Healthy Front Four Key To Winning

December 13th, 2016
Health = wins.

Health = wins.

Joe’s good friend, “The Big Dog,” Steve Duemig of WDAE-AM 620, stated yesterday the change in the fortunes of the Bucs is easy to decipher.

When defensive linemen were hurt, Duemig noted, the defense stunk. When the front line got healthy, it was a trickle down effect: the entire defense improved week by week to the point now they are a force that even has Warren Sapp’s full attention if not approval.

So when Duemig took to the airwaves of WDAE-AM 620 yesterday, he spelled out why the defense went from woebegone to an unstoppable force in just a handful of weeks.

“Robert Ayers got hurt, Game 2, Game 1?” Duemig noted. “He was out for quite some time. Then Clinton McDonald got hurt.

“If you don’t have a healthy front four – of course, you were still picking on Gerald McCoy. Now you are seeing what a real Gerald McCoy can do with help. So they are healthy and look what has happened.

“Since the front four has gotten healthy, Vernon Hargreaves has gotten better. [Brent] Grimes has gotten better. Chris Conte was getting better before he got hurt. [Bradley] McDougald was getting better and now we are seeing Keith Tandy getting better. Where do they all play? In the back-seven. They were not going to get better until [the front four got healthy].

“This isn’t rocket science. Front four plays well, gets pressure, makes the back-seven better and forces turnovers. In their five wins they have forced 14 takeaways. In their five losses, they were minus-eight.

“If you can find someone who hasn’t played better in the back-seven, why don’t you point it out.”

Duemig is right on target. Last week, Hall of Fame general manager Bill Polian stated the Bucs are what you want to be in December: healthy and hot. With apologies to Rachel Watson, that is exactly what has happened to the Bucs defense.

To hear Duemig’s full monologue from yesterday, please click on the arrow below. Audio courtesy of Joe’s friends at WDAE-AM 620.

[CAUTION: Joe welcomes spirited debate and robust discussion. You are more than welcome if not encouraged to critique WDAE-AM 620 on-air personalities if you so choose. However, if you have to resort to name-calling, if you have to use a derogatory adjective before a person’s name, if your grandmother would wince the way you describe an on-air personality, Joe promises: You. Will. Be. Banned. There will be no exceptions. Do not test Joe on this. So if any WDAE-AM 620 on-air personality enrages you or angers you in such a way you cannot control yourself, just understand Joe has provided ample warning. If you must go there, tread carefully. You are welcome and as always, thank you for reading and for your support. — Joe]

47 Responses to “Healthy Front Four Key To Winning”

  1. MadMax Says:

    It starts in the trenches, ALWAYS in the trenches. Spot on Big Dog.

  2. gilhealy Says:

    C’mon Joe, you know he’s just repeating what we all already know. It’s getting time for him to jump on the train and he’s trying to weasel his way on. We understand your loyalty, but I don’t think anyone here values his opinion.

  3. tmaxcon Says:

    He’s right Ayers getting healthy was the key. Ayers, McDonald and Gholston have been playing aggressive hard football the others had no choice but to join in. It’s a shame the previous defensive leaders did not demand all out effort all the time in previous years.

  4. Mike Evans GOAT Says:

    Until he admits that JW3 is the real deal and is better for this team than “coach killer” RG4 mariota, I can’t take him seriously.

  5. DB55 Says:

    The disclosure is the best, joe. The fact that you have to post it and enforce it speaks volumes.

    Oh n btw ty for the SAT word = woebegone

  6. Lord Cornelius Says:

    That’s been my big takeaway all year.. And the reason I want to add another disruptive DT from the draft (and why I was ok with Rankins as a potential pick in round 1 last year) We are shallow with our depth after McCoy/McDonald; and both those guys get hurt and are approaching 30 soon.

    That Carolina game – where we had some guy name Ward and a few others out there – it was so obvious how bad our D-line was. We didn’t touch the QB that day. We need depth

    Spence can’t pressure the QB and Robert Ayers is more of a hybrid lineman than a pure DT (also old). Will Gholston could be pricey but would be worth re-signing if we can but he’s not a pure DT and not a big rusher

    Front 7 can make up for mediocre secondary. It never works the other way around

    Would love to sign an upgrade at S / WR / RT if available. Maybe C.

    Hopefully Grimes / AYers can give us another decent year but I’m assuming their production dips. Jack Smith returning at DE and playing even 1/2 a season would be huge lol.

    and then dream Draft:

    ROund1 – Penetrating pass rushing DT if available.
    Round 2 – Shifty athletic speed WR to complement Evans
    Round 3-7 – BPA – corner / safety / DE / WR again / TE / O-line

    I’d take a DT in the mid rounds too if the right WR is there round 1. I haven’t really studied the upcoming draft a lot honestly or what will be available in FA.

  7. Joe Says:


    Joe posts what interests Joe. Always have, always will. Duemig’s take interested Joe. Hence, the post.

    As always, no one is forcing anyone to read a post about a subject that does not interest them. There are literally tens of thousands of posts in the archives you can browse through and choose to read if one particular subject bores you.

  8. Ray Rice Says:

    Cowhoes are going down!!!!

  9. Lord Cornelius Says:

    “Ayers, McDonald and Gholston have been playing aggressive hard football the others had no choice but to join in. It’s a shame the previous defensive leaders did not demand all out effort all the time in previous years.”

    lol I’m sorry but who are the “others” that have joined in and are playing amazing? Those are 3 of the 4 starters with McCoy being the 4th. If you’re suggesting that those 3 are making random backup guys better there is no evidence of that whatsoever. The only other guy doing as great as those 4 is Noah Spence and that guy would be doing well on many lines.

    It’s like you’re suggesting Gerald McCoy should have turned guys like Channing Ward into Robert Ayers. The D-line; when healthy; simply is more talented.. McDonald has always well when healthy.

    Or wait – is Robert Ayers attitude the reason the secondary is playing more aggressive? Because that really doesn’t make any sense either lol.. “Robert is angry so I’m going to play press on this play”

  10. Lev Says:

    The Big Dog is a “non-believer” and he is becoming very difficult to listen to on the radio. He never gives the Bucs credit for their wins. It’s always because of the other team screwed up. He clearly hates the Bucs and does not deserve to be the voice of Buc fans. I am calling for him to be fired. I can’t wait for him to eat his words when the Bucs make it deep into the playoffs.

  11. DB55 Says:

    Fun fact: Nick Fairly had 6 solo tackles on Sunday. He makes 750k this year allegedly. 5.5 sacks for the yr. did I mention he makes 750k?

  12. Joe Says:

    I am calling for him to be fired.

    Generally, companies don’t run off folks who make them money. Lots and lots of money.

  13. gilhealy Says:

    Not that it bores me, I just find it comical. No offense to you at all, just totally apathetic toward Duemig. But you gotta do what you gotta do. I get it. And maybe there are one or two who value his opinion. There’s always one in the bunch.

  14. GhostofSchiano Says:

    I agree with Steve Deumig, I also believe Robert Ayers brought some nastiness to this unit (Like Hawley did for our O-line) that was lacking. We needed that Warren Sapp swagger that has been missing from our glory days.
    @JOE, I ran this past my Grandmother Dorothy Leagh and she approved. Of course she also has a crush on Cameron Brate and made some comments to that effect that made me wince.

  15. orlbucfan Says:

    Hi Joe: just interested in whatever tunes Licht likes? I’ll check back. It’s a serious inquiry. Thanks. Go Bucs!!

  16. Buc believer Says:

    Ah yes we all know what a knowledge basket Mr. Dumeg is. If he was GM we wouldn’t have America QB we would the runner up. For the life of me I don’t see why Joe gives him so much cred.

  17. tmaxcon Says:

    [Fortunately Joe likes you and you are a long-time commenter. Please do not do this again. — Joe]

  18. Dusthty Rhothdes Says:

    big dog was the biggest lovie backer and his horrible cover 2 defense, craxy that he is able to decipher a well run and coached player first defense as opposed to a coach my scheme that the big dog swore was the greates defense ever

  19. ndog Says:

    Just wanted to remind everyone that this host also went on record saying he was done Jameis Winston just 6 short weeks ago.

  20. MadMax Says:

    DB, thats Fairly’s base salary, he got a 2.23 mill signing bonus. But yeah, Id be good with going after him. He’s playing well and the aints have many problems. They probably cant afford to keep him.

  21. Lord Cornelius Says:

    “Fun fact: Nick Fairly had 6 solo tackles on Sunday. He makes 750k this year allegedly. 5.5 sacks for the yr. did I mention he makes 750k?”

    Fun fact: Bucs ran it 27 times. Saints ran it 13 times.

    Where do DTs get most their tackles? Against the run.

    Another fun fact: In Fairley’s other 12 games; he only has 18 solo tackles – averaging just 1.5 tackles per game.

    Another fun fact: Fariley only had 1.5 sacks in the last 23 games going into this season. Not like this was a predictable year for him…

    Fairley was a 1st round pick that got to play on a good D-line man years and really never lived up to anything. He’s finally having a good year that no one could have predicted; but even with his current #s he’s been pretty nonexistent in many games; and is still not on McCoy’s level this year; and sure as hell has been a failure compared to him for their careers.

  22. Buc believer Says:

    Lev, I wish Joe offered likes just like FB does. I agree with everything you said.

  23. Bucsfanman Says:

    @tmax and DB55- It’s OK to say his name when they’re winning. You are granted amnesty forthwith.

    It’ll make you feel better to say it!

    This is a definite no-brainer. We’ve been waiting for this all year. We brought in some talent, they’re healthy, and they’re kickin’ arse! It’s not coincidence!

  24. Ray Rice Says:

    FUN FACT: “BUCS gona tap dat a$$ Sunday night.”

  25. tmaxcon Says:


    McCoy has been playing well of late. Ayers is doing a great job leading the defensive line. The attitude change is welcome. Still no excuse for quitting and the lack of effort in previous years by the previous leadership group.

  26. The Buc Realist Says:

    Hard hitting analyst as always!!! I just wish that he linked the website that he read this from!!!! Maybe next week we can hear how a healthy o-line that is blocking well, gives Wr more time to get open!!!!! I hate that I lhave to isten to nfl/sirius that has a lot of bucs talk lately and they discuss how the Bucs defense changes due to opponents, what kind of packages they are running, and how well they are disguising there blitz and true coverages!!!!

    Go Bucs!!!!!!!!

  27. Cash Says:

    [Goodbye. Joe warned you. — Joe]

  28. Bucsfanman Says:

    No doubt tmax! I’m just reveling in the glow of a legit defense right now.
    About that leadership, just thinking out loud, do you think that maybe the coaches found a way, finally, to play to these guys strengths? It’s obvious that the talent wasn’t always there. Maybe the combo of talent AND better coaching/scheme?

  29. tmaxcon Says:


    yes, I think it took smith and the players a few games to get on the same page but after that embarrassment they got their collective s**T on the same page… It’s been fun to watch. This team is going to ruin some playoff team’s day sooner than later.

  30. Rob in Land O' Lakes Says:

    I have a feeling that if JW3 ever agreed to do a radio show with Mr. Duemig, JW3 would immediately attain JF5 status as a great QB. Remember, JF5 STILL does no wrong and NONE OF YOU have the right to talk about him! Lol. He does move the needle.

  31. DB55 Says:


    When you put it that way it makes my point less impactful.

    Love all the fun facts.

  32. Nole4JabooANDdBucs Says:

    Mike Evans GOAT

    I fully agree with you!
    And a few others on the Big Dawgs opinion SMH

  33. 813bucboi Says:

    the bucs finally have a defensive leader….GMC and LVD are good players but not good leaders…..game1 has been just like games 10-14….when ayers is on the field he demands a certain type on attitude which I love….his attitude has gotten players like gmc and lvd to raise their game….big dog is right tho….when you partner gmc with a couple players that have 1st round talent you can really see what he can do…

    I more I watch the games the more I want an olineman….I know we need wr and de/dt help but we have to protect jameis and open up holes for the rb….GO BUCS!!!!

  34. Lord Cornelius Says:


    When you put it that way it makes my point less impactful.

    Love all the fun facts.”

    lol just trying to add some more context. Fairley has been a surprise this season for sure. I want another DT next year whether FA or draft that can be like a Fairley type at worst

  35. Jimbo Says:

    [Some people just don’t get it. See ya. — Joe]

  36. C2 Says:

    if only you were equally bothered by Big Dummies disrespect as you appear by those who comment on his disrespect…

  37. Bucsfanman Says:

    @LC- I didn’t realize that McDonald was that old. I was going to say that HE was our Fairily. You’re right, we better start looking for DTs.

  38. Buc believer Says:

    Always a great way for Joe to cleanse his contributors…. have a Steve Dumeg post then just sit back and let the rest take care of itself.

  39. Bucsfanman Says:

    I don’t get the hate! Ya’ll do know that there are other options if you don’t want to listen to him, right?! Change the channel!

  40. Piratic Says:

    C2 Says:
    December 13th, 2016 at 3:03 pm
    “if only you were equally bothered by (censored) disrespect as you appear by those who comment on his disrespect…”

    Post Of The Day.

    Censored myself to avoid the ban. #Ashamed

  41. David Rogers Says:

    I’m hungry for good Bucs coverage, but don’t listen to Duemig because he just doesn’t seem to understand the intricacies of football all that well. He reminds me of a baseball scout that would rather look at a batters beautiful swing than look at any advanced stats. (Doesn’t apply to football, where advanced stats are of questionable use at best).

    Anyway, here I think he’s like a broken clock. With the return of Ayers and the emergence of Spence, QB’s have had very little time to get comfortable and it’s changed the entire defense.

  42. Conor Says:

    He said “back seven ” three times the dude shouldn’t be on the radio.

  43. Mike Evans GOAT Says:

    It’s just funny to sit back and watch people state their opinions of a very opinionated radio host, and be banished for doing so.

  44. Pickgrin Says:

    why did Jimbo and Cash get the boot – but tmax gets a finger wag and reprieve??

  45. Dave Says:

    Why the hate? He’s exactly right. It is what we all have know for several years- they needed a pass rush.
    Now Ayers, Spence x 2, McCoy, McDonald etc… are bringing pressure.
    Suddenly the safeties are better??? Not in straight up coverage they aren’t. It is because of pressure.

  46. RustyRhino Says:

    So sorry to say it but I do not envy the Tampa bay Buccaneers fans who have to listen to the monotone sportstalk in the afternoon. Not to say that this talk is not informative it is, sometimes but it is not always. I am glad that is not my drive home sports radio. I might fall asleep and crash! And this is my opinion and I stand behind it. If the ax falls so be it. It will have been a fun ride.

    As for what is posted The dog is right when your first team defensive players get injured then the overall play of the defense goes down, as your second team players are not as good as the first team players. While when those same injured first team players come back from their injuries, the team “should” get better. There is a good reason why teams have first team second team and third team players. Some players are better than others. It is as simple as that.

    Go! Bucs! Lets go to dallas and bring our best effort, let the cowchips fall where they fall.
    Stand Tall and Smash the opponent across from you, play after play after play.
    Go! Bucs!

  47. RustyRhino Says:

    Just like my enjoyment of the Tampa Bay Sports radio afternoon show. only in moderation..