Derrick Brooks Says Dial Back Expectations

July 21st, 2014

lovie 0613bFans might want to hit the brakes when it comes to anointing the 2014 Tampa Bay defense great.

That’s the message from soon-to-be Hall of Famer Derrick Brooks.

It seems Brooks has been diving into comments sections of Bucs blogs and is shaking his head when he reads the expectations of what Lovie Smith can pull off immediately.

“This is their first year in a structured system. I know some of our fans, reading the comments, I hope they don’t expect these guy to pick up where we left off in this defense,” Brooks said on WDAE-AM 620. “We went through some growing pains to get to that success. These young men are going to go through some growing paints to understand that. The system they’ve played in thus far has not been as structured as this system requires you to be. So they’ve got to go through those playing growing pains, and the quicker they get past that, I think they’ll be alright. Obviously, the talent level, what they bring is tremendous.”

Brooks said he’s anxious to see if Gerald McCoy and Lavonte David can forge a key bond and chemistry within Lovie’s defense, and he said he hopes Team Glazer and company will find a way to keep the top cogs of the defense together over time.

Brooks’ point is wise. Even after the December collapse of 2008, the Bucs still had a top-10 defense that season, the last for Monte Kiffin and Brooks in Tampa Bay. To expect greatness out of the gate from the Bucs defense is a tall order.

Now Joe’s not worried about the Bucs defense at all, but a lot will have to come together in a hurry for it to be elite. With a brutal schedule to start the season, Joe’s just hoping the Bucs can do enough in all phases of the game to stay in the hunt while everything comes together in Year 1 of Lovieball.

25 Responses to “Derrick Brooks Says Dial Back Expectations”

  1. Tom Edrington Says:

    Derrick Brooks knows football.


  2. Danati74 Says:

    This is a win now league. L&L know this. That is why they got a spending spree in FA. A lot of fans are expecting an 8-8 season, but we would be happy with something much better.

  3. DallasBuc Says:

    Rebuilding year.

  4. Bill Says:

    This team is still going to have to discover players for long-term depth at DT, LB, OG, OT, C, WR. They are going to find out about McCown, possibly Glennon. 8-8 would make me satisfied. We can find out how many of the young players that are under the radar (Edwards, Pamphile, Cummings, Means, etc.) are part of the solution. It’s the same way the Bucs found guys like Quarles, Gooch, Tyoka, etc.

  5. You Go Joe Says:

    With the level of uncertainty on offense, special teams and a few with defense of course we can say it is a rebuilding year since we really DO NOT have a solid foundation. We have potential and we will see how far off we can go.

    For sure my expectations are to be more efficient than last year on defense. Top 10 or top 5 in the league I can only wish. Offense, I do not know as Tedford is a huge black hole.

  6. Buccaneer Bonzai Says:

    DallasBuc Says
    “Rebuilding year.”

    I know coaches (here) usually deny that a year is a building year even if it is (I imagine so they can sell tickets), but in this case I’m not so certain.

    I don’t think even Lovie honestly knows if it is a rebuilding year yet. Technically, I suppose it is because new coaches equal new system built from the ground up. That would sort of make it so.

    But was Gruden’s first year a rebuilding year? Better yet, was Dungy’s first year? The talent was already in place for the most part.

    If all it takes is adding a few pieces to make it a rebuilding year, then every year is one.

    We won’t know for certain if it is a rebuilding year until after game four of the regular season. By then we will know if the free agents pan out and if the oline is capable.

    By then we will have a general idea as to whether the free agents can all stay healthy, and by then we’ll know if Spence is suspended or not, and he will have probably served his time (not that he is a projected starter).

    We’ll have a clearer view if our OC is any good, and we’ll know if our knew GM can spot talent in the draft.

    With such a new system, it will be impossible to tell before then.

  7. Buccfan37 Says:

    DB, it’s difficult to temper the expectations and enthusiasm of Buc fans prior to the upcoming season. We could resign ourselves to an outlook for a season of struggle. As before every season, I remain high on the inevitability of success in the future. I can’t think otherwise, even if events eventually don’t meet desires.

  8. Eric Says:

    I’m sure Brooks is right, but learning curve Lovie Ball is going to look way better than the amateur hour we have endured since 08.

    My growing pains have growing pains.

    Remember also Tony’ first team here went 5-3 in second half of the season.

  9. Buccaneer Bonzai Says:

    I do think Brooks is right though. Too many expectations are a bad thing, at least in the first half of the year. If the team record is good enough after game 8 and things are gelling, then maybe we can start hoping.

    The first challenge we’ll face so far as defense is exhaustion in the first quarter. This was an issue every year with Dungy and Gruden. It should only last the first couple games though before the coaches clamp down on it. When the defense can play a full 60 minutes, that’s when things will get good on that side of the ball.

    So far as offense, there are only two major question marks. OL and QB. No one can tell me that McCown is the long term solution given his age, even if he has the best season of his career.

    And whether the MGM admits it or not, Mike Glennon is still unproven. Drafting a quarterback would have been a smart move, especially since with the improved defense, it is unlikely we will get such a high pick again.

    But what is done is done. All we can do now is hope Glennon pans out or we don’t have to sacrifice the future to get a good QB next year.

  10. Buccaneer Bonzai Says:

    And to clarify, I am not a Johnny Football fan. I wanted Carr.

  11. bigpoppabuc Says:

    I think the toughest thing Brooks and co. had to learn was the individual gap responsibilities. Ignoring certain insticts and staying where you’re supposed to be and letting the play come to you.
    this defense is designed to have a defender waiting at every point on the field, and relies on defenders being patient, but still aggressive when the play is there to be made.
    I can see why on game day mistakes can be made and guys can get caught out of position, but I think Lovie and his staff take pride in their ability to teach this system. They not only know it inside and out, but have gone through the trial and error of implementing it. Growing pains are a given, but I expect them to last weeks instead of years.

  12. Buccaneer Bonzai Says:

    I think it would be ironic if Mark Sanchez ended up here next year and turned out to be the solution.

    Lord knows the Jets can destroy any QBs production.

    He has a one year deal with the Eagles, but may not even make the team. I would take him here as a backup 3rd stringer.

  13. Buccaneer Bonzai Says:


    I think you are right. Part of that is trust…trusting the other players to cover their areas well.

    Accidents happen when a player feels he has to cover two areas of the field because his teammate cannot hack it.

  14. Luther Says:

    @Bonzai I think Carr is going to be the best QB from this draft. He is already turning heads in Oakland. I’m happy with our draft but I would have been really over the top if the Bucs had been able to trade up to get him in the bottom of the 1st. Revis really hurt our chances during draft time.

  15. dmarino1231 Says:

    Simply NOT having a Dancing with the Stars approach to the D-Line will be a major improvement over last year. Allowing the talent we have to play ‘their’ game should be enough to earn respect. When everything ‘clicks’ is when we will begin to instill fear …

    “in the Tampa 2 players don’t care that you know what’s coming, the defense has to be so dominating, we let you know what we’re going to do and then go out and do it.” – GMC

  16. Bucsfanman Says:

    I don’t know if I’d call it “rebuilding” Dallas, at least on defense anyway. This is more like a renovation!
    I think our favorite player is right, we need to temper our enthusiasm. However, our defense is closer than our offense, just saying.

  17. DallasBuc Says:

    You can like all the changes, be optimistic for success and call it whatever the sh*t you want but it is a rebuilding year. The amount and type of change at every level of this team with only a hand full of positions on the field experiencing player carry-over. The most important position on the team flipped again by being handed over to a mediocre career backup. Doesn’t mean we can’t be successful but the formula doesn’t seem to add up to immediate success.

  18. mpmalloy Says:

    DallasBuc Says:
    July 21st, 2014 at 9:25 am

    Rebuilding year.

    Lol. Another one, huh?
    Wow. That’s like what: 6 rebuilding years in a row.
    You’d think the Bucs would be rebuilt by now.
    I’ll get in trouble if I say anything bad about the owners.
    So I won’t.

  19. Harry Says:

    Sorry, I just don’t want to. This is the only time of year in the past 5 years that I can live in fantasy land – that my Bucs are finally going to have a great year. Finally we have a QB in McCown who is going to impress and actually win games. Finally going to the playoffs and winning one or two.

    Yeah, MGM, you have your Kool-Aid, I have mine!

  20. BFFL Says:

    I think Joe is the only one anointing the Bucs as having a great defense. I want to see it first because I know that a team is only as good as it’s defense unless it has an elite QB which clearly the Bucs do not. Hopefully Glennon can get to that level in the future, but more importantly right now is how well Foster can play. I’ve never seen a successful tampa 2 without a great middle linebacker.

  21. D-Rome Says:

    I said it before and I’ll say it again that I’m predicting 7 – 9. After last year that would be a remarkable improvement.

  22. allBucedUp Says:

    I predict 9-7, Four wins in our own division, splitting with NO and sweeping either Atl or Carolina based on off season moves and if Goodell suspends Hardy. I like our chances against Detroit, Minnesota and Chicago. Split our games with the AFC North. 9-7. Maybe 10 wins if Rams are not ready week 2. We look good on paper, I like the moves Licht made, I beleive in Lovie Smith. GO BUCS!!!!!

  23. Jon Says:

    Derrick Brooks is a HOF player, but maybe he should worry more about the Storm. He’s fired two or three coaches already and may have another losing season. Fact…

  24. BUC4LIFE79 Says:

    ONLY TEAM IN NFL HISTORY TO GO FROM 9-3 to 9-7. The ABSOLUTE WORST part of that season??? Jeff Garcia and the offense putting up around 20 to 30 points a game… If this years defense can keep from LOSING 4 games in a row while the offense is doing a job like that season’s offense, then I’ll consider it a a welcome reprieve for the Tampa 2 D, ESPECIALLY after the great Brooks and company let their last ever playoff chances slip right through their fingers…And if this comment pisses anybody off GOOD!! CAUSE I WAS DAM SURE PISSED OFF TO SEE BROOKS AND COMPANY LET THEMSELVES GO OUT BY BEING THE SOLE REASON THOSE LAST 4 GAMES WERE LOST THAT YEAR.

  25. MadMax Says:

    @BFFL, Spot on!

    IMO thats the biggest question mark, and weakness about our D….especially since the green sticker was taken away from Lavonte and given to Foster. Hopefully he has a quick eye and his instincts allow him to successfully “QB” that D! If not, please give it back to Lavonte.