A New Era

August 1st, 2016
mike smith 0801

With Mike Smith calling the shots, Bucs defense will be different.

Tired and drained from the same old slop the last two years, a wretched pass defense allergic to slant passes and a head coach crying weekly for takeaways like a little girl wanting a pony for her birthday?

Well, those days, at least as we enter the month of August, are over.

Yesterday, in the first day of padded practices, Joe saw two things absent for a long time on the practice fields at One Buc Palace. The first was an edge rush, specifically from Noah Spence. How rare has that been? Well, Joe thought he saw a unicorn when he noticed Spence chase America’s Quarterback, Jameis Winston, out of the pocket.

Then there was Hey Jude flying in on a corner blitz like Ronde Barber used to. Impressive.

And it seems, though it is very early, Dirk Koetter is very impressed with what he is seeing from Mike Smith’s defense, but not surprised either.

“Well, I wouldn’t say surprised because I know [defensive coordinator] Mike Smith, I know [linebackers coach] Mark Duffer, I know [defensive line coach] Jay Hayes, I know [secondary coach] Jon Hoke, and I know [defensive backs coach] Brett Maxie,” Koetter said.

“Very pleased, those guys are doing an awesome job, and they’re giving us a lot of looks. That second-to-last team period was a blitz period and we had about three times that the quarterbacks would’ve taken big hits there. That’s great work for our offense to see multiple blitzes like that.”

Wow, blitzing. Defensive ends breathing on quarterbacks. Multiple sets. Sometimes, a three-man front.

Finally diversity, and finally some players just might be put in positions to make plays. And just maybe, the Bucs just might try to guard a slant pattern and knock a receiver off his route at the line of scrimmage.

Wouldn’t that be something?

Bucs fans who are wed to the Tampa-2 might be in for a culture shock.

21 Responses to “A New Era”

  1. Bob in Valrico Says:

    For the first time in years we have team of coaches working together to improve the team. Don’t think any coach will be put on the sideline like
    frazier was. Koetter is smart enough to delegate all things that will help him focus on head coaching. Why,because he knows that he has a coaching braintrust at work.
    Add in Jason Licht and his scouting staff and I believe the team is poised for success.

  2. Bob in Valrico Says:

    read another practice observation and commentary on the defensive- offensive
    practice.Neither unit was overpowering the other consistently.One play one of our d-line might win a great effort,and be pancaked in another. The talent on both sides of the ball will accelerate the learning curve of our players.

  3. Maze Says:

    Well said Bob I don’t see Koetter backstabbing his own coaches like old Lovie would. Dirk actually seems like a stand up guy who will back his coaching staff and players. So pumped for this season to begin

  4. 1sparkybuc Says:

    Worst to first guys? Definitely not out of the question. The Bucs have never had a dominating defense and a high powered offense on the same roster. I believe they are close.

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

    I look at it like we have two HCs reminiscent of when the Bears had Ditka and the late Buddy Ryan(God bless the dead). Formula will be successful.

  6. blind melon Says:

    “…The Bucs have never had a dominating defense and a high powered offense on the same roster…”

    Music to my ears.

  7. Bob in Valrico Says:

    another thing I expect with this staff:
    Settling for three should be only happen when the odds are stacked against us. In the last four years we have scored 31 points in Seattle and Washington
    and lost. Increase the lead and scoring touchdowns puts games out of reach.This is step on the throat kind of staff and I welcome the change.

  8. Wombat Says:

    I just want a competitive team. Sounds like the coaches are coaching and the players playing. I honestly think this franchise has finally turned the corner!

  9. Jolly Bucs Fan Says:

    We finally have capable and mature coaches. So sick of Lovies excuses, both Koetter and Mike are proven coaches and mike has proven he knows how to lead men (loved your series on his book Joe)

    I cant contain my excitement. We finally have a franchise QB, Great RB tandemn (best?), talented Oline, and stars at every level on D.

    Not to mention almost all this talent is young

  10. Defense Rules Says:

    It’s kind of a cliche, but the only way to get the taste of losing out of your mouth is to win. This year’s tough schedule may act in our favor actually … Beating good teams helps to get that bad taste out faster. Really excited to see what our revamped defense can do against quality offenses like Carolina and Arizona.

  11. Kobe Faker Says:

    If we win our first game vs ATL….WE ARE GOING TO THE PLAYOFFS

    This is a confirmation believe statement game for all our players

    If we can get this win, It can set us up for the 1st 5 games before the break to propel us for the whole season

    *Yes , I believe we will lose our 2nd game vs ARI, but this ATL is huggeeee! for us

    “I will never lose to Arthur Blank and his sidekick smearitoff” Mike Smith

  12. BuccaneEric75 Says:

    Bob, the Bucs only scored 24 against the Seahawks. Mike James had a trick play TD pass in that game. Not exactly an offensive explosion.

  13. BuccaneEric75 Says:

    Our coaching staff has plenty of motivation to win week one. Bucs vs Blank!

  14. Bucsfanman Says:

    You gotta make it work, one way or another. Lovie was fired for this reason, that’s old news.
    I’m excited but I want to see it on the field against opposition. By default through acquisitions, this defense should be improved. That’s not a stretch! How much have they improved? That’s the question.

  15. Buccfan37 Says:

    Like one big tight knit Koetter and crew happy family. Who ain’t hyped, if you’re not, wake up and smell the coffee.

  16. TheShaz Says:


    I’ve been burned, WE all have been burned so many times thinking THIS IS THE YEAR! The facts are, the Bucs are in last place in the division for a reason.

    Now on the positive, I think Coach Kotter is the real deal, but yet unproven. Smith is a known commodity as a DC. Jameis had a good rookie year, can he flourish and force the cannons on the ship in the endzone to run out of ammo? Can the defense step it up against the offenses we face in our own division?


    Can I take a wee sip of that KOOL-AID?

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

    I’ve said it before I’ll say it again shaz, how many of those years have we had playoff quality play at the QB position??? Hardly ever,so because of that I reject the type that say “I’ve been burned so many time before”. That’s weak.

  18. Bob in Valrico Says:

    @ Buucaneric.
    my memory of the score is probably wrong as you said.But that game was ours to win. We were ahead,and I think you have to continue to score TD’s to guarantee a win.

  19. LargoBuc Says:

    I hope week one we go into Atlanta and completely kick the spit out of them. In both games last year, something was very wrong with that team. There was no pulse and Matt Ryan looked dazed, the defense confused. Let’s be the lead story on NFL primetime for jumping down a teams throat and establishing w/o a doubt we are the better team. And it would be that much better because it’s the Falcons. We are not equals. We are BETTER THAN ATLANTA and I would love that be established week one and have everyone like wow the Bucs really F’ed them up!

  20. Stpetebucsfan Says:


    Agree completely!!! Opening games are more important for some teams than others. We had a huge game last year and totally scrwd the pooch.

    I agree that if we beat the Falcons in Atlanta it will be a huge confidence boost and set up the next four games nicely. The beauty is that after that tough start the back end of our schedule is not that tough…a good start and I agree with you Kobe…10 wins and the playoffs.

  21. BuccaneEric75 Says:

    Bob, I agree. Teams that play not to lose usually lose.