Improved Defense

May 22nd, 2016
Promising third-day draft pick.

Promising third-day draft pick.

Joe is sure just about every knowledgeable fan knows the Bucs’ defense stunk last year.

Even the most devout crony and apologist of Coach My Scheme would have to admit a 70 percent completion percentage by opposing quarterbacks was not and should not be acceptable in the NFL.

So the Bucs went heavy on defense in the draft. And if you believe Lance Zierlein of, few teams helped themselves defensively as much as the Bucs.

5. Tampa Bay Buccaneers

Vernon Hargreaves should step into playing time immediately at one cornerback spot, and he could be a big upgrade at the position. Noah Spence offers pass-rush potential at the defensive end spot, which is something the Bucs came into the draft hoping to address. Smooth-moving cornerback Ryan Smith has excellent mirror-and-match footwork that should get him noticed in camp.

First off about this Smith: If a player wants to “get noticed,” then all he has to do is take a dump in the middle of the practice field. He will surely “get noticed,” but that won’t mean he will make the team.

Rotten players who get lit up get noticed, too.

But Joe was watching the NFL Network recently and Smith, who the Bucs plan to play at safety, got major props from well-respected NFL analyst Daniel Jeremiah.

A former NFL scout, Jeremiah said of Smith: “Small school product; big school talent.”

While many Bucs fans are giddy about fullback/tighte end Danny Vitale as a darkhorse to make the squad, Joe thinks it is Smith who Bucs fans might want to keep an eye on come August.

50 Responses to “Improved Defense”

  1. The Buc Realist Says:

    You touched on a very important part of why this defense will improve Joe!! The “get noticed” in practice!!! It was very apparent the what coach my scheme could not tell what a players was during training camp and practice!!! Some have even wondered what he was doing the whole time!! (maybe napping it out like he did at the NFL combine,,for pablo he was taking a siesta!!) Whatever the Incompetent one was doing it was not talent evaluation!!!

    So excited to see the right players in the correct order of the roster!!! and to seeing players in position to succeed!!!! Times are a Changing!!!!!

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

  2. Kevin Schmidt Says:

    I think they all make the team. Thats how good our new GM is, and how bad our old one was LOL! Best Bucs team in history is being built right before our eyes!!!

  3. LUVMYBUCS Says:

    Ryan Smith’s a solid prospect – there was a big buzz about him moving up the draft boards right before the combine. Oddly similar to another small school prospect Josh Norman.

    Side Bar: DJ & Bucky are the only folks worth listening to on the NFL Network – when it comes to prospects. Glad DJ decided to stay with network – stand up family guy#respect

  4. LUVMYBUCS Says:

    Ryan Smith Ultimate Highlights | HD

    • NO: 14
    • YARDS: 395
    • AVG: 28.6
    • TD: 1

    CAREER NUMBERS – 2012-2015
    • TACKLES: 263

  5. DemBoyzFromDaBay727 Says:

    “All a player has to do is take a dump in the middle of the field”

    Lmao wow. well, that’s one way to get noticed I guess.

    I’m intrigued to see what Ryan Smith can do at safety. That was one position I was hoping would be adressed so maybe he can make a Impact. The play at safety last year was very inconsistent at best. McDougald looked terrible at times but had a few good games as well and flashed that potential he showed the year before.

    Conte is a sold but not spectacular safety who made a few plays last season. But besides those two guys who are mediocre at best, we have no one. I like Tandy but he’s been a backup his whole career for a reason. But to his credit he has stepped in and played solid when called upon. He’s a great backup. So maybe Smith can bring that smooth footwork and ball hawking skills to the safety position and make a few plays for us this year. Plus he’s pretty quick as well. So he has the potential to be a starting safety in the future for us. I’m rooting for him.

  6. Joseph Mamma Says:

    Drop a tampa deuce in the middle of the field. That might stop the slant pass, I like it!!

  7. Nole on Sat.-Bucc on Sun. Says:

    His versatility represents the new wave of football player at the safety position. Some here wanted the kid Joseph but his hard hitting playing style is being fazed out of the league. These safety/cornerback hybribs are the new now and future. My thoughts on this young man,when he said my entire family is depending on me was this kid about to ball. I’ll say it again this years version of Kwon Alexander. Man I can’t wait to see him play.

  8. Tampabaybucfan Says:

    I think there is a shot that all our picks make the 53 this year……we don’t have much depth at S or at LB….so Smith and Bond should make it……Vitale replaces Lane….so he should be in. And Benenoch looks like a great prospect.

  9. Nole on Sat.-Bucc on Sun. Says:

    I saw a special on NFL network a few month’s ago about the beginning of the Steelers dynasty. It touched on how that organization was the first to start plucking talent from smaller schools. Needless to say Mr. Licht has me really giddy over taking some of these guys from these school and giving them a chance.

  10. BigHogHaynes Says:

    Players know how to play this game, most been playing this game since grade school, so sick of this scheme theme, and how coaches mean so munch, a player just needs to be told the scheme and he will figure it out, coaching may mean something to the guy who started playing the game his senior year of high school, because if your not a player with talent and motivation a so called highly touted, classroom teaching coach will never make you a great player, by the time a player gets to the NFL he is what he will be…….There will be at least 3 new starters in our defensive backfield this year……and 1 or maybe 2 big time cuts !!

  11. LUVMYBUCS Says:

    Since our New Secondary Coach Jon Hoke’s –
    A Buddy Ryan | Dom Capers – Disciple
    I wonder if we’ll see more zone blitz packages
    Rushing Ryan Smith & Keith Tandy from the Dime & Nickle

  12. 1sparkybuc Says:

    Coaching will make the biggest impact on the Bucs this season, but it’s nice to note the talent infusion at each level of the defense. 2016 could be a banner year for this team if both sides of the ball perform as they should.

  13. OneBuc55 Says:

    All of a sudden our defense is loaded…I loved what we did in FA and the draft…We already had Alexander, David, GMC, Gholston, etc…then Licht adds a competent DC in Mike Smith, Daryl Smith, Grimes, Robinson, Hargreaves, Spence, and Ryan Smith to the mix who are all upgrades imho from what we had last year…

    It’s also nice to have a DC in Mike Smith that isn’t so hung up on 1 scheme that he cant put these guys in positions to succeed…There’s so much talent and versatility in our front 7 that Mike Smith will have a plethora of options/personnel combinations he can use to confuse opposing QB…

    I fully expect the offense to build on their success from last season…if we can get our defense to improve to somewhere in the top 15 at worst we have a legit shot at a wildcard spot…

  14. LUVMYBUCS Says:

    Nole on Sat || Bucc on Sun.

    Top of Morning Brotha.

    When you get a chance – read up on the Key member of that Personnel Dept.
    The Late Great Mr. Bill Nunn.

    When you look at the Steelers of the 1970s, none of that would have happened without Bill Nunn.

    Bill Nunn (Pittsburgh) & Lloyd C. A. Wells (Kansas City) are true legends of the game. Especially when it comes to Scouting Small School Prospects/HSBC’s.

  15. LUVMYBUCS Says:

    Nole on Sat || Bucc on Sun.

    Gotta give Licht his do – he’s leaving no stone unturned

  16. Tiny Tim Says:

    I find it funny that some posters are now praising this pick but during and after the draft hated it and proclaimed how bad of a pick it was. I wonder will they admit that or act as if they were behind it all along?

  17. LUVMYBUCS Says:

    Tiny Tim

    Lol, C’mon bruh your better than that.

    Names please? Gotta clear the air.

  18. scott Says:

    I think Ryan Smith and Isiah Johnson will eventually take over the FS and SS spots

  19. LUVMYBUCS Says:

    Tiny Time

    NFL Draft Day 3, Open Thread

    Solid Prospect – But would I have drafted him over Andrew Billings? Nah

  20. Nole on Sat.-Bucc on Sun. Says:

    Will do LUV.

  21. Pat Says:

    I am so rooting for DB59. GO BUCS!

  22. tmaxcon Says:

    I’m intrigued by Smith. I’m not a conte fan would love to see Smith send conte packing.

    No bucs Defense could be worse or more horribly coached than last year’s disaster or fiasco as some say.

    Good day to you Luvmybucs keep the great info coming

  23. Nole on Sat.-Bucc on Sun. Says:

    Check the archives I’ve been supporting this pick since I did a little research draft day. I was sole when it was stated two years corner back two years safety. Kid was one of the if not the best player out of his confrence. I really love his willingness to tackle. The speed and athleticism speak for themselves. I mean maybe there are those that would’ve preferred someone else at that pick but after doing a little research not a whole lot to not like about this young man. LUV just displayed his numbers. Impressive.

  24. Tiny Tim Says:

    @ luv

    You are getting close. I wanted the culprit to come clean. Check out the thread that was actually dedicated to the drafting of smith on draft day.

  25. Kevin Schmidt Says:

    Now it all makes sense, Lovie was waiting for the receivers to slip on the terms he put out on the field. I never thought I’d understand. Now I get it. The Tampa deuce defense

  26. LUVMYBUCS Says:


    *March 26th, 2016 at 3:10 pm ←
    – CB Ryan Smith is moving up the draft boards

    *April 15th, 2016 at 1:29 pm ←
    Current Projected Starters
    LCB – Brent Grimes | Jude Adjei-Barimah
    RCB – Alterraun Verner | Johnthan Banks
    SCB – Josh Robinson

    Developmental Prospects
    C.J. Roberts
    Joel Ross

    *Solid 4-6 Round Draft Prospects

    Boundary Prospects
    Eric Murray | Minnesota | 5-10⅝ | 199 | 4.49
    Zack Sanchez | Oklahoma | 5-10⅞ | 185 | 4.50
    Sean Davis | Maryland | 6-1 | 201 | 4.46
    Maurice Canady | Virginia | 6-1 | 193 | 4.49
    Ryan Smith | North Carolina Central | 5-11 | 189 | 4.47
    Juston Burris | North Carolina St. | 6-0¼ | 212 | 4.53
    Taveze Calhoun | Mississippi St. | 6-0⅜ | 192 | 4.58

    Slot Prospects
    Cyrus Jones | Alabama | 5-9⅞ | 186 | 4.33
    Briean Boddy-Calhoun | Minnesota | 5-9½ | 193 | 4.47
    Jonathan Jones | Auburn | 5-9⅛ | 197 | 4.49

    *No need 2 draft a corner – in the 1st three rounds

  27. LUVMYBUCS Says:


    Well good day to you brotha – Hope all is well

  28. Mojiska Says:

    This kid succeeds at safety and our GM looks like a genius for passing on vonn bell. This is the area where teams really have a chance to pass up competition, mid-late round picks hitting. Looks like our GM is doing just that with kwon, pamphile, Sims, possibly vitale and this guy.

  29. Stanglassman Says:

    I figured most of those people were disappointed in the Smith pick because they didn’t understand why they were taking another CB. I’m sure it made a bit more since when they figured out he’d playing S.

    A 4th round pick making/contributing to a team is a good pick a 6th round pick making/contributing to a team is a dark horse. I don’t think Vitale wouldn’t last too long on the PS. My prediction is Myers doesn’t make the 53 and Vitale dose.

  30. LUVMYBUCS Says:


    Good point about Myers. HB Andy Janovich was drafted by the Broncos in the 6th round. If he doesn’t make their final 53. Hopefully we’ll pick him up. It will give us one helluva versatile rotation at RB | HB | TE

    RB Doug Martin | Charles Sims | Peyton Barber
    HB Dan Vitale | Andy Janovich
    TE Austin Seferian-Jenkins | Cameron Brate | Luke Stocker | *Dan Vitale

  31. LUVMYBUCS Says:

    A middle of the game adjustment that would give teams fits.

    Imagine- Running the Read Option or Zone Run


    QB Jameis Winston

    RB Doug Martin
    FB Andy Janovich
    HB Dan Vitale

    TE Austin Seferian-Jenkins

    WR Mike Evans

  32. Buccaneers Says:

    I think Smith will have his work cut out for him trying to see the field this year. Our secondary competitions will be fierce. It wouldn’t surprise me at all to see one of our corners playing some free safety so they can get more playing time.

  33. Mike Johnson Says:

    Wow..Only one poster bit on the, coach my scheme theme Joe posted here. And that was, you guessed it..Buc Realist. Simply outstanding. Everybody else actually contributed something positive. Amazing! Time to..let Lovie go Joe. won’t. And that’s fine also.

  34. The bucfan 88 Says:

    Onebuc55 if mike smith gets us into a top 15 defense going to get a HC job somewhere

  35. Mojiska Says:

    @ LUV- I was thinking the same type thing yesterday but with Evans, Jackson, Sims, vitale, Martin. You can run 4 wide with Martin blocking or run jumbo with vitale, Evans, Jackson @ te. Both Evans and Jackson have shown that they like to block, Sims and vitale have shown that they can run routes and catch. That could give d’s fits, run no huddle to keep them from subbing.

  36. Bob in Valrico Says:

    it pretty easy figure out why tampa 2 didn’t work for our team.
    No top tier Safety.
    no top tier cornerback
    No top tier DE
    We had at least 1-2 of each during our glory days.
    no competition at cornerback,Jenkins and Jennings play did not warrant being given the starting job.

  37. the real Bucobruce Says:

    First year chuckster won sb.Dirk will do the same who can smell it in the air.Our first dynasty starts this year!!!! Tampaaaa

  38. Erik w/ Clean Athletics 'The Kwon Alexander of Bucs Fans' Says:

    I AM SO HIGH…. on our 1st 3 defensive draft picks.

    I think Ryan Smith will be a STAR.

    He’s going to be our new age Dwight Smith from the Superbowl era.

    This kid has IT.


    He was only at a small school because he started playing football really late. He’s a BEAST.

  39. Erik w/ Clean Athletics 'The Kwon Alexander of Bucs Fans' Says:

    @ the real Bucobruce.

    I agree 100%.

    I can definitely feel it.

    Bucs 2016 Superbowl Champs.

    Bucs win 4-5 Superbowls in the next decade to become the newest dynasty.

  40. Erik w/ Clean Athletics 'The Kwon Alexander of Bucs Fans' Says:


  41. LUVMYBUCS Says:


    @ LUV- I was thinking the same type thing yesterday but with Evans, Jackson, Sims, vitale, Martin. You can run 4 wide with Martin blocking or run jumbo with vitale, Evans, Jackson @ te. Both Evans and Jackson have shown that they like to block, Sims and vitale have shown that they can run routes and catch. That could give d’s fits, run no huddle to keep them from subbing.

    Nice – Plus you can option Sims to the slot – crack back w/Vitale on the split zone run. U right brotha- that would be a mean setup – especially w/the hurry up.


  42. godzilla13 Says:

    Ryan Smith is an aggressive, physical, versatile athlete with coverage and return skills. He averaged 28.1 yards per kick return in 2015. Licht really liked his speed (Bucs timed him at 4.3) and his aggressiveness. Smith set a career school record with 168 solo tackles and should help our Safety group with his speed in coverage skills. Considering we passed on LSU’s Jalen Mills, Baylors Andrew Billings and the German WR, Smith had better end up being a starter at some point.

  43. Pickgrin Says:

    We need better play from Safety – hopefully Ryan Smith is the answer. Being fast and a good tackler with Safety/CB experience and CB ball skills is a nice set of tools to come into an NFL safety position with.

  44. Mojiska Says:

    @Godzilla- will those guys we passed on be starters at some point? No one can even guarantee Hargreaves will be a starter, much les a 4th rounder. I would say if he is a solid 4-5 year contributor that is a good pick for a 4th rounder, no matter what the other guys do. You can always play the what if game with mid-late picks.

  45. Rod Munch Says:

    Top 10 defense in the NFL in yards allowed. That was a huge stat during the Kiffin years, but with Joe’s constant Lovie bashing he seems to forget a defense with only a few talented players was a top 10 defense. Meanwhile Mike Smith had soft defenses in Atlanta, but we’re supposed to ignore that and look back a decade to when he was in Jacksonville. Got it.

    Look I hope Mike Smith does an incredible job, however the Lovie bashing that is just non-stop is ridiculous. Joe is purely in filler mode at this point, just trolling Bucs fans to get clicks.

  46. feelthepewterpower Says:

    Thanks! Planning to write about that tomorrow. –Joe

  47. Mike Johnson Says:

    Note to Ron Munch…Yeah I’ve been a Bucs fan since inception. I’ve never seen the hate/bashing applied as it has been to ole Lovie. Joe does fuel the fire though. Look, Lovie is history. I wish joe would stop with the coach my scheme crap. it sorta makes this site seem hilarious I suppose though. But Don’t expect him to stop or the 4 or 5 responders here who salivate at the mere mention of Lovie. Joe may not admit it, But the Lovie blame thing is to get more post for the stories. just the way it is. Lets move on. Lets stop being the laughing stock of the NFl. Constantly whippin on ole Lovie serves no purpose other than to..Have a plausabile pretext to hide behind when things start going wrong again. I think Joe will stop the reference to Lovie once we start the pre and regular seasons. Until then, expect more bashings. Hell, it occupies space..I guess. Sad..but true.

  48. DemBoyzFromDaBay727 Says:

    Lol your stI’ll talking about that tiny Terd? I posted a comment a few days after ag saying g that Im cool with the pick now that they decided to play him at safety. When I posted those comments it was the second they drafted him and passed on ALOT of big name talents like Billings and a few other good players. U act like I was the only person on this Web site that didn’t like the pic at the time. We already had drafted VH3 and signed Grimes and Robinson not to mention Banks and Verner so excuse me for thinking that another corner when there was a very good DT or 2 still on the board wasn’t the greatest pick. Get over it and move on. U act like we drafted the next ed reed by the way. Cmon. Your gonna tell me this pick wasn’t a gamble? Get over yourself dude.

  49. DemBoyzFromDaBay727 Says:

    I have no problem admitting I didn’t like the pick at time. So f***ing what? I’ve already said multiple times it’s not a bad pick IF he pans out at safety. Your the only one still talking about it.

  50. BuccoBill Says:

    “While many Bucs fans are giddy about fullback/tight end Danny Vitale as a darkhorse to make the squad, Joe thinks it is Smith who Bucs fans might want to keep an eye on come August.”

    Why not both making the squad. Now that would be a major draft coup!