“Player-Driven” Defense

May 5th, 2016
Talks difference in defenses.

Talks differences in defenses.

So many Bucs fans ask Joe what new defensive coordinator Mike Smith’s defense is going to be like. Joe would like to know, too.

It is the big unknown of the offseason. Andy Benoit of theMMQB.com thinks the drafting of Vernon Hargreaves is a tip to what fans can expect.

This morning on “The Opening Drive” with Booger McFarland, heard exclusively on SiriusXM NFL Radio, Bucs cornerback Alterraun Verner spoke about the change in defenses.

Verner, refreshingly, noted he isn’t totally sure what to expect from Smith’s defense because it is still so early in installing it. But one thing is sure, Verner said, Mike Smith is no Coach My Scheme.

“It is still a lot to be determined until we actually get into game mode,” Verner said. “I won’t say necessarily that we will be more aggressive in terms of blitzing but the concepts are going to be more player-driven. In Lovie’s system, it was system-driven, like the system was going to take care of a lot of things. So if the system falters, it doesn’t matter who the player is.”

Well, Joe can say with confidence it did matter who the player was. Joe isn’t sure there is an NFL defensive system known to man that could cover up the stench and hide the likes of Toast Jenkins, Lovie’s mancrush, or Loaf Jennings.

Just from what players told Joe in recent months, and Mike Smith’s background, Joe expects a big upgrade in the secondary play this fall. Hell, the secondary was so rotten last year, it could only improve.

It’s a fair bet one might even see the Bucs properly guard a slant pass now and then. Imagine!

28 Responses to ““Player-Driven” Defense”

  1. Pickgrin Says:

    ” the concepts are going to be more player-driven. In Lovie’s system, it was system-driven”

    Sounds like “Coach My Scheme” is the perfect nickname for the coach formerly known as “a defensive guru”.

    Well, the curtain is lifted and the “wizard” is now exposed.

  2. Bill Says:

    I think the point Verner is making is if the system requires a CB to play off and outside, he will not be stopping a slant pass. It doesn’t matter how good the player might be.

    Every scheme has a weakness, including Lovies. This has been shown over and over again throughout football history. Adapt or die. Clearly, Lovie has an aversion to adapting.

  3. James Says:

    Aren’t you guys paying attention? It wasn’t Lovies fault!! It was ownerships!!

  4. LakeLandBuc Says:

    Mike Smith will show a lot of different schemes, he may switch from a 4-3 to 3-4 with the personnel that he has on the field. He may go with a dime package or he may go with a nickel package. But one thing is for sure, his defense will not be predictable. The best thing is that we have the personnel on defense to run many different types of defenses.

  5. DB55 Says:

    I hope we get Mike smith’s Jacksonville def cuz his ATL def sucked they couldn’t stop the run to save their life. Verner will prob be the first one cut right after “Hey Jude- your man is running wide open again”.

  6. Bucsfanman Says:

    The only “known” here is that we have no idea, other than it will be different.
    DB55 has a point too. Smith’s defenses weren’t always dominant.

  7. OneLove Says:

    Woooooooo!!! Now all we need is a BIG WALL to protect Jameis!!

    Let’s make Tampa Bay GREAT again!!

    Tampa 2016!

  8. Defense Rules Says:

    Great line DB55 … “Hey Jude- your man is running wide open again.” But with Grimes, Verner, Banks, Hargreaves, R. Smith & Robinson on the roster, Jude will have to beat out one of them to make the team. My guess is practice squad for this year. (Bucs are listing R. Smith as a CB/S but gut feel is still that he’ll end up as a CB … Hopefully we’ll pick up at least 1 starting caliber safety before the season starts).

  9. Mike Johnson Says:

    Setting up the pins again hey Joe? Knock’em down Lovie bashers!..UNITE!

  10. BigHogHaynes Says:

    I think LOVIE needed another year to get the right players fir his so called scheme, and I think ther will be at least two I can’t believe it cuts by the end of training camp! Hope SMITH’S SCHEME WORKS OUT!!

  11. salish_seamonster Says:

    Well, they’ve got 2 DB coaches that are better than any of the 3 clowns they had last year. It’s a good start.

  12. Pat Says:

    Maximize the talent. Minimize the shnematics. Is that a word?

  13. gotbbucs Says:

    We’ve got more talented players in this defense than Atlanta ever had the years Mike Smith was there. It’s almost criminal what Lovie did with some of these guys. Schiano was on the cusp, but was also too rigid to get over the hump.
    I think Lavonte will get back in the groove and I truly believe that Will Gholston will blow up this year. He is built for a hybrid scheme.

  14. Stanglassman Says:

    I looked around for 2007 Jags games but can seem to find any not even vs the Pats in the WC playoffs. Has anybody had any luck searching for these old Jags games?

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

    I like your words gotbucs.

  16. cmurda Says:


    You’re dead on with Gholston. He’s literally a perfect match for a hybrid system as he can play inside or can line up wide to rush the QB.

    I expect a hybrid defense and I really hope that’s what Smith brings. There’s nothing more effective than leaving the offense powerless by being unpredictable.

    P.S. I thought Booger did a great job presenting the Bucs 2nd rd picks.

  17. unbelievable Says:


    I’m optimistic that his defense will be more like it was in Jax, when he was the actual defensive coordinator.

    He had a DC in Atlanta and clearly was occupied with overall HC activities versus just concentrating on the defense. I “hope”

  18. Rod Munch Says:

    Bucs defense was #10 in the NFL last season… that’s top 10 defense folks. The Lovie bashing is just unbelievable. Does anyone really think Lovie had the players last year to have a top 10 defense? Do people really think the defense is going to do better than that this year?

  19. gotbbucs Says:

    10th in yards given up, 26th in points.

  20. Rod Munch Says:

    If your yards per game are low but your points per game are high that generally means the other team had a lot of short fields that lead to points. Don’t get me wrong the defense seemed bad, but the stats show that it wasn’t. The yards per game was certainly a big deal when the Bucs went a decade being in the top 10, to discount that to throw Lovie under the bus is quite disingenuous. The Bucs defense has a few very talented players and a lot of filler, if you added the same pieces we got this year to Lovie’s defense do you think they’d have played worse? Another thing to keep in mind is if Mike Smith does a good job he’ll get a head coach job next year, meaning we’ll have yet another new scheme. If they could only keep Lovie or Dirk that was one thing, I’d keep Dirk because Winston is so important, but the Lovie bashing by Joe and his flock is just unbelievable. I mean seriously they think Licht exclusively ran the drafts and had no say in the free agency, it’s like everything bad is the fault of Lovie, everything good was chance or someone else. People need to chill out, Lovie tripled his wins, had a top 5 offense and a top 10 defense. Those are facts.

  21. M It Smyth Says:

    Charles Barkley just called and said: Lovie was turrabul you knuckleheads! Seriously when Lovie said he did NOT want to score points before half time, I dropped my damn beer. He lost half his own team with that one remark. Jameis won in spite of Lovie last year. Not because of him. Sorry guys Lovie is not a professional caliber coach. He’s gonna face plant in Illinois as well.

  22. Mike Johnson Says:

    Mike smith was FIRED from Atlanta people. Fired! You don’t get fired for doing your job. In the last 2 yrs his Defenses were getting shot on, shot down..pulverized! The only good thing he has going for him here is his players may be just a tad better. We don’t quite know that yet. I will only be a fan of new Dc Smith..when he wins some games. Lotsa games. I’m waiting…….Buc fans are waiting….watching…

  23. BucP Says:

    And he said it two years in a row

  24. Patrick in VA Says:

    Now, wait a minute Joe. Do you mean to tell me that there are some teams in the league that don’t treat slant passes like free throws?

  25. LargoBuc Says:

    M it smyth speaks in generalities while Rod munch uses facts to back up his stance.

  26. Bob in Valrico Says:

    Two of Lovies worst traits would have held this team back for years.
    ultra conservative decisions when the game is on the line.Unleash the offense
    at critical times and give them a chance to win,especially when the defense
    was handing out touchdowns to the other team. Jerry Angelo wanted to hire an advisor in Chicago to help Lovie with Game management. Lovie was too stubborn and refused and sadly we were the beneficiary of this lack of growth on his part.
    Talent evaluation was poor and he did not put the best players on the field
    because he fell in love with the Mike Jenkins and Tim Jennings.

  27. Bob in Valrico Says:

    disagree with your theory of short fields.If you look back over our teams that
    with good defenses.They were very good at stopping the run and making the
    other team one dimensional.But in todays NFL, it does you no good to stop the run if you cant stop the pass.we were sliced and diced by rookies, backups and wannabe starters alike due to Lovies personnel decisions and nepotism.

  28. Kevin Says:

    Press coverage and disguised blitzes sprikled in with zone when needed.
    Busy the rciever within five of the line throw the route off its timing and savk his butt!!!

    THERE WILL BE BLOOD!!!!!!!!!!!!!