Weakness Stronger, Strength Weaker

June 15th, 2013


Joe sometimes chuckles when he reads a Bucs fan — or any NFL fan — demand “love” for his team. Joe really has no idea what that means. Does “love” mean “attention?” Or does “love” mean “lying” and just saying good things about a team so said fan can rest easy at night with their arms wrapped warmly around their teddy bear?

A Bucs fan seeking comfort wants to know why [media source unknown] is not fornicating over the Bucs in this NFC South chat.

EastEndBoy (DC)

Hi Pat – I know it’s early but why aren’t the Bucs getting more love in preseason analysis? Looking at what they did – take their weakest part (secondary) from worst to near first – versus what other teams did to their weakest parts, shouldn’t the Bucs be viewed more highly – like a playoff team?

Pat Yasinskas

I agree with you. They fixed their weakest area. And they’re good in a lot of other areas. I see them as a team with a shot at the playoffs.

Oh, there’s no question the Bucs should have a shot at the playoffs, as difficult as it may be in the top-heavy NFC. That doesn’t mean the Bucs are without question marks that give Joe pause, as he told his good friend “The Big Dog,” Steve Duemig of WDAE-AM Tuesday.

Yes, the Bucs, on paper, look to have gone from worst-to-first in the secondary, horrific to strong. But Joe actually thinks the strength of the team in 2012, the front-seven on defense, may be weaker.

Yes, there’s a reason leading sacker Michael Bennett and solid tackle Roy Miller were allowed to walk away for peanuts. They are damaged goods. But are their replacements better?

Da’Quan Bowers has yet to play a full season. Akeem Spence, who Bucs coaches admire, is still a rookie. Can Gerald McCoy stay healthy for only his second-year in his four-year career? Can Adrian Clayborn bounce back from knee surgery?

Also, it remains uncertain who will replace Quincy Black at strongside linebacker.

Yes, yes, yes, Joe understands many believe that position doesn’t matter much. Funny, Joe never heard that excuse when Black was stinking up the league prior to being coached up last season.

26 Responses to “Weakness Stronger, Strength Weaker”

  1. Kalind Says:

    Well said Joe!

  2. OB Says:

    Joe, a team is still a team and it doesn’t matter how good an individual player is, it is how good they play together. Just look how they seem to be bonding now.

    I do know that it is very rare for an entire team to be exceptionally good at every position, so is our defense against the Jets going to get the job done in order to see how they play? I don’t know for sure, but I believe so and that is one of the great things about the NFL, on any Sunday, anyone can beat anyone no matter how the team is.

    No SAM Back, but three stud DBs for sure, DL maybe weaker, last year a lot of troops thought our rookie running back, some kid named Martin would need a lot of time to develop and with a OL that was patchwork, what may our DL show us?

    One thing you have continually pointed out this year is how someone in each area has come forward as a leader and is showing the youngsters how to do it and practicing extra just about everyday; Oh did you not say we had seven (7) probowlers under 30 on the team? What does that mean for the poor bast**ds that are going to have to play us?

    Your thoughts Joe?

  3. The 300's Says:

    I really do not see a drop off in playing ability on the defensive front seven. What we may have is a depth issue more than anything. But Bowers is a better DE than Bennett with a bum shoulder. And Spence is a better NT than Miller with a bad back.

    The problem with the linebackers stinking up the joint was not exclusive to the SLB position. That group all became better thanks to coaching. And I don’t see a big drop in ability from Black to Dakota Watson.

    In my opinion the biggest concern the should Bucs have is depth at most positions. And if we have any injured key starters it will have consequences on our playoff chances. Who replaces McCoy? Who replaces Revis? Who replaces David?

  4. Buc-n-Junkie Says:

    Joe worries to much…. or he’s running out of material to talk about. Let’s get through training camp first before we get pessimistic. I’m sure if there is a weakness in our front seven, Dominic and Schiano will bringing guys in and out all during camp. The 90 guys you see today will be different than the 90 you see a week into camp, guaranteed. I wonder if Dominik might be interested in new DT Israel Idonije? He plays the tilt nose.

  5. Mike J Says:

    I am starting to worry about Carolina. They made a lot of on-paper improvements also.

  6. J 2.0 Says:


    There will be a new dimension to our defense that has eluded us for several years now. It’s called the coverage sack. Long ago the Bucs had a good secondary that allowed our front 7 to reach the QB. It has happened before. It will happen again.

  7. BrianDorry55 Says:

    So sick of hearing: “Bucs secondary going from worst to first!”

    Certainly the secondary will be improved, but adding two players doesn’t magically make Eric Wright and Mark Barron All-Pros…sure, the presence of Revis and Goldson will make their peers better…it will also guarantee that they get picked on more often. Barron couldn’t cover a mattress with a sheet in his rookie season…so unless him and Wright physically become better players, this secondary isn’t going to be anywhere near the best in the league…not to mention that despite the lack of talent in the secondary last season, the lack of a pass rush was still a worth-mentioning contributing factor to the woefulness of our pass defense…Nothing is guaranteed, not until we go out there and put in on film.

  8. Illuminati Says:

    @Mike J

    Carolina’s secondary is a major weakness, and they’ve done little to improve it thus far in the offseason.

    Also, until he can prove otherwise, I don’t think a Mike Shula-led offense will have many opposing defenses quivering in their cleats.

  9. jeff Says:

    Joe now why would you rip a fan like that? You know damn well what that guy was talking about when he said “more love”=”more talk”.

    when you do this you sound like a commenter and not a writer.

  10. Mike J Says:

    Illuminati , good points. Thanks for the reassurance.

  11. Pete 422 Says:

    Bowers is better than Bennett & Whoever we have a SAM will be better than Black. Wait & see on Spence. If he is as good as Miller, that is all we need. I think the great run D was good scheme, coaching, technique & players. That should continue.

  12. Rich Says:

    Joe tells it like it is!

  13. LUVMYBUCS Says:

    Pessimists are persuasive. They exploit fear and doubt. “Pessimism is intellectually seductive and the arguments always sound smarter, especially when they dovetail with our own worries.” There’s evidence that people hate losing money more than they like making it. That makes you more susceptible to following the pessimists’ warnings than the optimists’ outlook.

    Being an optimist doesn’t mean I don’t think bad things will happen. But you just gotta have a little faith sometimes.

    GO BUCS 1976-to-Infinity!!!

  14. Stanglassman Says:

    You maybe on to something Buc-n-junkie Israel Idonije is a little long in the tooth now but he is versatile and was playing his best ball later in his career. It can’t hurt to bring him in for training camp.

  15. BuccaneerBonzai Says:

    Buc-n-Junkie Says:
    “Joe worries to much…. or he’s running out of material to talk about. Let’s get through training camp first before we get pessimistic.”

    Okay, there seems to be some confusion here. Joe wasn’t being “pessimistic”. He was pointing out an area of concern. There is a huge difference. Joe made some very good points, and only the most self delusional would think there are no concerns on the Front 7.

    Pointing out that GMC only has one complete season because of injury, that Clayborn is coming off injury, and Bowers has to have a complete season does not mean Joe is saying there will not be success there. It means he’s got some concerns.

    And Spence might be getting good press right now, but nothing is a lock until he proves himself on the field. He may become one of the best Defensive Linemen in Bucs history, or he may become a fatal weakness on the front seven. We just do not know yet.

    So, Joe is justified in his concerns. I happen to agree those are valid areas of concern.

    And frankly, we could have addressed part of those concerns in the third round by going after a DT that was higher valued. If Spence turns out to be a dud, you can bet guys like Realist will point that out. A lot.

    We could have taken two DTs (3rd & 4th round) and had a high chance of finding a solution to the position.

    As to SAM, I think Watson will be the solution there.

  16. BuccaneerBonzai Says:

    Let me add, there is every chance in the world that Clayborn will recover and remain healthy, and that Bowers will remain healthy and do well. There is also a good chance that GMC will do the same.

    But they are still areas of concern. Why? Because if 1-2 of those three are injured where will our Dline stand? Valid concerns.

  17. 94b94u93c54s59 Says:

    Our front seven was absolutly solid last year, the numbers showed it. And hey I got faith in Bowers, Claiborne, and of course GMC, Mase the 59, and Levonte. Te’o Nesheim is a damn good depth player at DE, along with Landri at DT. We have Coach Bryan Cox making sure these guys get to the QB. Were fine.

  18. RIs_Buc Says:

    Love = More national media coverage.

    less NY Jets, Cowboys & RG3… & more of Lavonte, Dougie and Barron.

  19. Bobby Says:

    Talk about a conversation about nothing…..”Where will our D-line be if someone gets injured????Waaahhhhhhh!!” Same place as the other 31 teams if someone on their D-line gets injured. I’ve said before…use your head. Do you honestly think that every team keeps two of every position that is starting caliber?? If that were the case then every team would be in salary cap hell. Got a backup GMC? Guess what… he wants to get paid like GMC. Got a backup Revis or Goldson????? Of course you don’t and neither does anyone else. You go with your best, you pay your best and you hope they stay healthy. It’s a risk for any team and if a star player on any team gets injured then there is no star player to replace them. Our offensive line showed you last year that good coaching can take good players and get the best out of them. This is frankly a stupid conversation about ‘what if’s’
    and to assume that it’s a scenario only our D-line is facing and every other D-line in the NFL is knee deep in talented depth is just silly.

  20. BucDan Says:

    All this talk about the d-line and nobody is mentioning #50. Daniel Te’o Neseim is a solid back up and I recommend the NFL Rewind package to everybody on this site. Going back to watch this past season was a definite eye opener.

    #50 is a hustle player and uses technique to win at the line of scrimmage.

    Ps- Looking back and watching how Josh Freeman stands and moves in the pocket gives extra hope that he is progressing into the next stage of elite quarterbacks.

  21. BucDan Says:

    Great points Bobby and more Bucs fans need to be aware of the fact as you point out.

  22. BuccaneerBonzai Says:

    Bobby, its a sound discussion point when three of four defensive linemen have a strong chance of re-injury. And you totally missed the point. By drafting DTs in 3 & 4 you better your chances at getting a starter AND a backup.

    Last year we had injuries on both lines. Having concern that it happens again is valid. Especially when the potential of it happening again is not dealt with in the off season.

  23. scubog Says:

    All teams’ success is dependent upon remaining healthy and often a little lucky. But there are some teams totally dependent on only one or two players to remain competitive. Usually it’s the QB. Take Brees off that team and every fan in the Superdome will be chanting “Who Dat”? when their unknown back-up trots onto the field. Think Denver is the same if Manning’s neck starts to hurt again? How about the Vikings who should just hibernate for the winter if Peterson’s knee flares up? Without now aging Steve Smith in Carolina the swagger disappears and Newton goes into his pout. Atlanta is receiver driven. If Matty Ice is put on ice with an injury Atlanta will go into a deep freeze. We could ill afford to lose any on our roster to injury as well; but the departure of the Miller and Bennett duo wont hurt a bit.

  24. Fritz50 Says:

    “a strong chance of re-injury”

    So…every player that’s ever been injured has an increased probability of re-injury. Not sure that’s valid. For every that has successive injuries I’d bet you can counter with several that have one & done. Might be a bit of a generalization.

  25. Bobby Says:

    ^^^^^^That’s for sure^^^^^^^ McCoy actually has a strong probability that he WON’T get reinjured. Biceps tears rarely happen again after repair. To suggest that because someone gets injured in a game that takes it’s toll on virtually everyone who plays it is “injury prone” is ridiculous. I think Bonzai is the one who missed the point.

  26. PRBucFan Says:

    I don’t understand where your going with this???

    And… what are you getting at