You Don’t Need Offense For 10 Wins

January 6th, 2014
lovie smith 0106b

A glimpse into his mindset

During a candid moment this afternoon, Lovie Smith metaphorically dropped his pants and revealed a philosophy about winning in the NFL.

It was no surprise, but it was still telling. Lovie is a defensive-minded head coach to his core.

He explained just how far a great defense can take a team.

“If you play great defense, you can win eight games. If you have great special teams, you can win 10. From there, you need offense,” Lovie told Joe and other media following his news conference.

Lovie went on to say that offense, the one you need to win 11 or more games, often requires a special player. Watching the current playoffs, Lovie said, shows they are “a lot about the quarterback.”

The new Bucs head coach also quipped, “For me, I got fired at 10-6, I guess 11-5 is a good year.” Lovie also amended the comment about great defense to included forcing a high amount of turnovers.

Joe has no problem with Lovie’s defensive philosophies. It’s what made him a darn good NFL coach. Joe’s hoping Lovie can take that next step — with an offense he doesn’t have now.

As for how far away the Bucs are, Lovie likes that foundation but was clear. The 4-12 record and no playoff appearances since 2007 “tells you all you need to know.”

50 Responses to “You Don’t Need Offense For 10 Wins”

  1. lions Says:

    Well then defense won the Bucs 4 games this year because offense was awful.

  2. NewTampaChris Says:

    John Fox was a defensive guy….until Peyton Manning dropped into his lap.

  3. BuccaneerBonzai Says:

    This is going to be a total disaster.

    Even the Great Tony Dungy disagrees with Lovie on this.

  4. You Go Joe Says:

    Peyton is a Offensive Coordinator or can be one!

    No matter what it will always be a balance match against Offense(Special Teams Included here) and Defense(Special Teams included here also).

    Panthers, 49ers, KC and Houston all have solid Defense. The panthers hold a team to an average of 13, 16, 18 points (i forget). So We just need a QB to score 20 or 28 to be good. Defenses can win games, and the previous teams I mentioned can vouch for that.

    But when the offense can’t even score any points, 3 points we average in the 3rd quarter WTF!!, then the offense needs some serious adjustments.

  5. rayray1 Says:

    Time will ultimately tell all, but, a disappointing position. Hoping against hope that he has changed his tune. Going conservation got KC what this weekend ?

  6. JonBuc Says:

    This may have been true 5-10 years ago…I think it’s a”dangerous” mentality to have nowadays.

  7. Jerry Says:

    uhhh .. I think Coach Lovie was saying he wants a franchise QB!

  8. PRBucFan Says:

    So he basically said you can only go .500 or win half of your games with great defense.

  9. Bucamania Says:

    Mean defense and a top QB. The formula is clear. Go Bucs!

  10. Buc1987 Says:

    Bonzai….where’s that homerism?

  11. Fritz50 Says:

    Not sure why youse guys are upset. He just said that great D gets us what coach Dungy got us – 10 wins, & freely admitted you need good O to go beyond that. Seems like he’s saying he needs good offense to go beyond his final season in Chicago. We get any where near that , I’m happy, & further I’m ecstatic . Guess I’m gonna wait & see, got to, after all I bought into ‘culture change’ !!

  12. PRBucFan Says:

    8 wins Fritz, but I hear what you mean.

  13. Tut Says:

    Lets see, Defense based team in the playoff’s this year…

    1. Seattle
    2. Carolina
    3. Cincy
    4. S.F.

    Yeah, defense is stupid… A great defense can still get it done. How good was Denver’s record setting offense when the Chargers played good/great Defense?

  14. Meh Says:

    I love that 10 wins isn’t good enough for him. I “Lovie” it.

  15. Buc1987 Says:

    Waaaay too much worrying going on with you fans….

  16. Macabee Says:

    Joe, my friend, this time you lost me. I read the words but I wasn’t sure how to put the message together.

    By metaphorically dropping his pants, did he say something he didn’t mean to say? Did he unintentionally reveal something about himself that we should be concerned about?

    I couldn’t tell if this was a gotcha moment or a revelation into the core of a man that we should be happy we have as coach?

    It sounds like a coach who knows from experience that Defense can take you a long way, but in today’s NFL it will not take you far enough to win. In fact, like me, it can get you fired. I thought that was brutal honesty and coming from a man that now knows how important offense is to win the big prize. That should be a plus for us this time around.

    That is why I didn’t get the metaphor. I thought defense won the Ravens their 2nd Super Bowl last year. I thought that when the Giants defense got healthy at the end of the season in 2011, that’s how they won that Super Bowl.

    This isn’t the first time I’ve read something and missed the point. Joe/anybody straighten me out!

  17. BucNasty!!! Says:

    I see no problem with him devoting all of his attention to defense and special teams. This is why the oc hire was such a crucial decision because he has a tall task to orchestrate a good offense with no interference from the head coach. It’s teddford’s time to put up or shut up and ultimately it will fall back on lovey if he fails or succeeds. Let’s go Lovie wooohooo I’m so pumped about this year I can’t wait till free agency starts

  18. lions Says:

    What I get from this is defense will take you to 10 wins but if you want to be elite you better have an elite offense.

  19. Tut Says:

    People are freaking out wanting a flashy offense. Just because it’s harder to be a great defense now does not change the fact that when the #1 offense plays the #1 defense; the defense team wins most of the time!

    We will see another O -vs- D this weekend when N.O. goes back to Seattle. Drew Brees only had what 150yds passing last time???

  20. PRBucFan Says:

    Not 10 wins people he clearly says 8, come on now lol

    “If you play great defense you can win eight games.’

  21. Jo_mama Says:

    Joe has the hardest job in the NFL right now.

    Trying to get buc fans motivated enough to talk buc football. Cant wait till the draft week comes around and we can all put our 2 cents in.

  22. Snook Says:

    26th in offensive yards per game
    18th in points per game
    #2 seed

    How’s that?


  23. lurker Says:

    Lets see, Defense based team in the playoff’s this year…

    1. Seattle
    2. Carolina
    3. Cincy
    4. S.F.

    those team have a quarterback that can create, don’t forget that.
    even andy Dalton was creating magic.

  24. lurker Says:

    or cam newton can carry his team when needed.

  25. lurker Says:

    wasn’t Carolina a defense-based team in the last few years too? but they went as far as cam carried them. when cam grew into his own, they are doing well. when he was crying, they didn’t.

  26. SteveK Says:

    Bring back the D!

    Can’t wait to watch Lovie lead us to some WINS. Too bad Schiano didn’t work out. However, the drafts we had with him are much betten Rahkstar did.

    Dom should be retained in some capacity too, the man is one year shy of 20 with the bucs. I wasn’t a fan of him or freeman, and I am sorry that i was right.

    Our QB is Mike Glennon. We will thank Schiano for Glennon and LVD as two non first round studs.

    Wipe the slate clean Freemanites. We have the right staff in place. Lovie is home.

  27. PRBucFan Says:

    I hear ya

    But Carolina’s defense is ridiculous this year

  28. Harry Says:

    I really believe Lovie is trying to shore up his weakness – that being the O side of the ball. You can say, “well, obviously”. But it’s not that simple. I believe Schiano was so head strong that he did not ‘see’ some of his weaknesses. If you don’t see them, you can’t fix them. Arrogance makes us blind sometimes

    Lovie will always be D-minded. But I believe he really desires to create a strong offense and will do what it takes to get there. I am also hoping he sees Glennon is not the man for the job.

  29. SteveBucsFan Says:


    He also said you can get to ten with good special teams. Special teams can be a part of defense or offense. Depending on the play. I think that is where everyone else is coming from with the 10 wins.

    Anyway, good luck Lovie! I am excited!

  30. Cmurda Says:

    You are reading way too much into this people. More points are being scored nowadays thanks in large part to the rules today which would be more appropriate for Girls Softball. Nevertheless, the importance of defense has not and will never change. Everything Lovie said is spot on. Carolina is the best example but look even deeper. Last 3 Superbowl winners. Ravens, Giants, Packers. All defensive teams. Yes, that includes the 2011 1st ranked defense of Green Bay.

    Defense still wins Championships. In addition, he didn’t say he chooses to win only 8-10 games and not have an offense. Lets get real here. He wants to be 12-4 with great balance but his hands are off the offense. Stop trying to not love Lovie and hate on this hire. This is the greatest thing since sliced bread. Our organization is back to continuity and greatness. Lovie Smith for President.

  31. PRBucFan Says:

    Special teams is special teams

    Three different groupings

    Special Teams

    What he said is great defense alone can only get you a .500 record

    But everyone is entitles to their own opinion, I’m just saying

  32. richardtyson Says:

    An offense that allows the defense to rest is what we need. 4 and outs will make any defense look sloppy.

  33. patrickbucs Says:


    GB most certainly did not win a SB with a top rated defense. Do you remember their first playoff game against Arizona the year they won? A few years earlier they had a top 5-10 defense but they didn’t win. Unless you have a lights out defense you need to have a middle of the road to above average offense to win the SB. Once you get in the playoffs the offense can get hot like the Bucs on their SB run. I do not think the Panthers will go the SB this year because their offense does not have enough weapons on it period. Their defense is really close to excellent though.

  34. patrickbucs Says:

    If the Bucs are really sticking with Glennon then I really hope they get Watkins. There are so many ways to use the kid much like Patterson for the Vikings this year. He can take some of our inefficiencies as an offense and turn them into positives and strengths. Watch game film on how Clemson used him; I have not seen someone that explosive in college since Percy Harvin and he’s bigger.

  35. BucsQcCity Says:

    Draft Watkins and sign 2 DE+1 CB and patch the oline with younger studs..

    I believe that glennon with vj, watkins, mw19 and wright with a decent playcalling and our defense will do the rest

  36. Cody Says:

    I think Lovie understands that as much as Tony Dungy did for this franchise his biggest downfall here in Tampa was that we never had good offenses…

    As good as our defense was during those years if we had an offense that could consistently put up 17 – 24 points per game we could have Imo won at least 3 Super Bowls…

    So it makes sense to me that the 1st thing Lovie did was make sure he had an “offensive guru” per say running his offense…

  37. Mr. T Says:

    Taking the year off to analyze his coaching approach has brought him to rightly conclude he needs to develop a good if not great offense to get to the next level. And we will certainly need that to get back to the top of our division.

  38. Breezy21 Says:

    Since we are daydreaming here….
    Offense 2014?
    Mike W- V Jackson- Watkins – T Wright -Sefari Jenkins -D Martin

    McCoy – J Allen -Clayborn – M Bennett – LVD – B Orakpo- Tillman -Revis -Barron – Goldson

    KR Hester

  39. Andrew 1 Says:

    I tend to agree with Lovie about the importance of defense. I did a little research on a couple of stats that I find most important other than wins, and that’s points scored and points allowed. In 2001 Dungy’s bucs were 15 in the league in points scored and 8th in the league in points allowed, good for a 9-7 record and a playoff appearance. In 2002 Gruden’s bucs were actually worse in points scored ranking 18th in the league, and the main reason why we went 12-4 and won the Super Bowl= 1st in the league in points allowed. That just goes to show you that defense can win you championships. Some say that’s it’s an offensive driven league now, but just look Seattle and Carolina in the plays offs, they got there by having 2 of the best defenses in the league.

  40. BucPuck Says:

    When I listening to his presser, I loved how he spent the offseason looking for the perfect coaching staff. I know people have their doubts about Tedford, but I trust a man that knows more about football then we will ever know and who spent a whole year finding the right OC to fix why he got fired. Pumped!

  41. Kevin Says:

    Hopefully this OC has a good mind for offense. This won’t be Lovies offense. It will be this Tedford’s guys play calling. We know what Lovie can do and thats why he’s here. Regardless it’s already better that Schiano is gone. Anyone out there want Schiano back???? Didn’t think so.

  42. Andrew 1 Says:

    If we can get back to having the best defense I still think we can win the Super Bowl with just a solid QB. Until then one step at a time.

  43. Brandon Says:

    Lovie is right. Peyton has made defensive coaches like Mora, Dungy, and Fox look like geniuses. Brady made career sub .500 coach, Belichick look like one. Mike Smith has Ryan, Rivera has Newton, Carroll has R, Wilson, Fisher had McNair, Reeves had Elway and Vick, J. Johnson had Aikman, Schottenheimer always had a good QB when he hsd great seasons (Rivers, Brees, Montana, Kosar).

    Lovie can be a genius too…if he gets the right QB.

    There are numerous potential franchise QBs in the draft..Teddy Ballgame, Blake Bortles, Johnny Football, and Derek Carr… If Tedford and the staff really likes one of them and get him, who knows, perhaps we’ll have our first true franchise QB.

  44. Vincente Says:

    At least this coach has a plan. Schiano looked lost for two years. Heck I felt lost for two years. It’s about identity. Once your team has an identity it can build. He had a whole year that lead to this moment. I will put anything and everything that this was planned if things went bad for schiano and boy am I glad they did. Coach smith will bring an identity to ray jay and any team that walks on our field will know that this defense will punish you and you will have to fight for every yard. Bring cam on over and watch him get punished. Bring breese over and watch him get punished. Bring Ryan over and watch him get punished. It’s like a boxing match, you take the body shots and cut down the tree, than when your opponent is getting tired you unload. Let’s remind the world that DEFENSE does win championships.

  45. patrickbucs Says:

    BucsQcCity Says:
    January 6th, 2014 at 8:58 pm
    Draft Watkins and sign 2 DE+1 CB and patch the oline with younger studs..

    I believe that glennon with vj, watkins, mw19 and wright with a decent playcalling and our defense will do the rest


  46. BuccaneerBonzai Says:

    I see a lot of people trying to tell themselves Lovie meant something other than what he said to make themselves feel better.

    Buc1987 Says
    “Bonzai….where’s that homerism?”

    You know, I’m trying, but it is hard when everyday brings something that makes the hair on the back of my neck stand up.

    Even though the last two coaching failures were defensive guys, I could have gotten behind Smith. I probably will when the dust is settled. But there are several things that bug me.

    First, the hiring of a college coach as OC. I can see it if the guy had reasonable NFL experience, but Tedford comes in having to learn the nfl, AND having to invent a playbook. He should have been made QB coach instead, until he knows more.

    And then there is Frazier. There wad only one team this past season that came remotely close to being a laughing stock, and that was the Frazier-led Vikings. So he isn’t the HC this time around. Don’t you think there are Bucs players scratching their heads right now?

    Then we learn Lovie’s contract is 5 years, which I can understand, but that he has complete control. And worse of all, this news is leaked before a new GM is hired. At least without it leaking interviews would not be canceled.

    And now we here Lovie thinks defense can do most of the work. Then instead of saying offense can do the rest, he says special teams is next. How can anyone think he’ll even put offense second?

    And, of course, he fires all of the coaching staff. With no GM he’s going to fill all of those roles AND prepare for the senior bowl AND sort thru our 22 free agents AND negotiate contracts with them in time, AND PREPARE FOR THE DRAFT.

    He doesn’t even have the staff to deligate to now, and a couple of those coaches were worth keeping (like Bob for ST).

    I keep telling myself to calm down. You are right, normally I am a homer. I have supported every coach this team has had for decades.

    I don’t know why this time is different, but I have this feeling of impending doom.

  47. BuccaneerBonzai Says:

    I think several people are lying to themselves when they say defense won the last three championships.

    Funny how each of those teams doesn’t have a good QB. They’ve got elite QBs.

  48. PRBucFan Says:

    You’ve become the ultimate pessimist, who woulda thunk it lol

  49. Harry Says:

    I think all of your points are valid, unfortunately. Frazier I think will be fine. But Tedford, having NO NFL experience is now compounded by his QB coach, Arroyo, having NO NFL experience. And this is further compounded by the Bucs having the 4th best QB in the NFC South, IMO.

    I really like Lovie as HC. It’s the rest of it I am having a big concern about.

  50. » Blog Archive » “He Can Win Without …” - Tampa Bay Bucs Blog Says:

    […] Joe buys into Lovie’s theory that a turnover-machine defense and electric special teams can win you 10 games alone, without a good offense. But the Bucs’ special teams are a question mark, more help might be […]