“Gap Integrity”

November 17th, 2015

Photo courtesy of Tampa Bay Buccaneers

There were plenty of fans laughing at Joe last week, when before the Cowboys game, Joe wrote all about how the Bucs’ run defense was the best in the NFC — anchored by Gerald McCoy and bolstered by space-eating Akeem Spence emerging as a starter.

And then came the Cowboys game.

The mighty Cowboys offensive line and the solid Dallas running game was stuffed. They ran more than 20 times and averaged just two yards per carry.

Lovie Smith was raving on the Buccaneers Radio Network last night about his team’s total “gap integrity” leading to stuffing the Cowboys repeatedly. Seven yards was longest run against Tampa Bay on Sunday, Lovie crowed.

The Bucs now allow just 3.6 yards per carry, best in the NFC.

Back in 2012, when Michael Bennett, Roy Miller, McCoy and Lavonte David were the beasts of the league’s best run defense, Tampa Bay allowed 3.5 yards per carry.

16 Responses to ““Gap Integrity””

  1. The Buc Realist Says:

    Back in 2012 people were clowning Coach Schiano with ” This college coach is stopping the run in a passing league”. Lets see what the Sheep (lovie loyalist) say now!!!! Watch the double standard as they will sing lovie’s praises!!!

  2. scott Says:

    Spence is a real deal nose tackle. Huge part of our run defense.

  3. Patrick in VA Says:

    @Realist – the difference is that we sold out to stop the run and got gashed in the pass game with Schiano. Yesterday, we held up in the run and, at the same time, stopped two of the most prolific pass catchers from getting anything going.

  4. 813bucboi Says:

    @realist…this must be a nightmare for you…jameis showing he’s a leader and belongs in the nfl, the team as a whole improving each week, lovie coming back next year, the two rookies on the oline actually playing like vets, the bucs in the playoff hunt, a light at the end of the tunnel with a bright future under lovie and licht…I bet your dying to wake up…GO BUCS!!!

  5. Tampabaybucfan Says:

    Can’t we enjoy one small bit of success without the naysayers rhyming in with their negativity…..I’d bet multiple laxatives don’t work for the Realist. You badly need to take a big giant dump to get that poison out of your body!!!

  6. Tampabaybucfan Says:

    Speaking for Pablo

    “Pablo has absolutely no “gap integrity”…..every time Pablo has been anywhere near a “gap”…..Pablo has tried to integrate it……this is why Pablo has so very many children.”

  7. Hawaiian Buc Says:


    Dude, I’ve grown to like you. I have even began to agree with you on many things, and admit I was wrong on others. But for real, just stop. I know it’s all an act and you are trying to keep a certain persona, but you look pretty foolish. Beat your chest if Sanchez scores 30 on us Sunday, but until then, shut up. You have become way too predictable. If the team plays poorly, you put 100% of the blame on Lovie. If they win, you give Lovie 0% of the credit. It doesn’t work like that, especially if you want people to listen to you. Either give Lovie credit, or shut the hell up. No one wants to read your crap this week. I’m just trying to give you some friendly advice, which of course I know you will ignore, because you wouldn’t know what to do with yourself without b!tching about Lovie.

  8. Buc'n Enough Says:

    I wonder if Micheal Strahan has gap integrity?

  9. Buccfan37 Says:

    I thought today was Lovie confidence poll day. I’m going to raise my confidence level solely on beating Dallas.

  10. StPeteBucsFan Says:


    That was a great post. I too like both the Realist and Tmax and aside from their “hate Lovie” fetish they are terrific reasoned posters.

    I think your advice was spot on.

  11. Tampabaybucfan Says:

    @ St. Pete

    It’s called being a one trick pony…..we went through the Realist & the “Pop Star” for years…..now with him and some other’s like bucrightoff with his constant “fire lovie” posts…..it’s really juvenile. To me, it shows a lack of intellect.

  12. Lord Cornelius Says:

    @ Realist

    I was down on Lovie Smith for how the defense performed early in the season but he’s made adjustments to his coaching style / scheme and shown a willingness to bench players that he thought would work out originally for the sake of a better product on the field. He has shown more willingness to score before the half and be more aggressive. He has somehow got the secondary playing much better even if it is Matt Casell (who isn’t a horrible QB/player; nor is Dez Bryant / Jason Witten / the Dallas O-line)

    The results the last couple weeks have been solid. He could always regress and the defense could be bottom 5-10 rest of year and I would re-assess but right now there is hard evidence and reason for hope / optimism. I believe we are better off with an adapting / growing / improved/improving Lovie Smith than we are starting over with a new coaching regime at this point.

    Last week was one of the best defensive performances the team has had in the last 5 years and that is an undeniable fact. When the pass rush wasn’t going we had good coverage for once. Could have had a pick 6 possibly that was dropped as well. Stuffed the run. Got sacks and big stops when it mattered. Only gave up 6 points and a little over 200 yards of offense. Creative bltzing was very effective as well.

    The fact is that Schiano / Raheem got blown out in games moreso than Lovie even with Lovie’s teams getting blown out like 4 times in the last 1.5 seasons. The fact is those teams gave up on their coaches and finished the year horribly when we didn’t see that last year and aren’t seeing it in the middle of this year.

    I am just hopeful this defensive turnaround can last. I’m sure we will have some bad weeks regardless. I’m sure there will be some bad defensive games where you get to feel great about your assessment of Lovie smith but every team in the NFL has bad defensive performances almost every other week. Only the most elite SB bound teams typically have consistently great defense every week and no one things we are there talent wise so that is an unrealistic expectation.

    The only thing you had to say about last week was some ridiculous BS conspiracy theory straight out of a nut house. It’s sad you call yourself a “realist” but you refuse to acknowledge anything positive Lovie even when there is some good to acknowledge. It’s not like you have to want him to be the head coach but even you can admit that was a great defensive performance/ game plan.

  13. Miguel Grande Says:

    Winning is the best deodorant.

  14. D-Rome Says:

    Back in 2012 people were clowning Coach Schiano with ” This college coach is stopping the run in a passing league”. Lets see what the Sheep (lovie loyalist) say now!!!! Watch the double standard as they will sing lovie’s praises!!!

    You’re way funnier than the comedian I saw on my cruise last week. That same 2012 defense was arguably one of the worst pass defenses in NFL history! Bucs defense is 7th in total yards, 10th, passing yards, 11th in rushing yards. Hardly the same team. Not by a long shot. We’re much better this year.

  15. 813bucboi Says:

    @Cornelius…great post…I have a feeling that the defense will continue to perform well throughout the rest of the season…remember last year it took them until week8 to start playing like they knew what they were doing… it seems like the defense has hit that point this year with a strong outing sunday and last week…I get the feeling that lovie has seen that he has a better than expected young team with a little fight in them…lovie has realized that this year not only does he have to lead the horse to water but he also has to help/make him drink hence the benching of players, blitzing and playing more aggressive for better results…some people will say that’s what he’s suppose to do but that’s not the type of coach lovie is…lovie likes smart players that can learn a system, do their job and lead by example…this is a very young and unsuccessful team that really wasn’t learned how to be successful nfl players on a successful nfl team…lovie is changing the culture right before our eyes…now if we can have the same success in the next 2 drafts as we had in his first 2 we will be in great shape….GO BUCS!!!

  16. Jason McLaurin Says:

    I think thats been the key to our defensive turnaround is Spence eating gaps. Gholston can now focus on solely defensive end because I think hes done enough to be a starter and can also eat gaps with his size. My thing is I think McCoy needs to gain a lil more weight for his body to stay healthy. In off-season where he has focused on losing weight like he did this off-season he is then banged up and usually is not able to finish the season. Im interested to see when does Jac Smith return fron injury too because I think his speed off the end will be crucial to third downs.