Why So Much Safety Talk?

February 14th, 2017

“Safety, really?”

Joe doesn’t understand why all of a sudden folks think the safety position is a sieve.

In recent days, Joe has read so many articles stating the Bucs need a safety. Joe never thought the safeties were as bad as fans screamed about, so what’s new?

Then last night, Joe came across an article typed by intelligent Evan Silva of Rotoworld.com. He too is of the belief the Bucs need a safety above all else.

Defensive Back: The Bucs’ biggest secondary need is safety, where SS Bradley McDougald’s contract is up and fellow free agent FS Chris Conte lost his job to Keith Tandy, who is now entering a contract year. While RCB Vernon Hargreaves finished his rookie year strong, Tampa Bay also needs a slot corner upgrade and a young prospect to groom behind aging LCB Brent Grimes.

Jiminy Christmas, did anyone outside of Tampa Bay watch any Bucs games in December?

Folks, the defense — including the safeties — is not why the Bucs missed the playoffs. No running game and only one wide receiver who could keep defensive coordinators up at night are the reasons the Bucs missed the playoffs. It’s really that simple.

Sure, Bradley McDougald, a solid player, is a free agent. The Bucs have to hope some team doesn’t go drunken sailor and overpay for him. Other than that, there is no safety issue.

If Keith Tandy can play like he did in December all the time, the Bucs are just fine at safety.

It is offense, specifically wide receiver and running back, where there is a dire need of an upgrade. Hell, Joe’s been b!tching about the lack of depth at receiver for a year now.

34 Responses to “Why So Much Safety Talk?”

  1. firethecannons Says:

    we need another pass catching tight end too—OJ or Njoku either would fit the bill, we fell apart when cam brate went down, would be nice to have 2 solid te’s

  2. Since '76 Says:

    Right-O Daddy-O!

  3. Joeypoppems Says:

    The only reason I believe people are saying Safety is the biggest need is because we onky have 1 under contract right now. When (if?) we resign McDougald and have both of our starters from last year back people might still be calling it a “need” just not the biggest one.

  4. BuccaneEric75 Says:

    In defense of Evan, he did say that Saftey was our biggest secondary need, not total team need.

  5. BuccaneEric75 Says:

    I do agree, however, that it’s 100% more likely that we draft a WR in round 1 than a S.

  6. Defense Rules Says:

    IF we re-sign McDougald we don’t need to draft a safety as a super-high priority, but drafting one in Rnds 3-5 makes sense because there are several good ones available.

  7. Bird Says:

    Yah. I watch every second of every game for my entire life. They need a solid safety bad. Of course they need a receiver and true nose tackle (340 lb range). Think safety and running back similar. Rodgers is good player so not much different than your safety comments

  8. Ocala Says:

    I agree with Joe that our biggest needs are WR and RB.
    However, our safety play was below average. Heck even though we beat the Panthers twice I think we got Greg Olsen in the Hall of Fame because of our Safety’s terrible coverage.

  9. Dusthty Rhothdes Says:

    Ocala spot on with that, ray charles could see the bucs safeties were terrible, aside from keith tandy who shined when put in halfway through the year as it was obvious conte and macdougal stunk…. 40-59 for 513 that was david carr lightning up the safeties and the #1 pick VH3 the last sunday in october and i think that licht panicked and grabbed VH3 last year as opposed to getting laremy tunsil to protect jameis….

  10. @Hands2theface Says:

    Budda Baker would be nice in Pewter…just sayin. Love the play from the Adams kid out of LSU but he’s an early pick for someone. Hopefully we draft BPA and if that happens to be safety, then we have solid depth and it becomes a position of strength.

  11. The Buc Realist Says:

    NFL GM Licht is going to have to tinker with safety as both players contracts are up. Might as well look for an upgrade!!!!! and maybe he does resign MD30 with a later draft pick…or free agent and late draft pick…..

  12. tmaxcon Says:

    The biggest team need is to eradicate the leader of the losing culture soft serv and get weapons for Winston simple as that.

  13. Dylan Says:

    Whoever thinks Keith Tandy and Bradley mcdouglad are playoff caliber safety’s go kill your self you know nothing about football lmao

  14. pick6 Says:

    alot of these guys just go off of name recognition\association. or maybe madden ratings. for a national sportswriter, mcdougald = nobody; conte = that safety bears fans hated; tandy = special teams lifer

    the safeties were awful early, a team strength during the midseason win streak, and then neither great nor terrible to finish the season. they could use an upgrade, but lack of name recognition is what has media types putting Safety needs ahead of a position group where they see a Mike Evans, Doug Martin, or Gerald McCoy atop the depth chart.

  15. pick6 Says:

    still…let’s go after eric berry hard if he doesn’t get the franchise tag. i think Atlanta’s a top contender to land the guy if he hits the market since he’s from Georgia but maybe he’ll just settle for being in their division

  16. StPeteBucsfan Says:

    Again for a little perspective. Safety is the least valued position in the league.

    Show me the money!!! Safeties earn the least amount of money of any fulltime position…considerably less than even their fellow DB’s at Cornerback.

    Why? It’s a clear indication the league doesn’t consider that position as important as other positions.

    Of course we could upgrade that position but here is a simple question. What positions can we not upgrade…QB…#1 WR….2 LB’s…for this season CB…I’m outta positions after that. EVERY position on this team “could” stand an upgrade but that does not equate with need.

    Right now safety is a spot where I am least concerned…we still don’t know who our OLB is going to be!!! Who is our RB!!! Could we stand at least one better OL more than we need a safety…how about our DL…

    Rome wasn’t built in a day and neither will the Bucs. When you succk as badly as we have for as long as we have it takes a couple of years at least…last year was a good start…this offseason we may finally become contenders with the right moves.

  17. Pickgrin Says:

    If the Oline and Safety positions were as good as Joe claims in 2016 – the Bucs would have won 11 or more games.

    Both positions as whole need more talent upgrading and better play.

    There’s not a lot of good Oline prospects this year but this is a very strong Safety group coming out. 3 Safeties are projected to go in the top 15 and there are also a # of other good safety prospects that will be available in the 2nd and 3rd rounds.

    That’s why there’s “so much Safety talk”.

    Licht has not addressed that position at all via the draft yet and I would be very surprised if the Bucs do not draft a safety this year.

    Budda Baker would be an excellent choice IMO if he is available when we pick in the 2nd round.

  18. German Buc Says:

    StPete hit the nail on the head. If we talk defense our biggest need is DL – and there both, DT and DE. Games are decided in the trenches…

  19. German Buc Says:

    …and remember: a quality pass rush is safeties’ best friend!

  20. SOEbuc Says:

    McDougald made some nice tackles closer to the line but I certainly don’t remember him playing wonderful coverage down field. Am I wrong?

  21. pabucsfan Says:

    Going into this offeason its the first time in a long long time where I dont see us having very many glaring needs. The obvious one is a number 2 WR but even there we dont need an absolute stud just a quality player to start opposite Evans. A lot of other positions we dont actually need an upgrade to our starters more just depth or eventual starters to replace aging players (Ayers, Mcdonald, Grimes) So where DE, DT, and CB are needs for this team they arent immediate needs that we need to go out and find starters. Sure it would be good to get depth there or draft guys to eventually take over for those players. Especially with Mcdougald being a free agent I think Safety is one of the few positions where we can go out and potentially sign or draft somoene that will be an immediate upgrade over what we had last season. We have lots of cap space. If Licht and company think there is a safety out there in free agency who they can get at good value or a guy they can draft that will be an upgrade to what we had last year Im all for it. Mcdougald is an average starting safety and yea Tandy played great for a few games but can we count on that for a whole season? Oh and for games in December. Our two high profile games that month the QBs combined for 578 yards 1td 0 int and 78% completion. Not good for us

  22. Joeypoppems Says:


    Safety should be a concern since we only have 1 under contract right now. At least we have WRs, RBs, and OL on the team lol.

    As far as OLB goes, a 3rd CB is on the field more than that 2nd OLB these days because of how pass heavy offenses are. Devante Bond and the CFL LB they signed will be fine to compete for that spot.

  23. Joeypoppems Says:


    Other than the pick against Seattle idk. Thats the only one I remember off the top of my head.

  24. Bucsfanman Says:

    We have such short memories around here. This entire defense was terrible, not as bad as last year though, for the first 6-7 weeks. In a nutshell, we STILL can’t rush the passer and have a part-time weak-side LB. So, it must be bad safety play, right? Not exactly. No, Tandy, McDougald, or even Conte are going to strike fear in the opposition but if we don’t get a pass-rush it really doesn’t matter who’s back there. Look at the games that our defense played “well.” Pass-rush!
    So, if we’re talking “needs” on defense, there should be but one area of concern: Pass-rush.
    Did I say pass-rush enough?!

  25. Joeypoppems Says:


    A better pass rush makes coverage better. But better coverage also leases to a better pass rush. It’s a 2-way street.

  26. Joe Says:

    In a nutshell, we STILL can’t rush the passer and have a part-time weak-side LB.

    Better get used to a “part-time weakside backer.” The Bucs are in a nickel or dime formation over 60 percent of the time which is sort of the norm in the NFL. So getting a full-time weakside linebacker makes no sense since the position is a part=time position to begin with.

  27. Bucsfanman Says:

    You are 100% correct Joey, but it starts up front. If we don’t get pressure we could have Peterson, Sherman, Berry, and Thomas back there, eventually WR’s are going to get open.
    Don’t get me wrong, I’m not saying that we don’t need an upgrade. Other than QB, there’s not a position on this team that doesn’t need an upgrade.

  28. Bucsfanman Says:

    @Joe- I know. I was just taking a swipe at LVD.

  29. Desertbucfan Says:

    I believe an upgrade at DL will help all aspects of our D. Bring in Calais Campbell and focus on WFW in the rest of FA and draft.

  30. I'm a Tandyman Fan Says:

    Hey Dylan opinions are like rear ends everybody has their own and you have your right to yours. Here’s mine!!! Your talking about evaluating talent and saying Mcdougald and Tandy are not worthy of NFL talent. What did you play Badminton and Volleyball in High School? You obviously don’t know Football. The entire Buc defense got better every game so I think we will be ok in 2017.

  31. Pickgrin Says:

    Joe says:
    “getting a full-time weakside linebacker makes no sense since the position is a part=time position to begin with”.

    Joe – I believe you got your positions mixed up. The WLB (LD54) is almost always on the field. (unless its a 6 DB pkg which we rarely if ever run). Its the SLB that only lines up in base defense 40-50% of the time. Bucfanman’s “part-time weak-side LB” line was a shot at LD54 only showing up “part-time” last year even though he was always on the field.

    As far as SLB goes – I think Daryl Smith has one more year in him and will be re-signed to another 1 year deal by the Bucs. Just a guess. We’ll see. Smith played his role pretty well last year I thought. The biggest benefit to having Smith back is that he’s great insurance in case LD or Kwon were to go down – Smith can play either position without significant drop off.

  32. captjimbo Says:

    BPA in the draft since we have so many holes to fill except at QB of course. We just have to make sure to pick up an upgrade at #2 wr position along the way.

  33. bucs_365 Says:

    Yes, safety. Really. I like Tandy, but he’s only proven himself for half a season. Outside of him we have a whole lotta nothing.

  34. Dev Says:

    OK. Definitely siding with Joe on this one. Everyone wants to say “Wellll… Tandy didn’t prove himself yet. He can’t be counted on going forward.” Alright, I hear you, but he did close TWO victories last year. Sure, the dude got burned against the Rams. The whole defense looked putrid that day, if I remember correctly. He rebounded from the mistake, and came on strong. He was particularly on point when the defense as a whole was playing there best football of the year. At worst, Keith Tandy has proven he deserves a chance to be that guy again. McDougald. Ah.. the 26 year old safety who is critisized by so many. He isn’t elite. He isn’t great. He isn’t good, BUT he has good moments. He flashes. More importantly, he’s a good player to have on the roster. He’s still young. I’m just gonna say he probably has yet to hit his ceiling. He shows real promise in diagnosing plays and exploding onto the football. He has his lapses in coverage and misses the occasional tackle, but he brings the potential to make impact plays that can therefore inspire the rest of the defense to make a play. He can get the ball rolling. He had, by my account, a great game against Seattle. Blew a few plays up in the backfield. Sealed the game with an interception. He’s still growing as a player. The upside is there. He most likely won’t require Jason Licht to break the bank. In turn, they can attack Free Agency with more effort in other areas of concern. The Bucs may also think the same. Ryan Smith is moving back to corner for a reason. Perhaps that reason is they feel comfortable with the safeties they have.