New DE Robert Ayers doesn't care for recording double digit sacks or padding personal stat lines nearly as much as he does for the overall success of the Buccaneers in 2016, which is good news for the team. Learning to work together with his D-line teammates to equally terrorize opposing quarterbacks as much as possible is a much better option over the line just being a one-man wonder, something he is cognizant of.
"I don't really look at that part of it as a challenge, you know, because I challenge myself anyways," Ayers said when asked whether or not he was primarily concerned about getting double digit sacks this season. "I have high expectations, you know, I shoot for the moon. That's just how I go about doing things."
It's clear Ayers has an incredible work ethic and is a very unselfish player, which bodes well for the defense as a whole going forward. If he can locate success at his individual position and help put his teammates in prime spots to thrive, the line will be much more ferocious. With stars next to Ayers like Gerald McCoy already fully capable of wreaking havoc on offensive lines, everything is beginning to fall into place for the Bucs' defense.
After the additions of Ayers and Noah Spence to the roster, it might not be out of the question to see the defense break 40 total sacks this year, after it came up just shy of that mark with 38 in 2015. As long as Ayers and the rest of the line can consistently generate pressure on every snap and aid in causing errant passes, the Bucs should be in good shape this season.
"The past track record of double digit sack guys is whatever, that's not necessarily something that crosses my mind because I know what I want to do and I know what I have to do," Ayers said. "I know what I expect from myself, this unit and the defense."
That expectation he's referring to? Playoff football. A postseason or bust mindset needs to permeate the locker room, and it may be happening as early as now. Let's just hope it works.
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