Chemistry On Defense “Might Be Special”

August 20th, 2009

Former Bucs and Gators linebacker, fan favorite, sports radio personality and overall great guy Scot Brantley checks in for the second time today.

In this post, he writes about the Bucs defense making the transition from Monte Kiffin’s Tampa-2 to Jim Bates’ two-gap system.

Joe is beyond proud and humbled that Scot will offer his insights occasionally on the Bucs (and sometimes Gators) for readers.

I’m not a huge fan of preseason games. I know it’s important and vitally important for players who are on the edge or maybe for players to get important time on the field like [running back Kareem] Huggins. For players like that, you make the most of it.

I’ve known Jimmy Bates for 20 years. I knew Jeremy Bates at Florida. That is tough shoes to fill when you try to replace Monte Kiffin. But [Bates defense] is a big change and a different style. It’s not the Cover-2 or the Tampa-2. They’ve worn that out.

The Cover-2 has been around since I played. John McKay and Wayne Fontes ran that in the 60s and 70s at USC. It’s not like you discovered gold or something. It’s a pretty basic type of coverage. Everyone has played a variation of it. It’s now overrun.

Now there’s no more defensive gap contain where you needed smaller linemen to penetrate the gap. Now you have to have bigger guys. Chris Hovan is now up to 310 pounds and he is put together. You have to have massive guys going head-to-head with the offensive tackles and guards.

It’s a little bit different. I was talking with Barrett Ruud. The defense is not all that different but there are more pass responsibilities. You have to walk up and be darned good at keeping the wide receivers off the line of scrimmage. There’s more press coverage. You need speed to do that.

The responsibility of the defensive line is to get penetration on running plays and penetration in the passing game and put pressure on the quarterback.

It’s a little different but sometimes different can spur a team to be that much better.

Hovan and Roy Miller and Ryan Sims, the young guys, played well against Tennessee and I was pretty impressed. Chris Hovan is so right. He is a very talented, good player. He understands the game. He’s a tough guy. Give me five or six guys like Chris Hovan and you will have a championship.

Chris is so right. I mean, it’s football. I see this year after year and this burns me up: The complexity of the offense and the complexity of the defense. Why is it so hard? Gruden was a great example having such a complex offense.

When the whistle blows and the ball is kicked off, you can throw that complexity out the window. It’s all about executing. It boils down to who wants it the most on that day. I’d rather be good at a small amount than half-assed at a lot.

Coming ready to play, that is the key. If you are not ready, you’ll get your head knocked in.

You need to get to a point with a new defense where you don’t think. He who thinks is lost. Defense is about lining up and reacting to what you see in front of you and going to the football. When everybody is on the same page, that is when it is special.

Bates cracks the whip but you need that and you see the response in the Bucs in just the short amount of time with Bates. That will only grow.

Just having new faces coaching is a wonderful transition. I see a lot of good things. They have a long way to go, I’m not going to kid you. But I think they can get there. I think the chemistry might be special. It’s hard to get a flow in preseason games because there are so many players coming in and out of the game.

2 Responses to “Chemistry On Defense “Might Be Special””

  1. kyle Says:

    Scot, glad you’re back teachin us Bucs fans!!!! Joe’s got some connections.

  2. Jon Says:

    Its good to hear such great insight from the grass roots of the orginization. Although its a shame that there are only a few around to give us this type of info but Scot is a much appreciated asset to the area.