The 1-5 Buccaneers rank last in points allowed (204), including the 52 and 48 given up against Atlanta and Baltimore, respectively, and the Tampa 2 defense is now under fire throughout the Bay Area.
The system is predicated on getting a heavy pass rush, most notably from its primary defensive end. The Buccaneers have relied on high-priced free agent acquisition Michael Johnson, and so far the investment has not paid off. The sixth-year pro has tallied just two sacks while applying limited pressure in the passing game.
However, the first-year Buccaneer is not playing at 100 percent health. You won’t hear Johnson making excuses for his play, but a significant reason for his lack of production since coming from Cincinnati can be attributed to injuries.
During Week 1 against Carolina, Johnson rolled his already sprained ankle. Although the injury only sidelined him for a week, Buccaneer coaches know that their primary edge rusher is playing at a disadvantage.
“Well, for us it’s a fact,” said defensive coordinator Leslie Frazier at his press conference on last week. “He’s been playing injured.”
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