Top Ten Defense?

July 23rd, 2017

Could Lavonte David and the defense rise up?

Interesting prediction for the Bucs.

Elliot Harrison of decided to make bold predictions for each NFL team. Yes, that means the Bucs, too.

Harrison babbles on about how tough the schedule is for the Bucs this year and if they make the playoffs, it will be dodging a minefield.  That a strong possibility, Harrison believes, with America’s Quarterback, Pro Bowler Jameis Winston, at the helm.

But buried in his typing about the Bucs is the suggestion the Bucs defense could push to be a top-10 defense.

The more Joe thinks of it, Harrison might be on to something. It is not an outrageous comment.

After the horrid beatdown by the Dixie Chicks at home on a Thursday night, the Bucs defense completely turned things around. They way they shut down Russell Wilson was a thing of beauty. It was like a throwback to the old Bucs, when the defense slammed the opposing offense on the ground and stomped on their collective throats.

With a year under their belts working with defensive coordinator Mike Smith, the defense just might be better this year. Yeah, really.

(Last year, the Bucs ranked 15th in points allowed and 23rd in yards allowed. In 2015, Tampa Bay was 26th in points allowed and 10th in yards allowed.)

Vernon Hargreaves should improve as a second-year player. The safety position should be better. But, as always, it depends on an edge rush. If Noah Spence can stay healthy and break out and if Jacquies Smith can bounce back from major knee surgery, then Harrison’s prediction doesn’t seem so wacko after all.

21 Responses to “Top Ten Defense?”

  1. Marc Says:

    Damn, I need a morning cup of Joe….

  2. RayJameisStadium Says:

    We will see the Baker/McCoy effect in action this season. Chaos for opposing QBs is in the forecast.

    Go Bucs!!!!

  3. Defense Rules Says:

    Mid-Oct 2015 our Bucs had the 5th-ranked defense in the NFL, allowing 322.8 yds total per game and only 202.4 yds passing per game. Yet the averaged giving up 29.6 pts per game on their way to a 6-10 record (and Lovie’s firing). In your immortal words Joe (Oct 19th) … “Yes, numbers can be spun in all kinds of directions.”

    I’m convinced the Bucs will have a Top-10 defense this year … IF they can stay reasonably healthy. But to me a Top-10 defense isn’t in yds allowed, it’s in points allowed. Our outstanding 2002 defense was #1 in BOTH pts allowed & yds allowed, but that’s quite rare IMO. Opponents can march up & down the field all day, but keep them off the scoreboard & you’ve got a pretty decent chance of winning games it seems.

  4. LongSeason Says:

    Possible. I think it depends on pressuring opposing Quarterbacks, covering receivers tighter and stopping the run better. We have talent at every level.
    DT Gerald McCoy
    DE Noah Spence
    WLB LaVonte David
    MLB Kwon Alexander
    LCB Brent Grimes

    We need Vernon Hargreaves to take the next step and better safety play. The other defensive players just need to play withing their roles. Takeaways and getting off the field on 3rd down will be key. Be a defense of pillagers. Hand the ball over to Jameis and his arsenal and this team will be successful.

  5. BoJim Says:

    I’m not even worried about safety play this year.

  6. LongSeason Says:

    Safety play has been a team weakness. I worry about it. I hope Kieth Tandy gets the chance to start. He is a smart player who knows how to put himself into position to make a play. If he plays nearly as good as a full time starter as he has as a spot player and sometime starter, then he will upgrade the safety position. Yeah, I worry until preseason and see how our safeties play. I worry about VHIII until I see the preseason and see how e plays. Once we see what we have then I can either continue to worry or cheer.

  7. Tampabaybucfan Says:

    Tampabaybucfan Says:
    July 22nd, 2017 at 9:23 am
    Defense Rules……not the poster….the prediction.

    Most of the talk is about the new offense….with good reason, but I think the surprise will be our defense……the maturing of Hargreaves & Spence….addition of Baker and a healthy Jack Smith will make the difference….that coupled with another year of Mike Smith will help.
    We started to see this defense come together last year….this year, it will make the difference with the playoff bound Bucs. You heard it early from TBBF.

  8. Buccaneer Bonzai Says:

    If that happens we are Superbowl bound. Because we already know we should have a top 5 offense.

    Teams that are balanced like that tend to make it to the big game.

  9. The Buc Realist Says:

    Guess who’s BACK!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    The very good Defense should not be a surprise!!!!! The last 3 quarters of the season was very solid!!!! and their were signs here and there in the first games to see the signs of improvement, despite the injuries and learning curve that they overcame!!!!!! also look at the offensive rankings that the defense faced and performed very well!!!!!!!!! The offense has scary pieces in place. But they will have to learn to play as a “TEAM” before we see solid results!!!

    Vacation is over!!!!! now it is time to put in some “work” for “The Realist” and the Bucs!!!!!!

    It will be a very exciting year indeed!!!!!!!!!

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

  10. Buccaneer Bonzai Says:

    RayJameisStadium Says
    “We will see the Baker/McCoy effect…”

    Baker will be depth this year. Unless the Bucs move McCoy to the outside as DE…and given the way he is working to become the anchor this year, I don’t see them doing that except for special plays.

  11. Fred E. Bucs Says:

    No question the D will be better this year. Rob McClain playing nickel as well as a more experienced VH. JJ Wilcox should make the safeties a bit better. I’m happy with the edge rush too, at least on paper. And I’d forgotten about Chris Baker…wow…could be good times ahead.

  12. USFBUC Says:

    Bonzai – there have been several pictures of GMC lining up at RDE in practices so don’t be surprised if he plays out there on the edge. It could be that they are looking to get players coming after the QB from unusual angles, maybe starting GMC outside and having him twist inside and collapse the edge.

  13. macabee Says:

    I think the Bucs have all the pieces in place to be a playoff team and I think they believe that. They now need to change the team mentality to match the talent on both sides of the ball. Whether it’s called the “Stick Carriers” or simply a “Badass Team”, that 2002 attitude must be regained. The players need to be on the same page as to what it means to be badass. As in 2002, the defense can lead that charge.

    Here’s how LT Donovan Smith describes it – “A badass team means someone is going to go out there and fight, Grit. Down to the nitty gritty and go after it. Lean on teams. Get after them. Make them feel us all four quarters. When I hear that, that’s what it means to me.”

    Dirk Koetter wants a badass team and so does Jason Licht. The defense is the unit where that mindset change is most visible. If that attitude can be forged in training camp and they go out and play up to it, that may just be the recipe for success!

  14. stpetebucsfan Says:

    Watching the NFL Net yesterday and the guys were ranking the top ten defensive backfields. We were not included.

    I think that is a reflection on the ?? at safety as Long Season fears. It’s kind of like our OL. If the questions are answered positively we might be very good…OTOH if Sweezy can’t play…Dot’s over the hill…it could go downhill..

    Same at Safety. I think we have the potential to be good but obviously we need a rookie to play very well..perhaps a big contribution from our Dallas FA and of course we need the Tandyman and Conte to play well. I can imagine really good play from that group…but I’m honest enough to realize like the OL it could go downhill.

  15. stpetebucsfan Says:

    Here’s how LT Donovan Smith describes it – “A badass team means someone is going to go out there and fight,

    Macabee…agree with you and Donavan.

    Here is a scene that has played out in my mind. Some DL takes a late cheap shot on #3…Sweezy or Marpet absolutely jump the guy rip his helmet off and try to hurt him…literally!!!! I don’t mind getting tossed from the game or even a suspension…if anybody takes cheap shots at our leader our meal ticket a STRONG
    message much be sent.

    If you cheap shot our QB trying to put him out of the game…we are going to cheap shot you twice as badly and put your season on the line!!!

    Man that sounded like a Tmax post not me…LMAO…but there are some times where you do have to fight fire with fire. Try and hurt our QB and we will HURT you!!!

  16. Buccfan37 Says:

    Agree with every comment that the Bucs defense will be even better this season.

  17. Nole on Sat- Bucc on Sun Says:

    Bonzai you feel Swaggy was brought over to back up C.Mac??? I mean don’t get me wrong I love C.Mac but I think Swaggy is slightly on a another level as a football player. He was referred to by skins fans as they’re best D linemen last season. We need more girth on up front on first downs. Teams exposed us last season because we were to light up front.

  18. Pickgrin Says:

    Get-R-Done Smitty

  19. Alanbucsfan Says:

    Reality check:

    Bucs defense will face this year:
    Tom Brady
    Aaron Rogers
    Eli Manning
    Drew Brees twice
    Matt Ryan twice
    Cam Newton twice
    Matthew Stafford
    Carson Palmer
    Ryan Tannehill

    Defense may be better, but offense will need to score close to 30 per game to make the playoffs and key will be offensive line protecting Jameis and creating running game.

  20. Nole on Sat- Bucc on Sun Says:

    Alan, and they gotta see Fameis.. That its all.

  21. SteelStudBuc Says:

    Don’t forgot Mike Glennon.
    We’ve all seen how 2nd string QB’s fare against this D