PFF May Be Off, But Not Much

July 14th, 2016
Numberscrunchers don't like him.

Numberscrunchers don’t like him.

Yes, the PFF tribe has said good things about the Bucs lately. But many fans think the spreadsheeters have an ax to grind.

Here is an example from the tribe that will get Bucs fans’ rocks off, but Joe thinks it is actually has some merit. Keyword: some. In short, types Ben Stockwell, the Bucs’ front-seven on defense was downright horrid.

31. Tampa Bay Buccaneers

Projected starters: DT Gerald McCoy, DT Clinton McDonald; DE Robert Ayers, DE William Gholston; LB Lavonte David, MLB Kwon Alexander, LB Jeremiah George
Other names to know: DT Akeem Spence; DE George Johnson, DE Jacquies Smith, DE Noah Spence; LB Daryl Smith
Key stat: Tamp Bay’s fronts seven defenders missed 85 tackles last year, the most in the NFL in 2015.

For years, the Buccaneers have been a very hit-and-miss defense, providing plenty of penetration and disruption against the run, but with extremely inconsistent finishers leading to big swings in their run defense, in particular. Lavonte David has missed 42 tackles in the last two seasons, and Kwon Alexander missed 27 in his rookie campaign. Those two linebackers find the ball very well, and if they fall off fewer tackles, the Bucs will be set for an improvement. A fully-healthy Gerald McCoy and Robert Ayers (Giants) delivering immediately on his free-agent contract would only push this defense further forwards.

Joe wouldn’t put the Bucs as second-worst, but there are kernels of truth here.

Gerald McCoy was hurt most of the year and he didn’t have a typical stellar season. In part due to injuries, the Bucs (once again like a broken record) got virtually nothing from their defensive ends. Stylez White would have been an upgrade! Akeem Spence and Clinton McDonald missed chunks of the season with injuries.

At linebacker, Joe has some tough love for Lavonte David. He regressed under Lovie Smith. Not much, but was David an impact player under Lovie like he was under former Bucs commander Greg Schiano? No. Danny Lansanah vanished too many times last year, which is why he vanished from the NFL.

Where Joe thinks the tribe is off base is their bug-up-their-rear-ends attitude about Kwon Alexander. They just don’t like the guy. Previously, they tore apart Alexander for having a rough game against Tennessee. Geez, it was his first NFL game! And it wasn’t like he or the rest of his defensive teammates were coached up or prepared. What, was Alexander supposed to play like Ray Lewis right off the bat?

Whether the spreadsheeters want to admit it or not, Alexander was an impact player (just ask Stewart McClown).

Joe remembers talking to a high-placed NFL executive at the NFL Scouting Combine about Alexander this year. The exec told Joe that Alexander was a “mistake” because if anyone had any idea he was going to be this good, then there is no way on God’s green earth Alexander would have lasted to the third day of the draft.

Sorry if Joe heeds the words of an NFL executive over a spreadsheeter.

24 Responses to “PFF May Be Off, But Not Much”

  1. martinii Says:

    After 50+ years of following Pro football I have learned one thing. Each year you take an erasure and clean the board. You learn early on that no one can predict the outcome of the next season and more often than not those who make a living at looking into a crystal ball each year are wrong. Too many variables.For all we know Alexander could lead the league in tackles, interceptions, and sacks. Or he could blow a knee in training camp and be out for the season. Football is about what is, not what should be. That’s why I am looking forward to another 50+ season.

  2. DemBoyzFromDaBay727 Says:

    First off why is Jeramiah George projected as a starter?? While I like him, it’s only as a special teamer, wich all teams need. But there no way in hell he’s breaking the starting lineup with Daryll Smith being healthy. And behind him I would think Bond would fill in.

    But I do undrr

  3. Tampabaybucfan Says:

    In order to miss a tackle… have to be in a position to make a tackle….LVD & Kwon do that well……that being said….they need to tighten it up a bit.

  4. DemBoyzFromDaBay727 Says:

    But I do understand why PFF doesn’t like Kwon that much even tho those idiots don’t realize how much he means to this team inspirational and ledearship wise. He did miss alot of tackles and bit hard on the play action, but with all that said, those mistakes can easily be fixed. You also have to consider the fact that he was a rookie being thrown into a staring role, MLB at that. And being counted on to QB the defense and learn a whole new scheme at the same time. He’s not gonna be perfect, but for what he had to do, he did a phenomenal job imo. And single handedly beat the chicken Hawks himself. Name another rookie LB u know off that had a game like that. And if it wasn’t for sum ridiculous penalty he would of had a second int that was ran back for a TD! I think he cleans up the missed tackles and becomes more disciplined this year and learns a few things from the old man (Daryll Smith) as well.

    LVD did miss alot of tackles the 1st half of the season wich is unexcusable for a player of his caliber. I do blame not being able to practice tackling in camp but u can say that for the rest of the league as well. Not to mention thats LVD’s strong suit. Clean up the sloppy tackling and these guys have the potential to be one of the best combo in the league for years to come. Kwon hasn’t even come close to reaching his full potential yet. He’s only gonna get better as he cleans up the little things.

  5. Love and Warrick Dunn Says:

    Jeremiah George?

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

    As the Kwon of the civilians, I’m highly offended by the lack of respect for the overall impact of Kwon to this team.

    I truly think this is just adding fuel to Kwon’s inner fire and he might end up being the best LB in the league this year; statistically and practically.

  7. tmaxcon Says:

    Erik w/ Clean Athletics ‘The Kwon Alexander of Bucs Fans

    I respect your enthusiasm and i am a really big kwon fan but the dude has yet to play a full season and was suspended for peds… i hope he learned from his mistake and continues to get better… oh and energy bs my arse….

    Lovie did his best to turn lvd into a scrub. Kwon had some bad moments last year so they both have plenty of roon to improve. Real coaching will help.

  8. BigHogHaynes Says:


  9. No_Bucs_Given Says:

    Kwon’s hit was payback for the entire Tampa Bay Area having to deal with that “QB play” out of McCown for 2 years. All debts are settled.

  10. Stpetebucsfan Says:

    Martinii nailed it with that first post. There is just too much turnover and far, far too many variables to predict any NFL season with any certainty.

    Yeah some franchises are good year in and year out but the Green Bays and New Englands are the exception not the rule. Many teams have owners that are highly involved and will spare no expense to build a winner but how well have Jerry Jones and Daniel Snyder done? Having said that would we be shocked if the Redskins or Cowboys made the playoffs? Not my picks but I wouldn’t be surprised.

    You just never know in the NFL.

  11. Bird Says:

    Dude. Lavonte is the best player on the team. Hands down. You seem to lay into everyone not named Jameis. Lavonte started slow cause he was doing/worried about Kwon spot. Still topped tackles each year in the league. Stop the hating bro! You kill mike Evans too man, way to much…

  12. Bucsfanman Says:

    I’m not going to bag on Kwon. He was a rookie and made some mistakes. He stood out because the rest of the defense was horrendous. BUT, he is far from polished at this point. I’m looking forward to growth from him, as well as some of his teammates.
    Look, we can keep blaming coaching for last year or we can face the truth, these players didn’t play well. When you have both, you get the 2015 Buccaneer defense…….TERRIBLE!

  13. Cobraboy Says:

    George starting at LB?

    What’s the point of reading beyond that glaring mistake?

  14. Mike Johnson Says:

    Thanks there Bucsfanman..Lets keep it real here. Yes, Lovie is at fault for some things. But the Bucs Defense could have/should have played a whole lot better last year. We had talent. Nobody who post here seems to mention the players..who are mostly at fault. Ok Lovie is the fall guy..I get it. But the games I watched (all of them), Our defense maybe played up their capability 4 or 5 games. The rest of the time, the players laid down! Kwon played with enthusiasm. But he made lotsa mistakes as a rookie. And let his teammates down with the suspension. They should be better this season…should be. We shall see. I’m not giving our team any credit..until They mend their losing ways. The players have to play with more heart. They gotta want it.

  15. Dreambig Says:

    Not sure how to judge LVD play from last year. The whole defense was a mess, he had all the missed tackles Joe mentioned and on two occaisions admitted to having mental let downs during games. Having said all of that he was still #3 in the league with 147 tackles made. So if he missed 42, that tells you how high his motor was running and how often he was getting to the ball. I think he will be fine.

  16. Bob in Valrico Says:

    bird is on point on LVD,he was trying to cover for Kwon who was understandably a little lost at the beginning of the season.
    As for the buc receivers who did help Jameis achieve 4000 yards,It does appear that Joe would rather be the hammer than the nail.Can think of no way this negative attitude helps the team.

  17. BucTrooper Says:

    “or years, the Buccaneers have been a very hit-and-miss defense…”

    You can’t hit AND miss something.

    Not much of a writer. I dismissed his commentary immediately as some hack with a MacBook.

  18. Pickgrin Says:

    LOL at the idea of LD54 and Kwon being the “problem” that needs fixing…

    These idiots don’t even know who our starting SLB is.

    And regarding this “NFL Execs” quote:
    “if anyone had any idea he was going to be this good, then there is no way on God’s green earth Alexander would have lasted to the third day of the draft.”

    I respond with –
    Jason Licht and his team had Alexander graded as the the 28th best player in the 2015 draft. Where was Kwon at on your board Mr NFL executive?

  19. Brent bull/buc Says:

    I think our d-line is solid if we can stay healthy. I like ayers, McCoy, gholston. And we get mac finals and spence back. Plus rookie Noah spence. I blame our coaching for a lack of fundamentals in tackling. That said I’d love to add a good bet dt and lb to the training camp mix. I thought our d played ok after the first few games held Texans,, falcons, boys, Saints, Giants, Eagles in check if I remember right..although it was some weak competition and a bad scheme imho. Barring injuries I’m excited about the defense this year.

  20. Brent bull/buc Says:

    Like our d had like 5-6 bad games imho: Titans, both panthers games, jags, Rams. Other than that decent. Gave up 32 to Giants but some of that was a late turnover late td. Other 11 our d gave us a shot. So I’m hoping with some additions and improved coaching we can be “decent’. Not great.

  21. DB55 Says:

    Brent just forgot about the Washington game, okay.

  22. BucTrooper Says:

    Out scored 62-28 in home openers the last 2 years. A rookie in his first game, & future Best Buy salesman Derek Anderson.

    Given a SUMMER to prepare.

  23. Brent bull/buc Says:

    Your right db 55. 10 out of 16 our defense played decent. That was with an outdated scheme imo. We’ll see but I’m optimistic.

  24. BigHogHaynes Says:

    If you can’t or don’t know how to tackle by the time you arrive to the NFL, then your not gonna last long! That’s if your a defensive player!