“Still Got A Long Ways To Go”

November 4th, 2015

Lavonte David weighs in

Is the Buccaneers’ defense on the cusp of breaking through?

That’s what Leslie Frazier and Lovie Smith were selling fans this offseason.

The Bucs’ defensive wizards were confident the team had beaten down the defensive demons that led to massive blowouts early last year. They pointed to across-the-board improvement during the final 10 games of 2014.

Heck, Frazier even said the following in May.

“When you look at those last 10 games of the season and you see that we finished in the top five in almost every category group, including points, that’s what gets you excited,” Frazier said. There are some things we can build on. We are expecting the guys that are coming back to really improve.”

Of course, the Bucs added to their defense Henry Melton, George Johnson, Tim Jennings, Chris Conte, Sterling Moore and Bruce Carter this offseason, all hand-picked veterans of the Bucs’ brand of defense. Yet the defense is struggling mightily.

Joe found it interesting that Lavonte David didn’t share Frazier and Lovie’s optimism when asked how close the Bucs’ defense is to what Lovie envisions it to be. The question came during an appearance on PFT Live with Mike Florio yesterday.

David said the defense “still got a long way to go.”

“It don’t happen overnight,” David added. “You know, It takes time to be a great defense.”

David went on to say the Bucs are focused on the little things needed to improve and David believes they’ll get there.

“I think we got the right guys in place to help us get over the hump to be that great defense that we want to be. You could tell, Coach Lovie put a lot of faith in us, and we have to respond. We have to respond.”

17 Responses to ““Still Got A Long Ways To Go””

  1. Newbucsfan Says:

    Maybe start with a winning attitude, and work from there. The little stuff isn’t going to change much, changing their stinking losing attitude will. I think they have it as@ backwards! How does this happen to a team? Well, half of the team. Frustrating!

  2. Newbucsfan Says:

    The talent seems to be there (except CB), their attitude is the problem. Ahhh…that’s me screaming in frustration!!!

  3. Fsuking Says:

    Our defense has no shot of being good this year. I thought for a second that once Leonard Johnson was out of the picture, our secondary would stop the bleeding. Instead, we have 3 cornerbacks playing like Leonard Johnson and Johnathan Banks. I think all we are missing is a dominate DE, a long safety with range and as many quality corners as our roster will allow (and someone to coach them). This will take 2 years, however we can be decent next year with a few youngins coming in. Jalen Ramsey would be perfect for our scheme. Vernon Hargraves is perfect for any scheme but if we can’t get one of the two I will be disappointed for sure.

  4. CL Bucsfan Says:

    I’m pretty sure they don’t have the right guys in place to be a great defense like LVD says. There’s holes at DE and craters at CB. Licht has done an excellent job drafting offensive players in the last 2 drafts, and the one defensive player he drafted already looks like a hit. Let’s give him the next 2 years to draft defensive players and see where we’re at.

  5. Buccfan37 Says:

    The Bucs need a home win over the Giants. The Giants will still be in the NFC East race win or lose this game. It’s a bigger and more important potential game and win for the Bucs. Go Bucs!

  6. LargoBuc Says:

    As long as the defense hasnt quit on the staff, there is hope. They came out with alot of fight ladt week but still got gutted, which tells me that this defense just isnt that talented and in desperate need of fresh blood via the draft. Too many stop gaps at this point, but whit the offense performing I can live with it…for now.

  7. Clodhopper Says:

    I think just one great DE would’ve gotten us at least one more win this year. Maybe a guy like (just to dig my finger into Joe’s ulcer) Michael Bennet

  8. DB55 Says:


  9. Buc1987 Says:

    Joe Says:

    “Yet the defense is struggling mightily.”

    Come on Joe. Stop being so negative this team all the time about Lovie’s team. (sarcasm)

    There’s TWO numbskulls on your site in the comment section, that won’t have anything to do with such negativity when it comes to this Lovie Smith coached team. They even want to drive away anyone that criticizes Lovie Smith away from your site.

    Gee I wonder where some of us fans get all this negative thinking from. Hmmm could it be from the actual team AND the 2 writers of this very site? Golly gee numbskulls just read the damn articles. One such numbskull thinks that it’s only these posters and not it’s writers that stoke the fire as well. He actually wants you to ban us from the site for making such negative comments all the time.

    Go figure. Have a good night Joe’s. 🙂

  10. Jason McLaurin Says:

    Need the defensive backs and safeties who react and recognize plays as for sure tackler in an open field and we need a safety that can enforce the middle of the field effectively and disciplined. We need to keep lovie and draft all defense next season starting at defensive backs too. We also could use that enforcer type of strong side linebacker as well. Pretty much we need an enforcer at strong linebacker and safety for this defense to be lights out and not so much as a speedster defensive end. We will get that end but we need to become more physical as well as faster and recognizingv plays.

  11. The Big Unit Says:

    Change the scheme…Cover 2 does not work. This was an effective D 15 years ago. Where are all the veterans…it is concerning when a rookie has been by far your best player. Another concerning thing is after GMC and LD got the money their play has really tailed off…these guys are paid to be not only Tampa’s best defensive players, but entire NFL. Also I see a lack of leadership on that side of the ball…no glue….

  12. mike10 Says:

    Its much more refreshing to hear this than delusional coach talk. Thanks LD, I’m not on crazy pills

  13. Ben Says:

    I love Kwon, but lets face it, when we heard a rookie would be starting MLB, we shouldn’t known it was a long term move. Go back and watch a lot of those famous slants we’ve been burned on and in the ones where we were in zone, Kwon and David weren’t in position to make the play — David helping Kwon instead of doing his own job?

    We were close at the end of last year, but then they went and made a bunch of changes, which while probably the best move in the long run, it was a set back initially.

  14. Lamdog Says:

    What could have been? At the beginning of the season and based on last year defense: capable of 13-3 this season. Hopefully can have similar success this coming draft for defense. One less touchdown can be a playoff team. Just one.

  15. Dave Says:

    The pieces were mainly there. No one, not even the coaches, saw Verner or Jennings or even Banks playing so bad.
    We all thought the DEs would be a little better at pressuring the QB but still knew they needs more bodies there.
    They need DEs and DBs. We all know that. But the DTs and LBs are good.

  16. Jerseybuc Says:

    It is Lovie’s stubborn insistence on running an outdated scheme that is holding back this defense. Our coach is the anti bellichek, who would play with 11 linebackers if he thought it would work. Our coach seeks out marginal vets who are cast away by other teams simply because they are familiar with his beloved “scheme.” How about just getting better players?
    LVD has regressed in this system, under this coach.

  17. godzilla13 Says:

    Everyone points to the scheme. The Tampa2 is outdated. We don’t run a Tampa2 and so on. So why were we a top ten (or top 5 as Frazier put it) in the last ten games, last year? Maybe Dashon Goldson and Mark Barron are better than Bradley McDougald and Chris Conte? Maybe Michael Johnson is better than George Johnson? Maybe Mason Foster was better in coverage than Kwon Alexander? Just maybe Alterraun Verner is better than Mike Jenkins? Get it? We went from super size to a happy meal.