Defensive Excuses Fading Fast

June 21st, 2015

Lovie SmithWhen Joe saw Jameis Winston’s first two passes against the Bucs’ first-team defense in practice on Wednesday, they didn’t just remind Joe that Jameis is a rookie, they were reminders that the Tampa Bay defense is out of excuses.

Jameis’s first throw, a five-yard fire to his right, was intended for Austin Seferian-Jenkins, but Alterraun Verner got his hands on the ball — enough to call it a near interception.

On the next snap, Jameis threw deeper to the right. But 10 yards off the line of scrimmage, Lavonte David skied to snatch the ball out of the air. It was a lightning-quick read and reaction, the kind of interception a linebacker makes when he’s comfortable in a defense.

Verner jumped on SiriusXM NFL Radio after minicamp wrapped up and talked about how every aspect of the Bucs defense is better in practice, from speed, to the collective jelling, to the health of defensive players. Verner speculated that no defensive player has missed a snap during the spring.

And this is why Joe can’t give Lovie Smith and Leslie Frazier any rope this season. It shouldn’t take three years to build a good defense when you have two Hall of Fame caliber pieces in David and Gerald McCoy, plus solid (at least) cornerbacks and strong quality on your interior line.

Yes, yes, by October, Lovie and Frazier might be able to claim they don’t have a quality edge rusher. But if that’s the case, then make adjustments and don’t cling to the system like Joe hugs his last beer after 3 a.m.

Utilizing talent you do have is the essence of coaching.

The Bucs have enough talent — and experienced coaching — to be a top-15 defense. No excuses.

33 Responses to “Defensive Excuses Fading Fast”

  1. Buc-A-New Says:

    Happy Father’s Day to all you Dads out there

  2. 77bassguitarist Says:

    @ bucs-a-new u too bruh me and my wife adopted 5 kids we have delt with infertility for 12 yrs always wanting to birth a child, well we are finally pregnant our baby is due in late july. HAPPY FATHERS DAY TO ALL!!

  3. OneBuc55 Says:

    I expect this defense to be really good…if Jaquez Smith and George Johnson continue to emerge I think we have enough quality bodies on our Dline to get after QB’s

  4. Walter Says:


    Congratulations man, that’s awesome!

  5. Buc-A-New Says:

    Truly Awesome 77. Best of luck to you and yours

  6. rayjay1122 Says:

    Congratulations brother!!! I read your post to my wife and it made her tear up. We can’t have kids ourselves and due to all of the corruption in the adoption agencies as well as fraud by birth moms who are just out to get paid, we have been talking about possibly becoming foster parents in the future.

  7. The original "Kevin" Says:

    I think they will be an average team to srart the season and above average down the stretch.

  8. Tampabaybucfan Says:

    I am very hopeful that we will have a shot at a very good DE on the waiver wire…..surely, there will be one cut from the other 31 teams that can beat out our last player….we have plenty of cap space for a DE, MLB, Oline or any player we wish….keep in mind, we still have another $3mil from Koenan….

  9. The Buc Realist Says:


    Congratulations man! And may your first child be a masculine child.

    My brother and his wife just had a baby girl last Tuesday, at st. joseph’s women’s hospital, Class A hospital. And while holding my new-born Niece, I got a birds eye view of the Bucs Practice while we were in cold AC it had to be over 100 with the “feels like” tempature on the field.

    P.S. I looked but could not find sweating Joe or his bugs or drones watching practice.

  10. 77bassguitarist Says:

    Thank you guys i didn’t know my post would generate such love @ rayjay1112 my wife is a former foster parent if you want we could talk to you guys on the Ins and outs e-mail me at

  11. Harry Says:

    Our Bucs had the 25th ranked D last year in points allowed, generating only 36 sacks. In comparison, the NFC South Champs, aka the stinking Panthers, were ranked 21st in pts allowed and had 40 sacks. CAR had very similar Dline talent to the Bucs in that no one player had double digit sacks. Our DE play should easily improve enough just by not having The Ghost around that the Buc’s D can climb into the top 2/3 of the league like CAR last year.

    To be in the top half of the NFL isn’t such an impossible task either. The Rams were ranked 16th in points allowed and had a total of 44 sacks (by contrast of style, the Cowboys were ranked one notch ahead at 15th in points allowed and had only 32 sacks – can you say ball control offense?). Although one can’t compare the Bucs Dline to that of the Rams, projecting the Bucs with another 6-8 sacks is not that unreasonable either. And with better CB play, the Bucs should be able to move up.

  12. Harry Says:

    Btw, a very Happy Fathers Day to all my Bucs faithful brothers!

  13. Harry Says:

    Opps! Correction: Rams had only 40 sacks, like the Panthers. Very doable for the Bucs

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

    Great insight Harry.

  15. BlogTalkFootball Says:

    Happy Father’s Day one and all! Go Bucs!

  16. The original "Kevin" Says:

    Yeah but we already used our first waiver claim on tim wright….doesnt that put us at the end of the list now?????

  17. poorglennon Says:

    The turnover machine is only getting started. He’d throw 30 Int’s….if he started the whole season. After we go 0-2 he’ll be benched. Glennon will win games with safe smart Qb play. #3 will learn holding a clip board. Complaining and being a distraction and probably will get arrested for something. Some of you were anti Winston pre-draft. But once he was drafted. You sheeped up baaaaaaaa. Crab legs at his draft party. C’mon people you think a guy with that kind of smarts. Will lead this team anywhere. College is supposed to make you smarter. From his amazing first game as a nole. This guy has regressed as his helmet size grows.

  18. poorglennon Says:

    The bromance between Mankins and Winston. Will end ugly when they are throwing punches week 2

  19. WS99 Says:

    Frazier is just not a very good coach. Everyone always talks about schiano yelling and carrying on but have you seen Joe Cullen? Giving your son a coaching position and then allowing that group to way under-perform just to replace them with third-fourth tier talent doesn’t help either. The only def coach I have any confidence in is Hardy and that’s not saying much.

    When Lovie stops hiring his buddies, friends and family members over qualified winning coaches then maybe we can perform up to expectations (I.e Tedford over Norv Turner which was just STUPID!). A good craftsman never blames his tools.

  20. Buc-A-New Says:

    Amen DB. I am a master carpenter and i use Only the best tools.

  21. WS99 Says:

    Buc I bet you can build special with your grandfathers tools too.

  22. Martinii Says:

    I believe the operative point to Joe’s description of Winston’s first two passes is “Rookie.” He will improve and a much improved defense will make him better. I’m an optimist, and I think this team may be a “Sleeper.”

  23. nate Says:

    Trade for pass rusher!

  24. Dave Says:

    Original Kevin Says :Yeah but we already used our first waiver claim on tim wright….doesnt that put us at the end of the list now?????

    Actually, we have first dibs on all waivers until 3 rd game of season.

  25. University of Seffner Says:

    One thing for sure, there should be no Falcons and Ravens games like last year (56-14 / 48-17). If so, time to go coach hunting.

  26. Hawk Says:

    @ 77bassguitarist
    Congrats, bro. My (middle) brother and his wife had three girls before they started adopting ‘special needs’ babies. They stopped adopting at five (eight IS enough). The love in that house is always overflowing out into the neighborhood. Btw, how many washing machines do you have? :^)

  27. 77bassguitarist Says:

    Lol …@ hawk i feel like i somtimes need 3 or 4 washers

  28. StPeteBucsFan Says:


    Your heart has been in the right place all along and now you are blessed again.

    Congrats bro!!! Easily the best Father’s Day story I’ve heard all day. Just awesome.

  29. BigMacAttack Says:

    77 Base
    Congrats bro, that is so cool.

  30. BuccaneEric75 Says:

    77, that is great news! I feel for anyone who wants a child and can’t have one. May July be the the best month of your life!!!!

  31. Jason McLaurin Says:

    This defense is a lot better because of Lovie Smith free agent pickups and they are stacked on thst side of the ball as well. They are going to have a big season due to the depth on defense. They got quality starters such as Jenkins, Melton, Wright, and Imho after training camp Lansanah will be one of those quality reserve players as well because I think Kwon Alexander should be our starter at middle linebacker and Bruce Carter moves to outside in 4-3 situation but in nickel we will be monster fast with Verner being that crafty nickel and Moore and Banks on the islands along with Swearinger and McDougald as the fast cat safeties and Melton, McDonald, McCoy and Johnson rushing the passers. Can you guys say Gulppers of the Gulf with this unit. Then English, Gholston and Smith as quality reserve players as well. I definitely feel us dominant nickel formations a lot.

  32. Brandon Says:

    77bassguitarist Says:
    June 21st, 2015 at 9:27 am
    @ bucs-a-new u too bruh me and my wife adopted 5 kids we have delt with infertility for 12 yrs always wanting to birth a child, well we are finally pregnant our baby is due in late july. HAPPY FATHERS DAY TO ALL!!

    Congrats….but what a coincidence. The Bucs have also been shooting blanks for the past 12 years. Hopefully the Bucs period of…infertility…has ended, just like yours, and we can get back to making playoff runs…while you make some more babies. Good luck!

  33. Cobraboy Says:

    How many “Top 15” defenses have an unproven pass rush?

    If the Bucs had a proven pressure DE, I could agree with Joe. But until there is, QB pressure is suspect.