Defense’s Problems Not Talent-Related

November 9th, 2011

Fifteen year NFL veteran and former Bucs tight end Dave Moore, the Buccaneers radio color analyst, gets to look at the fancy “coach’s tape” of Bucs games to really see what’s happening on the field, not the distorted TV feed fans watch on Sundays.

Moore has studied the Saints-Bucs game and said he sees a Bucs defense that is physically up to the task but is executing poorly and an entire team that is very undisciplined. Moore made the comments on The Dan Sileo Show on WDAE-AM 620 yesterday.

“As far as the assignments, your run fits on defense, you know, they’re calling the defense soft, but you break down the film from the endzone, there’s just guys not in their gaps,” Moore said. “There’s some guys that are holding their gaps. There’s some penetration in the backfield. They’re certainly not getting manhandled. They had a lot of mis-tackles and a lot of guys that just weren’t in their gaps. And that’s player responsibility. That’s your job as a professional.

“‘Hey, I know that I’m responsible for this gap. This gap is all the way out by the numbers I gotta keep my face in the gap.’ On offense, ‘Hey, this formation, I know I gotta line up here. I gotta know that I can’t go in motion when somebody else is moving. I gotta know if I’m in for the X, I gotta be at that spot and I gotta line up at this position.’ They are the details they’re not taking care of and it needs to be cleaned up.

“But like I said, the big picture, if they didn’t have halfway decent talent, I promise you. I played on some teams in the early ’90s, if we weren’t playing our best ball we wouldn’t be within 14 points of the opponent. These guys [now] are not playing near where they’re capapble of playing, and they’re still lingering in ball games.”

Moore went on to say that all that ails the Bucs is “fixable” and the team is definitely not lacking in talent. That’s somewhat soothing to Joe, though troubling at the same time.

If the Bucs laid an undisciplined, sloppy egg coming off a bye week in a crucial division game, then it’s hard to imagine they can fix that in a hurry.

34 Responses to “Defense’s Problems Not Talent-Related”

  1. Meh Says:

    Although I largely agree with this, we DO have some talent problems, especially at linebacker and corner.

    However, the major problem with this team right now is poor coaching. It is the elephant in the room. Guys are absolutely not playing disciplined ball. They are not going where they’re supposed to. They aren’t rushing as a unit. They aren’t filling gaps as a unit. They are getting tons of stupid penalties. All of that reflects on the coaching.

    One of two things needs to happen. The coaches need to correct this stuff (and quickly). Or we need to start replacing coaches.

  2. Buc Neckid Says:

    Maybe we have Too Many Coaches.
    Never thought that the idea of TWO Defensive Line Coaches
    meant Twice as Good Coaching.
    TOO Many voices in these young(ry) guys heads = too much thinking and not enough doing.
    Maybe Promote one or re-assign of these coaches while keeping them on staff.

  3. Nick Says:

    Joe everything about this blog says coaching is the problem. Lack of preparation, discipline, knowing where to be and when. Its funny I don’t hear Patriots fans complaining about this. Bill Cowher where are you?????

  4. mikeck Says:

    We lack talent at OLB…Hayes and Black are strong safeties placed at Line backer. Wont have a run d until we address it.

  5. Architek Says:

    Joe I’m starting to like ur journalism more and more. Starting to become more unbiased.

  6. Eric Says:

    Id be intersted in seeing what Monte could do with this group.

    A bit better I imagine.

    I do, however, see signs of some physical beat dows, especially in the run defense.

    But, if Dom is a rock star and infused the team with a big talent upgrade why is defense still so poor? Either the premise is wrong or the coaching sucks. Either way it aint lasting contender material.

  7. macabee Says:

    Meh, you’re right the responsibility lies squarely with the coaching. And Buc Neckid, it’s called matrix management and it is rarely successful in a line organization. It would probably help if there were a full-time DC to oversee a day-to-day training regimen. But before we go firing coaches and re-aligning staffs, a hard look has to be taken at the impact of no OTAs and no mini-camp for so many 1st and 2nd yr players. And no, my opinion, this can’t be fixed on the fly at practice or simply calling out specific players and demanding they step up their game. When you’re up to your a$$ in alligators, it makes little sense trying to find out whose job it was to drain the swamp!

  8. Nick Says:

    So we keep hearing this recurring theme from the coaching staff and others that these problems are fixable and coachable. So why haven’t they been fixed and coached? Raheem had the bye week to work on this and we get what??? Blown out in the running game by a team that predominantly passes the football. I can only dream what a good coach would do with our current Buccaneers. The Glazers would have you think no better but I know thats not the case.

  9. youngbucs Says:

    Joe do u talk to raheem ask why we brag about blount but dont use him on another team he would be a star

  10. Nick Says:

    Macabee I think it lies squarely with the coaching. You don’t hear the Packers who are just as young as we are having these issues. Why?? Because as a coaching staff McCarthy has all of his details taken care of. Thats whats lacking from this coaching staff is attention to details and discipline to make that happen.

  11. Dave Says:

    EXACTLY. It is called youth. The DEs and the DTs are extremely young… all of them (except Miller, who I am thinking is just not as good as I thought).
    LBs: Foster is very young, as is Watson. The other LBs have no excuse and it is probably the reason they have to go (Hayes and Black)

    Alot of it is coaching but more of it falls on the players just being young and learning. it is not an excuse, just a reality. Many teams can play a young LB or DT and it is fine, but when 5 of your front 7 our in year 2 or less….. this is what happens.

    The bottom line is the talent is being groomed and they are 1-2 years away, maybe as a caoching staff as well.

    The biggest concern I have is the secondary seems to be worse. Is that Raheem being to over extended in duties or execution? Many on here will say otherwise, but talib is good (just not as good as he thinks… although I think he is distracted this year), Biggers is pretty good, and TJax and Jones are good together. Bring back Grimm and keep developing Gaitor and they have players there.
    There just seems to be a sharp fall off from last year.

  12. Meh Says:

    You know, I could accept the lockout excuse for awhile, but it has worn completely thin with me. All the other teams had the same issues. The age differences are not THAT large. And hell, look at the 49ers, new coach and schemes and they’ve been on fire all year.

  13. leroy Buttermilk Says:

    exactly gap integ shedding blocks and rolling down the line to persue the run.@ eric I’ve seen Monti Kiffen lose to some dogmess teams he took a 40 burger in oakland a loss to sage rosenfels in houston 28-14 I can go on . he wouldn’t do a damn thing with this rotation of d lineman. Dave Moore Brian Billick and even john Lynch have broken down this team through live broadcast and in the press postgame. They set up this team to produce by product sellected. when you constantly lose personnell you compromise the the gameplan. I’m sure McCoy would have been a major contributer to the methods invisioned by the concept invisioned. This team is a few plays away from being undefeated but everyone brings out the burning torches chasing the coach out of town like a lynchmob when the players don’t execute plays. Look at Tanard Jackson if he decided to accept the media’s advise he wouldn’t be playing beond expectation.There are some good players on this team who fit the system and some who don’t add in the kid Grim and a few others on a constant basis and this team will win.

  14. thomas 2.2 Says:

    Basically, Dave Moore a buc employee is saying that the coaching sucks. If the talent is good but the team plays like this team plays then the only conclusion is that they are not being coached properly.

    Young players can and do play well every year when they are talented and well coached. How long did it take Suh or Newton or Bradford or Dalton and AJ Green to play well and make their teams better? Not long and all and they had the same off-season that we had.

    Heck, Dalton and Green are rookies with virtually no offseason and prep together and were thrown right into the fire and are playing great. Why? Because they have quality NFL coaching. Something that Clayborn and Foster do not.

  15. Apple Roof Cleaning Says:

    The Fish stinks from the head down.
    Dave Moore is saying it, John Lynch is saying it, Shaun King is saying it, and so is Ian Beckles.
    Personally, I don’t think it is ALL Raheem. I see players we drafted that arent as good as we thought they would be.
    But the Glazers need to sell tickets, and Tampa fans are not showing UP to buy the.
    The Glazers need a scapegoat, and guess who it is gonna be ?
    The Glazers have an Opt Out clause in Raheem’s contract they will most likely invoke.

    Tampa will likely implode these next remaining games, and the “negativity” has just begun.

    Cam Newton and the Panthers are soon coming to a theater near you, and it aint gonna be pretty if we keep playing like we have been playing.

  16. dustin k Says:

    Joe, my biggest problem I have seen so far is the play of Q. Black. He is very soft and plays really stiff like he is a robot. Go back and watch the game and on brees long run, watch watson sprint from the middle of the field leaving brees the running lane.

  17. macabee Says:

    Nick, I know you are a student of the game and you were probably already aware of this, but I’m going to repeat it for emphasis. Mike McCarthy of Green Bay, in his 3rd season, 2008, like Morris is in his 3rd season, ended the season after a promising season (13-3) the year before, with a 6-10 record. At season’s end, 8 assistant coaches were fired including Bob Sanders, DC, to be replaced by the current Dom Capers. And the rest is history! I get your point and, in principle, I agree. I just want to remind everybody that this is hard stuff and it takes time!

  18. Theodore Says:

    Nothing is “fixable” in the middle of the season. There is no such thing as getting burned week in, week out, and then stepping up to the mic and saying “We need to make adjustments”.

    There is no magical adjustment. There is no fix. You either coach smart or you don’t. You either play hard or you don’t.

    Yes, young players and coaches grow, but that’s not a “fix”. And eventually the growing stops and you have players (e.g. Moore) who just don’t cut it.

  19. Joe Says:

    dustin k:

    Save for a few plays — very few — Quincy Black has been invisible since he was handed the starting job in 2009. Last year Joe saw Steven Jackson literally — LITERALLY! — run right around him while Black stood as if he was wearing concrete boots hoping Jackson would run into him.

  20. eric Says:

    monte is one of the best in history.

    bringing rah up in the same breath is sickening.

  21. CaliBucFan Says:

    Need to spend picks 1 and 2 on linebackers it seems.

  22. Meh Says:

    Drafting 2xLB in the first 2 rounds would be wonderful if we didn’t also need 2xCB. We should have taken Black’s ridiculous contract and gotten a LB or CB or both in free agency instead.

  23. FLBoyInDallas Says:

    macabee: totally agree with your Green Bay analogy. This team doesn’t need to fire Raheem, then need to hire a talented DC and OC. Add about 3 more key players on each side of the ball in the offseason and this team is ready to compete. No need to blow it up…just add the pieces to what already exists.

  24. FLBoyInDallas Says:

    * meant “they”, not “then”

  25. Garv Says:

    There are eight games left this season. Half a season left to correct the mistakes and to gain some self-discipline.
    I agree that youth has it’s costs but there can be no more excuses for self-destruction. I don’t like the finger pointing either, especially those between Free and K2.

    We all are concerned and for good reason. Let’s hope the players, coaches and yes, the Royal Glazerbaums, are as concerned and willing to do the work to get it done and restore the hope we all had after last year.

    I want to go into next season with every reason to expect a playoff appearance and think that is a reasonable assumption and expectation as a fan and season ticket holder.


  26. Blubber Price Says:

    No NFL team lacks talent , some lack ELITE talent however ….that would be us…

  27. Dave Says:


    I agree somewhat. 2 LBs NEED to be drafted but they also need a speedy WR and RB and another DB since Lewis seems to be a bust.

    Alot of the other stuff will work itself out with experience because 5 of the front 7 are in there 1st or 2nd year.

    Unfortuantely the 2 that are not, LBs Hayes and Black are proving to be worthless.

  28. Bobby Says:

    Nick, actually the Packers DO have these problems. Their defense has probably sucked worse than ours but they have the ability to outscore their opponents so they end up winning anyway. Look at the kind of stats the Packers defense has and you’ll see that they ain’t clickin’ on all cylinders. If we had Aaron Rogers we’d be winning too but Freeman is a young QB and that’s the difference between us and them. Offensively the Packers are a machine.

  29. Apple Roof Cleaning Says:

    OMG – Tampa Claims Albert Haynesworth off Waivers !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  30. 941-Bucs Says:

    I don’t think many questioned the amount of talent on the team. I think it’s more about the execution, Coaching, and discipline.

    I agree with you bobby. Another difference is. Rogers got to learn under a Hall of Fame QB by the name of Brett Favre for his first experience in the NFL. Freeman has had what . MCown, Leftwitch, Johnson? None of those other guys scare Defenses. Out of the group Leftwitch had the best career and that’s something to be said. Hew really has no one else to watch and go about his business. We should have had a Veteran QB on the team just for experience purposes.

  31. 941-Bucs Says:

    WE just picked up Haynesworth. HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAAHA. Guess we’ve hit rock bottom on options.

  32. FlBoy84 Says:

    The Haynesworth pickup made me laugh. Can’t spend any money on bringing in a vet or two in free agency (Barnett, Sproles, etc.) to help with an area of need, but will definitely bring in a guy who hasn’t been productive since he left Tenn. Granted the cost isn’t much, but there are probably a few vet running backs out there that could be had for the same or less money as well. Maybe the old Haynesworth will finally show up, even though Belichick said there were some physical limitations that kept him from playing in NE.

  33. Joke Says:

    Just want to say I enjoyed the image conjured by your metaphor – “laid an undisciplined, sloppy egg”.

  34. passthebuc Says:

    Read between the lines. It says the coaching staff is less than talented and very undisciplined.

    To our head coach. You want a friend, get a puppy.