Defense Too Thin?

June 4th, 2015
A respected NFL analyst is not smitten with Lovie Smith's defense.

A respected NFL analyst is not smitten with Lovie Smith’s defense.

It still is a stunner to Joe how a defensive-minded head coach like Lovie Smith oversaw two drafts with Tampa Bay and selected a grand total of one defensive player.

One could say that’s because the defense of the Bucs is not that bad and didn’t need to be addressed immediately.

Such a person is not named Matt Waldman. The Football Outsiders NFL analyst is not at all impressed. Appearing on “The David Todd Show” on WBGG-AM 970 in Pittsburgh this week, Waldman was asked if the Bucs have enough talent around Gerald McCoy and Lavonte David to turn the team around. Waldman didn’t hold back.

“I don’t think so,” Waldman said. “It seems like a lot of analysts say, ‘Boy, they are pretty good on defense and Lovie will coach them up.’ You know, they are a strict Cover-2 team that doesn’t show you a lot of wrinkles. They are more execution-based than they are scheme-based. They are not going to confuse and wow you. When you do that, you need to have better checkers than the next guy. And McCoy is a Defensive MVP-type player. He is a true three-technique and is a stud and David is great. They are Sapp and Brooks. They are exact replicas of those guys.

“But I just don’t like the other nine, or 10 if you start with nickel back. I just don’t see enough defensive talent there. I just don’t think people stress that enough when talking about the Bucs.”

When asked who would win the NFC South, Waldman sighed and said, “I would not take the Bucs.”

Waldman may have a point here. Clearly, guys walking around with white canes can see the Bucs need an edge rusher. This has been a broken record for how many friggin’ years now? Hell, the Rays might get a new stadium before the Bucs get a double-digit sack guy from the edge. Jiminy Christmas! Joe has all but given up hope for such a player.

However, Joe is high on Johnthan Banks. Joe really thought Banks was a darkhorse candidate for the Pro Bowl. Yes, really. And if Alterraun Verner can finally cope with Lovie’s defense, then that’s two quality starters to go along with the two-headed monster of GMC and David.

Drafting just one defensive player in two years? That may hurt. But as AC/DC-loving Bucs general manager Jason Licht said after the draft, you can’t fill all the holes in one draft.

Or in the case of the Bucs, a dozen or so holes in two drafts.

To hear Waldman’s full interview discussing the NFC South, clicky below.

44 Responses to “Defense Too Thin?”

  1. The Buc Realist Says:

    Look to next year and they will get their DE with a top 5 draft pick. Maybe 2 of them as some of the scouting is starting to say that next year’s draft is deep with DE talent. And with the Bucs selecting very high in each round, should be able to select some talent.

    Down side is that is another year wasted for GMC. How many years did Sapp play before retiring??? TIme is running out for GMC to be on a playoff team!!!

  2. WhatDaBuc? Says:

    LMAO! I remember the days when it seemed like all we were drafting every year was Defense and everyone cried about not getting any Offense (just a couple years back). I understand there aint much to talk about but give me a break. Two years of Offensive drafting to try to establish a potent attack so we can finally get back to what we have been known for in the past, and that is having a D.

  3. WhatDaBuc? Says:

    We will not be selecting in the top 5. If you believe we will you are an idiot not a realist. Every time I see you post you have something negative to say. You guys make me laugh with your pessimistic views….

  4. bucs4lyfe Says:

    I love it…the haters are out in full force this year. the last 3 years people were high on the bucs and loved us in the offseason, for whatever reason this year lol they’ve been getting killed which tells me they know nothing and the bucs are probably gonna be good. I think it’s kind of dumb to say drafting a defensive end is gonna make us a top defense. I didn’t see panthers have as much of an issue with greg hardy gone and just because you don’t want to give credit to bruce carter or verner or melton or Clinton McDonald or Jac smith doesn’t mean anything other than you know nothing about this team so im confused why someone even asked the guy….yea he’s a football outsider alright

    it’s so annoying people talk like you have to have a top 10 offense and defense to get into the playoffs. we know it’s not a superbowl roster but damn come on haters

  5. bucs4lyfe Says:

    @The Buc Realist

    Killy yaself!!!! what kind of buc fan are you? no scratch that what kind of football fan on you….it’s june and you choose to focus on how much longer he’ll be able to play football. he’ll be here as long as he’s productive whether in the playoffs or not. top 5 draft pick are you kidding? Lovie smith never had star studded defenses. Urlacher yes but Tillman, lance briggs? damn give the guy credit for something, it’s how he made his name in the NFL so why wont he be able to have a good defense not great but they can be good enough to win more than 6 games

  6. TouchDownTampaBay Says:

    Bucs4life I am quite sure he knows who the four players you mentioned are, he just doesn’t think they’re all that good. Hell two of them have never even started a season as a starter before. Geez, guys need to face a little reality here.

    Whatdabuc I hate to tell you but a top 5 pick is a VERY real possibility. We have 3 rookies on offense that most likely will have their ups and downs in year 1. We have zero starting caliber safeties. We also have career back ups at both DE end spots. In the Tampa 2 the DE is the key to success and we don’t have any true talent yet. I am hoping next year take a top notch DE with that top 5 pick. The team is rebuilding and this year we got the most important position in football filled. Next year we need to find a stud for the most important position on defense. 2016 could be a good year.

  7. WhatDaBuc? Says:

    TDTB, I am not saying we have the #1 rated defense and I’m not saying that we have answered all the problems. However, I am saying that our defense will be MUCH improved from last year. You can take a screen shot of this and let me know how right I was at the end of the year. While we don’t have a PROVEN end, I think we will have one break out this year and shock the NFL. I also believe regardless we will pick a defensive player next year in the first and second rounds and we will probably see the team go back to drafting mostly defense. I understand that we will have some growing pains. Having growing pains does not mean having a horrible season. We will have at least 9 wins. Mark my words!

  8. Tampabaybucfan Says:

    I think our defense is and will be better than most think…..sure, we have a few no-names….but Melton & McDonald…..are pretty good…..Johnson is better than Johnson & our CB corps has improved……our two starting safeties didn’t perform last year….Squawk & Barron….so almost anything is an improvement.

    I’m thinking the key is for our offense to control more clock & score more often putting us in better field position….this will help our defense.

  9. The Buc Realist Says:


    Maybe I would feel better about the record and Lovie, if he was playing the 0-16 Lions and the historically bad Vikings that Lovie faced during his tenure with the Bears.

    Its not “pessimistic” when what is said, Happens!!! It becomes the truth. I am only saying of what I saw last year plus rookies that were added and some of Rod’s sloppy seconds that were added from Dallas. And remember while most buc “fans” were shocked by what happened last year, Us “Chaos Fans” ( as Joe called us) saw what was coming!!!

  10. Bill Says:

    I’m much closer in agreement with Realist. Bruce Carter at MLB? Rod went through three middle linebackers in 2014 and Carter was not among them. Moore upgrades nickel. Johnson 2015 is still not starter quality. There is better depth, but it would be hard to be worse than 2014.

  11. Buc-A-New Says:

    GUYS…………..SETTLE DOWN…………We lost EIGHT games last yr by one score last yr!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
    Having a better QB, an actual OC, an improved OL (hopefully) with the Defense being upgraded and the second yr in the system for most of em we will be alright. I am one of the few that see us winning at least 8 games.

  12. The Buc Realist Says:

    @ Buc-A-New

    please stop with the one score last year! Unless you start saying the Coach Schiano was 13-3 in 2012!

  13. bucs4lyfe Says:

    @The Buc Realist

    this is why I have a problem with your pessimistic, this was your comment about Anthony Collins signing.

    The_Buc_Realist Says:

    March 13th, 2014 at 10:44 am
    This will be the biggest upgrade for the Bucs of all the signings.
    this is not the black and blue division and we are not the bears. we have maybe 4-5 players from lovie’s history and few of his coaches but it’s an entirely different franchise and culture from Chicago so get over it and stop comparing him to Chicago after one freakin season where having the first overall pick was probably the best thing to happen to this franchise.

    he is a defensive coach and your insulting the man’s craft and your silly because of it. wanna insult his inability to put a good offense on the field or have stability on his offensive lines or offensive coordinator sure fine go ahead but your saying the dude can’t put a good defense on the field really? you think your talking down about lovie but your really talking down about your team and it’s players. and you know it’s not like you can do better because all you do is sit on your couch and criticize something you couldn’t do any better because you don’t know any better….you wouldn’t even know how to interview for a equipment manager in the NFL much less coach a team

  14. Coburn Says:

    Eh last year we finished dead last. Doesn’t matter if many were only by one score, that’s the way the game is set up. Teams tend to get conservative with a lead. There certainly is the possibility we end up with a top 5 pick, I hope not, but we still have to prove otherwise. A lot of other teams improved as well. Don’t expect Jameis to light it up as a rookie. I laughed when they said Mariota needed time to learn. It almost sounded like people thought Jameis or any other rookie QB didn’t.

    As for the original topic, it has bothered me that we haven’t been spending many picks on defense. It will come back to haunt us. Can’t keep trying to just plug in free agents, but it’s just a case of having gaping holes all over. Won’t be fixed in one off season.

  15. The Buc Realist Says:


    Yes, Finally you get it, I really thought I have been talking sense to the senseless! If I was in the same room as you confetti would be flying around!!!

    “but your really talking down about your team and it’s players.”

    For years I have been saying that the roster is garbage! and if we are ever going to change that, Licht will have to draft the Bucs out of the basement!!!!

    Lovie is not out-scheming or out-coaching teams. He needs better players and athletes all over his defense to get wins. If you listen to the audio they actually say this as well!!!

  16. tmaxcon Says:

    when someone points out accurate facts to support their opinion that is not Hate simply because the opinion differs from your own. it’s an older concept, I get that but just like the words Friend and Sorry have completely lost their meaning Hater and Hate now are meaningless terms and their usage all too frequent.

    No MLB on team period… Carter is an experiment that has had a rocky history when moved to the MLB position. Not hate reality…

    McDougal is a young guy with great potential but not a proven track record the rest of the safeties are garbage heap pickups. again not hate reality…

    In reality the only position on Defense that is solid including depth is DT with McDonald, Spence and GMC (who will be the next gruber thanks to no head coach)… Melton plays when he wants, gets hurt when they need him and could not have been run out of Dallas faster.

    Moore is inconsistent all be it in a different manner than Johnson but he is NO clear upgrade at nickel.

    Lovie went on a garbage collection run for his defensive free agents. Lot’s a gambles. Gamble conte can learn the position and stay health, gamble that Carter can play a consistent and productive MLB for an entire 16 games. Gamble that the wasted reps on Jenkins take away from a potentially good player from being noticed… Gamble that the headcase safety DJ who does not like to play special teams works out…

    Throw in a Below average Head Coach and an Overrated DC running a rigid outdated simplistic system and you have issues… simple as that..

    once again facts are not hate…

    Praying, Dreaming and Hoping for Breakout players is awesome but it’s not reality. hell I hope every buc has a probowl year but that’s delusional.

  17. drdneast Says:

    BucRealist, it is always easy to say you saw what was coming when it has already happened.
    you, along with tmaxcon, Ray Rice ,Dallas Buc and Tom Edrington have never made a positive post or critique that I can ever recall.
    As far as I am concerned, that makes the lot of you haters and trolls

  18. iamkingsu Says:

    I’m trying to tell you’ll we have enough on defense with the additions we made. We have guys that can run and tackle with the best in the league. And the addition of Swearinger was just the icing on the cake. We needed that enforcer that strikes fear in receivers going across the middle.

  19. tmaxcon Says:


    I hate to break it to you but there is not a lot of positives to be said when a team is a lifeless 2-14 and was repeatedly embarrassed by their play and by their head coach week in and week out… You keep living in Fantasy land sir, I will wait form the head coach and team to win some games and earn my trust back….

  20. tmaxcon Says:


    Please explain to me why you are so confident in the following players that other teams could not get RID of fast enough. How will other teams garbage magically turn into gems for a bad franchise with bad coaches… I want to be as confident as you but the reality is I can’t..

    Melton: Injury Prone, Quits on Plays has had 2 decent seasons in career.

    Jenkins: Washed up / Injury Prone, Had 1 good season years ago. Wont tackle or hit

    Conte: walking concussion, gambler. he takes bad angles and is easily taken out of the game mentally he is easily rattled.

    Moore: Inconsistent but the best of the garbage run…

    Carter: Would be Fine on the Outside. has struggled when moved to the middle yet he will be counted on to start and play consistent for an entire season.

    Swearinger: has the most long term potential but red flag when a team boots a draft pick and has locker room and headcase concerns.

    I do like the OLB drafted and think h will win a starting spot by seasons end.

    Again, I ask how can you be so confident in the garbage collection run Lovie went on.

  21. Buccfan37 Says:

    Sometimes fans can be a bitter pill. Dude, you ate my comment, now I forgot what I said.

  22. bucs4lyfe Says:


    PLEASE explain to me why you follow football. it seems like you think the superbowl teams have a superstar at every position. those negatives you spit out about our players I don’t know if you know it but every single player in the history of the NFL has some kind of weakness or negative so throwing out every single negative about a player isn’t their reality. sometimes it’s a team and the fit doesn’t match your skills, inconsistency as well. your take on swearinger lol has long term potential but theres a red flag because he was cut and RUMORED lockerroom headcase concerns lol you read too much news seriously. your getting all your opinions from somebody else instead of FOLLOWING THE PLAYER

  23. WhatDaBuc? Says:

    tmaxcon: I am not going to destroy your whole post I will just point out the most obvious. Lovie is a below average coach? A below average coach does not coach a team for nine seasons, win back to back divisional titles, or make it to the SB. This shows how little you know about coaching or even the NFL. I really question your overall football knowledge. I am not saying he is elite, but his record is by no means below average. Please justify your comment with some facts instead of just spitting some words out and calling them facts. Just because you are able to use words and make them a sentence does not make them facts. All you have stated, is just what we said it was HATE. THAT IS A FACT! I want people to have a different opinion than I do. It makes the conversation much more interesting, but you provided NO facts just you opinions with nothing to support them. So I am sitting here waiting for your FACTS (that means your proof not opinion).

  24. bucs4lyfe Says:

    @The Buc Realist

    it’s ok…if you don’t know your slow it wont matter if I told you. Matt Waldman lol how many times have you ever heard of this guy following the bucs team? you take someone else’s opinion as fact, I could see if some of you were putting your own words out there but your taking other people’s opinion and you dont know whats right about the bucs because your so focused on whats wrong about it from last year, you’d swear Michael Johnson and mccown were still on the team. sorry excuses for fans….mike evans was unproven last year also and the same things were said about him get a clue seriously

  25. Nole on Sat.-Bucc on Sun. Says:

    I love it when Bucc nation stands up these daily debbie downers. Many of which will be hard to find at the completion of next season.

  26. LUVMYBUCS Says:


    Top of the mornin’ to ya.-my brotha. I agree with your post (at 9:29 am).

    If we can add another cornerstone piece to the defense…..preferably at MLB.
    Like Mychal Kendricks-Watch out.

    Word out of Philly is that, no one could foresee any scenario -where Kendrick’s on the open day roster. Too much bad blood and tension.

    Why not trade for this dude?

  27. tmaxcon Says:

    WhatDaBuc? and bucs4lyfe

    I get it you like lovie. tha’ts great but you should really raise your standards. Attack me all you like but it will not change the fact you can not separate Loive the nice guy from Loive the head coach… or simply are living in the past under a dungy tree.

    So this is what you define has good / great…


    3-3 Playoff record in 10 years of being a head coach

    Back to Back Playoff appearances was 10 years ago… And he only went to the playoffs back to back ONCE…. again 10 years ago.

    He has a .519 barley over 500 win percentage and he coached in a division with the lions and Vikings who where horrible during his chicago tenure.

    in comparison a coach with similar tenure in Pete Carroll

    .576 win percentage, 8-5 playoff record and a SUPERBOWL WIN…

    The number that should hit home is that in 9 seasons Carrol played in 13 playoff games and in 10 years Lovie has played in 6…

    Lovie is not a consistent winner. nice guy yes but you people that blindly have faith and confidence in a below average head coach and his outdated scheme will come around.

  28. tmaxcon Says:


    I would be all in on a Mychal Kendricks..

    Please help me with my short term memory issues but does he have any serious injury history

  29. tmaxcon Says:

    ^^^^ should be coached in not played in my bad.

  30. LUVMYBUCS Says:

    He’s been rumored by several media outlets in the past, to be on the trading block for a 2nd round pick.

    (Our Most recent 2nd Round Pick Selections)

    • (2014) 2 |38 Austin Jenkins TE Washington
    • (2013) 2 |43 Johnthan Banks CB Mississippi State
    (2012) 2 |58 Lavonte David LB Nebraska
    • (2011) 2 |51 Da’Quan Bowers DE Clemson
    • (2010) 2 |35 Brian Price DT UCLA
    • (2010) 2 |39 Arrelious Benn WR Illinois
    • (2008) 2 |58 Dexter Jackson WR Appalachian State

  31. tmaxcon Says:


    by the way, get well soon and thank you for your service…

  32. LUVMYBUCS Says:


    None, was necked up a little last year-but was solid

    Looking back

    (2nd Round Gems of the 2012 Draft)
    • 2 | 46 Philadelphia Eagles Mychal Kendricks- California (Pac-12)
    • 2 | 47 Seattle Seahawks Bobby Wagner – Utah State (WAC)
    • 2 | 58 Tampa Bay Buccaneers Lavonte David- Nebraska (Big Ten)

  33. tmaxcon Says:


    2nd seems a little high but needy teams have to overpay sometimes when thee are so many holes to fill.

    off topic but I am really excited about bell… my gut tells me he might be special.

  34. WhatDaBuc? Says:

    I did not say elite… There is no better option right now. He is not below average though. Thanks for the well wishes.

  35. LUVMYBUCS Says:


    Concerning Bell. In the slot…(In my Bernie Mac’s Voice) That’s Nice ..Real Nicccccce

  36. LUVMYBUCS Says:

    Mychal Kendricks ||2014 Highlights|| HD (<–4.41 @ the combine)

  37. tmaxcon Says:


    thanks for link. he would be a huge addition. since they will most likely have to draft a MLB next year just pre pay for a proven commodity in Kendricks this year with a pick from next year. offer them a 4th and end up given them a 3rd.

  38. LUVMYBUCS Says:


    Send them Danny Lansanah or Bruce Carter + a (3rd or 4th round pick) might work

  39. bucs4lyfe Says:

    @tmaxcon @luvmybucs

    are you guys seriously here playing fantasy football no no no your actually playing video game gm instead of talking reality your talking about IF.

    yea yea zero superbowl wins for lovie and there’s a lot of coaches with zero superbowl wins, theres a lot with ZERO APPEARANCES TOO. to compare pete carroll and lovie smith coaching career without talking about pete’s first coaching stent before he ran back to the college ranks to is just stupid. don’t know but that post makes you seem like a video game stat geek

  40. tmaxcon Says:

    The comparison included ALL Carroll NFL experience so the comparison is very valid. Sorry it does not fit your delusional Lovie crush.

  41. Arealbucsfan Says:

    We’re going 8-8 so im saying top 15

  42. tmaxcon Says:


    also the Carroll comparison is almost perfect example of taking over a bad team and getting the team to contend QUICKLY… Not make excuses and set the team back like Lovie has. Loive made is own bed and set the expectations way to high last year and now he does the turtle tuck admits his mistakes and all is forgiven. that’s bs.

    Lovie ran is mouth about the time is now and the fans don’t deserve to be patient yaddda yadda yadd… we are on the verge… we can compete now then he turns in a 2-14 team and complains abut the talent level… give me a break he should have made the talent evaluations before he ran his mouth. He should have taken a more wait and see cautious approach with media and set realistic expectations not turn in a crap season then cry about talent..

    Carroll took over a bad 5-11 team from Mora and made it better. Lovie took over a bad 4-12 team and made it worse. In addition he created over 29 million in dead money in one year… sorry man but you can attack me all you want but you have no ammunition to defend Loive and his 2-14 bucs record.

  43. LUVMYBUCS Says:


    Man, I don’t take this sh*t too serious bruh. Just Flexing my 1st amendment-Because this is all in good fun. This sh*t ain’t got nothing to do with fantasy football or genesis games.

    Just speaking my opinion like errr one else on the interweb. Don’t mean sh*t, won’t change sh*t

    Now-Is their very high probability MLB Mychal Kendricks, is traded before opening day: yep. To the Bucs?… probably not. All I’m saying is. that when a young prospect of his caliber becomes available grab’em. Because he definitely will fulfill position of need and great importance. That’s all…… nothing more, nothing less.

  44. Captain Stagger Says:

    Lovie is not a good coach……good coaches build schemes around thier talent. Lovie can’t do that. GMAC, David, Foster all played much better under Schiano. Now Lovie comes in and is trying to find player to fit his system because he can’t create a system for the players he has. Carter??? Moore???? Conte????Wright???? Scrap heap cover 2 players only brought in because they know the system, not because they are talented player.