Bucs Not Building Defense Around GMC

May 17th, 2018

Team over player.

A lot of folks believe the Bucs have the personnel to run a 34 defense. The Bucs certainly have the linebackers, even more so if you factor in Noah Spence as an outside linebacker, which he was in college.

(Two years ago, Joe saw with his own eyes in underwear football the Bucs practicing in a 34 front with Spence as a right outside linebacker.)

If that is the case, then one reason the Bucs have never done more than run a few plays a game with a 34 front is the presence of Gerald McCoy. The stud Bucs defensive tackle is a classic 43-front man.

Even when the Bucs did dabble with the 34, GMC bristled. He felt he was being put in a position where he couldn’t get the most out of his game. He was probably right.

If GMC is the reason the Bucs didn’t do more with a 34 front, then Bucs defensive coordinator Mike Smith made it clear those days are over.

Smith noted yesterday the Bucs defense will not be built to anchor one player but instead, will be crafted to put the team in the best position to win games.

“I think [the defensive front] is evolving,” Smith said. “We know this: Gerald McCoy has been a Pro Bowl player for a long time. He’s obviously the best player on our defense. But, hey, we are not going to pigeonhole and say, ‘Hey, we are going to build it around one person.’ We are going to build it around what gives us the best opportunity to succeed. And it may be that [GMC] is going to line up as a three-technique.”

Joe’s initial reaction to this was, well, “Hallelujah!”

This is not to say Joe rejoiced that GMC could be forced to play a style or at a position that makes him uncomfortable. Why this has Joe fired up is that, damnit, if you have the personnel to run (pick a name of any defense) a defense that will be successful, then do it and do it now! The time for [email protected] around is over folks. This defense was No. 32 in the league in case you have forgotten.

Smith also noted how draft status and salary are no longer important to him. The only thing that matters is results.

If you have listened to the famed podcast of Ira Kaufman this morning, you will notice Joe took two things from Smith’s declaration.

The first is, the defense was so horrible last year and there has been such an influx of new players, it appears the Bucs are tearing the defense completely apart and have returned to the whiteboard this offseason starting from scratch, as if last year never happened. It smells like the defense we may see this fall may not be remotely like the defense was last year.

Given last year’s results, if that assumption is correct, good!

Second is, the reason the Bucs started over on defense, basically telling GMC he may not like what he will be asked to do — the very same player Smith said is “obviously” his best player — is because coaches are fully aware this team has to start racking up wins this fall or these guys are all out the door.

Backs are against the wall.

35 Responses to “Bucs Not Building Defense Around GMC”

  1. Defense Rules Says:

    @Joe … “The time for [email protected] around is over folks. This defense was No. 32 in the league in case you have forgotten.” Three thoughts: (1) Smitty FINALLY has some decent talent to work with; (2) Bucs were #22 in POINTS SCORED in 2017; (3) doesn’t matter what GMC wants because he won’t be here next year.

  2. AKick'nTheBucNuts Says:

    Smitty says: “We are going to build it around what gives us the best opportunity to succeed.”

    Just NOW a Bucs coach realizes this? WTF?

    Why did it take his a$$ on the line to come up with this coaching wizardly philosophy?

    This is proof positive the Bucs problems are Coaching.

  3. The Buc Realist Says:

    If the defense was starting from scratch, then they would have traded GMC this past offseason!!!!!! I don’t think bringing D-line players in their 9th years and backup free agents and salary cut casualties is starting from scatch!!!!! It looks more of a major patch job!!!!!! Even if everything works out ( and historically it does not) JPP and GMC will have to be replaced sooner rather than later!!!!!! I see the Dline as a work in progress that will need attention next year as well!!!!!!!!

    I like what some of the coaches said yesterday. We need to see what all these new players can do, then we will start to form what defense to run and what we can do best!!!!!!!

    I know that they are trying to break this news gently to fragile GMC, ( remember how he pouted when their was a new “face of the franchise” ) standing out of the huddle, disengaging!!!!!!!! hopefully the fixes and patches that are here will overcome some of the stale ego’s!!!!!!!!

    GO Bucs!!!!!!!!!!

  4. Tampabaybucfan Says:


  5. Tnew Says:

    It’s about freaking time. Compare Calais Campbell. He played near a 50/50 ratio of snaps at DE and DT. Trend continued in Jax. If GMC can’t/won’t do this. It will be his last season for the Bucs. This team has tried to build around GMC for too long with mixed results at very best. He may be the best player on that side of the ball but it is very debatable whether he makes the defense better.

  6. Tampabaybucfan Says:


  7. Reality-is-a-Beotch Says:

    Bucs have never won with GMC and never will. Just anothrr first round bust that never helped the team win.

  8. Tampabaybucfan Says:

    Sorry for the testing….but every post has been under m0deration for about the last week. It is obviously a technical glitch because when I post from my phone it doesn’t happen….only when I post from my laptop. I’m sure Joe is working on it because it must be time consuming to review every post.
    FYI…..I have never had a post that was deleted or not allowed to go forward.

    Now for the subject at hand…..I like what I heard about building from the ground up. This defense has undergone a complete overhaul with as many as 7 or 8 new players…..this could be….and I emphasize “could” be very exciting.

  9. Bucnjim Says:

    We have good talent at the LB position but you have to free them up to make plays. Mixing in the 3-4 also helps take away the quick pass underneath.

    Nothing is worse than when you have players dictating to coaches what they will and will not do!

  10. ContePiscateli Says:

    Defences are never as good as their best player, usually closer to as good as their worst player. Create a defense to cover for the bad players, maybe even make them look good, good players will make it work in any system.

  11. D-Rome Says:

    3-4 or 4-3…it doesn’t matter. Seems some people think switching to a 3-4 is some kind of great solution that will solve all the problems this team has had for quite some time.

  12. Bobby M. Says:

    That’s good to hear….we’ve been losing consistently with GMC as the centerpiece….He’s a very very good player but he’s not a leader, he doesn’t force his will on the defense….The team is stacked with talent that can be highlighted much more effectively. Its been way overdue to change the stars of that defense….I still believe that wont truly happen until some of the younger guys get rewarded with a 2nd contract…..In the locker room, the money talks and somewhat establishes the pecking order.

  13. Bucnjim Says:

    Nobody is talking about switching! Its about being able to implement the 3-4 as needed during a game. Most teams now do run a 3-4 and the ones who don’t have the ability and players to run both.

  14. Moore Says:

    Damn y’all ..people commenting can’t know anything about football..our line was ranked last but GMC was still top 5 defensive linemen…that was with William gholston and Ayers getting held at the line by tight ends..GMC still manages to be the best..now you switch the game plan to 3-4 with GMC having to be double teamed another year relying on the outside linebackers to save us..No!!!!!!!! We play drew brees Carson wentz Matt Ryan cam newton etc. I trust bouldering up the middle whether than outside pressure..everything starts in the trenches.. mix 3-4 in the play calling if you must but stick with 4 3 base..4 down line men.. if we do GMC that’s ranked top 5 d linemen can easily jump to. Number 1… he’s been balling with no help upfront..we finally have help..stick with your original plan Mike Smith.. don’t switch yet..personnel lost our seasons not coaching and any other thing these “no football” playing ppl have to comment on

  15. Jjones Says:

    Exactly Bucnjim! Some people don’t understand I guess. Mike Smith wanted to do this last year by the way but injuries and idiots with like Swaggy stalled that.

  16. Lamarcus Says:

    GMC is a 3 tech and 3 tech only. Can’t wait for the season to start

    Reminds of the Buffalo game. Looks like we had 3 down lineman GMC playing nose tackle. He gave a piss poor effort cuz he didn’t want to do

  17. Moore Says:

    Go Bucs!

  18. Ga. Buc fan 42years Says:

    Eradicate that five star virus! Football is a TEAM sport.

  19. Moore TB from NO Says:

    We have this

  20. Jjones Says:

    @Moore…Smith mentioned already he wanted to do a MIX of a 34 43 defense, he never stated we were switching solely to a 34.

  21. Owlykat Says:

    At long last now we know why Smitty hasn’t been switching up to the 3-4 Defense. Mr. Pouty Mouth didn’t like it. Too bad. Take him out and let him rest up during the Three Four. We now finally have the personnel to run it without him. If Cichy can pick up being a MLB we could use he and Kwon Inside with Noah Spence as the ROLB and Beckwith as the LOLB and the front would be Vea in the NG position and PWW the LDE and Vinny Curry As the RDE
    Can you just imagine how much pressure that would put on the QB? When Noah gets tired move Beckwith to ROLB and bring in David as the LOLB and keep the pressure coming. If they ever start running successfully on that just flip back to our base 4-3 Defense and put Pouty Mouth back in.

  22. Buc believer Says:

    Building your defense around GMC is like building your house on sand. It will look really nice but when the storms and the rain and wind come poof it is gone.

  23. BigHogHaynes Says:

    First round Bust! Don’t make me laugh ….to late !! Busts don’t make Pro Bowls and have All Pro Seasons in his tool-box!! The Bucs never gave this guy a D/Line to work with!! GMC IS A GOD!! It ain’t the Player, let’s see your scheme make QB’s get off the spot this season!! Don’t worry about GMC, he gonna do his job “biggley”.

  24. BigHogHaynes Says:

    This is nothing but Smith covering his NON/COACHING A$$!!

  25. Bucsfan951 Says:

    Yo realist! Hit me with another one of your narcissistic reposts!!!

  26. Reality_43 Says:

    @ Jjones

    Smitty did want to continue to build on our 3-4 mixture last year and injuries just forced his hand into what was a disaster unraveling.

    If you look at the Stats from year 2015 to 2016 you can see that Tampa was in the top 10 finally in sack totals after nearly 8 years of being in the bottom 5.

    We had 38 sacks in 2015 and 2016.

    In 2016 as mentioned earlier in another post LD and KB contributed 8 sacks that we missed last year.

    In 2016 we were in the top 5 with Int/INT returned for TDs/FF/Fumble recoverys and had a saftey.

    Smitty has NOT been a bad DC we were just dealt a really bad hand last year and teams exploited our weaknesses.

    I truly believe that TB’s defense will look light years better, because last year was simply a fluke.

  27. Cover Deuce Says:

    Just because it’s a 34 front doesn’t mean they won’t still have Gerald line up at 3-technique. It all comes down to where they align him and what they ask him to do. If the plan is to have him play 5-tech DE or be a zero man on the nose all the time and two-gap everything, then yeah I think it’s fair to say that’s a misuse of his skill set. Wade Phillips’ 34 “under” scheme seems to get the most out of Aaron Donald though….

  28. unbelievable Says:


  29. Buc You Says:

    Correction Joe, 33rd ranked D. Alabama was better.

  30. The Buc Realist Says:

    I have been screaming for this for a while…….In Fact,,,,, Its time for the much requested “Realist Repost”!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    The Buc Realist Says:
    February 20th, 2018 at 10:55 am
    Trade GMC for picks!!!! Don’t need the phony captain crying about playing out of position in a 3-4 holding the whole defense back!!!!!!!!!

    1st Mount Vea
    2nd Harold Landry

    If the Bucs commit fully to switching to a 3-4 front defense, then the “real” fans will give this regime 2 years to get the roster and scheme installed!!!!!! 2 year extension to all coaches!!!!!!

    Make the best choice and switch to the 3-4!!!!!!!

    GO Bucs!!!!!!!!!!!

  31. The Buc Realist Says:

    Here is more from the so called team player and so called defensive leader

    GMC cried when they ran a little bit of a 3-4 look last year!!!!!! so they have to get what they can for him!!!!!!!!!

    Published 4 months ago on October 25, 2017
    By Roy Cummings
    “McCoy spent about half the game last week working in a three-man front and while he didn’t come right out and say he didn’t like it, he certainly didn’t endorse the practice.

    “I just play what they call,’’ McCoy said with a sardonic chuckle when asked about the strategy. “Whatever we run, I just kind of go with it. I’m a team guy so I do what they ask me to do.

    “Do I feel like I could be more effective in a different way? Yes. But I’m a team guy. It’s not about Gerald. So whatever coach calls is what I’m going to run.’’

    Bucs defensive coordinator Mike Smith acknowledge making more use of a three-lineman, three-linebacker, five-defensive back set in the Bucs 30-27 loss at Buffalo last week.”

    GO Bucs!!!!!!!!!!!!

  32. Joel Says:

    That’s because he’s got 2 more seasons here. Tops.

  33. Trench War Says:

    I kind of disagree. …everyone around McCoy has been replaced. Even though McCoy may see himself lineup in the 3 tech it doesn’t change the fact that he is the one constant that hasn’t been sent packing. So yes, they have built around him.

  34. Brandon Says:

    So many clamor for a 3-4 not knowing what a complete overhaul it would take to be good in a 3-4. We have absolutely ZERO proven pass rushing LBs for a 3-4 (JPP has always been a 4-3 DE, Spence has always been hurt and never productive as a pro, and David has shown he CAN be effective blitzing from a 4-3 but not off the edge), we also have no PROVEN NTs to play the 3-4 (yes, Vita is not quite proven until he lines up in the NFL and proves it), and our other LBs (Alexander and David, are about 25 lbs too light to hold up in the middle or on the edge in a 3-4.

    I propose that instead of Smith saying he wants to be able to switch back and forth from a 4-3 to 3-4, that he actually spend that time actually trying to be good in the 4-3. If we don’t master our 4-3 and switch back and forth to the 3-4 (which is actually more difficult to master), we will suck at both… equally.

  35. BigHogHaynes Says:

    The Defence just don’t work…it’s not GMC. The scheme just don’t work…SMITTY!!!