“With Their Hair On Fire”

June 6th, 2014

Derrick Brooks used to say that he and the old school Buccaneers competed for every blade of grass.

That was the mentality. No piece of Tampa Bay turf was acceptable to give away.

That glory days mindset is returning. Joe could sense that from talking to various Bucs assistant coaches this week.

Coaches are simplifying things but ramping up pressure on players to perform those basic tasks.

Take life on the Bucs’ defensive line. D-line coach Joe Cullen admits, “We don’t ask them to do a lot” and that means he won’t get to evaluate much until players can start hitting each other and squaring off in training camp. In this pass-rush first defense, Cullen will have a basic measuring stick: “You got a 1-on-1 rush, you gotta beat it,” he said.

Coaches talk about winning every down and “bringing it” on Sunday is high a standard for Bucs icon and linebackers coach Hardy Nickerson. He expects what Cullen says will be the hallmark of the Bucs’ defense, “They’re going to play hard with their hair on fire.”

What’s exciting is the Bucs have enough defensive talent to dominate and be a top-5 defense. How quickly it can all mesh, and whether Lovie Smith can have everyone reacting versus thinking — with their hair on fire — will be key.

Joe’s not expecting it all to blossom out of the gate, but Joe’s more confident in the defense getting it done before the Week 7 bye, as opposed to the offense.

14 Responses to ““With Their Hair On Fire””

  1. ToesOnTheLine Says:

    Sounds great on paper, but it’s a Tampa 2 variation…bend but don’t break D. Add to the fact the Bucs play in the NFC South and I’m guessing the D will be mid-pack at best in yards allowed. Just hoping the takeaways are top 10 and the offense can at least be mid-pack

  2. Buc the Haters Says:

    @ Joe
    I’m actually more concerned with our back-7 defense adjusting to all the nuances of the Cover 2 zone scheme than our offense… It seems nowadays, opposing offenses are very familiar with where the holes in coverage are in the Tampa 2 & we are going to have to be really on point in coverage & we need a strong consistent pass rush to be dominant. But I honestly think we have the potential to be a top 5 defense & top offense this year. If we do that, we’re winning the Superbowl this year.

  3. Buc the Haters Says:

    * top 5 offense

  4. ToesOnTheLine Says:


    Possibly on the top 5 O after the Cannon takes the helm 🙂

  5. Buc the Haters Says:

    But McCown is better than Glennon in every way right now. Glennon’s time will come, but it won’t be for a couple years, IMO.

  6. OAR Says:

    Hair on fire defense? Which one will be playing the Richard Pryor style and which on will play the Michael Jackson style?

  7. Touch_Down_Tampa_Bay Says:

    I’m with Buc the Haters. If our o-line is the weakest link in the offense look for our QB to be under-pressure. Glennon collapse under pressure while McCown shine last year. It’s a no brainer. Remember Glennon “The Cannon” is the QB of the future which means after McCown leaves town. IMHO

  8. Oil Derrick Brooks Says:

    Which will hopefully make the O-line better by going against that in practice.

  9. Touch_Down_Tampa_Bay Says:

    Without pads??? lol

  10. HFXBUC Says:

    Play with their hair on Fire….sounds like A.Clay fits that mould. From what I remember the weakest area of the Tampa 2 was always the run defence…our division and even the league is obsessed with passing so it may be a really great fit for stopping modern defences.

  11. Buc the Haters Says:

    @ TOTL

    This quote should end the ‘Glennon starting this year’ fantasy:

    ‘As much of a leader as Collins has already become during the offseason, he defers the top ranking leadership role to veteran quarterback Josh McCown, who has taken One Buccaneer Place by storm with how connected he has become to each and every unit on offense. McCown has quickly earned the respect of veterans and rookies alike and everyone has marveled with how quickly and effectively the Buccaneers offense has fallen in line behind him.’

    “He’s a real leader,” Collins said. “He’s a veteran. You can’t question that. As far as his play, it’s going to speak for itself. But as far as him being a leader, he’s all we need.”

  12. ToesOnTheLine Says:

    In player talk that quote means nothing more than “he’s the man until coach says he ain’t the man”

  13. panhandle buc Says:

    Brees will shred our Tampa 2! 10-12 yards a pop in the between zones. He always has and although I hope he doesn’t, this year may be no different.

  14. Hoppy Says:

    Joe I love the picture. I’m sorry I can’t spell his name right but it reminds me of Tyquan Underwood. (Hair style)