Is Run Defense A Concern?

September 30th, 2015
Third-worst rush defense through three games.

Third-worst rush defense through three games.

Last week, a career nobody named Alfred Blue looked like LaDainian Tomlinson and ran for 139 yards on 31 carries against the Bucs.

The week before, the Saints, with the Bucs up two scores, absolutely gashed Tampa Bay on the ground in the final minutes and narrowly missed sending the game into overtime.

In the immortal words of Vince Lombardi, “What the hell is going on out there?”

Joe thought the Bucs’ rush defense would be a strong point for the team, with a solid stable of defensive tackles and linebackers, such as Lavonte David and budding stud Kwon Alexander, not to mention Danny Lansanah.

That has not been the case. The Bucs are third in the NFL in rushing yards allowed (414), behind only the Browns and Dolphins.

Maybe the rush defense isn’t that good? Maybe it was overrated? Perhaps what happened in preseason should have tipped us all off?

Doug Martin ran so well in practice that Bucs AC/DC-loving general manager Jason Licht openly admitted to Joe on a special three-hour WDAE-AM 620 JoeBucsFan broadcast from training camp that he needed to “shore up” the interior rush defense and signed defensive tackle Tony McDaniel.

Maybe, given how teams — not very good teams — have run on the Bucs this year, just maybe, Licht was on to something?

28 Responses to “Is Run Defense A Concern?”

  1. DefenseRules Says:

    Yes, rush defense is a concern. Yes, pass defense is a concern. Yes, allowing way too many 3rd down conversions is a concern. Yes, penalties are a concern. Yes, no pass rush is a concern. Yes, poor tackling is a concern. Yes, poor defensive game planning and adjustments are concerns. And yes, players not playing as a team is a concern.

    Other than that, things are rosy in Bucville. Can’t wait for Sunday.

  2. rayjay1122 Says:

    It would only be concerning if it was surprising. At this point can us fans really be concerned about the ineptitude shown by any and all facets of Bucs football? I think underachieving paycheck collectors have become what we expect lining the Bucs sidelines on game days with a few exceptions.

  3. Name Required Says:

    2 drafts ignoring the defense apart from Alexander. I’ve said my piece.

  4. DefenseRules Says:

    Joe, one of the best websites that I’ve found for stats about various teams is . If you go to Bucs then ‘Franchise Encyclopedia’ on that site you see a really fascinating picture of our 39-year team history.

    For instance, in only ONE year (1982’s shortened season) did the Bucs have a winning record where Points For (PF) in a season was less than Points Against (PA).

    And in only ONE year (2003 under Chucky) did we have a losing record where PF was greater than PA in a season.

    It sounds simplistic, but our history says that if we allow more points in a season than we score, we have a losing record.

    The seasons when we’ve done well (13 winning seasons, to include an 8-8 season), our defense has led the way. Points allowed was way down.

    The seasons when we’ve done poorly (26 losing seasons), our defense has been average or worse.

    It might be simplistic, but it looks like our Bucs NEED a strong defense to succeed. That’s been our identity since 1976. A stronger offense would certainly help, but defense has been what’s carried the day throughout our history.

  5. Tampa Tony Says:

    The whole defense is the problem. Can’t stop the run or pass, DBs give too much of a cushion to wrs even in the red zone, bad tackling and I barely see passes broken up. This d reflects its coach, soft

  6. Simpleasthat Says:

    Everything is a concern. The team is inept in all phases.

  7. bucrightoff Says:

    Scary part is they really haven’t played a good rushing team yet. Texans had a backup out there, Saints have no one and the Titans have a poor offensive line themselves. Overall it’s hard to say this defense is even slighty better than Schiano. In fact I can remember Schiano’s defense giving an epic performance to almost beat the Saints at home in 2013. Haven’t seen a single game even remotely close from Lovie’s defense.

    Lovie was brought here for defense and it’s arguably worse than his predecessor. Why should he keep his job again? So we can keep “continuity” with a hopelessly mediocre coach?

  8. Phil Says:

    Lovie Smith as head coach is a bigger concern. Until we fix that nothing else really matters.

  9. DallasBuc Says:

    Why would rush defense be a concern? Arnold…Abner…Alfonso Blue is practically the Ladanian Tomlinson!

  10. DallasBuc Says:

    ….the next LT!

  11. Tom Edrington Says:

    Sure sounds like the D-coordinator isn’t doing his job…….oh wait….Lovie is the D-coordinator!

  12. Tampa Tony Says:

    Just wait for the excuses

  13. The original "Kevin" Says:

    Lovie is not getting 100% out of his players. Hell hes not even getting 75%. Losing to the texans with mallet and blue? Im sorry but it sucks seeing Mariotta almost beat andrew luck in a shootout with less talent that both us and the colts. After the by lets see how they do against the bills. Our team would wilt like a stepped on flower. I hate being so negative but its is what we are seeing. Hope things get better

  14. DefenseRules Says:

    During his years in Chicago, Lovie had a couple of LBs named Urlacher and Briggs. Brian was a pretty big guy (6’4″ and 258 lbs) but he was also fast. Lance was also a pretty big guy (6’1 and 244 lbs) and had good speed. The Bears were quite good during those years in run defense.

    The present Bucs LBs are certainly fast and quick, but I’m starting to think that our LBs are giving away too much in size. Kwon goes 227 (30 lbs lighter than Urlacher), Lavonte goes 233 and Danny goes 235.

    I know that ‘size isn’t important’ in Lovie-world, but our LBs seem to be getting hammered in run defense, particularly by the bigger backs.

  15. DallasBuc Says:

    The d-line is getting knocked off the ball regularly, exposing the lack of size and poor tackling in the LB corps.

  16. NewTampaChris Says:

    I’ll be curious to see if Alfred Blue is the Offensive Player of the Week. That would make 2 out of 3 for Bucs’ opponents this season (Mariota). I know that they had at least a couple last year, too.

  17. Buccfan37 Says:

    The Bucs need to be fertilized, slap some more manure on them.

  18. LargoBuc Says:

    Clinton Mcdonald is a good leader, but we need a solid DT that can stop the run. A massive, strong 1 technique to to anchor his spot while taking a double team would help so much. When you look at this dline, they’re all pass rush specialists (LOL) but working in T Mcdaniel would help and hopefully Spence comes nwck at some point.

  19. The Buc Realist Says:


    Totally agree!!! and with the “bend don’t break” that allows other teams long drives all game long, They are gassed and worn down in the 3rd and 4th quarters!!!!

    the undersized defense worked when O-line used to be just big and fat. Now they are big, fast and in very good shape. They just lean on this team until they are about to faint in the second half!!!!

  20. Another J Says:

    Has Tony McDaniel been in a game yet?

  21. Idontwannahearitanymore Says:

    Defense Rules:
    “…Yes, pass defense is a concern….Yes, no pass rush is a concern….”

    Bucs are 8th in sacks and 9th in pass defense. Exactly why are you concerned about that?

  22. John Ensch Says:

    The Bucs have to many players that are overrated on the defense. I don’t see anyone standing out on the defense. As far as tackling goes, all the players look afraid to hit someone. I’ve seen so many half-A____ attempts at trying to make a tackle it’s enough to make you sick to your stomach. The issue that needs to be fixed is whether you got guts or no guts to hit someone. This is football not tiddley winks. My advice to the defense; “HIT SOMEONE”!

  23. Bucs Fan #7423 Says:

    Bitting too hard on play action is still a problem

  24. Jason McLaurin Says:

    There’s no panic here because thats what happened in Tampa 2 scheme traditionally forever to. What’s scares me is that red zone defense. They need to force more f2f attempts from opponents down there..they are making opponents run and thats the reason for the low scores but the defensive lineman have to protect all lanes throughout the drive and the linebackers have to make gang tackles in order to prevent missed tackles in the open field for big plays. When an opposing back gets the ball the defense should be in swarm mode every play to make gang tackles against the run

  25. 813bucboi Says:

    put McDaniel and w.gholston in on first and second down for their run stuffing abilities and bring in melton and McCoy to get after the qb on passing downs…since McCoy lost all that weight he gets pushed back way too often…plus it doesn’t look like he’s 100% after hurting his shoulder…lots of people want to blame lovie but he’s not the one missing tackles or getting pushed back 5yards off the line of scrimmage..the defense only works if the front four win their 1on1 battles..stop with all the incompetent bs…the man knows football and is a good coach…some of you will never be satisfied…if we finish the season 8-8 barley missing the playoffs people will complain about us missing the playoffs and he should be fired..if we make the playoffs and get bouced out first round people will say fire lovie…it we make it to the superbowl and lose people will say fire lovie…if we win the whole damn thing people will say,the only reason why we won is because xyz and will still want lovie fired…the only thing I dislike about lovie is that he doesn’t show any emotions before, during or after the game but that doesn’t mean the man cant coach…its still early in the season and we are still in the hunt for the divison title so everyone relax…people are acting like its week 13 and we’re 1-11…we’re 1-2 with a chance to get back on track with a home divison win…with that said if we don’t win another game before the bye week his seat will begin to heat up…GO BUCS!!!

  26. DB55 Says:

    It’s 3rd&4, Lovie smith says let line up the secondary 7 yards deep. Yea that’s the ticket.

  27. Pick6 Says:

    it’s the same as last year. offense can’t stay on the field, and eventually our bend-but-don’t-break defense can be broken open by any ordinary rusher. if we had converted a few third downs, alfred blue doesn’t end up busting us open and the texans top out at 12 points

  28. John McKillop Says:

    I’ve said it before on here, these guys aren’t buying into what Lovie is cooking. These guys need to see this defense of Lovies produce wins, when you don’t win, you lose faith in what you are doing. Players need to see results in what they are doing, no results = no faith.