“Leaders And Mentors And Mouthpieces”

January 23rd, 2016
New defensive coordinator Mike Smith talks DBs.

New defensive coordinator Mike Smith talks DBs.

It’s extremely clear that new Bucs defensive coordinator Mike Smith knows an overhaul of his secondary is needed.

Joe has yet to hear Smith even utter the name of one Buccaneers defensive back.

That’s no coincidence.

Smith joined the Ron & JP show on WDAE-AM 620 Thursday and was asked about his pass defense. Smith didn’t mention a player.

But later he raved about linebacker Kwon Alexander, a guy he didn’t mention during his introductory news conference.

And as part of that conversation, Smith rolled into expressing that he desires “leaders and mentors and mouthpieces,” in every position group. Smith said Alexander and Lavonte David are those kinds of guys, as is Gerald McCoy, and Smith clarified how critical he believes it is for every position to have a guy who can relay messaging from the defensive coordinator effectively.

“We’ve got to get some leadership going there in the back end,” Smith said.

Obviously, Smith added, thorough evaluation of current defensive personnel by his new staff is not complete.

But Joe believes the message is clear. Every position is wide open in the Bucs’ defensive backfield.

There’s no way all those guys are as bad as they played under Lovie Smith. Joe hopes Mike Smith can work a miracle back there, much like the mind-blowing fix of the Bucs’ offensive line last spring and summer.

55 Responses to ““Leaders And Mentors And Mouthpieces””

  1. Architek Says:

    I believe the message is while they may be players – there’s no leadership on the backend!

  2. Erik with Clean Athletics Says:

    I think at least Banks & Verner can resurrected with a better coach & scheme. Moore is pretty solid as well. I don’t think we are as devoid of talent as it appears.

    Also, I would draft Apple from OSU and convert him to safety kinda like an early round version of Tanard Jackson (minus the drugs, hopefully)

  3. Tampabaybucfan Says:

    I think we have some decent CBs…..not so much at Safety…..we simply need to add a two or three really strong defenders to that group….we have the picks and the money…..no projects please!!!

  4. Mike Johnson Says:

    Joe says, There is no way these guys are as bad as they played under Lovie Smith? Oh yes the hell they are!! Maybe even worst. I got no confidence in Banks nor Verner who got beat like drums this season. A complete overall in our Defensive secondary is warranted as Smith shall see. And he’d better move fast if he wants to get off to a great start.

  5. bryan Says:

    Wish we still had Mark Barron!

  6. unbelievable Says:

    Agreed on the corners, between Banks, Verner, and Moore, there should be a solid starter if not 2. But I still think we will grab at least 1 more CB in free agency and/or the draft.

    As for safety… Ugh, what a mess. Although it’s hard to truly evaluate their play given Lovie’s scheme, I could see them all being replaced. Conte might have had the strongest season, even with some really bad plays here and there. McDougald looked like he was improving over the last few years but this season was terrible. Major wright should not be playing in the NFL.

  7. Kevin Says:

    Banks, verner and moore should be a solid group of corners to put out there in a scheme that works. We need better pass rush for sure and some talent at safety. I like conte and wright for depth but need some better starters. We need depth at corner.

    BUT MAKE NO MISTAKE, a cast of defensive starters already on this roster can be coached to play better than Lovie got out of his players. His defense stinks. This team is not that far away. I hope Mike Smith is as good as everyone says he is.

  8. ToesOnTheLine! Says:

    @ MJ

    Gotta disagree with you on Banks. Seeing him come in for an injured Revis as a rookie and do a damn good job limiting Calvin Johnson as well as the Jim Thorpe award leads me to think this young man has potential if utilized in a way that plays to his strengths. Here’s to hoping M. Smith is more flexible in his scheme than L. Smith was.

  9. The Buc Realist Says:

    There is no argument that lovie made everyone on defense look worse than what they are!! Ideally if we can bring in a good CB FA then draft, and the CB’s on the roster move 1 notch down, that will make a solid unit! While they might not be able to cover marque matchups, maybe Coach Mike Smith can use them to guard 2 and 3’s with a much improved pass rush!!

    At least this year there is a chance to improve instead of watching lovie’s system run into a wall over and over and over again!!!

    Go Bucs!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  10. Erik with Clean Athletics Says:

    The major problem with our bank-end ‘talent’ last year was the well-documented holes in our zone coverage and the confusion/communication issues; which (as evidenced) any NFL QB can easily exploit when they are mot under heavy duress from our DLine.

    Talent was NOT the main problem. Trust me on that.

  11. NewDayInTampa Says:

    Mark Barron plays linebacker in the Rams 3 safety scheme

  12. MadMax Says:

    At least keep Banks and find a way to better utilize him.

    Anyone watching the shrine game today? The only names that have stood out to me so far is on the west roster… C Jake Brendel #54 and G Chase Farris #57.

  13. Tampabaybucfan Says:

    @ Realist

    We are finally starting to agree on things…..several of our DBs will provide great depth for two or three new players…especially at S.
    The same can be said for Gholston, Smith & Jones on the Dline….

    3 D players out of the draft….at least 2 starters….and 2 out of FA…both starters…perhaps 5 new starters on the d…
    2 DEs….2 Safties & 1 CB….

  14. Bucfan951 Says:

    Let’s get a couple of d ends that can actually breathe a qb and go from there.

  15. Buc1987 Says:

    I concur Joe and I think Banks and Verner will have a good season. Because Lovie Smith sucked and so did his son. Disclaimer : This opinion has nothing to do with the color of Lovie’s skin.

  16. BoJim Says:

    If banks and verner stay then I believe they will flourish under a new scheme. And I’d like to see them both in camp.

  17. John McKillop Says:

    copy that @Buc1987, I think Banks and Verner,as well as Moore are capable corners. They didn’t just forget how to play the position, it was that awful scheme and terrible coaching. I think all that changes this upcoming season.

  18. pelbuc Says:

    Hopefully the draft and FA will address the DLine and secondary. Also give Tandy a chance at safety as we already know what we have with Wright, McDougall and Conte. Man was Lovie’s defense weak!

  19. Jolly Bucs Fan Says:

    Banks never got a pro bowl but he was borderline there already. Verner has been, like you guys are saying these guys didnt and couldnt have just turned into garbage. They will be fine. Moore was solid with dallas and was the best in our scheme this year. We do have 3 capable corners

  20. Kevin Says:

    Lets not forget sterling moore was all over dez bryant, OBJ, AND julio jones this season.

    As for the D line I would live to see Mccoy line up on the end. I think he could cause some problems on the edge. But they should be able to find some heat for the d line in the draft.

  21. LargoBuc Says:

    Stupidest thing Lovid did was bench Banks, his best corner. I hope Banks returns and is at least our nickel. Moore was solid too. Im not sure about Verner though. I know he was a pro bowler in 2013, but he looked bad in every type of coverage he was in, bd it man or zone. He looked ok at nickel. The only thing I didnt see from Verner was jam at the los, so maybe he can be utilized that way.
    Our safeties need an upgrade. Conte and Mcdougald were ok but too many bad angles, to many blown coverages. Too many times one or both were in centerfield when it appeared they were supposed to be in support over top at the sideline. Lets just hope that Smith can coach our corners to cover a slant. Up and inside instead of off and outside. I mean, Lovie didnt know Mariota would throw a ton of slants? Thank goodness Koetter is the new hc, cause we needed a change on defense.

  22. MadMax Says:

    I still hope we move up for Ramsey….he’s a Revis/Lynch hybrid. Trust me!

  23. LargoBuc Says:

    Mr Newy Scruggs replied. He claims if Lovie got ran, so should Jason and Koetter. Clearly shows how little he knows about the Bucs. He should know that every fa Licht brought in didnt get the go ahead from Lovie first.

  24. BUCSFAN68 Says:

    The Bucs defense will be better under Smith. He runs a more aggressive version of a 4-3. Maybe David can make more splash plays. Sometimes it’s about adjusting the system to the player. Mario Williams did well in a 4-3 but not so good in a 3-4. Bucs do need to get it right on edge rushers this year.

  25. Tampabaybucfan Says:

    No need to blow up the entire defense…..drops some players like Wright….McDaniel, Johnson….Jenkins…..and add some starters….use some of the players like Jones, Smith & Gholston…..Conte, McDougald as depth.

  26. MadMax Says:

    Man this guy Jake Brendel C and G came to play!! #54 hope you guys are watching the game.

  27. BigHogHaynes Says:

    Buc1987 that Disclaimer looks and sounds Bogus!

  28. Buc1987 Says:

    Okay then it’s settled. Load up on DL in the draft and FA. Pick up a stud WR in FA if available. LOOK the team has to get pressure. I don’t give a crap about the secondary right now. Every secondary is going to look atrocious if the QB continues to have all day to throw like we saw on numerous occasions. Sorry Maxy I know you like Ramsey, and being a Nole I would love to have him, but I would actually rather them trade down from the 9 slot and load up on that DL.

    Tell you what if they load up on DL we can finally settle this debate as to whether GMC is all that or not.

    Thee end. Buc1987 has spoken and that’s what I want.

  29. Buc1987 Says:

    BigHogHaynes…your opinion matters 0 to me. These days on JBF you have to put such a disclaimer out there with all the race card droppers on this site.

    I’ll say it again. Tony Dungy (black) is one of my heroes. So let me reiterate your opinion means ZERO to me.

    Do you have anything to add to the thread, besides being “sorry”?

  30. Buc1987 Says:

    That’s what I thought. Silence.

  31. Buccaneers Says:

    The way I saw it our corners were exposed last year. Our line got no pressure and with all the time QBs had against us the DBs were hung out to dry. Everybody seems to believe Mike Smith scheme will fix this. Our passing defense may get better under Smith but I believe it will happen more from a result of better players providing a pass rush……not just because of scheme.

  32. The Buc Realist Says:

    Tony Dungy is black???? I thought he was Jamaican!!!

  33. Buccaneers Says:

    Saying who YOU think we should draft is about ridiculous…….. Why not we just let Licht make the call. His last two years should have shown that we can trust he will get the right players. I’d love to know what his thoughts are about drafting for need or best avilable.

  34. MadMax Says:

    It goes both ways 87….stay in the game brother. Pass coverage allows enough time for pass rush….and of course pass rush shortens the time allowed for receivers to get open. But with it now being a passing league, and watching so many backup qb’s pick us apart last year, pass coverage seems just as important as pass rush to me this draft.

    They go hand in hand, and look at those DB’s the Cardinals have. But not much noise about their pass rush. I just dont see as much potential with pass rush in the top 10 picks as I do with the pass cover guys. Just my opinion.

  35. Buc1987 Says:

    Buccaneers…well then welcome to JBF, because that’s all most of us do during the offseason. Ridiculous as it may be. Others take it much further than I do. They actually jot down players heights, wing span, 40 times etc. and how they would look on our roster….

    So you better get used to it. It is THAT time of the year.

  36. Buc1987 Says:

    Of course it does Max, but I think of the number one thing that I scream at the TV the most about all the time during the season and want that fixed first. I’ve been screaming the same thing for the last 5 years or more.

    I know I’m not the only one that screams it too. It goes something like this.


    Are ya feeling me?

  37. Buc1987 Says:

    Trenches baby, trenches.

  38. Buccaneers Says:

    MadMax- you are right about coverage sacks and pressure. But that’s not to say how vastly important a passrush is. While good coverage can lead to QB pressure a good rush can lead to so much more. Aside from the sacks, which are drive killers, the amount of mistakes that can be forced from pressure is large.

    I need to see no more evidence then a great QB like Brady have a bad game. Almost always, the great ones have bad games because pass rush caused mistakes. Rarely do you see coverage have the same type of impact.

  39. Buc1987 Says:

    That wasn’t a shout at anyone. That’s not me getting mad as usual. That’s me emulating what I do on gamedays and I’m sick of saying it. I actual blame the lack of pass rush on my stomach ulcers. I bet if they fix that, I’ll be back to 100%. lol

  40. Buccaneers Says:

    Think there’s any chance Wilkerson becomes a FA from the Jets? That monster would give us a instant upgrade at pass rush. He physical and plays with an edge too. You can’t underestimate that.

  41. MadMax Says:

    87, I dont think anyone here has more passion about our Bucs than you brother….and I hope Im in the top 5 even though I dont live down there and can join you guys at home games.

  42. Buccaneers Says:

    Hahahahaha, wingspan. That’s too funny. I can’t wait. Anybody who thinks wingspan is that big of a deal is mistaken.

  43. Buc1987 Says:

    The reason why I say go DL crazy this offseason is if they bring in 6-7 new ones they are bound to find at the least 2 gems out of the 6-7. Load em up and weed em out. lol

    No seriously though. It should be the main focus this off-season whether FA or through the draft. imo

  44. Buccaneers Says:

    Most positions are a need for this team. Expect for QB. But yeah, D-Line is easily the absolute weakest part from this team going forward

  45. Buc1987 Says:

    Eh…give it time Max things will sort itself out someday and you’ll be able to come see them live again. That’s if the tickets aren’t 300 dollars a pop for nosebleeds. Then again that would be a good thing. That would mean they are winners again. I don’t want to be shut out of our stadium though like I was in the 90’s. That just wouldn’t be fair. It would be a downright travesty in my mind. It’s just so hard to talk the Mrs into season tickets again after the 2013 season. We both had high hopes for that season so we got the tickets. The team went 0-8 out of the gate, Freeman went mental, fans were chanting MRSA in the stands. Well you know the deal. That season was rough. It’s demoralizing walking out of RJS every other week with your head facing the ground in depression. All that while opposing teams fans are taunting you. I can deal with all that if it means I get to keep my seats for when they finally do take off someday. The Mrs on the other hand….

    I guess she doesn’t realize how hard it was to get into that place in the late 90’s. The only way I got in was because of my cousin playing for the team. If not for that, there was no way I could afford the tickets. Free tickets, yeah I have no problem with that.

  46. Buc1987 Says:

    Besides I miss talking trash to opposing fans before the game. Yes I did talk trash even when they were 0-7 or 0-8. I consider them the enemy on MY turf. That and a few, well 6-7 beers before the game and it’s on. Some fans, well most Bucs fans are not like me. They see it as bad karma to talk trash before the game. It’s just not in me to be silent. If you think I type a lot on this site. Try tailgating with me sometime. LOL I walk right up to fans that are twice the size of me and talk some real serious sh!t. Guys that could knock me into next week if they wanted to. Passion, hell yeah I have passion for this team.

  47. Buccaneers Says:

    I go to two games a year. I haven’t witnessed a win in six seasons. It makes me sick to my stomach. Our pride has been shredded. The fans are always loud for the first quarter and the team does not respond. They don’t use the home intensity advantage because they have no heart……….. Yeah, they needed a coaching change. Hopefully Koetter will install an attitude change. Somebody comes to our house and pushes us around we need to get angry!!!!! Im still waiting to see that.

  48. Buccaneers Says:

    Dont worry 87 if I see somebody swinging on a Bucs fan on Ray Jay I got your back.

  49. BigHogHaynes Says:

    Buc1987 your a fan so am I, old enough to know my opinion is not for everyone!!9

  50. DavidbigBucsFan Says:

    1987 we have our disagreements and problems but I agree with you on the DL. We need to beef that up. With McCoy and Melton in the middle if we can pick up two good DEs then Banks and Verner will be much better and Moore will be superb. I just hope Smith will teach them all how to jam receivers at the line so we can stop the all the slant passes. A good line will compliment the backend and vice versa. What good are the if the line still can’t get to the qb. Most corners can’t cover longer than 4 or 5 seconds. We need pressure in the first 2

  51. FuNkYxMuNkEy Says:

    I think he is saying we are missing that guy who takes charge. It does not mean a complete overhaul of our secondary. We have talent. They need coaching. Free agency is deep in the secondary as is the draft at the top end with CBs. We will be players in free agency. New coaching staffs always are. Should be exciting what Licht is able to accomplish over the next few months.

  52. FuNkYxMuNkEy Says:

    William Gay could be that leader, if he is allowed to leave Pitt. I am also a big fan of Greg Toler. Not sure if he is the leader Smith is looking for. I honestly don’t know. Maybe he is maybe he isn’t. I also like Sean Smith from KC. He is a huge CB, who can get beat. But he is nasty when his game is on. Just a few thoughts that should all be in our price range.

    I think Janoris Jenkins will be asking for too much but you never know. His ability to jump routes is top class. Also leads to him getting hit on double moves but that kid can ball. Great year to have lots of money and only a few positions to focus on in FA.

    CB, S, DE, WR, OL. We can get some of these guys in the draft. I have faith in Licht to have another great draft and some smart signings. 3 top free agents and atleast 3 hits in the draft. That would fill the majority of our holes. And still would have money to fill in spots w smaller contract players to finish up the little bit thats left.

  53. OneBuc55 Says:

    Trade back a few spots and take MacKenzie Alexander in the 1st…Move Banks to FS…

  54. godzilla13 Says:

    Our best cover cornerback was Sterling Moore with Jude Adjei-Barimah second and Alterraun Verner third best. Johnthan Banks was terrible in coverage and his last game against the Stinking Panthers was the worst game of his career. He had 7 of 8 pass attempts completed on him, gave up a TD and had a pair of missed tackles. The talk about moving Banks to Safety is nonsense. You have to tackle to be a Safety an that is not one of Banks strong points. We should sign two top teir CB’s in FA and draft one in round 4 or 5. It would make the most sense to not re-sign Mike Jenkins and Sterling Moore, release Alterraun Verner. That would save $6.75M in cap space. The back-ups would be Banks and Adjei-Barimah. Jason Licht should take a look at CB Adam “packman” Jones (32) Bengals, CB Sean Smith (26) Chiefs, CB Trumaine Johnson (26) Rams, CB Prince Amukamara (27) Giants and CB Patrick Robinson (28) Chargers. Lets get some attitude with packman and some excellent ball skills with Johnson. Next draft DT Andrew Billings and DE Carl Nassib Penn State, he may be the best pass-rusher in this year’s Draft. If CB William Jackson Houston is there in the second we need to jump on him.

  55. Bob in Valrico Says:

    I believe keith tandy wants to play safety by the way he was hitting in the last
    game.i hope he gets a fair shot. Lovie brought in players from Chicago or that knew his system and they were automatic starters. a good coach should be able to teach his system to players on roster.Clinton Macdonald and sterling Moore were good additions.Conte played well but his durability concerns me.