Secondary Schemes Need To Be Reassessed

November 5th, 2012

Not so lost in the glorious win over the Raiders was how the Bucs’ pass defense damn near coughed up yet another fourth-quarter lead.

This is an ugly pattern the Bucs really need to address. Yes, Bucs coach Greg Schiano noted that when the Bucs needed to make a play, they did so. True, but the game was hanging in the balance and it should not have been.

Changing personnel is not the answer. E.J. Biggers haters will just have to find a way to come to grips that he will be a starting cornerback, likely through the end of the season. Joe is still of the mind Biggers did not get “burned” much. Getting burned, in Joe’s mind, is the type of half-arsed defense that Myron Lewis manufactures where a receiver leaves Lewis in the dust and all he can do is turn around and watch a zebra throw his hands in the air signaling “touchdown.”

There were two damned good plays made on Biggers, one where Palmer threw a perfect pass on decent coverage, and another where Darrius Heyward-Bey, arguably the fastest receiver in the NFL, hauled in a one-handed freak catch.

Besides, it was Biggers who made the game-saving pick.

Even Stephen Holder of the Tampa Bay Times types that the current starters for the Bucs at cornerback aren’t going to change, sans Eric Wright’s pending suspension.

And with former first-round pick Aqib Talib now property of the Patriots after Thursday’s trade, it’s a lineup the Bucs are going to have to make the best of.

“There is no excuse,” Biggers said. “We have to play until the clock says zero, no matter how many times we have to cover. They’re going to make plays. But we have to do our jobs and deny our man the ball. They made some plays. They have a great quarterback and some great players at receiver.”

The only personnel move Joe could suggest is the jettisoning of Myron Lewis. You cannot tell Joe there isn’t someone walking the streets who can’t play pitiful defense like Lewis.

Lewis is this year’s Sabby the Goat. Whenever Sabby the Goat was sent in, you just knew he was going to get grilled for six, you just knew it. So too did opposing offensive coordinators, who wasted little time in targeting him.

Lewis has now sunk to that level. Like with Sabby the Goat, Bucs rock star general manager Mark Dominik finally had his fill and handed Sabby the Goat a pink slip to close that chapter and move on. Joe hopes Dominik has (finally) come to the same realization about Lewis. Just what makes anyone think he will improve after countless chances to do so?

Since personnel, sans perhaps Lewis, isn’t going to change, the schemes the Bucs are using need to be reevaluated.

Surely, putting heat on quarterbacks in the fourth quarter could help out a beleaguered secondary.

30 Responses to “Secondary Schemes Need To Be Reassessed”

  1. raphael Says:

    Norv Turner is drawing up plays as we speak and talking smack to his brother Ron….. And Srsly , I have never seen Lewis make a play before….

  2. Red86 Says:

    On the play Lewis got burn for the TD. I still don’t know if it was a zone or man to man. Part of the team looks like zone and another part man to man. If it was suppose to be cover 2 then it’s Ahmad Black fault for jumping the slot man on an out route then taking a bad angle toward the guy that got the touchdown. You be the judge:

    I’m looking forward to Gaitor getting healthy enough to play.

  3. Jbrooks8604 Says:

    Yeah I’m not a fan of our current corner situation but nothing can be done about it now. I thought at the beginning of the year, pass rush and o line depth were our greatest need next off season. Now there is no doubt that corner has to be addressed. I didn’t follow Eric Wrights career before Tampa but man he may be the most disappointing player on our team.

    I’ve said it before as much as people hate Biggers, he is playing better than Wright in my opinion and he isn’t getting paid nearly as much. Wright is robbing this organization blind right now. Leonard Johnson looks great but I don’t think I would feel comfortable when we play teams with elite wideouts.

    I also suspect our pass defense playing this poorly has something to do with Sheridan. Even teams without any talent in the secondary play the pass better than us. I can’t see everything happening on the field so I can’t know for sure. That would be something Joe might be knowledgeable about.

  4. FlBoy84 Says:

    Lewis’ career will likely end like Piscatelli’s. Early round pick to street FA in just a few years. Not sure the coverage is the only issue. Sheridan’s play-calling may be part of it. Seemed to be a lot of confusion on the defensive side of the ball during that 4th quarter as well. Freeman likes to mention that the “moment isn’t to big for Martin” repeatedly. Even though coaches have said Lewis practices great, it surely seems that “the moment is WAY TO BIG for Lewis” come gameday.

  5. lightningbuc Says:


    wholeheartedly agree. Not only can Wright not cover, he can’t tackle either. And can we please quit rushing three and dropping back eight. Just gives the other teams receivers more time to get where our secondary isn’t.

  6. Oahubuc Says:

    Shabby made more plays than Lewis. I’m sick of hearing his name, and have been since his first games.

  7. Nate Says:

    Hey Joe any word on Anthony Gaitor is he even coming back this year? Its obvious we need secondary help really bad and i know this is crazy but maybe moving ronde to corner and starting ahmad black isnt a bad idea…

  8. Keys Says:

    Why not try Myron Lewis at Safety ?

  9. bucfanjeff Says:

    I think most of us knew for at least 2 years now that Lewis is a complete bust. I’ll give Schiano a pass for this year because he probably saw a big DB he could coach up. And to his credit, the rest of the team is responding well. Lewis however, is not. He can be released anytime now. I can’t imagine Tandy is any worse.

  10. Bucworld Says:

    The secondary is not great.. Agreed.. but it’s not like the D-line is getting to the quarterback. We need to work on getting more pressure on the quarterback. It’s difficult to blanket receivers in the NFL when to QB has ample time to throw.

  11. Robbie_G Says:

    I say give Tandy a chance, he can NOT be any worse. Johnson has a great mind for the game, I hope the newest waver pick up can help as well. Lewis HAS to go, I agree Joe, he is a waste of space, see what happenes when you gave others a chance. Johnson, Merideth, Dotson, all come to play.

  12. Adam L Says:

    Yes, Mrs. Heyward-Bey made a fantastic one-handed catch. That being said, it shouldn’t take MUCH EFFORT to STOP someone from making a one-handed catch. If you can block a view, get a fingertip on the ball, hell…. SHOUT SOMETHING DISTRACTING…. that pass should have fell harmlessly to the turf. It’s not that he’s a bad cover corner – it’s the fact that he is seemingly IN POSITION to make a play on EVERY PLAY he gives up, but he’s just not quick enough/smart enough to get a hand up. THAT’S what people hate about Biggers. He’s always RIGHT THERE.

    * I refer to Heyward-Bey as “Mrs.” because I am assuming he took the name of his husband.

  13. KT Says:

    Norv Turner will turn his group of 2’s and 3’s he has at wr into stars this weekend. VJ will be a savior against his former team. The CB situation is pathetic and unacceptable Wright, Biggers and Lewis as starting CBS equals another 4-500 yrd performances. Respect to Johnson because he will be ok. But leaving ronde and mark out there with these laughable excuses for CBs is letting the team down. Letting Talib go In light of wrights suspension is letting the offense down. Just my opinion. But you are taking the number 1 offense for the past month and giving them no help. Smh

  14. lj Says:

    Was it not A Black who had the game saving INT?

  15. Miguel El Magnifico Says:

    The Bucs certainly could have used a well rested Aqib Talib this week.

    The disturbing thing about Wright was that Drew Brees played him like a puppet. Just a shoulder fake would make him jump a route and get burnt. Someone getting paid those big bucks should be a little more sophisticated in his approach.

    Biggers got beat, but that happens in the NFL. The worst play was when Palmer lobbed the 2 pointer up for grabs, #31 never left his feet to deflect it at it’s highest point. I believe Bigger’s problems can be coached.

  16. KT Says:

    Yes Black is the 2nd free safety. Safety is not an issue. But the CBS put the bucs in a situation to where a game saving catch was needed. Palmer for 3 TDs in the 4th… Not acceptable

  17. Gus Says:

    I’m starting to look at our secondary differently because of the offense. If they can make a few plays. A few clutch turnovers this offense can carry them through

  18. robert Says:

    both those plays where biggers got beat, he was in position, was playing well on his man etc. they were perfect throw/catches.

    but he was ON his man. Glad he is our starter!

  19. Sneedy16 Says:

    I think next year pass defense will be drastically better. I really do not see any improvement coming anytime soon. We will not make any big splashes next year in free agency, but the a healthy secondary with some draft picks will help.

  20. KT Says:

    Im sorry Robert, I respect your opinion but you can not be serious about being glad Biggers is a starter. I can’t see him as a starting cb on any other team. Maybe not even a nickel

  21. Jbrooks8604 Says:

    Yeah safety isn’t the issue. Heck half the time Sheridan only leaves one safety deep to cover the whole field. That’s why all of these deep passes are getting completed on us. Sheridan seems to think there’s such a thing as Wright or Biggers island and doesn’t give them any safety help at all. That approach works against bad teams with bad QBs and average wideouts.

    Can’t wait to see Sheridan throw Wright and Biggers out on islands alone against Roddy White and Julio Jones with Ryan throwing the ball. Atlanta is probably salivating while watching Sheridans defensive scheme. We have to help these guys out. They are the weakest links on the team and there are offenses that will exploit them without mercy. I understand that we have to blitz to get pressure some games because the d line is inconsistent but it won’t matter if the qb can just launch a 30 yard bomb down the sideline in one n one coverage against those two.

    Now I actually like the Talib move but there is n doubt that it hurt. Even though he was struggling this year as well, he was somewhat respectable. Wright and Lewis have been laugable in coverage and Biggers is serviceable at least in my opinion. Stop expecting Biggers to be Revis and we can make due with him for the rest of the season at least. Again Johnson is playing well but I wouldn’t want him on top tier wideouts.

    It’s jot an easy job for Sheridan but we have at least moderate talent on defense. He needs to find a way to make it work and field a respectable defense or at the end of the year he needs to be replaced with someone that can.

  22. Lev Says:

    I think Barber is going to move back to corner and Ahmad Black will be our starting free safety. It makes sense….

  23. Jbrooks8604 Says:


    I thought the same thing for awhile but it wouldn’t actually help. We aren’t going to be putting Ronde on the outside either. He’s a nickel at best right now. We need guys that can cover #1 receivers and Ronde isn’t the answer there.

  24. Mike J Says:

    Some insightful comments from everyone. Thanks.

  25. JMoney Says:

    What about that guy we signed last week Gorrer is he any good must be at least Better than Lewis?

  26. Jbrooks8604 Says:

    I actually like Gorrer. Not saying he’s a shutdown guy but ravens fans liked him and were surprised to see him go. He played well the few snaps he had at nickel for them. It will be interesting to see if he gets worked in or not. My guess is he will, everyone else is getting a shot, might as well get him on the field and see what he’s got. Like you said, can’t be worse than how Lewis is performing.

  27. George Horrnik Says:

    stanford routt just got cut by the chiefs. He’d be an upgrade

  28. FlBoy84 Says:

    When you get cut by the Raiders & the Chiefs, you’re not an upgrade for anyone!

  29. Jamaal Says:

    Man please get rid of Lewis I can’t even make em better on madden. I thought Wright would do better but he is horrible just as well. we need ta be in Jerry jones ear-hole trying to get him to release scandrick so we can sign him or something cuz this is an atrocity s/o to the front seven and the safeties though Johnson and bigger s for stepping up but the other corners I have absolutely no faith in. Move ronde back to corner hell and start black he’s playing fairly well to.

  30. gracelivin Says:

    I think one thing that would help the secondary is a more thoughtout blitz package, we either have a jail house blitz or rush 3 men. I have yet to see a delay LB blitz, rusher walk up to the line and dare to be stopped, doesn’t usually work in the NFL, things need to be disguised. Another reason we look terrible against the pass is because no one runs on us…therefore they throw 40-60 passes, some are bound to get completed, in our zone coverage the LB’s are a bit to deep leaving a huge hole underneath, while we make tackles most times it’s those few times that the tackle is missed ends up being first downs.
    could go on all day but this is enough for now.