The Buccaneers are struggling. Whether it’s the offensive collapse or lapses in the defense this team needs a spark to get things going. If I were the general manager I would prefer to build a team from the trenches out. So here are two signings that could alter this team’s course.
Offensive Line Help
Starting at left guard Luke Goedeke has struggled. In allowed pressure opportunities (256 not including the Panthers game) he has allowed 19 total pressures per PFF. Of those 14 have been hurries, three hits, and two sacks. His current PFF efficiency rate is a 95.9 and pass blocking grade is a horrid 24.8 .The rookie needs more time to develop in order to be a force multiplier on this team. Right now he’s a liability.
Not just available but also serviceable is Ereck Flowers. Flowers is currently a free agent and may be one of the better options still on the open market. Having entered the league as a left tackle Flowers transitioned to left guard in 2019 and has played well. In 2021 he only allowed 17 hurries, three hits, and six sacks on 591 pressure opportunities. Meanwhile Goedeke is on pace to more than double those numbers this season. For Flowers this amounted to a 97.3 efficiency rate and a 78.1 pass blocking grad that could give the Buccaneers a boost over their current situation.
Defensive Line Help
This season the defense, especially the line, seem to be missing something. That something is Ndamukong Suh. Still unsigned Suh may command more money than the Buccaneers are willing to part with at this time. So a suitable replacement must be found.
Enter Sheldon Richardson. Richardson, who spent his previous season with the Minnesota Vikings applied almost as much pressure on quarterbacks last season as Suh did. Also he arguably did it with less talented players around him than Suh had. Last season Richardson posted 17.5 pressures (Suh 19) with six hurries (Suh 6) nine quarterback knockdowns (Suh 7) and 2.5 sacks (Suh 6). Both players had comparable tackles for loss with Richardson notching six to Suh’s seven and Richardson batted down four passes. Either way more pressure needs to be applied by the defensive line and Richardson or Suh could provide it.
Luke Goedeke is to raw and not ready to start. Everyone has noticed. If knowing this is most likely Tom Brady’s final season you have to shore up the left guard. There are options but the Buccaneers must do something now. Flowers could be that someone.
Lastly, Akiem Hicks is, well, Akiem Hicks. The same player who only saw action in only nine games last season. So I echo what fellow Buccaneers fans said during the offseason. The money they spent on him should have gone to retaining Suh. At this point we don’t even know if he would entertain coming back. So Richardson may be the next best option.
Either way this team needs help and it can’t be ignored any longer.