Get Off The Damn Field!

January 6th, 2016
Worst third-down defenses in 20 years

Lovie owns the two worst third-down defenses in 20 years

Ask defensive coaches what they want, and they’ll nearly all say the same thing: eliminate explosive plays and get off the field on third down.

The following research performed by Joe may cause vomiting. Please be cautious:

The data below represents the annual success rate of Bucs opponents on third down. The groupings are by regime; Lovie Smith is followed by defensive head coaches Greg Schiano and Raheem Morris, followed by Chucky and Father Dungy.

Lovie’s defenses are the worst on third down in the past 20 years.

2015 – 46.0%, 97-for-211
2014 – 43.7%, 93-for-213

2013 – 39.2%, 80-for-204
2012 – 40.2%, 88-for-219

2011 – 39.5%, 73-for-185
2010 – 43.2%, 92-for-213
2009 – 40.2%, 86-for-214

2008 – 37.9%, 81-for-214
2007 – 41.1%, 92-for-224
2006 – 37.8%, 82-for-217
2005 – 35.0%, 75-for-214
2004 – 35.3%, 77-for-218
2003 – 31.8%, 68-for-214
2002 – 33.6%, 75-for-223

2001 – 36.1%, 78-for-216
2000 – 32.9%, 74-for-225
1999 – 32.3%, 75-for-232
1998 – 31.7%, 64-for-202
1997 – 34.1%, 75-for-220
1996 – 40.7%, 87-for-214

There’s really know way to spin out of Lovie’s ugly stats, though Joe will say that the 2011 Bucs defense was so poor on first and second down that their third-down stats are a little misleading.

Lovie has a real problem. His third-down defense got worse, and he couldn’t figure out successful adjustments. Teams that are lousy on third down don’t make the playoffs.

Lovie had this to say after the Panthers clubbed the Bucs on Sunday.

“Cam Newton is pretty accurate in the pocket as a dropback passer. He was on [Sunday]. That’s what gave us as much trouble as anything, us defending the pass,” Lovie told the Buccaneers Radio Network. “It’s been kind of an Achilles’ heel for our football team all year.”

Joe had to laugh. Newton is hardly known for his accuracy. He’s even completing under 60 percent of his passes this season, which puts him among the bottom-dweller QBs in that category.

24 Responses to “Get Off The Damn Field!”

  1. Love and Warrick Dunn Says:

    Can someone tell me what scheme the defense in predominately playing? If it’s rarely T2, then what is it? If it’s multi, what is the most used of the multi?

  2. Love and Warrick Dunn Says:

    Sorry, wrong thread

  3. Dave Says:

    I’m not defending it all – the DBs and DEs are horrible – but most is the execution and talent, not coaches.

  4. Bucco Brice Says:

    More bullsh*t from Lovie’s mouth…A coach who stresses TURNOVERS as good defense…Yeah Lovie, pray for the luck of turnovers every week…Another season of excuses coming up, another wasted year until this crap coach is gone..

  5. The Buc Realist Says:


    sure, But they are especially horrible with lovie, and they are the worst kind of horrible with Lovie as Defensive Coordinator!!!

    Throw in that lovie is in charge with last say so, and this is a recipe for disaster!!!!

  6. Rob Says:

    Which is why I have continued to scream from the rooftops that Lovie must go. Koetter can move up as head coach and hire a defensive cooridinator to try and fix this mess. Do not be satisfied with mediocrity. 6-10 is not acceptable, even after improving from a dreadful 2-14 record. Penalties cost us several games and that is coaching. Out.

  7. NJBucsFan Says:

    @ Love and Warrick Dunn

    I believe it is called the Lovie Duece Defense…also known as the Bend and Break D.

  8. NJBucsFan Says:


  9. Tom Edrington Says:

    Saw the headline on the post and thought it was about Mike Evans…..

  10. ATrain Says:


  11. Tampabaybucfan Says:

    We can stop the arguing….it is both scheme and talent…..Our CBs can’t get near the WRs….and when they do, it’s a PI, Hold or Illegal Contact.

    We will and we must upgrade our talent….but we have to make some changes with scheme……I will say this… scheme works well without a pass rush.

  12. Tampabaybucfan Says:

    The press needs to hold Lovie’s feet to the fire regarding his defense….

    All the stats are there as evidence….they can’t let him get away with discounting them time & time again.

    According to PFF our cornerbacks ranked the worst in the NFL…with our best (Moore) ranking only 66th. That’s awful…..and what in the hell happened to Jonathan Banks…..he has played well before….

  13. nate_tweetz Says:

    Cam did look accurate in the pocket, but so would I if DB’s gave WR’s free releases on slant routes all day long. It’s not a coincidence that almost every QB we faced put up gawdy numbers against us.

  14. ATrain Says:

    I have to LAUGH>>>>

    Lovie is given a pass by the Media, by some Fans and by the Glazers

    Yet we got rid of a Super Bowl Coach for going 9-7, Got rid of Raheem after two years, got rid of Schiano after two years..

    BUT we keep Lovie who hasne done anything close to what those coaches did.
    He has lost more games, given away a ton of talent, 2nd worse 2 year record, 2n worse 3rd down defense (and he is a Defensive GURU)

    He got us JAMIES that’s it and that’s because he lost with the easiest NFL schedule..

  15. Tampabaybucfan Says:

    Cam might not be the most accurate….but he was very accurate against us….his passes were all on target…..even the 4 incompletions.

  16. Couch Fan Says:

    Next year will be more of the same. Even with an entire draft class focused on the defense. Ugh. Thank you Glazers. I’ve always tried to defend you but I have nothing left to defend you schmuks with.

  17. Bucamania Says:

    46% success rate on third down?! I knew what we were witnessing was epic but damn. Plus the 80%+ completion percentage of this softy soft defense. lol. I can laugh now.

  18. Brandon Says:

    Love and Warrick:

    Despite what most of the people on here want to believe, the T-2 is not a scheme, it is a coverage. It’s a coverage that can be run from any defense, 4-3 or 3-4, in football. The scheme the Bucs use is an attacking 4-3 one gap scheme, typically considered an “under” as the team will employ the DT on the outside shoulder of the strongside guard. There is ZERO problem with the scheme they run, it’s the same as Carolina, the same as Seattle, and many others… the problem is a severe lack of quality personnel. The most important people in a one gap attacking scheme is the front 4, and the Bucs only have half of the required talent from their front 4. They need an upfield pass rusher at RDE and a quick strong LDE that can collapse a pocket or bend around the arc at times.. All they have are the UT and NT, who both do a good enough job if only the RDE and LDE could actually do better at their jobs.

  19. ColoradoBuc Says:

    Here is what I’ve seen on the field because of Lovie’s misguided emphasis on turnovers: time after time a defensive player goes to tackle the ball – not the ball carrier – and most times the ball carrier goes on for extra yardage. Make sure that you have the ball carrier stopped!

    I think that, when Lovie puts all of his emphasis on turnovers, he is missing the point: If you play good defense, the turnovers will appear in the stats. There is no guarantee that, if you get the turnovers, you will necessarily be playing good defense.

  20. StPeteBucsFan Says:


    That was as good an explanation of schemes and coverages and our problems as i’ve read here. Great job with the technical stuff. Perhaps you should copy it.

    Next time all this crap comes up again…and it will as it does everyday…you could simply paste this response as it was terrific.

  21. StPeteBucsFan Says:

    @Colorado Buc

    AMEN BROTHER!!! Stop the ballcarrier first and foremost…the players swarming the the “already stopped” ball carrier can then take safe shots at stripping the ball.

    Like you I’m for turnovers but not at the expense of a good tackling defense.

  22. Chris Says:

    Two Words : Monte Kiffin

  23. deemag Says:

    I agree with Colorado

  24. duke Says:


    Your answer was solid and apparently insightful to some.

    My question is this,

    *Using the factors you identified Talent on one side and scheme on the other. Which side is more flexible?

    **If the talent is equal on both sides, and the D is getting torched, then how
    significant of an upgrade must we seek to improve? will we need 11 pro-bowlers on one side or??