hold the No. 5 overall pick if the season ended today. But they remain in striking distance of landing the first overall pick.
TAMPA, Fla. -- In a season in which almost nothing has gone right for the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, even some positive things are coming under scrutiny.

Take the case of wide receiver Vincent Jackson, who has been targeted a league-high 90 times. Some view that as a negative and say that rookie quarterback Mike Glennon has been locking into Jackson too much. But coach Greg Schiano doesn’t see it that way. Schiano said Glennon simply is following his reads.

"(Jackson is) the first read a lot and if he’s there you give it to him," Schiano said. "With Mike reading things out efficiently, and not going to Vincent when he is double covered or covered, I think that’s opening up for Vincent more and letting us go to him more."

Jackson also is among the league leaders in drops. According to ESPN Stats & Information, Jackson is tied for fourth in the league with five drops. But Schiano said that comes with the territory.

“If you look at the top receivers in this league, they have some drops. Why? Because they make some spectacular plays and they have such confidence, they’re thinking about scoring every time they touch it,’’ Schiano said. “You’d love to have spectacular plays and no drops but that’s not realistic. Maybe it is if you have the perfect guy but I haven’t met him yet. But I think Vincent is having a good year and I think he’s at the point where he could really take off and that’s what we hope for.’’

Buccaneers can't afford 0-3 start

September, 18, 2013
If the Tampa Bay Buccaneers lose to the New England Patriots on Sunday, they pretty much can forget about ending up in the playoffs.

The Bucs already are 0-2. According to ESPN Stats & Information, only 12 percent of teams to start 0-2 since 1990 have made the playoffs. When it comes to 0-3 teams, the rate drops to about 3 percent.

Over the past four seasons, 30 teams have started a season 0-2 and none has made the playoffs. Only three teams have won the Super Bowl after an 0-2 start -- the 1993 Dallas Cowboys, the 2001 Patriots and the 2007 New York Giants.

History on Doug Martin's side

September, 4, 2013
When it comes to Tampa Bay Buccaneers running back Doug Martin, a lot of people are wondering if he’ll have a sophomore slump.

I don’t see it. First off, he should be running behind a very good offensive line. Guard Davin Joseph is healthy after missing last season. Once guard Carl Nicks gets back from a staph infection, the Bucs could have one of the NFL’s best offensive lines.

Second, history is on Martin’s side. He had 1,926 yards from scrimmage last season, the third-highest total by a rookie in NFL history. Eric Dickerson (2,212 yards) holds the record and Edgerrin James (2,139 yards) is second, according to ESPN Stats & Information.

Dickerson improved to 2,244 yards in his second season and James’ total jumped to 2,303 yards.
We’ve talked a lot already about Tampa Bay’s pass rush (or lack of one in the preseason).

The Bucs clearly expect big things from defensive ends Adrian Clayborn and Da’Quan Bowers, but there’s something else that’s been overlooked too often. That’s how the arrival of cornerback Darrelle Revis will help the pass rush.

Revis has the ability to shut down one side of the field. In theory, that should allow the Bucs the opportunity to bring extra pass rushers. That’s something that worked quite well for the New York Jets when they had Revis.

From 2008 through 2012, the Jets brought five or more pass rushers on 40 percent of dropbacks by opponents, according to ESPN Stats & Information. That figure ranked third in the NFL. The Jets held opponents to a 55-percent completion rate, which ranked No. 1 in the league, and an average of 6.4 yards per attempt which ranked second in the league.

Outside linebacker Lavonte David and strong safety Mark Barron are the two guys I would expect to be used most often as blitzers.