Countdown: Top 30 Buccaneers Mysteries Of 2014 – No. 27

February 4th, 2015

A key cause of Joe Flacco’s five TD throws in a record 17 minutes.

In many ways, Tampa Bay’s 2014 season was more bizarre than the MRSA-infected, quarterback-gone-mental, Fire-Schiano-billboards campaign of 2013.

There were plenty of real Bucs mysteries last year, and Joe’s revisiting the most interesting of the bunch.

No. 27 – Defending Three-Step Drops

Tampa Bay got kicked in the groin by Baltimore, a 48-17 brown-bag-over-the-head event for the home fans in October. The Bucs reacted to Joe Flacco’s three-step drops like they saw aliens. Defensive players were flummoxed.

Joe talked to linemen after the game and several said the Bucs weren’t ready for the three-step drops. But Lavonte David told Joe after the game that the team was, in fact, prepared.

Which was it?

Before the Lions physically dominated the Bucs, Joe predicted Matt Stafford would have a big day using three-step drops. That came true, though Stafford also was effective in various ways, en route to a stellar, three-touchdown performance.

Joe sure hopes Lovie Smith finds a way to get his defense on point when it comes to these three-step drops.

Not too long after the Ravens debacle, Gerald McCoy took to the podium at One Buc Palace and said his defensive teammates were playing “soft” and making too many excuses. Joe wonders if this three-step situation helped drive him to berate his comrades.

No. 28 – Eight consecutive red zone runs versus Rams
No. 29 — Leaky Sean Glennon
No. 30 – Jorvorskie Lane

35 Responses to “Countdown: Top 30 Buccaneers Mysteries Of 2014 – No. 27”

  1. biff barker Says:

    Ah, can’t wait for the Lovie homers to chime in on how good this C2 defense is.

  2. buddhaboy Says:

    Lovie is horrible at adjusting. He just stairs into the replay booth all day determining who messes up.

    So lame his approach is.

  3. The Buc Realist Says:

    Joe, The problem to the ” 30 Mysteries of 2014 ” is that the real answer is ” Becuase Lovie is the Head Coach!!”

  4. Pickgrin Says:

    How does this qualify as a “mystery”. A 3 step drop with a quick release to a slant, curl or quick out is hard for any team to defend against. Brady was giving the best defense in the league fits with his quick passes just 3 days ago.

    About the best you can do is play tight coverage and have the Dlinemen get their hands up to try and block the passing lanes.

  5. Mr. Patrick Says:

    @ Joe
    I’m starting to sense a patttern here that all of your “Mysteries of 2014” in some way deal with coaching. Hmmm

  6. JoshFreeman Says:

    Folks are getting paid millions and can’t figure out how to defend a 3 step drop? Is this a new concept never before seen?!??

  7. gatrbuc17 Says:

    Can we Senselessly argue over whether or not we take Winston or Mariota.

  8. WS99 Says:

    Oh man I cant wait till we get to the mystery injuries. “He’s got a hand” “he’s got a hamstring” “he got a brain” “he’s got a thingamajigey”

  9. WS99 Says:

    gatrbuc17 Says:
    February 4th, 2015 at 10:59 am
    Can we Senselessly argue over whether or not we take Winston or Mariota.


    And gatrbuc WINS the thread. Dat was fast.

  10. gatrbuc17 Says:

    LOL DB………..Just bored is all.

  11. Nose Tackle Says:

    Pickgrin Says:>>> Exactly !! But this kind of truth wouldn’t drive readers to the site now would it ? chuckle

  12. WS99 Says:

    So I had an epiphany last night. We need a 1st rnd qb. Apparently all the teams in the playoffs had 1st rnd qbs except 3 (romo). Although I’m still not 1000% convinced that we can’t win without one it is obvious that one is needed.

    So although I’ve been calling for the big stud Leonard Williams out of USC, I am now torn between my big homie Florida states own Winston aka leftwich aka jrussell or mr. mm aka the real slim shady aka the Hawaiian stallion aka superfly snuka.

    It’s extremely hard for me to pass on a jpeppers clone, 6’5″ 290lb beast child but we need to win and get to the post season. So I’m going with …..tune in tomorrow.

  13. Pickgrin Says:

    OMG DB – err I mean WS99 (definitely a more appropriate name for you – LOL)
    I’m on the edge of my seat awaiting your proclamation as to which QB you will ordain the Bucs to draft. this is almost as good as when Joe gives a pre-announcement that there is a major story coming tomorrow… LOL

  14. ElioT Says:


    Damn this is a horrible time of the year.

    The draft can’t come soon enough.

    Go Sucs!

  15. WS99 Says:


  16. WS99 Says:


    It’s hard man! Do you go with the safe choice/poster boy or the baller with only 1 loss in 2 years. I’m leaning towards the poster boy but my conscience won’t let me. Stay tuned

  17. OB Says:

    Lovie is stuck in his basement on pause.

  18. 87ForJameisNOMariota Says:


  19. Mr. Patrick Says:

    So your choce is between The Poster Boy or someone that should/will be on a Wanted Poster. Hmmm

  20. WS99 Says:


    Yea but if not for rebels, criminals and gangsters this great nation would not exist. Diversification is the key.

  21. ddneast Says:

    The way to beat 3 step drops is for the DL to get their hands up,the LB’s to get in the passing lanes and for the DB’s to get into bump and run.
    The Bucs did none of those against Baltimore but did fare a bit better against the Lions.
    I saw Joe’s favorite buddy Mason Foster positively lost in the Baltimore game game and he looked like he had absolutely no idea about what to do

  22. Espo Says:

    I forget who it was. Steve White maybe? He showed gifs of the likes of Leonard Johnson repeatedly not being in the same coverage as the rest of the team. He’d switch to cover 2 when in fact he was responsible for a deep 3rd of the field.

  23. ddneast Says:

    Espo, Baltimore’s Steve Smith beat Verner on a deep pass to the end zone in a Cover 2 and there wasn’t a safety to be seen anywhere in the play.
    This is a definite bonehead move by one of our two underachieving safeties at the time and I suspect it was Baron who eventually got kicked out the door.

  24. Pickgrin Says:

    WS99 Says:
    February 4th, 2015 at 1:07 pm
    It’s hard man! Do you go with the safe choice/poster boy or the baller with only 1 loss in 2 years. I’m leaning towards the poster boy but my conscience won’t let me. Stay tuned.

    As far as I’m concerned – Winston IS the “safe choice” between these 2 QBs.

    Drafting Mariota is much riskier because no one has seen him do what he will have to do week in and week out in the NFL. Things like reading defenses pre and post snap, making adjustments on the fly, calling audibles at the line to get out of a bad match play call, working through his post snap progressions to the 3rd and 4th option if necessary, standing strong in the pocket even as it collapses around him to buy that extra second to deliver a 30 yard strike downfield over the LBs reach and underneath the safety (better known as throwing into tight windows). Stuff like that.

    Winston excels at all these things and he has superior football smarts, great work ethic, a rocket arm, plenty of size to help stay healthy and shake off would be sackers -and he’s got really good mobility for a guy his size and uses it mainly to extend plays and is always looking downfield to make the big play with his arm even when running out of the pocket. In short – Winston is ready for the NFL and all you have to do is watch some FSU games from the last 2 years to see all of this assuming you know what to look for.

    Mariota? Who knows? He did a good job running the crazy, quirky Oregon offense and his TD to Int ratio indicates good decision making. He’s a hell of an athlete and is very good at making big plays with his feet – but only has moderate arm strength. Oh and he’s apparently a very good boy. How well any of that translates to success at the NFL is very hard to say.

    So yea – of the 2, Mariota is a much riskier pick IMO. Doesn’t mean he won’t be good – maybe even great – but it is much harder to project that he will be a good NFL QB than it is to see it in Winston. + Winston’s swagger and vocal leadership abilities along with penchant for leading his team from behind to victory (a baller as you called it) CANNOT be ignored.

    Winston is exactly the type of QB we need and is one of the 5 best QB prospects to come out in the last 10 years. That’s my opinion at least.

    The choice is easy from my perspective.

  25. Bucfan4life Says:

    Lol @ WS99. Nobody gives a sh1t! LMAO at “stay tuned.” As if anyone on earth cares about what some poster on a website is going to decide on who he wants the Bucs to take.

  26. FortMyersDave Says:

    The fact that the Bucs could/would not adjust to the 3 step drop and simply slow it down points to the ineptitude of one Lovie Smith. He simply sat back and watched Lesley F’s D get burned play after play just like he simply sat backk in Cleveland and watch Marcus Arroyo go totally off script after the half and abandon the running game after the Bucs actually had success vs a bad Brown run D. A coach with control and confidence would have taken the clipboard from Arroyo and simply would tell the Bucs O to go back to the run but Lovie could only throw Arroyo under the bus after the loss with a: “Yeah I was also surprised we got away from the run in the 2nd half”… What does Lovie actually do besides make bad decisions, this list of Joe’s is very instrumental in illustrating how bad the Bucs were in 2014; I am beginning to think Leeman Bennett’s ’85 or ’86 squads could have beat Lovie’s boys; heck Leeman probably could have won 4 or 5 games this past season if he was coach instead of Lovie….

  27. WS99 Says:

    Buc4life – thanks bro love you too, jeez. It’s just having a little fun.


    My First impressions was take Winston for every reason you mentioned. I’m a FSU fan so it figures I would feel that way. I only saw 2 games of MM not enough to make an educated decision but again first impressions told me that he will get hurt trying to run the ball and his receivers are always wide open.

    But then I started thinking Rodgers, manning, Brady, rivers, Wilson they’re in the shotgun and piston almost all the time plus long term the kid COULD turn into a true professional.

    Stay tuned Buc4life my decision will be coming soon. I have to consult my crystal ball but it a little merky right now. 😉

  28. Pickgrin Says:

    I hear ya WS. Just the other day while watching Russell Wilson run around and make some nice plays in the SB with his feet – I thought – “Mariota can do that too – perhaps better than Wilson.”

    If the Bucs choose him I can take solace in the fact that Mariota can probably make at least 3-4 big plays a game with his feet – and the dual threat does keep defenses from committing all their resources to defending passes – that is until he gets hurt…. Then what? We’re gonna send Glennon out there to try and run the spread that we will inevitably be running elements of if Mariota comes to town? (LOL at the thought)

    That in itself is a big problem as I see it. Unless you bring in Vick (no thanks) to bridge the gap and be back up if Mariota gets hurt – you are pretty well screwed if Mariota goes down as far as someone who could come in and run the same offense effectively.

  29. Bucfan4life Says:

    Hmm, let’s see, you referred to Winston Leftwich/Jrussell. I wonder who it will be lol.

  30. WS99 Says:


    You are wise beyond your years. Glennon running, lmao. I’m card carrying mgm but that’s hilarious.

  31. Pickgrin Says:

    Conversely – (and I am definitely NOT MGM) Glennon will make a fine bridge/back-up if Winston is drafted. A cheap one too.

  32. WS99 Says:

    I’m not totally against Vick as a back-up. He can teach MM how to run in the nfl and he could teach Winston how to avoid jail. It’s a clusterfck, who the hell knows. Way too many variables.

  33. pick6 Says:

    how do you defend a 3 step drop? by disrupting routes and by tackling. if you can’t do those things, you are going to allow the opposing QB to make you look like you didn’t practice all week. unfortunately, when you run the Tampa 2, if nobody disrupts the route and your defender is not where he ought to be to make a tackle, a team will score 4 TDs on you in a half without blinking

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