Bucs “Didn’t Play A Lot Of Cover-2”

May 11th, 2010

In one of the best interviews Joe has read in a while, Aaron Schatz of FootballOutsiders.com got a sitdown with Father Dungy to talk defense.

As can be expected, Father Dungy talked a lot about the Bucs defense, both past and recent. Dungy, largely credited with popularizing the Cover-2 defense, which became better known as the Tampa-2, claimed the Bucs defense under former defensive coordinator Monte Kiffin morphed and grew away from the Cover-2, using more men in the box.

Aaron Schatz: For obvious reasons, people equate your defensive philosophy with Monte Kiffin’s. However, our numbers show that while the defense was dominant against the pass both before and after you left Tampa Bay, the run defense was consistently better after you left. Was that a philosophical difference between you two, or was it merely the result of changing personnel?

Father Dungy: It was somewhat personnel but more a philosophical thought. Monte plays more eight-man fronts and blitzes more. He is determined to stop the run and force more second-and-long and third-and-long situations. I was more tuned into taking away the big play and making offenses be perfect. The Bucs actually didn’t play a lot of Cover 2 after I left.

This is one of the points Joe has made several times when the Dungyphiles rear their heads to claim that Chucky won with Father Dungy’s players, which is preposterous on many levels.

Now, here is more evidence coming straight from Father Dungy’s own mouth that the Bucs defense was different, using more and different schemes after Kiffin gained full and complete control of the Bucs defense under Chucky.

23 Responses to “Bucs “Didn’t Play A Lot Of Cover-2””

  1. Kirk Says:

    Holy smokes Joes……..An article that speaks heresy in these parts. That is why I like this site so much. Truth.

  2. admin Says:

    Joe here,

    Kirk – Much appreciated. Not really big news. But very interesting to hear Father Dungy himself say it.

  3. Eric Says:

    Wow, that is fascinating. Excellent find Mr. Joe.

    Could be a reason for all those Pic-six’s in the Super Bowl season.

    Seemed like 55 was running one back every other game.

    Sure miss Mr. Kiffin.

  4. Mike Says:

    I agree with you Joe. When anyone says it was Dungy’s team, I say then why couldn’t Dungy win with them!

  5. Hosstyle in Tampa Says:


    I always use the “Who deserves the credit for the Super Bowl, Dungy or Gruden?” as a sort of litmus test, when meeting a new “Bucs Fan”. The opinion that Tony Dungy deserves credit for the Super Bowl win is a preposterous and moronic point of view. When I encounter a member of this idiotic mindset, I quickly change the subject to anything unrelated to sports to avoid a rise in my blood pressure…

  6. Joe Says:

    I always use the “Who deserves the credit for the Super Bowl, Dungy or Gruden?” as a sort of litmus test

    LOL Good one! 🙂

  7. sgw94 Says:

    I won’t dispute that Gruden won the Superbowl on his own merits, but using this quote to justify it is way off base. The Bucs defense morphed over time, not in a year. And even when Dungy was here we did more than play Cover 2. I have already made note of this previously and its worth saying it again. We zone blitzed as much as anything else except on 3rd down and it was on 3rd down that we played a Tampa 2 defense. Hell up until a year or two ago I could literally tell you the name of the defensive play call before or after every single play because the playbook hadn’t changed much. To say it was totally different the next year or Kiffen was some how “unleashed” in 2002 is just not accurate. Sorry.

  8. bucfanjeff Says:

    The bottom line is, regardless of the defensive accomplishments (not taking anything away from it), Gruden won with Gruden’s offense. Right players, right time and maybe, just maybe, overachieved a little offensively. It’s all about getting the most out of your team and he did that, mission accomplished – albeit for one year only. Thanks for your contributions Chucky, but that was long ago.

  9. d-money Says:

    Let me preface this by saying that I love Father Dungy and all that he did for the BUcs and Tampa Bay. But……

    Lets just say for arguments sake that Gruden won with Dungys players.
    What does that say for Dungy? He was knocked out in the first round of the playoffs the previous two years with “his” players.

    The fact is that the Bucs defense was never better than it was the year they won the Super Bowl.
    With Dungys players or not they were better after he left because Kiffin was allowed to call the game his way.

    And Gruden was able to win because he did something Dungy never would. He made a legitimate attempt to put together an offense and even though it wasn’t great it was just enough to get over the hump and ride…wait for it….wait for it…KIFFENS defense to the promise land.

  10. Eric Says:

    Well we know that Kiffin and Dungy can stand on their own as far as defense, as Tony had a Number one defense in Minn. w/o Kiffin and Kiffin had a number one here in Tampa long after Dungy departed and with a new cast of players.

    No question both those guys are defensive geniuses.

    The million dollar question is, can Coach Morris stand up on his own?

  11. nick Says:

    Ok so Gruden didn’t win with Dungy’s players……….they were Monte’s!!!!!!

  12. oar Says:

    Eric, Tony Dungy did have Kiffin under him in Minnesota too. Dungy was def coord from 92′-95′, while Kiffin was thier linebackers coach from 92′ to 94′. What is interesting is Kiffin was Minnesota’s def coord in 91′ and got demoted for Dungy.
    But, I do agree they are both great defensive geniuses.

  13. Eric Says:


    Thanks, I had not realized the previous connection.

    For some reason something sticks in my mind that Dungy at first was trying for someone else at DC when he first came to Tampa, and Kiffin became available somehow. Its a bit hazy.

    Is it true that the “tampa two” in its pure form had not been implemented by either till Kiffin and Dungy hooked up in Tampa?

  14. oar Says:

    Eric, The Tampa-2 is called that for a reason for sure. Dungy used I believe a cover-2 defense in Minnesota, which he learned while playing and coaching(def coord) with Noll and the Steelers. When he arrived in Tampa, Dungy installed his version of the Cover 2 defense with Defensive Coordinator Monte Kiffin with a few new wrinkles now known as the famous Tampa 2.
    Outside the box: Tony Dungy trivia, he’s the only NFL player to intercept a pass and throw an interception in the same game. He was emergency qb behind Bradshaw and some other guy, can’t remember his name.

  15. JDouble Says:

    Chucky won with Father Dungy’s players

  16. d-money Says:

    Father Dungy won with Grandpa Wyche’s players.

  17. Eric Says:

    It was Rod Marinelli’s team.

  18. TJ Says:

    I dont like to hear Gruden won with Dungy’s team if it was Dungy’s team Dungy would have won a super bowl with them. I think Morris can be a good coach but I bet anyone that he could not have won a super bowl with the 02 team

  19. BamBamBuc Says:

    Rah lost with Gruden’s leftovers

  20. kool Says:

    Not to mention that damn near half of the roster was turned over after Dungy left. For all the faults of our offense that year, the guys that Gruden brought in were instrumental in wining the Super Bowl

  21. Jonny Says:

    I will heed Steve White’s comments in this regard, straight from horse’s mouth after all.

  22. JimBuc Says:

    Doug Williams leave the Bucs

  23. RahDomDaBest Says:

    Steve is 100% right. Joe you are out of line on this one bud.

    Although I am in total agreement that Gruden won Gruden’s and Tampa’s Super Bowl as a coach, I think you characterization of what Dungy said is blown out of proportion.