Unnerving Numbers On The Bucs Defense

November 8th, 2010

Last year Joe hammered Bucs defensive coordinator Jim Bates for running one of the most wretched defenses in Bucs franchise history.

He was responsible for the Bucs defense setting an alarming record of most consecutive games allowing 25 or more points (six). When you factor in some of the pathetic teams the Bucs have fielded in their somewhat relatively short NFL history, that mark was pretty pathetic.

Yes, Joe has noted how the Bucs are nearly on pace to set an NFL record for fewest sacks in a season. But there is something equally troubling bubbling below the surface.

Bates was defrocked after nine games, left to eat chicken at a fast food joint while the Bucs practiced.

Sadly this season, the Bucs have developed a pattern of playing soft defense in the first half, only to play much better in the second half and — let’s be honest — Josh Freeman and the offense saving the defense’s collective backsides in the second half.

After the Bucs had another shameful defensive showing in the first half yesterday in the loss to the Dixie Chicks, Joe broke out his calculator and started doing some research.

Under the heinous Jim Bates Experiment, the Bucs defense gave up an average of 14.65 points in the first half through eight games.

Opponent, first half points allowed, (result)
Dallas 13 (lost 34-21)
Buffalo 20 (lost 33-20)
New York Giants 14 (lost 24-0)
Washington 0 (lost 16-13)
Philadelphia 21 (lost 33-14)
Carolina 7 (lost 28-21)
New England 21 (lost 35-7)
Green Bay 21 (won 38-28)

Now let’s look at this year’s Bucs defense:

Opponent, first half points allowed, (result)
Cleveland 14 (won 17-14)
Carolina 7 (won 20-7)
Pittsburgh 28 (lost 38-13)
Cincinnati 10 (won 24-21)
New Orleans 17 (lost 31-6)
St. Louis 17 (won 18-17)
Arizona 14 (won 38-35)
Atlanta 17 (lost 27-21)

For those who are quick at math and unlike Joe don’t need a calculator, you will likely notice the horrifying facts: The Bucs this season are allowing an average of 15.5 points per game in the first half through eight games.

That’s worse than the heinous Jim Bates Experiment!

Now before you jump to conclusions, no, Joe’s not calling for Raheem Morris’ head. That would be absolutely absurd. As Joe writes this, he still believes Raheem is the frontrunner for NFL Coach of the Year.

Bates was defrocked last year, largely, because he couldn’t or wouldn’t adjust. Teams absolutely lit up the Bucs in the third quarter under the heinous Jim Bates Experiment.

While the Bucs defense is struggling early this year, Raheem clearly is doing something right each game to shore up the problems and adjust on the fly.

So what does this tell Joe? That next year Raheem needs some help. Head coaches have many responsibilities and tasks that coordinators don’t have, which takes head coaches away from the focus of crafting a gameplan; away from the lab, as Raheem likes to call it.

In some circles, this is known as distractions.

While there are a few coaches who also serve as offensive coordinators, not too many serve as defensive coordinators.

Captain Lou Albano with the Jets is a defensive wizard, but he has a defensive coordinator. Mike Tomlin is a defensive guy through and through but he has Dick LeBeau run the Steelers’ defense. Lovie Smith has Rod Marinelli handle the Bears defense, and so on.

Joe doesn’t think he’s out of line in suggesting in the offseason, Raheem and/or Mark Dominik may want to hire someone who could wear the hat of defensive coordinator, someone who will help Raheem prepare gameplans while Raheem is off doing head coaching duties and tasks.

(If, as Joe suspects, the McCaskey family is going to clean house in Chicago, why not Marinelli? His specialty also is the defensive line and Joe doesn’t think he’s out of line in writing the Bucs defensive linemen could use some coaching up.)

If the Bucs hire a defensive coordinator, Joe certainly hopes whoever that guy is embraces Raheem making adjustments. If Raheem has shown any specialty, he’s turning into a savvy man with in-game adjustments.

Joe is really amazed how a defense can be so completely porous in the first half and so stingy the second half. That’s largely due to Raheem’s in-game tinkering.

42 Responses to “Unnerving Numbers On The Bucs Defense”

  1. Capt.Tim Says:

    Absolutely agree with hiring a Defensive co-ordinator for next year. Especially if Marinelli is available. If you are hoing to show first half stats, then show the damn second half stats! Showing 1/2 game statistics?? That’s rediculious! Even to prove a point, you need to show the second half stats tomake your point! Who the f#%k plays 1/2 games! What happens every game between minutes 18- 23? who cares. Show the whole picture, segments aren’t representative of anything!

  2. T in Orlando Says:

    I am completley on board with the idea of bringing Marinelli in if the Bears clean house. He can help with the development of those young D-linemen (which will hopefully include a high round DE next year), and relievie most of the D Coordinator responsibilites from Raheem (I doubt he’ll be able to keep his nose completely out of those defensive meetings). On top of all that, he’s a Tampa 2 guy who’d be coming home.

  3. tj Says:

    I see why Rudd thoes not have a long term contract and Quincy black has not lived up to Raheems hype

  4. Troxell8t8 Says:

    Gotta admit I’ve been rooting for the Bears to lose all season. Lovie or Rod would be a great addition to the staff.

  5. Capt.Tim Says:

    I think here is the most amazing “facts ” I have ever seen in any NFL game .Offense- 1 yr Qb(Freeman), Rookie Fb(Lorig),Rookie Tailback(Blount),Rookie Split end(Benn), rookie WR(M.Williams), rookie Lg(Larsen), 1st year starter Rt(Lee). Defense- rookie DT(McCoy), rookie Dt (Woods), 1st year starter Dt(Miller), 1st year starter De(Moore), rookie FS(Grimm), 1st year starter CB(Biggers). Also getting significant minutes-rookie LB (Watson). I have never seen that many Rookies/ 1st year players starting for a team in my life. Not even an expansion team ! Not Even CLOSE! The fact they we played the Falcons to within inches(literally) of winning, and being in first place in our division, is unbelievable!! It is obvious this team, and it’s coaches , are on the rise, and great things lie ahead. Anyone who can’t see that is either totally ignorant about football, or a Fool with other agendas. Joe is right. Raheem Moriss is Coach of the year. No one else is doing nearly so much, with so little. The change in this team every week at Half time is amazing. But I think he’s trying ta do to much! I agree with Joe, a DC will help out with 1st half balance, and Give Raheem more time to focus on adjustments!

  6. Fire Greg Olson! Says:

    Buc You = Radio Mushmouth

    Pretty sad if you think about it.

  7. Fire Greg Olson! Says:

    Capt Tim says:

    If you are hoing to show first half stats, then show the damn second half stats! Showing 1/2 game statistics?? That’s rediculious!


    Hey genius, subtract the first half point totals from the final scores that Joe put in parentheses right next to the first half point.

    That’s why Joe put the final results up.

  8. eric Says:

    The bucs formula for success this season is unsustainable. Bad rush defense and horrific sack totals simply won’t stand up.

    5-3 can turn into 6-10 pretty easily IMO.

    Reminds me of Sam’s last season. Some promise at the beginning of the season against lousy teams……………..collapse at the end.

  9. Matt Says:

    Marinelli is one of the few guys I would be agreeable to as a DC. Truthfully, I think we just need better position coaches. And from what I’ve heard, Marinelli is one of the best in the business at motivation and technique. From what Steve White suggests, our DL technique is severly lacking at times. We have the talent there, we just need the proper coaching to develop it.

    What I don’t want to happen is for us to hire another DC with a different scheme. We need to move forward with Raheem’s basic scheme, just with better execution.

  10. Fire Greg Olson! Says:

    It’s only been 8 games and you guys want to clean house on the coaching staff?

    That worked out real well for Jason Campbell.

    You guys do know that this is the NFL and it’s going to take some time for 22 year old kids to play against Offensive LineMEN in the NFL, right?

  11. Mr. Lucky Says:



    Marinelli doesn’t fit the Bucs youth plan
    Heck why not cry for a return of Monte Kiffen then?

    While we’re at it how about bringing Gruden back as OC then?


  12. BamBamBuc Says:

    Wow, so pathetic. eric, you should watch a different sport, maybe figure skating or something. When they say cheer for your team, the mean TO WIN. I understand about being realistic, but we were mere inches from a first down and a yard away from a winning TD yesterday, and yet you make it sound like the world collapsed.

    We gave up 130 yards rushing to one of the top rushing teams in the NFL (6th). They usually average 136, we usually give up 147, so we actually did pretty well against their run considering the statistics. And the QB that didn’t get sacked and had one of the better WRs in the league had NO TDs and the WR had 4 catches for 49 yards and NO TDs.

    That team is 6-2, tied for best in the NFL this season, and we played them close enough to win down to the wire. Ok, so we lost, but we played close enough to have a shot late in the 4th qtr to win.

  13. Mr. Lucky Says:

    Morris is doing ok this year – but coach of the year?

    How about Tom Cable????

    How about Todd Haley?????

    How about Steve Spagnuolo????

  14. Capt.Tim Says:

    6 rookies or first year players on offense, 5 on defense. That HAS to a record! Agree with TJ, nobody ever seems to mention our LB’s. Stopping the Run is as much their job as the DL, meybe more. Everyone is so quick to blame the Rookie line, but our Veteran Lb’s seem invisible on most of the running plays! Gotta suck for Coach Moriss. He thought we were set at OLine and LB, and everything else needed rebuilt. Turns out OLone and LB sucked ,Too! At least Oline is looking a Lil better with a few new guys in place. Thought Dakota Watson splashed yesterday. Slowly but surely, some of our unproductive vets are starting ta get” youthenized!”

  15. Mr. Lucky Says:

    Little Timmy – are you hitting the sauce this early today?

    Lets list how many times Timmy was wrong in just one (1) post:

    1. You yell at Joe for not including the full game stats – Joe did, U didn’t see it
    2. You want to annoint several Bucs players with full year honors when they’ve only played 8 games
    3. You claim the Bucs are first in our division we’re in 3rd place – we lose the tie-breaker to the Saints because of our loss to them

    I could go on about your ridiculous statments about Raheem but I’m not sure you can read that much with those bloodshot eyes this early in the morning

  16. eric Says:

    Well actually then I suppose you would also say we were two interceptions away from losing to the Cards and Bengals, and ten seconds from losing to the Rams?

    I believe rush defense and pressuring the passer are two critical components to success. We have neither.

    26 first downs vs. 14?

    And we are supposed to view “only” 130 yards rushing as a improvement?

  17. Mr. Lucky Says:

    Last year Josh Freeman was wandering around the playing field without a QB coach. Not this year and look how he has responded.

    I say Dominik goes after Charlie Strong and drag him away from Louisville.

  18. eric Says:


    The combined record of the teams the bucs have defeated this year. None have a winning record.

    And, we were damn lucky to win at least 3 of those.

  19. Mr. Lucky Says:

    The difference is your time frame. What the Bucs have done so far this year is REMARKABLE but not sustainable. The defense HAS to improve.

    Frankly I’m shocked that Atlanta put the ball in the air as much as they did in the second half. If they had given the Bucs a stronger dose of Turner and Snelling the game would NOT have been as close as it was.

    Also hats off to Spurlock the Bucs MVP of that game!

  20. Dave Says:

    The way the defense adjusts in the second half of every game says alot about the caoch and players. Kudos there. BUT they have got to start games better.

    As far as Raheem as D-Coordinator…. no problem with it. I think they just need the DTs to get a eyar under their belt and another LB.

    NUMBER 1 ISSUE, however, is DE. They simply have got to get DEs who can rush teh QB. At this point, I am all for going out and drafting TWO (2) DEs in the first 3 rounds. It is more of a priority than anything else.

  21. d-money Says:


    Why is the sky always falling with you?

    What was your prediction for wins and losses before the season? No one thought this was going to be a playoff team this year. Whatever the reason we are winning games why can’t you just enjoy it?

    Yeah so we’ve been lucky a few times. So what? Ask the Bills if they would like to have a few lucky wins or the Lions or the Cowboys. Last year we were never lucky. I’ll take 5 more lucky wins and enjoy them all the way to the playoffs.

    Why don’t you just take this season for what it is? A year that was written of as a rebuilding year yet we are actually seeing some pretty good games.

    Now if next year we are still seeing the same problems after these guys have some experience then I’ll be right there with you. But for this year this team is playing way over their heads.

    Enjoy it.

  22. Gary Says:

    Eric you silly little man. You make valid points that a blind man can see like we need to rush the passer better and stop the run, but then you make a statement like 5-3 can easily turn into 6-10!

    That shows exactly where your head is at. Yea we have issues, major issues – no one is arguing that. But to come that close to beating a good team that plays extremely well at home and have warn everyone that we can go on a catastrophic losing streak… well, I am just disappointed. I really thought you had turned a corner.

    And Joe, can you please stop posting a this pic of Rah making a stupid face! All the millions of pics you have available and you pic this one, come on man!

  23. Mr. Lucky Says:

    I’m glad I’m a Bucs fan and not a Cowboys fan!

  24. Mr. Lucky Says:

    Gary – I don’t get your point about the Rah picture. He’s simply looking at something. Not a silly face. Not a great pic either but ….

  25. Gary Says:

    Mr. Lucky, wouldn’t a pic of Rah looking mean on the sidelines be better? To me, that pic looks like someone just asked him what the quadratic formula is (I would make the same face, as I’m sure many would).

  26. mike56wesley Says:

    do anyone remember the reporters askin rah about the defense before the season he said THIS YEAR WITH THE YOUNG PLAYERS WE ARE NOT WORRIED ABOUT STATS,WE WILL SCORE AND ET THE BALL BACK ,WE WILL BEND BUT NOT BREAK.I dont claim to be an expert but once our tackles get that power that most men get when their about 25 we will be fine
    I see alot of haters arnt saying a word,i uess if you cant say anything mean u don say anything

  27. eric Says:

    Perhaps someone was asking him who the best team in the NFC is?

    Understandable clueless look……………………….

  28. Tampa2 Says:

    @Togboat timmie
    As for the LB’s, Ruud has the most tackles on the whole team. Why? becuase the opposing runners are 7 yards deep within 3 seconds. So how is it the LB’s fault when the dline lets the running backs pour right through?
    Personally, I tip my hat to these young players for making it a close game at the end. I was much more impressed with them yesterday than I have been at some of their comeback “wins” against teams that they should have thoroughly beaten. Alot of us thought that the Falcons would have provided a “beat-down” on the Bucs yesterday. That they didn’t is what impresses me with these kids.
    Olsen is running the Offense, Raheem is running the Defense, And bisaccia is “alledgedly” running special teams and is Ass’t HC. Bates was fired because of his defensive stats last year. So why is everyone suggesting bringing in a DC when most of you declared Raheem a defensive genius last year after firing Bates? If Raheem isn’t capable of being a DC, then how is it that you trust him to be HC? Why make subtle excuses for the guy, like “he has enough to worry about being HC, so we should bring in a DC to help him”. The Glazers did that last year! Raheem is an amateur that was brought up too quick. Simple as that! His best qualification is that he is a great Motivator/Chearleader for the guys! he is not an X’s & O’s kind of guy! Nor is he the defensive genius some of you declared him to be! Freeman has turned out to be a “Great” Quarterback of the “now”, as well as the future. Without Freeman “alone”, what would our record be? Just imagine what we could be in the future with a defense and a HC that is experienced!

  29. Capt.Tim Says:

    Fire Greg Olsen. Hey genius 2009 2nd half points. 21,13,10,16,12,21,7=over 14 points. 2010 2nd half points – 0,0,10,14,14,21,10= over 9 points. 5 points difference. It’s relevant! Mr. Sucky – only thing more pathetic than your post are your reading and comprehension skills. Go read it again slowly. Digest, then try posting again. Eric, again, out from under the rock after a loss! Still haven’t said if you were going to honor our bet. Sure looks like more than 3 wins to me. Where’s your “I Love Raheem” shirt you promised to wear? By the way, the two best teams in the NFC played yesterday. As was bound to happen. One won. By inches. We meet again later this year in Tampa. They won at home – by inches. Nice, huh. Everything you’ve said or predicted has been wrong by miles! Pretty pathetic! I though you were supposed to be intelligent. Not seeing it so far. Plus your character seems to be just as lacking, as I don’t see you jumping up to honor your bet! Sad . Mike56wesley- you are right. That’s exactly what he said, and that’s exactly what he’s done. This Coach has proved incredibly Accurate

  30. gitarlvr Says:

    There is no reason to bring in a Def. coordinator, unless Raheem doesn’t want the responsibility. It won’t hurt. But its also not the problem. The best defensive coordinator in history couldn’t mask the total lack of experience and or talent on the defensive line. Dedicated coaches can be a coordinator and head coach without either role suffering. Its all about how hard they work. I doubt Raheem would rise this far this fast without clearly having the necessary work ethic. This is all going to boil down to whether Price and McCoy pan out and whether they are smart enough to draft or sign a star linebacker in the offseason. Players make the coordinators 9 out 10 times. Almost never do you see a coordinator come in and get significantly better results without an upgrade in talent.

  31. RustyRhino Says:

    @ Eric

    Perhaps someone was asking him who the best team in the NFC is?

    Understandable clueless look…..

    I want my coach to say that his team is the best in the NFC! If he is the Buccaneer coach and he doesn’t think we are the best then who the hell will? Obviously not you Eric…….. So as you say we got a few “lucky” wins… As I see it we created our own luck. We kept the game close and pulled them out in the fourth quarter. Just like we did Sunday we had ourselves in the right position to WIN, be that “luck” or maybe the other team just felt bad for us and let us keep it close… Or we have a Good Young team that brings their lunch every damn game win or lose….
    There is no Quit in this team! Just ask Atlanta..

    Not like you Eric
    I want our team to be Good every Sunday and if right now we have to keep it close and pull a win out at the end then so be it. A win is a win be it by 1 point or 40 we won they lost.. and so far this year we are 2 wins better then your prediction of 3 wins all season…. yet you find fault in how we are winning, this is the NFL every game is a tough game and on any given sunday teams win. Are they always the best team Stats wise .. no the only stat I find relevant is the one you don’t see talked about? We are .625 in our wins and losses against our games played..so far… 5-3 yeah and that stat looks good to me.

    Good game and a fun one to watch we have a good mixture of players on our team we are missing a few pieces then watch out.

    I like the idea of Lovie or Rod on our Defense Both would be good as well…

  32. eric Says:

    Ah remember the days when we actually won the Division, rather than to try and take moral victories from what was, in reality, a brutal thumping by the Falcons. Very similar in nature to the last game last year, minus the big special teams plays.

    We have been handled by the Saints and the Falcons. The lowly Panthers come to town, about our speed. Probably eak out a close win.

    After that it gets dicey.

    Stay tuned. “I hear a collapse acoming, its coming round the bend……………………………..and I aint seen no pass rush in I dont know when………………………..”

  33. squadoosh1 Says:

    Eric: I remember you being asked if you thought we would win 8 games in which I believe you replied “no way in hell”. It sure looks like you will be wrong along with the other shmoes who want Raheem and this team to fail. Keep up your negative doomsday predictions..who cares…scoreboard means everything.

  34. eric Says:

    Ok Ill remember you said that these upcoming 8 games.

    ‘Scoreboard Means Everything”.

    Duly noted.

  35. squadoosh1 Says:

    Good, remember it. I like this team and the coach and think that they are building something really solid here. We all know they have a long way to go, but they are exciting and it’s not hard to root for all of these young players (for most of us).

  36. mike56wesley Says:

    hey eric,5-3 should be 3-5 sounds like good coaching,and next year he will have an experirnced coach it will be the GREAT RAHS THIRD SEASON.tell me wat he is doing so bad?

  37. Capt.Tim Says:

    Eric actually made a bet with me in July. He said the Bucs would win 3 games or less. If they won more, he would were an “I love Raheem Moriss ” on the corner of Dale Mabry, at the Stadium, from 12:00 to 1:30 on game day. If the Bucs won less than 8, I wore an ” I love Jon Gruden ” tshirt. I see Eric isn’t planning on honoring his end of the deal!

  38. BamBamBuc Says:


    By your own standard of being lucky to win 3 games due to late interceptions or INTs returned for TDs, and being blown out because our special teams scored a TD and got another big return.

    2008 season record 9-7

    Chicago (finished 9-7): Bucs win 27-24. Thanks in large part to an interception returned for a TD. Even then, the Bucs were losing in the 4th quarter 24-14 and had to come back to tie the game and win in OT. Without all that luck, we’d have been 8-8.

    Kansas City (finished 2-14): Bucs win 30-27. After going down 24-3, the Bucs get a 97 yard kick return from Clifton Smith for a TD. This starts a comeback that results in a Antonio Bryant TD with 19 seconds left in the game to tie. We win in OT. Wow, that was lucky. Without that win, we’d be 7-9 and lost to a REALLY bad team.

    New Orleans (finished 8-8): Bucs win 23-20. Giving up a game tying FG with 5:38 remaining, the Bucs do nothing on offense and punt to the Saints. Brees proceeds to throw a “lucky” interception which is returned to the 17 yard line. The Bucs get only a FG out of it to go up 23-20 with 2 minutes remaining. The Saints get the ball back and “luckily” the Bucs get another INT to put the game away. Without those lucky interceptions near the end of the game, we could have been 6-10.

    Of course that’s not even talking about how we got obliterated in losses that year (New Orleans 24-20, Denver 16-13, Dallas 13-9, Atlanta 13-10, and Oakland 31-24) finishing the season with 4 losses that supposedly knocked us out of the playoffs… but of course, we never deserved to be in playoff contention that year with lucky wins and dominating losses like those. Gruden’s last year was horrible, just like this year.

    Good thing we don’t all look at games like eric does. Giving away wins because they were “lucky” and calling close losses getting “dominated”.

  39. Tampa2 Says:

    Does that mean if Raheem goes 9-7 he gets fired too?

  40. Max Says:

    Joe you used a nickname!!

  41. BamBamBuc Says:

    Tampa 2,

    I’m sure that would make many “fans” like you happy. However, going 9-7 (or 6-10 according to eric’s method) with a roster full of veterans as opposed to going 9-7 (or 6-10 or whatever according to eric’s method) with a group of rookies and 2nd year guys and the youngest overall roster in the NFL are two quite different feats. Therefore, my guess would be no, he wouldn’t be fired. He might actually get some votes for coach of the year if that were the case, simply based on the roster he has to work with. And of course if St Louis wins the NFC West and makes the playoffs, and the Browns keep beating top NFL teams, people won’t keep discounting our wins against them.

  42. Fire Greg Olson! Says:

    Capt.Tim Says:
    November 8th, 2010 at 1:31 pm

    Fire Greg Olsen. Hey genius 2009 2nd half points. 21,13,10,16,12,21,7=over 14 points. 2010 2nd half points – 0,0,10,14,14,21,10= over 9 points. 5 points difference. It’s relevant!


    Read my post. I didn’t say that the stats weren’t relevant. I said they ARE UP THERE FOR YOU TO SEE. Why do you think Joe put up the end game results. Subtract the first half number from their total points.