Pass Defense Rivaling 2012 Nightmare

September 29th, 2014

Antonio Brown, Bradley McDougald

If the Buccaneers are going to win a lot more games, they absolutely have to fix their pass defense.

Tampa Bay is giving up the booty faster and more furiously than the groupie hotties that follow Bucs players around South Tampa bars.

Joe realized yesterday that he’s seen this dance before. It was when the Bucs came inches from a dubious NFL record. The year was 2012, when Greg Schiano referred to his cornerbacks as “E.J., Leonard, Danny and LeQuan.” (Please don’t make Joe type up their last names.)

Those guys allowed 298 yards per game through the air, second worst in league history.

This year’s Bucs are allowing 272.5 yards per game, currently ranked 28th in the NFL. If Steelers wide receiver Mike Brown catches the flea-flicker bomb in his hands yesterday, then those numbers would be even uglier.

(Can we cover a damn tight end, please!)

What makes the totality of the pass defense stats scarier is the fact the Bucs sacked Ben Roethlisberger five times in the first half — five! — plus they got OK pressure through much of the game. That makes things look even worse for the Bucs secondary.

Joe’s even debated nicknaming Johnthan Banks “Pillow” or “Charmin” for the softness of his coverage. Not yet, though.

Dave Moore, the former Bucs tight end and Xs and Os guru of the Buccaneers Radio Network, said today on WDAE-AM 620 that a major factor is opponents have been exceptional against the Bucs using play-action. Bucs linebackers are biting over and over and over, Moore said.

Moore suggested mixing in more man-to-man coverage of receivers.

Joe hopes Lovie finds a way to fix it fast. It sure looks like there’s an awful lot that can be coached up.

As for the safeties, well, what can Joe say about Mark Barron. He was part of that inept bunch in 2012, as well. Dashon Goldson is hurt again, and Major Wright and Bradley McDougald aren’t the answer.

Even in a loss yesterday, Drew Brees found a way to throw for 340 yards on the road. The Bucs head to the Superdome on Sunday.

24 Responses to “Pass Defense Rivaling 2012 Nightmare”

  1. Tampabaybucfan Says:

    We need to man up & jam opposing recievers on the line….LBs don’t need to bite….just go into coverage and let LVD make all the tackles on running plays.

  2. Mitch Says:

    I Have been waiting for this post since week 2 lol… Putting pressure on the Qb helps tremendously but it’s become clear that tampa needs help on the back end desperately. Unless one of the younger guys step up, mid-season trade, or Barron flips a switch we’ll probably have to wait until next offseason to address the safety issues. The only player in the back end playing well right now is Verner, Banks is playing admirably as well, but with no safety help(other than the big hits)… Tampa’s secondary is toast.

  3. Mathius Says:

    I agree with Tampabaybucfan, (from my couch) I would like to see some re-routing or jamming at the line. These WRs are running free up the field. If Brown catches the flee flicker or Ben doesn’t over throw his open WR on the second to last drive the result might have been different.

    Rome wasn’t built in a day….

  4. Brock Says:

    McDougald is better than Deshon “Can’t Cover anybody” Goldson. The problem is that we have 2 Safeties built in the same mold (Barron & Goldson) as run stoppers. We need a real Free Safety instead of Goldson trying to be one. Hoping McDougald can provide that for us. We saw what happened when Lansanah got his opportunity to play the Sam position yesterday….

  5. billy buckaroo Says:

    Defense scheme against the play action and tight ends up the middle or crossing routes is a huge problem, especially on third downs.
    Split second timing and if they bite, no recovery in time to stop the gain.

  6. BuccaneerBonzai Says:

    Mark Barron got hurt yesterday as well.

    It will come together. The first step was getting a win. This win required a few things go our way, but they did and because the team got a taste of winning they will buy into the system.

    Guys left their assignments less yesterday. They still did so, but not as many times. When it sinks in that they need to stay on their guys, this defense will take a giant step forward.

    I do wish we could keep a man in the middle of the field though. That is still our glaring weak spot.

  7. Snook Says:


    Crazy stat for you – Heard on The Opening Drive on Sirius NFL Radio today with Bob Papa and Solomon Wilcots:

    Pittsburgh was 65-0 with a lead in the 4th quarter under Lebeau’s defense. Until yesterday. Unbelievable.

  8. 911bucs Says:

    Man I hope Brees has an off day on Sunday

  9. gatrbuc17 Says:

    I am LOVING ALL THE CROW being eaten around here. Absolutely Loving it. I said back when Lovie announced Josh as our starter that MG8 would be starting by week 4. Yes I was laughed at constantly for being a part of the “MGM” Lovin’ it!

  10. Warthog Says:

    One thing I will say is that Dane Fletcher looked badly out of position on a lot of plays in Pittsburg. Bit of a concern at the moment.

  11. ctord Says:

    And we still cant cover the Tight End.

  12. Captain Stagger Says:

    Glad we cut Revis so we could save all that money for a punter who Avg’s 30 yards…..

  13. Buccfan37 Says:

    If the Bucs are going to give up big yards in the passing game, they will have to gain big yards in the passing game to compensate. No problem if the team puts the effort out that they just put on the field. Go Bucs!!! Beat those Gumbos

  14. AnotherJ Says:

    Lovie doesn’t have the personnel in the secondary to make cover 2 work.
    Jonathan Banks, and Leonard Johnson often look lost, and are out of place.
    Perhaps they could play a Cover 2 man scheme a bit more often, or As others have said press the receivers at the line of scrimmage more often to disrupt the timing of the routes.

  15. bucrightoff Says:

    As odd as it sounds, the Bucs need more illegal contact and holding penalties. At least then you’d know they were touching the receivers. But so many free releases and guys not getting touched for 15 yards or more. Lovie has to accept he doesn’t have the personnel to run his (outdated) scheme and adjust with more man. But so far this season the Bucs have let every QB so far get over 70% completion. It’s just too easy to beat team. Teams aren’t even considering running because why would they?

  16. Patrickbucs Says:

    Leonard Johnson can’t cover in any system, he is awful. I think Banks would do well if he were allowed to be more of a press guy and jam at the line. The bend but don’t break barley held up yesterday. We can’t allow point totals in the 20’s plus all the time so some adjustments need to be made.

    In regards to Bree’s they were shut out in the 1st half against a cover 2 scheme so it can be done. Late yardage means nothing if you lose and do not score.

  17. jay Says:

    Man Verner was soooo damn awful last game, and the others. Everyone catches passes on him. At least Banks has deflected 2 passes. Please bench Verner…..he is useless

  18. Mike J Says:

    The corners are getting some deserved criticism, but part of the problem with the starting secondary is that there are essentially two strong safeties out there.

    How is the FS crop in 2015? I had never heard of this guy but he sure caught my eye in an early game a couple weeks ago:

  19. unbelievable Says:

    Man, next sunday is going to be tough.

    I’m stoked we got the win yesterday, but now we’re going to play NO, in their stadium, after they complete a** whooping they received…

    And if we don’t figure out how to guard a frickin’ tight end, forget about it.

  20. ElioT Says:

    They’ve got to be on pace to give up the highest completion percentage in NFL history, no?

    Hopefully it’s just a matter of these guys “gelling” and this thing “clicks” sooner than later. Can’t afford to re-haul the entire secondary again.

    Go Bucs!

  21. gt40bear Says:

    Someone needs to “Tanya Harding” Brees, Graham and Colston just prior to game time Sunday…it’s the only way to be sure!

  22. RealityCheck Says:

    @jay..yea that’s what we’ll do, bench Verner. That will solve the cover issues.

  23. Scotty in Fat Antonio Says:

    I will eat crow for this week. May be quite a different story if we don’t get this fixed ASAP though as we meet Brees this Sunday.

  24. pick6 Says:

    secondary still seems to be playing with alot of hesitation on both run and pass plays. i’m really hoping that it’s just a matter of the light coming on and guys playing the system more instinctively. i started the season thinking banks and verner were more than talented enough to build on and am not ready to give up on barron just yet either. not sure what he ran at ‘bama but the kid has probably spent most of his football life attacking the LOS or keying an individual coverage assignment, it may take some time to re-wire his brain