For the longest time I have been wanting the Bucs to get a legit defensive tackle to play next to all-pro Gerald McCoy to provide him with the help he deserves. Now the Bucs deserve credit for trying as they have been trying to find the right fits next to since he came into the league. After McCoy was drafted, the Bucs took another defensive tackle with their very next pick in UCLA DT Brian Price, who looked promising but couldn’t stay healthy and was out of the league too fast. Then the Bucs went through guys like Roy Miller, Albert Haynesworth, and Gary Gibson as it was line of average players who didn’t do much at all to help McCoy. Then finally in 2014 the Bucs added Clinton Mcdonald who was solid in his first year with 5 sacks and did a good job by drawing attention away from McCoy. However he has struggled to stay healthy the last two seasons which forced the Bucs to play former Akeem Spence who was decent but nothing spectacular.
Bucs Gm Jason Licht knew it was time for the Bucs to get bigger up front and more importantly find a way to help McCoy get more one on ones. The Bucs finally got the firepower on the edge with Robert Ayers, Noah Spence, Jack Smith, and Will Gholston to give McCoy some edge presence. However, the biggest move this off-season in my opinion was signing free agent DT Chris Baker whom I feel will make the biggest impact from the Bucs free agent class this year. Now I know most of you guys are thinking I am crazy for not saying Desean Jackson whom will make an impact but what Baker will be able to do for this defense will be gigantic.
Baker is an elite run defender who can also rush the passer and play multiple positions along the front four as well. At 6’2 320, Baker has the power to dominate but also able to get low and use his unique quickness to get by offensive linemen. Putting a talent like Baker next to McCoy is not only going to do wonders for Baker but it’s going to take McCoy’s game to the next level which is kinda scary. If McCoy doesn’t have to take on as many double teams and is allowed more one on ones it’s going to keep McCoy more fresh throughout the season. The addition of Baker also moves former starter Mcdonald to more of super sub role where he can be utilized more as a 3 tech which is a better fit for his skillset. The Bucs can now present a legit pass rush threat on all three downs with the addition of Baker whom will make the front four lethal.
After this season, I think we all be saying what an addition Chris Baker has been for the Buccaneers. As long as he is healthy, Baker is going to be able to do so much for this defense which is why I believe it should be a top ten unit this season. The way Baker can impact the game is why I feel he will be the Bucs best free agent signing since Vincent Jackson. He will create space for McCoy and also help our edge rushers get more sacks due to his ability to push the pocket. He might not put up huge stats but his ability to make those around him better plus playing next to McCoy should make this front four fun to watch in 2017.
— RealBucsTalk (@RealBucsTalk) March 9, 2017