Will Defense Come Together?

March 25th, 2015
Leslie Frazier's defense may spark a turnaround for the Bucs this season.

Leslie Frazier’s defense may spark a turnaround for the Bucs this season.

Last year, for the first half of the season, the Bucs defense was revolting. Couldn’t stop the rush. Couldn’t stop the pass. Couldn’t stop their own shadow.

It was an abomination of the highest order and an insult to both sober and drunk football fans.

In fact, many AA meetings in the Tampa Bay area immediately after the debacle to the Dixie Chicks on Thursday Night Football — on national TV no less — had many absences due to a spike in relapses.

The defense steadily improved as the season went on — it couldn’t go any lower — and at the end of the season the Bucs were playing decent football on the defensive side of the ball.

Because of this, FoxSports.com believes the defense is one reason why Bucs fans can expect a turnaround in 2015.

Rome wasn’t built in a day, and neither was the Tampa-2. It appears as though Buccaneers defenders didn’t start fully grasping the new defense until after their Week-7 bye. In Weeks 1-6 Tampa Bay gave up an average of 34 points. Since then, that number has dropped to 20.5.With another offseason, it’s not unreasonable to believe that the Bucs will field a top-10 defense next season.

Well, with linebacker Bruce Carter signed, the Bucs may have found their middle linebacker. In Year 2 of the regime, with no Ghost playing at right defensive end, players should be more familiar with the Tampa-2. Hall of Fame general manager Bill Polian told Joe the second year is the key in this defense.

We shall see.

Of course, when the Bucs are in the basement of the NFL, they can only go up.

22 Responses to “Will Defense Come Together?”

  1. Couch Fan Says:

    They wont be top 10 until they can figure out how to at least stop 3rd and long which was an automatic 1st down against us all year long.

  2. DallasBuc Says:

    Believe it when I see it. No dominant pass rusher, mike LB, safety or corner. Top 10? Seeing is believing.

  3. Tampabaybucfan Says:

    We need to find a way to keep from being torched over the middle….hopefully, Carter is the answer.

  4. BucsfaninChina Says:

    Get a pass rush and the story will be completely different. But man, pass rush has been a need since I don’t even know when.

  5. Buc1987 Says:

    He wear no shoeshine, he got toe-jam football
    He got monkey finger, he shoot coca-cola
    He say “I know you, you know me”
    One thing I can tell you is you got to be free
    Come together right now over me

  6. bucrightoff Says:

    When they played top QBs last year, they got shredded. When they played Derek Anderson, they got humiliated twice. When they got average to below average QBs, they looked decent. Let’s see how they look against good QBs next year, that’ll be the real tell of how good they are.

  7. bucs4lyfe Says:

    lol tampa is nuts over this pass rusher thing…..who’s the dominant sack guy for seattle seahawks or patriots? Bennett was the leader with 7 for seattle, freakin Rob Ninkovich had 8 sacks….the overall play within the scheme just needs to be better. giving up big third down plays because you have no choice but to put leonard Johnson in and having a middle linebacker who can’t cover mid field in space weakens any defense like ours. upgrading those to spots alone is good for a couple more wins

  8. Ray Rice Says:

    You can’t ever have too many good CB’s.

  9. rayjay1122 Says:

    Putting some heat on opposing QB’s and covering TE’s is a must to be a top 10 defense which we did nether very well last season. Hopefully another year in this system as well as tweaking personnel will resolve some of those issues.

  10. Mike10 Says:

    I’m going with Dallas’ comment – Carter is poor in dropping back and I saw Verner getting torched at times last year. Not to mention our questionable ‘addition by subtraction’ on the defensive line.

  11. Love and Warrick Dunn Says:

    Moving Jimmy Graham made the defense better already.

  12. rayjay1122 Says:

    Another observation I have made in the recent history of our beloved Bucs is that we get burned consistently by screen passes and when we attempt a screen pass opposing defenders blow it up? What is up with that?

  13. Buc1987 Says:

    If there’s one thing Buc fans know, it’s defense. This defense has a long ways to go. It’s okay though, Jameis will make it easier on them.

  14. StPeteBucsFan Says:

    Hey 87…nice use of the Beatles.

  15. StPeteBucsFan Says:


    Moving Jimmy Graham made the defense better already.

    Yes. One down one to go. Could you somehow get rid of Greg Olson?

    That dude used and abused us last year!!!

  16. Lord Cornelius Says:

    I’ve been campaigning this stat for a week or so now.

    20.5 points per game would have ranked 9th in the league last year in defense. So after the bye; the bucs essentially were a top 10 defense in points allowed. So you can believe it; because it happened.

    Besides getting Winston; it is the single best positive I can take from last season.

  17. Celly Says:

    With another offseason, it’s not unreasonable to believe that the Bucs will field a top-10 defense next season.

    smh…the media “kiss of death”.

    DallasBuc Says:
    March 25th, 2015 at 11:06 am

    Believe it when I see it. No dominant pass rusher, mike LB, safety or corner. Top 10? Seeing is believing.

    No dominant pass rusher; true, but hopefully some of our young guys can step up and be that guy. I’m sure we’ll draft a guy or two and maybe we’ll pick up a guy that was cut and he could work out.

    From what i hear from my few Cowboys friends, they state that Carter has the speed to play Mike. Not something I, personally, am too worried about.

    Agree that we need another safety. Conte should provide quality depth, but not necessarily counting on him to be a starter.

    Agree that we’ll need another corner. Verner, Banks and Moore make up a nice group, but we definitely need some more quality depth there.

    Tampabaybucfan Says:
    March 25th, 2015 at 11:10 am

    We need to find a way to keep from being torched over the middle….hopefully, Carter is the answer.

    As referenced above, when i spoke to Cowboys friend, i specifically asked him about Carters ability and speed to play the Mike. He direct response was, “I watched him chase down Julio Jones from behind”. I said, “Good, cause he’ll get the opportunity to do that twice a year”.

    Love and Warrick Dunn Says:
    March 25th, 2015 at 11:29 am

    Moving Jimmy Graham made the defense better already.

    Sad that that is exactly how I felt when he got traded.

  18. Lord Cornelius Says:

    The fact that the Bucs were a top 10 defense for those 10 weeks is amazing considering the lack of talent at certain positions & how truly pathetic the offense was.

    I’m not worried about CB too much. Banks/Verner/Moore/Jenkins/Johnson is enough depth. If we don’t get good play out of that group then we’ll likely be cutting a few next year.

    LB looks solid. Could use a S but Goldson is still on the team. I’m excited for McDougald.

    DT is a positional strength and we should get some decent pressure I’d think betwen McCoy/Melton/McDonald. Jaquis Smith was pacing for double digit sacks last year.

    In my dream scenario; the bucs go
    1 -Winston
    2 or trade back to 1B- RT with eventual LT potential
    3 -RG
    4 -C or LG
    5 -7 BPA (S/LB/DE/more o-line/KR/WR)

    Then sign some DE for depth (ideally a cap casualty cut guy). That gives us 3 O-line building blocks to work with Winston.

    If we don’t feel Jacquis Smith/ GOldson/ Fanikum are good enough at DE after next year; we can spend a high pick on one. OR if we don’t feel our RT will eventually be a franchise LT; we can take a franchise LT and have 4 young offensive lineman between 2 drafts. That is how I personally would approach this draft/offseason based on our roster and the draft’s positional strengths.

  19. Rick Says:

    If Bucs fans would do more than vent their spleens on Joe Bucs fan and tally up fantasy football stats and search for a Tampa 2 playbook then read it they might understand.

    The Tampa 2 sounds simple and it is conceptually: d-line that controls the run and pressures the QB; zone pass defense that keeps everything in front of them; everyone runs to the ball. But, it’s actually quite a bit more complicated than that.

    There are hundreds of landmarks and keys for the players to learn. You can’t just bring in 11 pro players, put them in their positions and turn them loose. It take time to learn the Tampa 2 and that’s what we saw last year.

    There is also a premium placed on players with specific and very narrow skill sets at each position. Think Will LB, to whom everything is funneled in the Tampa 2. It takes the likes of a Derrick Brooks or a Lavonte David to fill the position. A clearer example is Mike and the release of Mason Foster. Foster a good MLB was unable to get back into that middle third that Mike has to cover in the Tampa 2. Again, it’s a specific skill set the Mike must have in the Tampa 2 that Foster couldn’t muster. It takes the likes of a Hardy Nickerson or a very specific player like Shelton Quarles to be the Mike in a Tampa 2. Nickerson was just a great linebacker and Quarles was likely a great Tampa 2 linebacker because of his ability to get into the middle third.

    The other thing to remember is that during the glory years there weren’t any Revises or Shermans on the roster in the secondary. Tampa had specific players with specific skill sets across the secondary. Sure we talk today about John Lynch and Ronde Barber going to the HOF, but in my opinion they are cases where the defense made the player, by leveraging their very specific skill sets.

    The last thing to keep in mind about the glory years is tackling. At its peak the Tampa 2 during the glory years had great tacklers. They rarely missed and when they did the “everyone to the ball” precept took hold and someone was there to clean things up.

    That’s why to me one of Tampa’s priorities before camp should be to get David inked to a long term extension.

  20. LargoSamIM Says:

    Hey Joe(s)….

    WHAT makes you think that Carter is the answer at MLB ? HE HS NEVER PLAYED THAT POSITION ! I love your website… lots of buc info…. but you are totally IGNORANT about middle linebackers !!! (I’m guessing you rooted AGAINST (or never considered) the Bucs picking Luke Kuechly back in 2012 !)
    Like I said, I LOVE your website Joe…. BUT you are totally ignorant about middle linebackers… YOU consider it a “plug and play” position… VERY WRONG ! grow up and learn something about FOOTBALL Joe

  21. boxster02 Says:

    can we really hope to win with coaches named Lovie & Leslie?

  22. Pickgrin Says:

    Simple answer. Yes the defense will come together. Should be top 15 this year for sure. 2 or 3 more strong talent additions over the next year or 2 and it can become elite.