SI.com: Go Get A Safety

February 13th, 2019

Suggested free agent target.

Back during the Super Bowl Week in Atlanta, Joe brought word from “The Professor,” John Clayton of SiriusXM NFL Radio. He claimed the Bucs haven’t had a decent safety since John Lynch left.

Joe was reminded of that conversation when reading the following from Andy Benoit of SI.com. Benoit wrote a piece on what each NFL team should target in free agency.

If the Chiefs are dumb enough to somehow let defensive end Dee Ford test the free agent waters, Joe could not sign him quick enough. It seems Bucs fans want the team to target a left tackle. Benoit believes neither of these positions should be targeted.

Rather, he writes the Bucs should go get a safety who can not just cover and tackle, but who can also blitz and rush the passer.

New coach Bruce Arians wants variety and aggression in his defensive scheme, which is why he reunited with coordinator Todd Bowles, who became the NFL’s hottest defensive play-caller by the end of his run with Arians in Arizona. Bowles will bring interior blitzes, which take the shortest path to the quarterback and cloud his vision. Safeties are crucial, not just as blitzers but also as man-to-man defenders behind those blitzes.

In fact, Benoit has just such the safety in mind for the Bucs to sign when the free agency dinner bell ring March. 13. That would be Vikings safety George Iloka.

This is all very interesting to Joe. Could it be that when Arians mentioned the offensive line needs to be beefed up it was little more than a smokescreen?

45 Responses to “SI.com: Go Get A Safety”

  1. Bruce Blahak Says:

    Where’s Irv?

  2. Fanalyzer34 Says:

    very interesting how the very player the Bucs need @ Safety was on the board last year during the draft after trading from 7 to 12 and how they lacked the foresight to take him. Imagine Derwin James in this new more attack centric scheme….

  3. The Buc Realist Says:

    Its funny to see the ones that claimed licht weight did his job, and claimed how talented the roster is, seem now to have a laundry list of roster upgrades!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Why do the sheep keep falling for it??????? Because they have been told too!!!!!!!!!

    2019 season will reveal answers to the sheep, that the “real” fans already know!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    Go Bucs!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  4. Patrick Says:

    I thought Jermaine Phillips was always very underrated when he was here, just throwing that out there

  5. doolnutts Says:

    Fanalyzer34 — I see we are continuing to beat the dead horse bright and early…

    Safety market has been suppressed as of late and it can be argued that you can just pick one up cheaply in FA rather than spend high round draft choices on them. On the other hand DL, DT or otherwise are very hard to come by on the open market. We made the right choice in Vea last year.

    I am curious what the market is for Iloka given the suppressed market he could be a great pick up for us. White and Evans showed a lot of promise and the addition of Iloka would definitely help out the back end.

  6. Lee Says:

    I would sign Iloka if it was 2016.

  7. Kobe Faker Says:

    “Didn’t we draft 7 safeties in the last 2 years?…

    now we have to acquire a safety thru FA?

    Derwin James could have been our defensive leader and safety for the next decade

    You cant build a winning team with all these blunders(Gump)”

    Kobe Faker

  8. JA Says:

    Lenny The Liar says the Bucs should go after Earl Thomas, but Tommy Truthful thinks Thomas will go to Dallas and agrees with the article’s author, a Joe. Iloka should be pursued with vigor.

  9. Todd Says:

    I think the better investment would be to retain Mejax the Malcontent. Why add by subtraction when you can subtract by distraction? I vote We tank for the number one draft pick next year. Keep Mejax…pass on all talent that would help us improve.

    (sarcasm)

  10. What the buc Says:

    I agree with doolnuts. The bucs need a safety but it’s far down on the list. GMs put little value on safeties because they come cheap and aren’t difficult to find. Iloka, Reid, Collins, Thomas, Joyner are all top level safeties and all will likely be available. Very few top level lineman will be available and those that are will command 3 times the salary of a safety. Similarly graded lineman will always be drafted ahead of safeties. Furthermore, Derwin played well but don’t act like he was some kind of game changer. If you recall the playoffs, the chargers couldn’t stop the run and gave up 41 points and 3 rushing touchdowns to Sony Michelle.

  11. BuccYa Says:

    Agree with Bruce! Where is the king of Newport Ritchie?? Killin me Joe!!

  12. Bird Says:

    He is 10th ranked safety free agent on Walter football.

    Rather have Vaccaro for reasonable price. Mathieu is first choice

  13. SOEbuc Says:

    Benoit is an idiot then if he thinks LT doesn’t need to be addressed. One of these nationals that’s never watched a Bucs game and thinks Donovan Smith is worth a 5-year $60 million contract cus that’s what he read PFF.

  14. 813bucboi Says:

    we have enough skill players….especially in the secondary….bowles would be smart to develop them and stack the trenches….

    #REALISTKNOWSNOTHING!!!!!…GO BUCS!!!!!

  15. SOEbuc Says:

    You people who talk about how we didn’t get Derwin James constantly are really pathetic and not true Bucs fans. We gotta work with what we got and look to what we can possibly get in the future.

  16. Trench War Says:

    If they don’t beef up the o-line it will be the most glaring mistake on the offensive side of the ball. We are weak at the point of attack and that’s even after the advantage of knowing the snap count. Unless BA and Co. can teach fundamental run blocking, we will never average more than 3.5 ypc.

  17. SOEbuc Says:

    I think CB opposite of Davis is what we need to be very worried about right now in the secondary. We got Evans, Whitehead, and Adams at safety. And Adams was playing well other than just the three INTs.

  18. SOEbuc Says:

    Also think Stewart should be considered as a box safety in Bowels defense on run plays and blitzes. He’s a banger and he’s fast.

  19. Jean Lafitte Says:

    SOEbuc

    I agree, Stewart would probably be suited for safety better and I think Whitehead has the speed to be maybe a better man corner than Stewart. Hopefully BA and Co. will sort it all out and put these men in a position to maximize their abilities.

  20. Doctor_berto Says:

    Trade Vea for Derwin!

  21. Kangol Keegler Says:

    Soe

    Stewart fast?

  22. __TGH__ Says:

    Landon Collins please

  23. Erik Hesson - Fine Artist - City of St Pete (formerly known as 'The Kwon Alexander of Bucs Fans', until Kwon started to suck Lol) Says:

    But we’re set at Safety with Jordan Whitehead and Justin Evans entrenched as the starters. And both of them will be among the best in the NFL at their positions in due time. Mark my words.

    We have way greater needs.

    Safety would be stupid.

    We need to spend our capital on other positions. It’s as simple as that Lol

  24. Gettinthebucs Says:

    Tanard Jackson was a beast!!! Dude just couldn’t put the ganja down.

  25. TOM Says:

    All I can say is Benoit is an idiot. Need OL, CB, DT & RB more than a safety.

  26. Joe Says:

    But we’re set at Safety with Jordan Whitehead and Justin Evans entrenched as the starters.

    That may be why Benoit suggested getting a safety. Joe thinks Whitehead has promise but remember, dude struggled to start for one of the worst defenses in the NFL.

  27. SB Says:

    Target a 5th round Safety that has been in the league since 2012?????????

    Give me a flippin’ break!

  28. Jean Lafitte Says:

    @Joe

    Playing safety on defense is about the same mental equivalence of playing quarterback on offense. First year rookie Whitehead may have struggled some but what do you really expect? He did OK with some mistakes (not like D.James was perfect) learning the NFL game. From what I witnessed and the advice he’s getting this off-season from cousin Revis it could make him even better this season. Let’s hope so.

  29. Erik Hesson - Fine Artist - City of St Pete (formerly known as 'The Kwon Alexander of Bucs Fans', until Kwon started to suck Lol) Says:

    Whitehead was raw and Conte was viewed as ‘the best athlete on the team’ by the coaching staff.

    We all saw that Whitehead is one of the best players on our D once he stated getting consistent playing time (albiet on a poor defense)…

    But with Evans and Whitehead, we have 2 of the fastest & most athletic Safeties in the entire NFL patrolling our back-end.

  30. macabee Says:

    Three names to keep in mind as Bucs evaluate the Safety position:

    *Landon Collins/Giants – Bucs tried to trade for Collins before the trade deadline last year. Don’t know if Arians would agree now. Spotrac projected avg. salary is 9.3mil.

    *Tyrann Matthieu/Texans – played on 7mil contract last year but had injuries. A Bruce Arians favorite as he drafted him when everybody was staying away.

    *Deone Bucannon/Cardinals – Tweener that played LB but is really a strong safety. Bucannon is a 1st round player that will be the least expensive to sign. Also drafted by Bruce Arians.

    Also keep in mind, the Bucs have some promising personnel at Safety now. Andrew Adams played well last year (Carolina), Justin Evans was injured but highly touted, Jordan Whitehead is an agressive hitter, and word is they may move 2nd round CB MJ Stewart to Safety. Somewhere in that scrum ought to be a safety or two. Bucs need a strong safety – an enforcer like Harrison Smith to replace Chris Conte. Collins and Bucannon would fit that bill. But who wouldn’t want the Honey Badger? Lol.

    Trust that Bucs will make the best decision here. Go Bucs!

  31. Joe Says:

    Whitehead was raw and Conte was viewed as ‘the best athlete on the team’ by the coaching staff.

    We all saw that Whitehead is one of the best players on our D once he stated getting consistent playing time (albiet on a poor defense)…

    Remember, Whitehead struggled to start *after* Conte was gone for the year. Not sure how anyone can say a guy who struggled to start is one of the best players on the defense — Joe certainly didn’t see that at all. And remember, starting for one of the worst defenses in the NFL is not really a bragging point or a true measure of NFL quality.

    JPP, GMC, Lavonte David are good players if not very good. After that, a WHOLE LOT of blah!

    Again, Joe has high hopes for Whitehead. Love how he tackles. But let’s not get carried away quite yet that he’s the next Ronnie Lott.

  32. ChanEpic Says:

    @Joe “JPP, GMC, Lavonte David are good players if not very good. After that, a WHOLE LOT of blah!”

    Could not be said any better.

  33. Bucsfanman Says:

    Not addressing the trenches, first and foremost, would be negligent to the point of being criminal. AND, in the secondary, we need CB more than Safety.
    Can we upgrade? Um, do fish swim? Yes, we can upgrade at practically every position on this team. Safety is not the top priority though.

  34. Joe Says:

    Could not be said any better.

    🙂 Thank you.

    Should have added Vita Vea.

  35. 813bucboi Says:

    JOE

    not sure you can say whitehead struggled to start….smitty didnt know what the hell he was doing or which personnel to use….

    #REALISTKNOWSNOTHING!!!!!…GO BUCS!!!!!

  36. Billy Says:

    @doolnuts Couldn’t agree more.
    Safeties seem to be a dime a dozen these days.

    I’m not saying Derwin isn’t special at all.

    Not everyone can have two hard hitting safeties that can also cover.
    True Free and Strong maybe not, but I believe in the talent of Evans and Whitehead could actually be used on Offense and punt /kickoff returns.

    Vita is a gem.

  37. Erik Hesson - Fine Artist - City of St Pete (formerly known as 'The Kwon Alexander of Bucs Fans', until Kwon started to suck Lol) Says:

    Here’s our returning starters on D for next year, and it would be unwise to spend capital on ANY of these positions.

    We are totally good-to-go in these following positions with returning Studs who shouldn’t be replaced as the Starter under any circumstances, IMO:

    DE – JPP, Nassib
    DT – Vita Vea
    LB – LVD, Kendall Beckwith
    CB – Carlton Davis
    Safety – Whitehead, Evans

    That’s 8 starters, so we need to add 3 legit studs to start for us on D and a few more stud rotational guys and we’re ballin.

  38. Joe Says:

    Erik:

    If you are banking on Kendall Beckwith, might Joe interest you in investing in some waterfront property in Arizona?

  39. Erik Hesson - Fine Artist - City of St Pete (formerly known as 'The Kwon Alexander of Bucs Fans', until Kwon started to suck Lol) Says:

    I just threw Beckwith in there to mess with u guys, but I hope he can still be good

  40. Joe Says:

    Outside of Vita Vea, Lavonte David, GMC and JPP, not sure any of the rest of the Bucs starters on defense could start for 25 other teams. Yeah, Joe typed that.

    (Joe isn’t sure what condition Kwon’s knee is in so he’s an unknown.)

  41. Defense Rules Says:

    @813bucboi … “we have enough skill players….especially in the secondary”. Oh ya bucboi, because allowing opposing QBs to complete over 72% of their passes just screams excellence!

    Oh wait, I forgot, it was the coaches’ fault. It’ll be interesting to see if Bruce Arians & Todd Bowles agree with your take on that. We’ll know soon enough won’t we.

  42. #1bucfan Says:

    There’s plenty of tape on our defensive players the problem is they were coached wrong or some would say not coached at all thanks Smitty lol don’t count anyone out just yet an let’s see what some real coaching will do you never know Hargreaves my just get rid of that bust label Spence might do the same it’s hard to evaluate players wen they arnt being developed beef up the trenches an better coaching and kicking an we just might make it to the playoffs. I just really hope it doesn’t take 2 years for the players to learn the schemes

  43. StoutGospel Says:

    Well, like the piece I copied and pasted here on JBF a couple days ago….

    Evan Silva surmised (more than good enough for me) :

    Secondary: The Bucs are long on youth but short on production in the defensive backfield, which is new DC Todd Bowles’ area of specialty. The 2018 Bucs permitted an NFC-high 8.2 yards per pass attempt and the third-most touchdown passes in the league (34). Ex-Bowles pupils CB Morris Claiborne, slot CB Buster Skrine, CB/S Darryl Roberts, and FS Marcus Gilchrist are free agent dot connections.

    So it looks like Marcus Gilchrist (age 30) might be a prototypical FS to keep an eye on, based on previous ties to Bowles and co.

    Myself, much more age runway with Landon Collins, which I mentioned many times prior, would cost more, but worth it in my estimation, and a smart, thick hitter that rolled with Saban’s Tide for 3 years would really knock it outta the park (if Bowles agreed).

    Landon Collins, then Marcus Gilchrist (cost decision), maybe Mathieu third.

  44. Pickgrin Says:

    Man – Joe’s feeling frisky today – mingling so well with the commenters.

    Sorry Joe – but I’m not buying your generalized contention that only a handful of established vets are good players for the Bucs defense.

    J. Evans, Whitehead, Davis – you can probably throw Hargreaves in there… These are good young players. This is the nucleus of a talented young secondary that will achieve respectability at minimum in 2019 if the front 7 will do their jobs.

  45. 813bucboi Says:

    DR

    yeah i forgot….we had 0 talent and smitty is just a shade under BB as the greatest defensive coach ever….

    remind me again where smitty’s coaching….

    we’ll see soon enough….

    #REALISTKNOWSNOTHING!!!!!…GO BUCS!!!!!

 

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