What Is It About The First Half Defense?

September 11th, 2011

What the Lions did in the first half to the Bucs defense was nothing less than frightening.

Joe looked at the box score at halftime and couldn’t believe his eyes. The Lions racked up 16 first downs — 16!!!

Now the Bucs defense tightened up in the second half, limited the Lions to just nine first downs. But this is a near repeat of last year. The Bucs defense would be soft in first half only to get better in the second half.

On face value this is a good thing but in reality it is not. If the first-half defense gets roasted as it did today, then the Bucs have to play catch up and hope for miracles. Miracles don’t always happen.

This is a good thing that Bucs defensive coordinator and head coach Raheem Morris can clean things up on the fly. But Joe asked this once last year and is inclined to ask again.

“Does Raheem need another coach to help him gameplan during the week?” There is no shame in this. A head coach has a ton of responsibilities each week, other than running a defense.

43 Responses to “What Is It About The First Half Defense?”

  1. Tom Says:

    It seemed to be that way under Monte too. I never have understood it. Obviously the D has always been good but for gooodness sake for the last 12 years you could almost always bet on the opposing team scoring at least a field goal if not two touchdowns before the Bucs adjust. This game took longer. It’s so frustrating.

  2. Scotty in Fat Antonio Says:

    It’s Jim Bates fault.

  3. Eric Says:

    another coach?

    Got my vote. Somebody call Monte. His defenses totally dominated the first half, then loosened up a bit when the victory was ensured.

    I think the DC/head coach thing is pretty common now in the league. So, not sure that excuse will fly.

    It is fascinating that it seems to be the same thing every game. And, they can’t get out of the gate offensively either. Weird, cause they play well at times.

  4. tony2cents Says:

    it comes down to coaching. Rah needs to stop being their friends and get start getting their heads in the f**ing game.

  5. Richard Says:

    It was the offense stranding the defense on the field for virtually the entire first half. Once Freeman started running the hurry-up and we actually began putting drives together so the defense could rest, we only gave up 100 yards in the second half.

  6. Patrick Says:


    Speaking of Monte, I always wondered why he never became a head coach. Cause he sure would’ve made a great one.

    As for Raheem, anyone who thinks he should be fired is nuts. It’s just one loss.

  7. Scotty in Fat Antonio Says:

    It is the way we lost. You would have thought that we would have been MORE prepared than what we were. GREAT tribute today all the way around. We played like the 1976 Bucs

  8. Scotty in Fat Antonio Says:

    Is the NFC South this year’s NFC West?

  9. Eric Says:


    Give it time, the idea will grow on you.

  10. Mr. Lucky Says:


    Sure why not – we didn’t need that Special Teams coach Rich B…

    or the former O-line coach either, Bucs surely didn’t need him either!

    GLAZERS are too cheap for a REAL DC – oh that’s right we have one in Raheem.

    Now for a real HC!

  11. Patrick Says:

    No denying that it was a bad loss today. Very sloppy performance put up by the team on both sides of the ball. Guys dropping passes, passes overthrown, guys stumbling all over the place, Quincy throwing away a fumble that he recovered, etc….it was just ugly in many ways.

  12. below me Says:

    no high fives for the d in the second half. the lions could’ve put 40 on the us if they wanted to. olsen needs to get it together. blount had less than 6 touches. they were out coached badly!

  13. Jerry Says:

    Going to be a long year.

  14. Scotty in Fat Antonio Says:

    All is not lost….we are tied for first place.

  15. Architek Says:

    You are right no firing but this roster has so many leaks. Looking at the Packers game then watching us is like going High School to Div IA – football. Such a large gap between the contenders and us. I am tired of the excuses.

  16. Mikeck Says:

    Holy Crap…I’ve never seen so many people ready to hang themselves and declare the season over after one game (Jerry). Seriously, it’s the first game. Do the steelers suck all of a sudden? Or is it possible they had a bad game? Does Atlanta suck all of a sudden, or is it possible they didn’t game plan properly? We lost…fine..so did 16 other teams in the league.

    F’in relax ….15 more games to go.

  17. jb Says:

    What about the 4 stiffs we have playing on the offensive line that are making over $80Million between them? THEY were the reason our defense was on the field so long!

  18. k_bassuka Says:

    @ Joe
    really… not giving the D a pass but I think the young D did pretty damn good to holding them to FGs given that they were on the field almost the whole first half thanks to our explosive Offense specially the great QB play.

  19. Dew Says:

    So much content in so little time. Way to go Joe. Awesome work. Thanks.

  20. Scotty in Fat Antonio Says:

    It’s not how we lost the game…it is how we continue to lose them….an extension of the preseason. Outcoached…outhussled…no sense of urgency. What are they doing in practice?

  21. Patrick Says:

    At least the Saints, Falcons, and Panthers all lost this weekend. The whole NFC South is 0-1.

  22. Hawaiian Buc Says:

    It is so amazing to me how negative our fan base (at least the ones on this site) can be after one loss. Yes we played bad, but come on people. People want the coach fired already! At some point, common sense should come into play and you should figure out how stupid that idea is (at least at this point). This is the reason why none of you have a job running an NFL team. Let the season play out a little before you go burning down his house. There has also been another piece of breaking news that I just discovered – 15 other teams also will lose this week, and therefore, be in the same position as us. Maybe they should all fire their coach too.

  23. Mauha Deeb Says:

    Why is no one bringing up the awful play of the OL? Penn and Joseph were embarrassed all day.
    Oddly enough, Trueblood played the best, which really isn’t saying much at all.

  24. Mauha Deeb Says:

    @Hawaiian I’m with you, but I have been calling out this line since 09′.

  25. Joe Says:

    Thanks Dew!

  26. Patrick Says:


    I agree with you. There’s so much lack of talent at so many positions. Our running back depth is horrible (we have Blount, but if he gets hurt we’re screwed and have no running game). We didn’t upgrade our linebackers, instead we overpay for Quincy Black just like we do for a bunch of players. Our big free agency signing is $20 mil on a freaking punter (he’s good but still….it’s a punter).

    As for our D-line, I’m getting tired of all the excuses and patience. McCoy should be starting to make plays and be effective by now. Price is out of shape, no where near ready to play, and can’t ever seem to get on the field. It appears we just have to WAIT for him. Bowers and Clayborn are rookies, so I obviously won’t criticize them right now. But just sayin, both of them were question marks coming into the draft and still are after we drafted them. Right now, I’m not real confident in that unit. Sure they drafted a couple of players, but all 32 teams have a draft every year. We know that D-lineman don’t do crap during their rookie years. Maybe Bowers and Clayborn will be good later on, that’s a MAYBE, but not this year when we’re trying to make a playoff push.

    WR’s: Right now, Mike Williams is the only proven threat we have at receiver. K2 is still doing his thing, but he’s a tight end. I think Benn will get many more looks throughout the season, but I’m just saying, our receiving corps overall doesn’t scare anyone right now.

    QB: Freeman is a beast. I have full confidence in him.

    O-line: Not looking good so far, but at least they’ve played well before in past seasons. Hopefully today was just rust.

    The Bucs are an ok team, but they’re really not a true playoff contender right now and far from being a super bowl contender. Be realistic. They really screwed up in the offseason and didn’t upgrade where they needed to do so. I’m pretty disappointed. It didn’t really look like they were trying to make a long run looking at their severe lack of moves during the offseason.

  27. Mauha Deeb Says:

    @Patrick What excuses? McCoy played far better than Suh this game. He was killing it in the first half.

  28. Jimmy Says:

    Raheem Morris is too busy bar-hopping with players to spend the time during the week needed to devise different game plans. Game after game he gets outcoached in the first half.

    This time it was by the immortal Scott Linehan.

    Put that one in your pipes and smoke it.

  29. k_bassuka Says:

    @ Jimmy
    Thats the most ignorant comment I’ve seen. I do agree that Olsen has to open up the offense and be more creative and @ least start by calling short plays and spread out. I doubt Raheem calls any plays on offense.

  30. Thomas 2.2 Says:

    McCoy was killing it? What? You must have been blacked out. He was absent except for two or three offsides penalties. The Bucs o line did well on Suh. I focused on how they were blocking him and it was a lot of: Larsen and Faine double which worked well. The problem was that it freed up tulloch and vandenbosch when the TE was not kept in or on the other side.

    Suh did not wreak havoc but the attention on him had an impact on the game. The Lions played McCoy like everyone does, trap him bc he doesn’t recognize traps well and he prefers the outside route to avoid the center’s help. On pass plays, teams like to let him get upfield on the guard’s outside shoulder bc he leaves open a big passing lane for a three step pass to the tight end or slot receiver. Gmc is too easy to eliminate without having to double him.

    I thought that Price was showing up the most on the D Line before the hamstring injury. I like what I saw from Bowers. Clay born looked like a rook but was hustling.

    Mike Williams is very impressive, Josh too in the 4th quarter.

  31. Hawaiian Buc Says:

    Jimmy, you are being a stupid arse. He’s not bar hopping with players fool! If you were a relevant person, that would be slander. But lucky for you, you aren’t, so it isn’t.

  32. Thomas 2.2 Says:

    Mauah, I know that you want McCoy to be good, but so far he just isn’t. No matter how much people try to rewrite history, he has not produced like anyone hoped thus far.

  33. Hawaiian Buc Says:

    McCoy did have some disruptive plays early on. However, like most of the defense, he disappeared. He definitely needs to play better, I agree with you on that Thomas.

  34. Eric Says:

    I would be worried, if we weren’t “youngry”.

  35. Thomas 2.2 Says:

    I think although the O Line struggled to open up running lanes early, that may be the best d line in the NFL. They did a great job frustrating Suh, probably his least productive game as a pro.

    I think that Rah puts too much emphasis on the heat. I have heard him say that he wants to establish the run in the first half to wear down the d. That is fine and dandy but that is not your offensive strength, which is Freeman Williams and K2. Btw – the old man EG had 8 catches.

    They need to come out slinging next week or risk 0-2. I think that they will be underdogs and the Vikes will be unleashing ap 30 plus times.

  36. d clark Says:

    Why is everyone freaking out GEEZ every team in our division lost today. Its not like were 0-10 or something. In fact were tied for first in the division : ) haha

  37. d clark Says:

    And I didnt hear suh’s name all game. Maybe in the run game the oline wasnt piss poor. But in the passing game they played preety well Freeman got sacked twice. Once by VAnden bosch and another by a lb that we didnt have enough men to block well be alright.

  38. Kyle Says:

    This post makes no sense. Did you not just make a post earlier about how the defensive players thought we had a good game plan, and that we just didn’t execute? So then you take that info, and make a post where you question Raheem’s ability to come up with a game plan. That makes zero sense.

  39. Architek Says:

    No one is being negative guys but the truth is just that. Whenever the secondary and the LB’s are sitting on everything and daring the offense to go deep, with slower WRs you have problems. We had the same problems last year and Olsen’s play calling is not imaginative enough to get misdirection or deception involved so you have what we got for 3.5 qtrs.

    The season is not over but I can tell you that it’s different playing with expectations than coming out the blue. Lets see how this young team handles expectations. As for the critiques, the truth hurts and Tampa lack explosion. PERIOD.

  40. Architek Says:

    Also I love my Bucs but I must admit watching other games it is DEFINITELY a gap in the playcalling and the schemes. Washington put on a defensive clinic. Dallas has the worst Offensive line in the league but they are managing to cope and make it a game with the Jets. Carolina played tough and scored on big plays. So coaching has to improve also.

  41. Rickster Says:

    Sure miss ruud and caddy. Right out of the gate the Lions ran the no huddle to pick on Foster and The TE(S) KILLED us.

  42. Architek Says:

    No Ruud would not have been able to stop what Detroit put on us today. Sorry. Megatron, Pettigrew, and Stovall killed us. LOL, Stovall was good enough to catch screens in their offense but we couldn’t find him a role on this slow offense…I’m getting sick thinking about it. It’s going to be a long season full of up and downs. Great job Dominik! You have masterfully put this team on the way to stardom and it’s showing.

  43. Tampa2 Says:

    Year 3 of a “learning on the job” HC/DC. How long are the Glazers going to go with this cheap experiment? when are they going to realize that going cheap actually costs them more because of less revenue from fans that see they are just being cheap and will not buy tickets? Put a real coach in with these talentd kids and the Stands will fill once again. Dominik, do your job! Fix the problem!
    “Youngry”- A young Buc that is just ripe for pickin! Which is what Stafford did today! Joe, it only make sense that Detroit made less yardage in the 2nd half. They wanted to take time off the clock because they knew that they had already won the game!