Linebacker Blasting?

November 17th, 2016
Lavonte David

Lavonte David

Bucs defensive coordinator Mike Smith was talking about getting gutted and gashed in the run game today.

And Smith was pointing fingers.

Yes, those fingers were going in many directions, but Joe thinks the Bucs linebackers were taking the brunt of it.

Here’s an excerpt of Smith talking about teams running down the Bucs’ throat.

“It’s been a concern over the last four weeks of the season, and a lot of that has to do [with] playing complementary on the first and second and third level,” Smith said. “Everybody’s responsible for a gap and when you misfit a run play and the ball carrier runs into that misfit gap, there’s going to be some yardage. And we misfit a handful of runs and they turned into seven-yard runs or a 12-yard run. When it gets to the second level and we don’t make the tackle, then we’re asking our free safety or someone to chase them from behind. We have got to get better in our run fits, especially when we’re playing eight-man spacing because there’s only one defender behind them.”

Whatever is happening, Lavonte David has 36 tackles in nine games this season. That’s an average of four per game.

Once upon a time, four tackles in a game was a very bad day for David. Now it’s the norm. David also is without an interception this year, and he has just one official pass defense and one sack.

32 Responses to “Linebacker Blasting?”

  1. unbelievable Says:

    Is it time to put LVD on the milk cartons Joe?

    Or do we chalk it up to Mike Smith’s defense forcing the plays away from him?

  2. Pawel Says:

    I said it once, LVD is tired of putting the effort everytime and team loses. He will rebound soon.

  3. Tampa Tony Says:

    Dude is the definition of over rated

  4. jwash3 Says:

    It’s Mike Smith’s scheme. Look at his teams in atlanta, they were never good at stopping the run and were considered soft for most of his tenure.

  5. The Buc Realist Says:


    weren’t they ranked 10th in yards per game in 2009, and 2010!!!!!!!! I hope the bucs become that “soft” !!!!!!!!! LOL!!!!!

    Go BUCS!!!!!!!!!!!!

  6. DB55 Says:

    Watch the tape folks, watch the tape. There was 1 linebacker who missed more than 1 tackle and it wasn’t LVD or Smith, lol. Watch the tape.

    Won’t even take long you can see what he’s talking about in the first series.

    8 man spacing? That explains why lbs are running to the guards on each snap.

  7. Rojas Says:

    This scheme seems to not fit David.

  8. EA Says:

    Perhaps he’s playing hurt or hasnt mastered the scheme yet, i’ll give him a pass this year. If he under performs again next year there will be no excuse.

  9. jwash3 Says:


    Depends on how you look at it. In 2010, total yards, sure. But that’s because they had the 2nd fewest rushing attempts against them, but they gave up the 3rd most ypc. IIRC their offense put enough points on the board to stop teams from running.

    So yea, they were still soft against the run.

    2009 they were better against the run, but had the 5th worst pass defense in the leage…

  10. Defense Rules Says:

    jwash3, it’s not Smitty’s scheme … Bucs aren’t doing anything fancy from what I can see and from what others say. And I personally don’t fault Lavonte; relatively few run plays are busting through him. Quite a few run plays though look like they’re taking advantage of Kwon. Over the past several games I kinda keyed on him and he looked to be getting suckered (and blocked) out of position quite easily. Most of those big run gainers weren’t going outside from what I saw … they were going through the middle, mostly between the Guards & Tackles it looked like to me. My gut feeling is that the Bucs are just too light in the middle … need more beef at DT & MLB especially (using DEs like Gholston & Ayers in the middle may sound good, but they give up 50 lbs to some of the bigger Guards & Tackles … evidence our game against the Raiders).

  11. jwash3 Says:

    Defense, while i do think his scheme is fundamentally flawed and unimaginative…in regards to LVD, I meant specifically how we don’t funnel plays his way anymore. LVD almost fills the role that the SLB has traditionally filled in tampa and because of that his opportunities are few and far between

  12. martinii Says:

    I agree Def Rule, its almost like they are running away from LVD and at Kwon. Its no surprise sense David has averaged 144 tackles per year. And yes, “Where’s the Beef,” up front. Different scheme new results. How quickly we turn on our best.

  13. DB55 Says:

    Def Rule

    Ding ding ding we have a winner.

    I’ve never seen this before but in mike smith def lbs don’t read and react. When the ball is snapped the mike and will run to the guards and eat the blocks. I assume it’s their gap which make them have to shed and make the tackle. Seems like kwon tends to overrun the gaps and they both get bodied by guards.

    It’s weird but I would assume it’s designed for the dlineman to make tackles idk.

  14. Lord Cornelius Says:

    “Look at his teams in atlanta, they were never good at stopping the run and were considered soft for most of his tenure.”

    I ran the numbers in the summer and Atlanta’s defense was pretty solid for 5 of the 7 years he was head coach when they had better defensive personnel. The talent eroded and they didn’t want to stick with Mike Smith while re-loading and re-building. They’ve emphasized defensive players for like the last 4 drafts if you look at who they’re picking. You don’t do that if there was already decent talent in place. Dan Quinn has a lot more to work with than Mike Smith did his final couple seasons.

    Also – I’ll take a soft team that is in the playoffs for 5 straight years all day. It’s better than a team that is typically looking to the draft by November.

  15. Capt. Blighe Says:

    Our linebackers are too light. Even if they get there the runner falls forward 2 yards. We have no hitters in the back seven.

  16. Kobe Faker Says:

    MATADOR KWON the undisciplined one is the biggest problem with our defense.

    Lvd is always looking bad because he has no idea what frank zappa fool is doing. Do you see conte always tackling the runner when he is 8 yards past los from kwons miss and out of position. Over amd over and over again

    When the hell is kwon and don smith going to be accountable for thier putrid plays.

    Gump has pumped these 2 as part of his great draft and they are screwing up the team. Kwon the freelance dancer couldnt sniff the field wiith the deciplined pats, sea, and car team defense

    It is hush hush and dont talk bad about kwon

    This idiot creates more running lanes than our whole offensive line.

    Why is our team run by the marketing dept?


    Kobe is pissed !

  17. LakeLandBuc Says:

    Lavonte has 46 tackles, but he has 9 tackles for losses. They are blitzing him a lot, and he’s too light to take on blockers.

  18. LakeLandBuc Says:

    1 hour 15 minutes until kickoff

  19. LakeLandBuc Says:

    Kobe I agree, it’s the MLB responsibility to stop the run. A OLB should never lead the team in tackles. We need better play from the NT and the MLB, if we’re going to stop teams from running the ball down our gut. The Nt should take on blockers to free the MLB and he should be able to stop the run. Look at some Ray Lewis tapes.

  20. gotbbucs Says:

    We need bigger DT’s, bottom line. Alexander and David are too small to take on blocks and the line of scrimmage is usually moving backwards due to our DT’s moving backwards. McCoy is great if he times the snap right but if he has to fight off a block he is going backwards.

  21. Defense Rules Says:

    Kobe, Kwon’s natural position isn’t MLB. I’d say strongside LB (I believe he played that almost exclusively at LSU?). He’s got excellent speed and instincts to cover the outside I think, but he looks like a fish out of water at MLB (ya, a small MLB fish at that). I still cry that we passed on Luke Kuechly back in 2012 in favor of Mark Barron (and I don’t buy the argument that we couldn’t have also gotten LVD that same draft in the 2nd round … no way to know far as I’m concerned).

  22. Kobe Faker Says:

    Lake and def

    Kwon the matador is flat out undeciplined. Run defense? How about his pass coverage? Runners and tightends are feasting in the middle!

    When was LVD drastic decline in production? When the matador was instilled as starter

    This team is runned too much like a marketing dept hiding gumps incompedence

  23. LakeLandBuc Says:

    Kobe, Lavonte did have his best years when Mason Foster was in the middle, and I still say that we should have kept him.

  24. fresnobuc Says:

    Whatever the issue is It’s sad that Lavonte isn’t showing up like he used to. He would have a few splash plays every game in the past. Bring back Schiano… Haha

  25. ptwalk Says:

    So it’s Kwon fault that David’s numbers are down and not the scheme. They bring in Mike Smith and now LVD looks like garbage and it’s Kwon fault, lol.

  26. SOEbuc Says:

    Kobe have you ever made statement that has come even close to making any since? Lavonte has been one of the best LBs in the league since his rookie year up to this year. Kwon had what 93 tackles, 3 sacks, 2 picks in his rookie year in 12 games last year. This year he has 77 tackles, 1 pick (6), 2 sacks and was second in tackles up to like week 4 or 5. He has dropped off a bit but think before you speak.

  27. SOEbuc Says:

    ^second in the league in tackles up to week 4 or 5^

  28. Defense Rules Says:

    SOEbuc … It’s not the number of tackles that’s in question. It’s where the tackles are being made as well as the number of tackles that aren’t being made. Re-look at the Oakland game if you want a real good example. Raiders rushed 24 times for 128 yds total … 14 rushes were over the center & right guard and gained 103 yds there. Bucs got gutted up the middle but played the outsides well. Kwon had only 2 tackles out of those 14 rushes … our DEs, Safeties, CBs & other LBs made the other 12 but too far down the field. Chicago found the weak link and feasted on it.

  29. JMicSoundsNice Says:

    Defense Rules and DB55 seem to be the only ones watching tape on here. I’ve been hearing/seeing a lot of Lavonte David bashing all season, probably with good reason. However, that Kwon Alexander isn’t being maligned for his porous play astounds me. He’s exactly who Mike Smith was talking about. It amazes me how out of position he is on run plays between the tackles, and he’s the Mike. Sure he gets bushels of tackles. Fine. But as Defense Rules suggested, it’s not about quantity, it’s about quality. Complimentary football isn’t just about the offense helping the defense, or special teams helping the other two phases. It’s also about the 2nd level on defense doing its job so 3rd level defenders can excel in pass coverage. Or do we expect the safeties to perform week in and week out like they did against the bears?

    I didn’t think so…

  30. Conte Piscateli Says:

    Here’s the thing, run defense is all about each man doing his job, and the other 10 men trusting him to do it. I think this defense had been so bad for so long, building trust in each other to be where you are supposed to be may take some time. Yes LVDs role has changed, yes Kwon tends to try to do more than his responsibility. A great Bill Parcells quote was that speed is terrible if you’re out of position, because now you’re further out of position than a slower guy.

  31. Dreambig Says:

    Taking Kwon out of the equation, LVD still only has 36 solo and 10 assists. That is 74th in the league for tackles. You can’t really blame that on Kwon. LVD is not having a great year and his pic is being prepped for a milk carton.

  32. JMicSoundsNice Says:

    I’m not suggesting that anyone be absolved for consistently poor play, especially one of the alleged pillars of not just the defense, but the entire team. Whether we as fans (and the Bucs as an organization) mischaraterized Lavonte’s ability based on a small body of work, or whether it’s something else entirely, he has to be better. As Conte P. pointed out, an individual defender’s performance is directly proportional to how well (or how poorly) the defense operates as a whole. That said, and on the other side of the spectrum, Kwon makes a lot of plays. But he’s out of position…a lot! The tape doesn’t lie. The good folks at PFF have a lot of it. Yeah…I know it’s footage from last year. But I challenge anyone to tell me what’s changed.