Safeties May Get Picked On

July 17th, 2013

On paper, how could one argue the Bucs don’t have a shot to go from worst to first in the secondary?

With the additions of Batman and Robin and Johnthan Banks, the Bucs appear to have the strongest secondary in the NFC.

But as Pat Kirwan and Tim Ryan, co-hosts of “Movin’ the Chains,” heard exclusively on SiriusXM NFL Radio, reminded fans yesterday, games are not played on paper.

In fact, both expect the quarterbacks the Bucs will face this season, specifically Drew Brees and Matty Ice twice, to pick on the Bucs safeties time and again.

Last year, Mark Barron, a rookie, played more of a free safety partially because Ronde Barber was more of a run-stopper. But Barron was picked on in deep passes and clearly showed he is more of a bone-rattling hitter in traffic. Ryan and Kirwan believe the Bucs now have two strong safeties and no free safeties as Batman is susceptible to deep passes as well. Both suggested that’s an invitation for opposing quarterbacks to throw deep early and often Bucs.

Tim Ryan: Mark Barron said in a recent interview that he will be playing more in the box, defending the run. A rover style, doing different things. The report also noted that Dashon Goldson would be playing a deep middle player and more as a free safety. Talk about that a little bit because if anything, Dashon Goldson is a box safety. Talk about it.

Pat Kirwan: It’s very hard to play in the NFL game that is in front of us, today, the kind that we currently see on the television screens, with two strong safeties. So that sounds like a description of two strong safeties. Now, if that was because they were limited to those skill sets, then they are in trouble. Who is the deep hole player?

Ryan: Look, Goldson is terrific. He will rock you and will come up and hit it and get tipped balls and get the interceptions. But he is also better six-to-16 yards level one and two in the passing game. Anything deep, he has some challenges there, now.

Kirwan: Well, they have to be careful with how they play this. Now some teams will play this with some kind of a read look with the two safeties playing in a Cover-2 look and then if the flow comes there way they come in late…

Ryan: A late insert.

Kirwan: … so if you want to play that kind of stuff because you want to get aggressive and the other guy is over the top a little bit, OK. But you can’t feature both guys if they are both strong safeties. Someone has to play the deep middle and both of them have to be good half-field players. That is Cover-2 and quarters. We don’t live in a world where you can bring both in the box. Who is bringing a safety into the box on one-man sets?

Ryan: Nobody.

Kirwan: Zero people. You want to tell me during your dime look one of these guys or both of them are going to play up closer and different kind of guys playing behind them, maybe something creative there. But the world of two strongs, how are you going to line up and match up against guys with empty sets? Those are strong safeties, that’s how you see them? Good. No-back sets, one-back sets? It turns it into a dinosaur position. Nice if someone accommodates you with a two-man set and you want to play that game? Great. When I hear two strong safeties the only way I feel good about it is if the team is a two-back system and the quarterback is not a great thrower. And there’s not a lot of that in the NFL. So, I don’t know. I think Barron can play a little bit of deep stuff and I think Goldson is just going to have to get it. But quarterbacks will figure it out. They will figure out how to get you to fire a guy in the box when they want. I am more inclined the Drew Breeses of the world are going to come out there and play empty sets and one-back sets and isolate these guys.

Now this is a very interesting thought. It’s almost as if the Bucs are going to try to somehow coerce teams to play smashmouth football, and this is the wrong division to do that.

Maybe the Bucs figure Robin will get thrown at so few times, he can help on coverage deep over the middle?

34 Responses to “Safeties May Get Picked On”

  1. the_buc_realist Says:

    don’t forget that you cannot drop the middle line backer as well. Foster stinks even worse in pass coverage than the 2 strong safeties. plus we still don’t know who the strong side linebacker is. Our terrible D-line, had better become one the best units in the league to help cover up this deficiency. Or it will be a very long season.

  2. Buc1987 Says:

    But as Pat Kirwan and Tim Ryan, co-hosts of “Movin’ the Chains,” heard exclusively on SiriusXM NFL Radio reminded fans yesterday, games are not played on paper.

    As of right now games are played on paper, and that’s all we have so far.

  3. flmike Says:

    This ain’t the CFL, no team in the NFL is going to go zero set and send 5 out, thats a recipe to get your QB killed…even 4 wide is a stretch for 99% of the teams in the league.

  4. robert Says:

    meh, I hope they do attack Gohlston and Barron.

    I wanna see some heads get cracked!!

    Roddy White, Steve Smith, Marques Colston, Jimmy Graham, Tony Gonzalez, Julio Jones…. F em all and let the ice packs sort it out!!!

  5. Walter Says:


    I was about to say the same thing lol

    PLEASE pick on Goldson and Barron, just make sure you keep a stretcher ready at all times if that really what you want to do.

  6. Bucs Will Win NFCS Says:

    It will be a test that the Hawk will pass!

  7. WestCoastBucsFan Says:

    Out of Sight

    Of course there are also those linebackers who didn’t give up much in coverage. Take Mason Foster, for example. The Tampa Bay Buccaneer hasn’t quite lived up to expectations, but you can’t fault how many first downs and touchdowns he gave up. His total number was just seven, or 2.13% of his snaps in coverage.

    He led all linebackers in the league in least first downs allowed. This was just for the statement about Mason Foster as some huge liability in coverage. This doesn’t make him all pro in pass coverage but I sincerely doubt he was as bad as was implied by the “realist”.

  8. tampabaybucfan Says:

    Bring it on!!! Go after our safetys….I bet the WRs love that plan.
    We have a secret weapon to spring on them……Myron!!!

  9. robert Says:

    and how good was ray lewis in coverage last year????

    he sucked out loud.

  10. BuccaneerBonzai Says:

    Joe says
    “It’s almost as if the Bucs are going to try to somehow coerce teams to play smashmouth football, and this is the wrong division to do that.”

    I don’t know about that. Yes, we might get burned a time or two, but those teams will have to protect the QB as well.

    And I love the thought of being smashmouth. Although I would feel better with stronger depth at RB and a good hard hitting FB.

  11. Buc'n Junkie Says:

    Instead of thinking of what the worst case scenarios might be, it would be a breath of fresh air to hear what intangibles Goldson and Barron bring to the table. Regardless of what doom and gloom that Ryan and Kirwan want us to believe, I do know that in comparison to last year this secondary is better. For whatever shortcomings Ryan and Kirwan say about our safeties, I will guarantee they also make a lot of jaw dropping plays this year.

  12. Andrew 1 Says:

    I thought the reason why they brought Goldson in is because he is good at playing deep coverage, which frees Barron up to play in the box? I thought that was the plan.

    look Im not going to pretend to know how Goldson plays becasue to be honest Ive rarely seen him play. but at the same time I hope these guys are wrong because what we needed all along was a guy to play center fielder

    if he cant do it then we really screwed up. its either that or our coaches have something up their sleeves.

  13. Andrew 1 Says:

    dang my post didnt go through.

  14. J 2.0 Says:

    After reviewing hours of film I have determined in the upcoming season Pat Kirwan and Tim Ryan will continue to be morons. They will continue to display levels of assinine analysis never seen before in broadcasting.

  15. Andrew 1 Says:

    I hope these guys are wrong because a center fielder is really what we need. for the record I think Godson will be able to pull it off. I mean youve got to figure the coaching staff knows exactly what they are getting into when they signed Goldson, and I highly doubt they would pay that much for a player who cant play deep coverage. if one or neither of these guys can play deep then I guess we wont be seeing much cover 3.

  16. Andrew 1 Says:

    what these guys are saying just doensnt make sense. Goldson HAS TO be able to play deep coverage.

  17. Sneedy16 Says:

    Wasn’t Goldson playing FS for the 49rs? So why all of a sudden he became a SS? All-Pro FS to a SS because they said he is a liability against the deep pass. They are just looking now.

  18. WestCoastBucsFan Says:

    According to Pro Football Focus (subscription required), Whitner ranked 68th among safeties in coverage last year, while Goldson came in at 10th.

    Unfortunately, the following link is to an article that just references the rankings. It does link to them but it is behind a pay wall.

    I believe people think Goldson is a bad center fielder because of Whitner. When you watch a lot of those busted coverage plays throughout the playoffs in 2012/13 it was usually Whitner on the back end. Even though Goldson was much better in coverage I think they still alternated them in the box to be less predictable as a defense.

  19. Kevin Says:

    Whether it’s on paper or on the field…we are GUARANTEED no if ands or but’s to be better than we were last season. No way we will be dead last with the additions and had we had this defense last season Tampa bay would have been a playoff contender. Thats FACT! I am a happy Bucs fan right now and cannot wait until the fun starts. This is going to be an exciting year.

  20. BigMacAttack Says:

    Fortunately there is only one Drew Brees. He does not do well on his back either. If you can pressure him, you can stop his offense.

  21. delson Says:

    The drew breeses of the league lol how many teams have these? I cant wait for the year to start so we can sh’t down the necks of all our naysayers.

  22. Bb Says:

    Bring it on we will be better on the back end, up front too, I hope

  23. Hawaiian Buc Says:

    Even though it drives us all crazy, all this hate we get is the best thing possible. Let them all keep on doubting us all year. The last time we had huge expectations was in 2011, and we all know how that turned out. We don’t need any hype, just go out and shock the world (and piss of the bucs realist and his boyfriend Eric).

  24. Andrew 1 Says:

    ^^^^^^^ Amen.

  25. Andrew 1 Says:

    expression on his face says it all.,lego:19780928:top,photo,45c940e6-5d18-38cc-bbb9-f7ec24a0657b-l:1

  26. Mike J Says:

    Seems to me, dumb as I am, that this would be an invitation for offenses NOT to play smash-mouth, but to pass deep.

  27. BuccaneerBonzai Says:

    I believe that plan is to have Wright cover the deep middle while Banks and Revis cover the outside.

    This is nothing I’m concerned about anyway. The sencondary got three new starter and only on is a rookie.

  28. scubog Says:

    As I recall, with our old cover 2 system the safeties were interchangeable and would often reverse roles. Can’t a big hitter also cover or is it like these guys describe wide receivers in that if they aren’t fast they run great routes? Apparently doing both is taboo. I’m shocked that the name of our starting QB was not mentioned as being to blame. But of course the Realist found a way to seek out another reason to pout.

  29. Brandon Says:

    Donte Whitner has been the starting SS for the 49ers since he came over from the Bills. While Goldson may have many elements of a SS in his skillset, he came into the league as a FS (he played FS and CB in college), has continued to play FS, and will continue to be a FS. The 49ers had a great defense last season and you can hardly look at Goldson (other than one deep playoff pass) as their weak link.

    This article is more about a couple of blowhards struggling to find something to talk about.

  30. BIlly Bob Says:

    The talking heads job is to use the power of question to instigate and grow controversy even when there is an obvious common sense explanation. (ex. Travon Martin)
    Come on People who are the teams going to send deep up the middle. TE.
    Not exactly the hardest players for probowl safties to cover.

    Also Goldson is a big hitting tough FS. That is why he is considered the best in the NFL.

    Just because he is tough and hard hitting does not mean he can not play FS. It only means he can play free safety better then most.
    Pat Kirwand is a hack with a deep voice with just enough intellect to form a question and the type of wisdom that creates a vacuum that causes that ringing in his ears.
    If you have some spear time on your hands and want to pull your hair out do to listening to stupidity with a seasoning of half wit humor the tune in to Pat Kirwand

  31. tom Says:

    Pro Football Focus ranked Goldson 10th amongst safeties in coverage last year and he used to play corner. He also produced 6 INTs on throws over 15 yards over the past 2 seasons. He’s not elite in coverage but he is far from being a liability. Plus add in the fact that Revis will strand his man on an island so Goldson can focus on the WR2. If Goldson’s deep coverage ability is our biggest concern on defense then I can’t wait for the season to start.

  32. Kalind Says:

    This is retarded. Did Kirwin and what’s his face lose their minds? Have a lobotomy? I mean, give me an explanation. Goldson is the man. And lest we forget, he played FS I a pretty good defense last year. Is anyone trying to tell me that their SS was actually playing FS last year? No.

    Please. This is just drummed up nonsense. Goldson is a top 5 FS for a reason. And it’s not because he’s an incognito SS. These guys are morons if they believe what their shoveling there. And it would also presume that Schiano and Dominik can’t break down tape or identify that problem that these two numbskulls found. I not buying ANY of this nonsense. It’s a joke.

    These guys are worthless. And, frankly, if their really peddling this stuff, how can we respect them or give their word credence? It’s patently false!

  33. Josh Says:

    If you expect The Bucs secondary to get “picked” on then wow. Every secondary will get lit up according to Kirwan’s logic.

  34. Oahubuc Says:

    Good, test them. Barron is going to be a monster in the near future and the more tests he gets the better.