First, Just Stop Teams

January 4th, 2016
Fix your defense.

Fix your defense.

Yeah, yeah, yeah, Joe knows the NFL types will say —  no, demand! — that without takeaways you won’t be much of an NFL team. The numbers are hard to argue.

But here’s the thing: Like all numbers and stats, they can be twisted. This philosophy of takeaways is hardly an absolute.

For example, the Bucs were tied for third in most takeaways under then-Bucs commander Greg Schiano with 31 in 2013. That team finished 4-12 and Schiano was ousted.

Yesterday, after weeks of whining from Bucs coach Lovie Smith about a lack of takeaways, the Bucs had two, and were routed by 28 points.

There are a lot of things Lovie must change if he doesn’t want his office involuntarily cleaned out a year from now, and this cart-before-the-horse nonsense about takeaways has to stop. Punts are takeaways, too.

Get your defense in order. Force punts, give your high-octane offense more possessions. You just might win more than six games next year, which means you may still have a job come the 2017 season.

Stop fooling yourself, Lovie, and clowning fans with your incessant whining about takeaways. Sometimes, believe it or not, a good defense creates its own opportunities, not game-planning for accidents and flukes.

13 Responses to “First, Just Stop Teams”

  1. Onetrickpony Says:

    Bingo, but I see another wasted year coming as I believe lovie is to stubborn in his belifes. Hope I am wrong

  2. Can'tWait4TheDraft Says:

    Since when did we start referring to offenses that finish in the bottom half (20th to be exact) in PPG as “high octane”? For all the yards this team gained, they were inept at scoring TDs. That contributed to these last 4 losses as well. Not as much as the defense, but close to it.

  3. D-Rome Says:

    Spot on with that comment above. The Bucs offense was hardly high-octane.

    Yards != points.

  4. Defense Rules Says:

    @Joe … ‘Get your defense in order. Force punts, give your high-octane offense more possessions.’

    Agree Joe that L&L need to get the defense in order, but when did we get a ‘high-octane offense’? Bucs scored a whopping 45 against the Eagles, 38 against the Jags, and 30 against the Redskins … pretty good for 3 games (2 of which were wins). And in another 6 games they scored between 21-26 pts … potentially enough to win (they went 3-3 in those games). But in the other 7 games, they scored in the teens (or less) … and only won 1 of those games (against the Cowboys … because our woeful defense held the Cowboys to 6 pts).

    High-octane? In 3 out of 16 games, definitely. And we won 2 out of 3 of those games (should’ve won all 3).

    Take away those 3 games however, and the juggernaut scored a little over 17 pts a game average in the remaining 13 games. And yet we managed to win 4 of those games (Saints, Cowboys, and Falcons twice … defense played pretty well in those games too).

    That despite an improved OLine, a strong running game (over 2,000 rush yds), and a decent short passing game. Our rookie QB had a very good year I thought, throwing for 4,000 yds and only 15 INTs on the season. But his 58% completion rate didn’t help any when it came to sustaining drives and eating up the clock. Part of that’s on him, part of that’s on his WRs.

    What I see is a young, inexperienced team with a lot of promise. They improved this year in many ways, but they’ve still got a lot of work to do to be competitive. I fully expect that they’ll add some of the missing pieces this off-season through FA and the draft, and hopefully improve even more next year despite a tougher schedule.

  5. Sunny Says:

    We have seen what a difference coordinate makes, with our offence this season , this offseason bringing in a proven def coordinate , should be very high on our list, coupled with a def draft , and maybe a FA or two and we should in the right way, signing Mario Williams is a great start to fix the pass rush, once we get pressure on the QB, it will help our secondary, give are giving them to much time in the pocket, can you pictures William and bosa on the line? I doubt it will happen as we are not picking high enough to land him, but would be nice, unless L&L decide to move up and pick him

  6. Sunny Says:

    We still can not run in short yardage suitutions, which is hurting the offence, in particular the red zone , we need to be able to pound the rock for those 1-3 yards , D Martin is not the back for that, we need a powerful short yardage back

  7. Tampa Tony Says:

    High octane? The Joes are watching a different team than me

  8. The Buc Realist Says:

    @tampa tony

    He must be comparing it to Josh McCown!!!!

  9. pick6 Says:

    “punts are takeaways too”…..simply and perfectly stated. we didn’t see carolina’s punter until the second half on sunday, i think. the team is often behind within the first 2 possessions of the game. i’d be surprised if we weren’t bottom 3 in punts forced or top 5 in opposing drives that end with scores or missed FGs

  10. Johnny "America's Commenter" Dejay Says:

    I’d be curious to see how the Bucs offense stacks up in “points per possession” to other teams in the NFL. The defense was so bad that other teams dominated the time of possession and the Bucs offense was hardly on the field.

    I think Joe’s point is that the offense needs the ball to score. Since takeaways are fairly rare events, it’s better to game plan to force punts on a regular basis rather than relying on takeaways.

  11. Brandon Says:

    One #1 draft pick that plays on our defense. No big money free agents that have actually worked out. The biggest problem with this defense is a severe lack of talent. Other than the DTs and the LBs, this defense is littered with garbage. Players that weren’t drafted or were let go by other teams. I’m actually surprised at how well the defense played given the extreme lack of talent. I think if the team focuses its resources (money and draft picks) on upgrading the defense, the defense will improve immensely. Look at Rob Ryan… he didn’t forget how to coach defense. His defense was crippled by a team that invested most of its money on its offense. It doesn’t matter how good a coach is, if he doesn’t have talent on his team, he can’t win.

  12. StPeteBucsFan Says:

    @DefenseRules and @Brandon

    Great comments but far too much common sense for JBF!

  13. Duke Says:


    Sorry but you’re wrong in calling players garbage or talentless.

    The NFL is the most competitive business to be an employee in the Nation. In the ultra competitive environment that is the NFL every single person in a uniform is talented.

    The margins between the avg player and the star players is measured inch’ s not miles. Even the super stars are within inch’ s of the players in the next level. Because the difference between the two isn’t easy to quantify in terms of individual measurables.

    If it was, the Draft and Free agency wouldn’t be so much a gamble. It would be a guarantee. We know it’s not. Veteran players have been tested