Make us your home page
Instagram

Get the quickest, smartest news, analysis and photos from the Bucs game emailed to you shortly after the final whistle.

(View our Privacy Policy)

Bucs turn to young players Jones, Lambert to fill pass-rush hole

Howard Jones will get a bigger role in the outside pass rush, as will DaVonte Lambert, with Jacquies Smith out for the season.

DIRK SHADD | Times

Howard Jones will get a bigger role in the outside pass rush, as will DaVonte Lambert, with Jacquies Smith out for the season.

TAMPA — As the Bucs move forward without DE Jacquies Smith, lost to a season-ending knee injury Sunday, they'll look to second-year pro Howard Jones and rookie DaVonte Lambert to pick up larger roles in the outside pass rush.

"Howard's a good pass rusher,'' coach Dirk Koetter said of Jones, who had five sacks last season. "Howard's got speed off the edge … and Lambert obviously is a guy that we were excited enough about him to keep him here on the 53 (roster). His versatility, again a guy that can play inside or outside, kind of in the Robert Ayers mold, enough though he's a young guy. You have to develop your young guys in the NFL."

Lambert has been listed as a defensive tackle, but was moved to a second-team defensive end on the depth chart this week and said he has worked at both positions in practice. Lambert, who was inactive for Sunday's game, would be better suited to line up outside in the base defense, while Jones is better suited to be a "DPR" or "designated pass rusher" from the outside in the nickel package.

"It's going to allow some young guys to get some opportunities to play," defensive coordinator Mike Smith said. "Lambert is going to get an opportunity to get some snaps. Howard's had some production in this league … he's going to get an opportunity to rush the passer."

The Bucs added starting DE Robert Ayers to their injury report as being "limited" in Thursday's practice with an ankle injury. His absence would be a major setback to the pass rush against Arizona.

MORE HONORS: Bucs QB Jameis Winston continues to pull in accolades for his four-touchdown game in Sunday's win over Atlanta, getting voted Thursday as the NFL's FedEx Air player of the eeek for Week 1.

Winston beat out the Saints' Drew Brees and the Lions' Matthew Stafford for the weekly passing honor — he was 23-for-32 for 281 yards and four touchdowns in the Bucs' 31-24 win Sunday. It's his second time winning the honor, having won in Week 11 last season after he threw five touchdowns in an easy win over the Eagles. Winston was also honored as the NFC offensive player of the week as well.

THIS AND THAT: Ayers was the only Buc limited by injury in Thursday's practice. The Cardinals had six players limited by injury and two others held out entirely. … The Chiefs on Wednesday waived CB KeiVarae Russell, who they'd drafted in the third round in April with the first of two picks acquired from the Bucs when Tampa Bay traded up to take PK Roberto Aguayo. The Bengals claimed Russell off waivers Thursday. … Due to a stat correction from the NFL, an incompletion originally credited to Winston was removed, thanks to a penalty accepted on the play. The change moves Winston up to fifth in the NFL in completion percentage.

Contact Greg Auman at gauman@tampabay.com and (813) 310-2690. Follow @gregauman.

Bucs turn to young players Jones, Lambert to fill pass-rush hole 09/15/16 [Last modified: Thursday, September 15, 2016 9:32pm]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

© 2017 Tampa Bay Times

    

Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

Loading...
  1. Rays video tribute to ex-manager Joe Maddon upon return with Cubs

    Blogs

    Here is the Rays video tribute to former manager Joe Maddon, who returned to the Trop for the first time on Tuesday with his Cubs team:

  2. After Irma disruption, Miami eager to face Toledo

    College

    LAKE BUENA VISTA — Like thousands of other evacuees, Miami defensive coordinator Manny Diaz headed north to escape Hurricane Irma with his family, two suitcases and the anxiety of not knowing what would happen to everything he left behind.

    Miami coach Mark Richt watches during a victory over B-CU in the Sept. 2 opener. The Hurricanes haven’t played since.
  3. Joe Maddon on being back at Trop, Cash, a new stadium

    Blogs

    More to come later, but a couple of quick early highlights from former Rays manager Joe Maddon's return to the Trop with the Cubs:

    Joe Maddon, right, speaks with Rays pitching coach Jim Hickey before Tuesday's game at Tropicana Field.
  4. Former Lightning forward Brian Boyle diagnosed with cancer, expects to keep playing

    Lightning Strikes

    New Jersey Devils forward Brian Boyle has been diagnosed with chronic myeloid leukemia, a type of bone-marrow cancer that the team's doctor said can largely be treated with medication.

    Brian Boyle has been diagnosed with chronic myeloid leukemia, a type of bone-marrow cancer that the team's doctor says can be treated with medication, the Devils announced Tuesday. [AP photo]
  5. Lightning Strikes! podcast: Preseason storylines to watch

    Blogs

    In this episode of our Lightning Strikes podcast, Joe Smith and columnist Tom Jones set up the preseason with storylines to watch, as well as expectations for the season. Will defenseman Mikhail …

    Will defenseman Mikhail Sergachev make the Lightning?