“Smitty Tried A Lot Of Different Defenses”

November 7th, 2016

MikeSmith4Failed Bucs defensive coordinator/head coach Lovie Smith was a stick-to-the-system kind of guy.

New Bucs DC Mike Smith is just the opposite.

In fact, if Lovie heard Dirk Koetter’s postgame chatter Thursday, the shock and horror might have led him to call Mike Jenkins for tender, comforting words only a bromance could offer.

“That third quarter, we just couldn’t get off the field. I mean, we couldn’t,” Koetter said. “Smitty tried a lot of different defenses and, you know, we just couldn’t get a stop.”

Yes, Mike Smith has not been afraid to diversify in an effort to confuse offenses and get the most out of his personnel.

One could argue Smith has done a bad job. The defense has been embarrassed by two of the NFL’s best offenses the past two games (Atlanta and Oakland). Those performances came on the heels of strong showings against two of the worst NFL offenses (Carolina and San Francisco).

So what does the real Bucs defense look like?

Joe’s not sure, but Joe can say it’s always going to look sour unless the pass rush can find consistency. Breathing on quarterbacks, let alone hitting them is a challenge for the Bucs (again!).

Reviving Lavonte David also has to be atop Smith’s list of duties in the second half of the season. If David doesn’t have an inspiring final eight games, like he did last year, it might be time for Jason Licht to make a bold move and trade him this offseason.

36 Responses to ““Smitty Tried A Lot Of Different Defenses””

  1. BucsFanInChina Says:

    Disagree on any point involving trading away Lavonte. We are about the have a boatload of cash on hand to improve at positions that do not have Pro Bowlers currently playing them. It’s still year one of a new system, and it is not like Kwon has been playing lights out either. How about let’s not create more holes on a team with more holes than the Iraqi Navy.

  2. Waterboy Says:

    From what Derrick Brooks said last year on the Duemig show Lovie was changing up his scheme as well. End of the day you can’t win without quality players regardless of what scheme you run and if we’re being honest they just don’t have enough good players on that defense or team as a whole. I’m not being negative but that’s reality.

  3. The Buc Realist Says:

    Its funny to hear the Sheep that wanted to give coach my scheme 1 more year, But want to fire Defensive Coordinator Smitty!!!!!

    Maybe some need to see that the #1 offense in the league (atlanta) was held by Denver to 23 points!!!!!
    The number 2 low total (24 points) is a tie with the Seahawks and Bucs!!!!!!!

    And the raiders offense point held in regulation
    #1 Chiefs 10 points
    #2 Titans with 17 points
    #3 Bucs 24 points

    all this while learning and running with spare parts and just signing 3 bridge players to 1 year deals!!!! Fixing the mess that has been years in the making!!! And coaching the lovie out of them!!!!!

    Go America

    And GO BUCS!!!!!!!

  4. JJBucFan Says:

    Here is an idea, stop playing our DBs 10 yards off the line of scrimmage. Love tried that for 2 years and I imagine he is still trying it at Illinois based on the scores. Smitty has tried it for about 8 weeks. If the guys we have can’t bump and run… try someone else. The dismantling of our defense is ripping the heart out of our team and the fans. It is tough to watch. With all of the injuries this team has had, Smith may not trust the guys left, but he needs to try. McCoy is having a good year again and I think Gholston (contract year) is also having a good year, everyone has flashes and then disappears. Just get more aggressive at this point, conservative defenses get picked apart in this 3 and 4 wide receiver era of the NFL. If I say please, will you blitz every now and then. I can’t remember when he sent LVD or Kwon on a blitz. He may be trying to protect our terrible safeties, but he is killing our good corners with what he is running. JMO

  5. c-spann Says:

    I agree with JJBucFan. The 4 man rush is not getting home. they need to mix in more blitzing and zone pressures. The defense seems so passive. I not sure if it is the playcalling or the players or just both! I would like to see more aggressive playcalling. They might as well blitz more, a good QB is still completing 70% on the defense whether we sit back or blitz.

  6. Pistol Pete Says:

    Our LB’s have not played lights out this season.
    Lavonte hasn’y had a sack since the Rams debacle.
    Kwon hasn’t had a sack since the Broncos disaster.
    Darryl Smith has 0 sacks.
    No one is getting to the opposing QB….exposes the lack of quality at FS and SS.

  7. Buc1987 Says:

    Realist ..LOL. Straight up character.


    Can some I.T. guy show one of the Joe’s how to fix the time change thingy?

  8. The Buc Realist Says:


    Maybe we are just so badazz, that we are posting in the future!!!!!!!

  9. BucsFanInChina Says:

    Can’t blitz when we have the mess that is our situation at safety.

  10. LakeLandBuc Says:

    It don’t take a genius to figure out that the players on this roster are not NFL caliber players . We still have the Saints twice and the Chargers, let the records fall. And Michael Thomas and Vonn Bell are balling out for the Saints.

  11. Buc1987 Says:

    BucsFanInChina …yep.

  12. ptwalk Says:

    @Realist it’s funny how you ignore the second Falcons game and forget all the penalties that Raiders offense had.

  13. The Buc Realist Says:


    That is why I just said held to points total!!!!! I also ignored weather conditions, moon phase, and all horoscope signs!!!!!!

    Thank you ptwalk, for bringing nothing to the table!!!!!!

  14. old man says Says:

    the conclusion of this post is insane. It is clear it is the system and not the player. A good coach will find the way to use his players and Lavonte is an outstanding player. He most likely is very confused as it appears are most of the players on defense. It is too hard to find great players. It is also difficult to find good coaching, but this is easier than finding good players

  15. ptwalk Says:

    I’m just curious @Realist, do you like what you see on defense?

  16. Bucsfanman Says:

    The Realist only cares about one thing: IT AIN’T LOVIE!!!!!!!
    You do have good points Realist but the same argument could be made that most teams have the same issues with injuries, some with new schemes, etc.
    At this point, it does NOT look improved at all. IMO, like regimes past, there’s a lack of talent and depth there that will need to be addressed before we start seeing improvement.

  17. LovieBall Says:

    A lot of different defenses except playing man and jamming receivers.

  18. Lord Cornelius Says:

    “but the same argument could be made that most teams have the same issues with injuries, some with new schemes, etc.”

    Not really as that’s an entirely different argument (i.e. not the same). He’s not making excuses as much as he’s attempting to give perspective on our performances relative to the rest of the league when comparing the same teams.

    It’s objectively accurate to say that this years team has had many more injuries and a much more brutal schedule than last years team; which faced one of the easiest schedules in the history of the franchise.

    I’m still disappointed; mainly in not winning the games we should have (Rams & Oakland). We should be a 4-4 type team right now.

  19. BringBucsBack Says:

    What different defenses have they tried? I don’t see many blitzes and I don’t know that I want to, given our safeties. I haven’t seen a 3-4 alignment. I see everyone dropping back into soft zones with eyes on the QB and the under routes while receivers run absolutely free. I see DB’s 8-10 yards off the ball.

    Can we please attempt to re-route receivers-EVER! No pass rush + free range receivers = 3 and whatever. Bump and grind the receivers! What’s the worst that will happen; our D won’t be able to get off of the feild and we’d give up 500 yards of offense?

  20. Kevin Says:

    Im calling b.s, he hasnt tried everything. If he is going to unsist on having two saftues helping the corners up top, then at least have the corners jam the recievers at the line. If the reciever if stronger and gets past him then the saftey can help out but at the very least you are throwinh off the timing wiyh the qb.

    And please dont give me the “your really gonna have two 5 10 cornwrs try and hit a 6 3 wr at the line?”

    Yes I am becasue we are getting torched as it is and it wont hurt any worse to try.

    We have one of the best d line coaches in the league, if he doesnt produce then we are giving too many options to get rid of the ball quickly.

    And maybe we should put 6 lineman up front to block like oakland does huh since jameis is getting his ass kicked

  21. Bucsfanman Says:

    @Lord- Thanks for the clarification. I’ll just ask you what Realist means from now on!!! 🙂

    So, those teams don’t have the same issues? It’s a good perspective but it’s also the same perspective that has garnered overt criticism to previous regimes. Also, that perspective leaves out certain facts pertinent to those statistics. Saying we were the 3rd lowest point total against a team that set the NFL record for penalties is like saying our defense was like the Steel Curtain but without the steel and the curtain! Anyone with eyes who watched that game know that we had NO business being close to winning it.
    Our defense is awful. I don’t care that we held the top offenses in check for one game. Big Deal!
    Do you think our defense is playing well? I’m just saying!

  22. martinii Says:

    Smith is doing fine. He is trying different looks and after 7 games and several DL starter injuries what do you expect? He bringing along Noah Smith, Trying to get Ayers and McDonald back healthy, and working with a new revamped secondary. As far a David is concerned I look for him to come back. He gets snubbed as an all pro, and he bust his ass for a team that just can’t win, that alone would mess with your motivation.

  23. LargoBuc Says:

    You can bring up different stats to try to spin a narrative, but let’s call it what it is…this team is 3-5, just like last year. This team is mediocre,just like last year. The coaching had not been better either and at this point getting to 6-10 looks like a longshot. And maybe if Licht could stop wasting money on spitty free agents, or not draft a kicker in the second round, this team would make Koetter look a little better.

  24. Defense Rules Says:

    Very revealing quote from former Bucs CB Johnthan Banks, now with the Lions, in this morning’s Tampa Bay Times. He said that the constant coaching turnover was a frustration in his time with Tampa Bay.

    “It’s tough to adjust every year,” he told mlive.com. “I mean, Tampa is a great place. I respect (Dirk Koetter), I respect the Glazers. I think they have a fine organization. But every year, when you get a new defense, a new defensive coordinator, new defensive backs coach, everybody wants to mold you and twist you and turn you into this player and that player. It kind of gets old. You lose your fire for the game, and it’s frustrating.”

    Have no clue whether Johnthan Banks will make it with Detroit or not, that’s not the point. His comments were actually quite constructive. It’s not about how much money you make, but rather about enjoying what you do and hopefully being good at. The constant turnover in coaches and players that the Bucs have experienced for far too long now has to eat at the players and wear them down after awhile. And yes, that might even include captains like GMC and Lavonte. Nobody enjoys losing, not even those making the big bucks.

  25. Doctork2 Says:

    The one thing I will point out is that Coach Smith’s D scheme has a track record of great success. Give him time & players IMO he is handicapped by our safeties.
    So I don’t think we can judge yet. I don’t know why a player of LD skill is still lost though. That concerns me

  26. WhatdaBUCisthis Says:

    I call b.s. too.
    Why for the love of pearl can’t we press at the line on D. If the corner gets beat at least the safety will know where to go. Damn actually run the 3-4 for a while game. TRY everything coach!!!!!!!!!
    I asked before, what kind of defense do you want to be?
    Run defense
    Great at stopping the run. Marginal in pass mode
    Pass defense
    Great at getting deflections n picks. Marginal in run mode

  27. WhatdaBUCisthis Says:

    Actually run 3-4 for a whole game^^^

  28. teacherman777 Says:

    Jason Pierre Paul in the offseason.

    Trade for Sheldon Richardson.

    Draft another DE in the first round.

    Build the deepest d-line in the NFL.

    Draft a safety in the second round.

    Sign Alson Jeffery and Terrell Pryor.

    We have a good enough O-line for next year.

    We have good enough LB’s and CB’s.

    We just need a way deeper and faster D-line and a young safety.

  29. WhatdaBUCisthis Says:

    Eh OK



    Second that motion

    Makes sense

    Nice n nicer

    Uh no

    Your blind

    Says you

  30. Lord Cornelius Says:

    “So, those teams don’t have the same issues? It’s a good perspective but it’s also the same perspective that has garnered overt criticism to previous regimes.”

    1. No those teams don’t have the same issues. Not to anywhere close of the extent we do. The Packers are the only team that has been absolutely decimated in specific spots to the same level of the Bucs (at the RB position) but even they didn’t lose their #2 WR, TE, & D-line on top of all their RBs.
    2. It’s not the same perspective. It’s about looking at who we played and how most teams have fared against those same teams. It’s about comparing last years schedule & performances to this years. If you want to dumb down everything to the W:L record then there is no point in even posting here because people are here debating things beyond the easy talking points that require a little more thought.

    We have faced teams with a combined record of 35-30 this year; which includes a 1-7 49er team. Take them out as the biggest outlier and we’ve played teams with a record of 34-23 in 7 games (60% win percentage). We’ve played playoff teams 4x in those 8 games (Falcons X2, Raiders, Broncos) – potentially 5 playoff teams depending on what happens with Cards / Rams.

    Last year the record of the teams we faced in the first 8 games was 62-66 including a 15-1 panther team. Take them out as the most obvious outlier and we played the other 7 games against teams with a combined record of 47-65 (42% win percentage). We only faced two playoff teams (Panthers & Redskins).

    This doesn’t even bring up things like the scoring averages of teams we faced this year vs last; as it compares to defensive performances.

    Do i think the defense is playing good? No they have no pass rush as has been a problem for a long time. But this is what I have noticed:

    -At times in multiple games the D has been better than they ever looked last year.
    -The completion % we allow is way down from last year. There have been a few games we’ve gotten carved up but it isn’t the weekly norm like it was last year to see 70% of passes completed on average literally.
    -This defense gives up way more big plays than last year; but also makes more plays and gets more stops typically.

    The D isn’t nearly as good as I hoped it would be so I’m a bit dissapointed mainly in the last 2 weeks. Before the last 2 weeks I thought it was insanely obvious that the defense was leaps & bounds better. Now I think it’s a more marginal improvement than anything drastic. We’ll see how the 2nd half goes

  31. unbelievable Says:

    Was he really trying a lot of different defenses in that 3rd quarter?

    It looked to me like we lined up in almost the exact same formation, and rotated our corners and safeties coverage when the ball was snapped. Saw it at least 4 times in a row on the same drive.

    Coincidentally, they threw the exact same route to Julio Jones 3 -4 times in a row.


  32. Bucsfanman Says:

    “leaps & bounds better” LOL, really?!
    At the risk of “dumbing” it down, what have you been watching?!
    Look, you can apply all the calculus and statistical formulas you want to (I don’t have the time)!!!! You said yourself, “disappointed”! Given the argument you vehemently state, isn’t that in itself contradictory?!
    You guys with this strength of schedule stuff! You play who you play.
    I’ll go ahead and make my analysis the old-fashioned way: This defense stinks! Compare it to whatever you want! It STINKS!
    I too hope it turns around in the second half. Go Bucs!

  33. Lord Cornelius Says:

    ““leaps & bounds better” LOL, really?!”

    Yes. If you’re talking how the defense was looking after our first 6 games; primarily the 3 games before the Oakland debacle; compared to the defense from last year that was blown out by a rookie QB and shredded by Ryan Mallet & Derek Anderson in the first 6 weeks.

    I’m not doing anything that complicated. It took me like 10 minutes to figure out who we played this year and last year and their records.

    We have played playoffs teams 4-5 times in 8 games vs 2 times in 8 games last year. That’s not calculus that’s just a noteworthy fact. We’ve had many more injuries at this point compared to last year. Just a noteworthy fact. If you want to compare things objectively you would take these things into consideration. If you want to have a shallow emotional based opinion then stick with your current philosophy.

    I can be disappointed in the defense and also acknwoledge that they still look better than last year in my opinion. That isn’t a contradiction by definition.

    “you guys with this strength of schedule stuff”

    When you say that you might as well say “you guys with you’re critical thinking skills – psh”

  34. Bucsfanman Says:

    Lord, this is football talk and opinion. I’m happy that you are able to do your research and you are entitled to your opinion.
    All of the points you’re making have already been made.
    By the way, it’s OK to have an opinion without being a condescending jerk-off! Try it some time keyboard warrior!

  35. WestCoastBucsFan Says:

    Instead of trading away our best defensive players in years, like LVD, how about we get a scheme that fits our superstars instead of getting new players that fit Smith. I’d rather have Lavonte and Gerald than Mike Smith. Koetter didn’t choose the best DC for our players, he just chose his buddy for the job.

    LVD and the defense played their best football under Schiano. The answer should be Greg Schiano or Bob Fraser for DC.

  36. Bucanole Says:

    By all means this defense looks very similar to last year’s defense.Yhe same coaching combo won 1 playoff game in Atlanta my question is Will Koetters loyalty to Smutty is as Strong as Lovies was to his son and if that’s the case Will we see a change (again) in Tampa? The fans want a winner not excuses!!!!