2. Squeeze Winston’s Pocket
Interestingly, the Bucs only allowed 27 sacks last season. Former Falcons center Joe Hawley holds the same position in Tampa and Falcons fans are already aware of his scrappiness and his battles with Falcons defensive tackles Grady Jarrett and Johnathan Babineaux will be a game within the game. Their ability to shrink the pocket will get Winston rattled as the second-year QB is prone to ill-timed turnovers.
The defensive line must walk away with a number of sacks in order to prove that their pass rushing element has improved. That is a given. However, along with those sacks, the defensive line must create constant pressure consistently. Giving Winston a comfortable pocket will lead to Winston having a great game. Expect for defensive coordinator Richard Smith to devise several formulas in getting after Winston which will involve having Vic Beasley rush from multiple angles as well as moving defensive ends Adrian Clayborn and Derrick Shelby to a number of spots along the line.
Next: Discipline At Linebacker