What's up with the Buccaneers' stunts?

Tampa Bay Buccaneers’ fans have been asking consistently throughout the preseason about all the stunts the team has been using on the defensive line.

A lot of fans say they’re confused by what the stunts are all about and if they have any value.

Well, we got an answer straight from defensive coordinator Bill Sheridan on Thursday.

“The main thing is you’re trying to get misses in the line of scrimmage from a blocking standpoint,’’ Sheridan said. “A lot of teams are zone blocking or man blocking plays and when we move our guys horizontally; left to right, off an offensive linemen, you’re hoping you get some misses and penetration the line of scrimmage. For the most part, it’s really called for run downs, especially on first and second downs. We’re doing that with the intention of disrupting the run.’’

But Sheridan said the stunts also can help against the pass.

“The way we do it, because our second level players -- even though they have coverage on people -- if those guys stay in and block, they end up becoming additional rushers,’’ Sheridan said. “So a lot of times, especially on first and second down, when those quarterbacks are hanging on to the ball off the play action, we actually end up having additional guys rush in there, you can see that on the film . It’s normally called for a run down. Again, we’re trying to disrupt the blocking patterns and -- not just be stationary where they know where we’re going to line up and this is how they’re going to block us. We might be moving inside or outside off the different shades we play. But, again, if they hang onto the ball, -- the more guys they keep in, a lot of times we get additional rushers coming in.”