Preparing Defense For OffenseAugust 19th, 2014
Yeah, yeah, yeah, the headline is dumb on face value. Of course a defense will prepare for an offense. But with Lovie Smith’s Bucs, it’s more than that.
It seems Lovie is preparing his defense to handle the effects of Jeff Tedford’s offense.
About the only thing we know for sure about the Manhattan Project of the NFL is that the Bucs want to be “up-tempo” with the offense. Fast-paced. Quick. Keeping a defense on its heels.
Sunday, when Lovie Smith was asked about potentially wearing out his own defense in games with a quick offense, he waved off the implication, all but saying it’s an NFL wives tale that scoring too quick doesn’t give the defense enough rest.
Joe chatted with defensive tackle Akeem Spence today and asked him if Tedford’s “up-tempo” offense is a deterrent to the Bucs defense, in that it may not afford the defense enough rest. Spence said it isn’t and the defense is preparing to make sure it isn’t.
“I don’t think it is,” Spence said when asked if the Bucs score too quickly could it wear out the Bucs defense. “I’m thinking the offense is trying to tire out the other teams’s defense. If the offense hits big and scores a touchdown, that’s good. That’s good for the defense. We are up, you know? [Our Bucs defense] are not really tired. We have guys that can fill in for the starters.
“With our defense, I think it is a plus for us if our offense does [go] up-tempo and scores on teams real fast. If it’s a three-and-out, then we are back up and we have to go get a three-and-out.”
Joe remembers Bucs commander Greg Schiano was big on a rotation with the defensive line. So too is Lovie, Spence said. In fact, the Bucs will increase its rotation on the defensive line, he said.
“More so than last year, especially up front,” Spence said. The Bucs will use “Will [Gholston] that comes in for AC [Adrian Clayborn] or Mike [Michael Johnson] and we’ve got Steve [Means] back which is big because he is one of our edge rushers. Then you have me who rotates inside with Clinton [McDonald] or [Gerald McCoy].
“We always have guys fresh. We always have guys ready to go.”
So there you have it. The Bucs defense is not only preparing to stop opponents, but to handle the wear and tear of their own offense.
It all sounds good in theory, but that ugly Florida sun is no theory. Time will only tell if the Bucs are able to score, much less score quickly.