How Good Can The Defense Be?June 15th, 2014
No, Joe is not the next Joel Buchsbaum, though Joe was right about Josh Freeman and Lavonte David, the Bucs did not draft Johnny Football. Oh, well, it’s not as if Johnny is moping because he’s not a Buccaneer.
But one thing Joe got right about the draft was predicting the Bucs would focus on offense. And that’s just what Bucs coach Lovie Smith and general manager Jason Licht did. Nothing but offensive picks in last month’s draft.
Joe figured the defense was fine was and whatever major holes were there, the Bucs filled in free agency. And it wasn’t like the 2013 Bucs defense made fans puke on their living room rugs; they weren’t so horrible (like in 2012). The Bucs were one of the best teams in takeaways last season. So the foundation was there. It’s all about turnovers.
It seems cornerback Alterraun Verner agrees. He told the “Custodian of Canton,” eye-RAH! Kaufman of The Tampa Tribune, the Bucs could be on the cusp of a special defense.
CB Alterraun Verner was asked if the Bucs will boast a Top 10 defense this fall: “No question, but why stop there? I’m thinking top 5.”
— Ira Kaufman (@IKaufmanTBO) June 12, 2014
The key here is sacks and quarterback pressure. It was simply galling how opposing quarterbacks had so much time to throw last year, they could have ordered a pizza — and eaten a slice — before a Bucs pass rusher even breathed on them. It was no less than shameful.
With Lovie having a solid resume on getting quarterbacks to eat dirt, Joe is confident the defense will be just fine. If the Bucs do indeed harass quarterbacks, then this defense could be scary for opponents.