Mike Smith: Blame Me

September 28th, 2017

“Rex, how can you con an opponent into thinking you have a pass rush?”

Yesterday, Bucs defensive coordinator Mike Smith took to the podium at One Buc Palace for his weekly presser and it seemed he wanted all to know he deserves the blame for the poor showing Sunday against Minnesota.

Why? Well, Smith said he crafted a gameplan he thought fit his players’ skills and would be executed.

Neither was the case.

“The defensive game plan changes every week and it’s based on who is available,” Smith said.

A lot of Bucs fans went mental watching the game, thinking someone left a keycard to the defensive coaches’ film room under the doormat for Lovie Smith. Specifically, Bucs corners gave Vikings receivers more cushion than one would find at a Serta factory.

“There were a couple of them that were close plays, but hey, close plays they don’t help us,” Smith said. “We just did not finish the way we needed to. Did I make the right calls? Obviously, when they complete it in my mind it’s not the right call, so I’ve got to do a better job of making sure that we put our guys in the most advantageous situations that they can be in. We’ve got to get better. We’ve got to coach better.”

Whether the defense, limping as it is, can turn things around on the dangerous Giants is another thing. Smith better work some magic because if Smith can’t right the ship Sunday, the Bucs are likely staring at 1-3 to start the season.

40 Responses to “Mike Smith: Blame Me”

  1. tnew Says:

    I would concur here. I think this was one of the worst game plans that this staff has put together since they’ve been here. And I really like this staff. Coach’s film was hard to watch. I said, “of course that is going to happen” 20 times when watching it. Next week will be better.

  2. Easy Denman Says:

    I expect to see more 3-4 looks this week with Jac Smith and Spence mauling Erick Flowers.

  3. Chris@Apple Roof Cleaning Tampa Says:

    Outcoached by Fritz Shumur
    Diggs was beating Hargreaves so much and so often, it became painful to watch.
    Not sure if Hargreaves thought he had safety help or not, but it was quite ugly.
    Not being able to run, and the Vikings long drives, wore our guys out.
    I remain optimistic, because I am a die hard Bucs fan.
    I am hopeful it was just ONE bad game caused by injuries to key people.

  4. Topcoach1978 Says:

    You can have the best scheme in football but if you aint got the talent to run it, it wont be successful besides G. McCoy, W. Gholston, & the linebacker core no one else has done anything good worth talking about…do you agree Joe? Especially “tough guy” R. Ayers smh!

  5. The Buc Realist Says:

    So refreshing to hear!!!!! The defense losses half its stars and what do we hear!!!! The Great Coach Smitty take the podium and all the blame!!!!!! Its called accountability sheep, something we did not see the whole time the incompetent one was here!!!!!!!!! The players are embarrassed that their great coach is up there taking the blame because they were not on the field!!!!! The question everyone needs to ask is would a different game plan changed that 1 loss into a win!!!! I don’t think so!!!!! But part too is how do they respond????? I say that they respond and defend the home field!!!!!! I keep saying that I am more embarrassed how Joe has thrown in the towel and gone to full panic mode, and the sheep and so called fans think that it is all over!!!!!!! Shameful!!!!!!!!!!!

    I guess it is true that “rats” are the first to jump ship!!!!!!!! But the ship just hit a wave and is not sinking!!!!!!!! No way we see play that bad 2 weeks in a row!!!!!

    Go Bucs!!!!!!!!!!

  6. The Graham Tram Says:

    I think our offense is going to need to help out the defense this game. Hope we elect to receive and put 7 on the board on the opening drive. Get the crowd in the game early and get Mr. Crybabyface nervous.

    The passing offense looked pretty unstoppable at times last game. BTW, Eli Apple has been picked on A LOT this year.. Picked ahead of VHIII

  7. Eric Says:

    It’s the age old bucs question. Do we suck due to talent or scheme.

    Sucking is the constant variable.

  8. CautiousOptimism Says:

    Whatever you do don’t blame Jason Licht for giving him fck all to work with. Put it on one of the few competent people in that building instead of the guy who after 4 offseasons as GM can’t manufacture a shred of pass rush talent on this roster.
    When will you fan boys stop pimping the fairy tale of Jason Licht?

  9. RayJameisStadium Says:

    Well the “Den of Depression” theme is still in jeopardy here. Five games won in a row at home.

    Grimes, Spence and Baker are back practicing.


    Go Bucs!!!

  10. The Buc Realist Says:

    CautiousOptimism Says:
    When will you fan boys stop pimping the fairy tale of Jason Licht?

    That will happen when you can name the fairy tale GM that can come in here and not make 1 mistake!!!!!!!!

    No one ever said that the Bucs were a finished product, Until then, Keep building NFL GM Licht!!!!!!!

    Go Bucs!!!!!!!!!!

  11. Pickgrin Says:

    I imagine its pretty hard to “adjust” your game plan after losing 85% of your starters on defense throughout the course of the game.

    – Spence – Injured – out
    – Baker – out sick
    – McCoy – Hurt – hobbled
    – Ayers – Hurt – hobbled
    – LD54 – Injured – out
    – Kwon – out hammy
    – Ward – Hurt – out
    – Grimes – Out – shoulder
    – Hargreaves – Hurt – hobbled

    Gholson, Beckwith, Conte and Tandy were the only healthy “starters” on the field.

    Coach Smith lost every “good” starter he had last Sunday. And quite a few of those good players like LD, Kwon, Spence, McCoy, Ayers, Ward are either out or hurt and likely to be ineffective again this week even if they play.

    Dark times for this defense that was starting to look like it had turned the corner whenever healthy going back to the the 2nd half of last year.

    Next man up… Lets see what ya got Jac Smith. Kendall Beckwith – its on you to lead this defense buddy.

  12. Defense Rules Says:

    Bravo Realist. Good to see someone throw a little ‘reality’ into the ongoing search for scapegoats. Amazing how a team can go from playing lights-out in Game 1 to getting beat-down in Game 2 and all of a sudden the sky is falling.

  13. Dusthty Rhothdes Says:

    lichts mismanagement of player personnel is embarrassing when everyone can see what the needs are for the bucs defense in mike smith’s scheme and it is ignored then how is the defense going to be effective, obv smith thought he would get pressure on the qb and the back end would keep everything in front and make tackles but when the GOAT keenum saw that wasn’t working he took advantage like he was throwing on air

  14. The Buc Realist Says:

    @Defense Rules

    The sheep are making the age old mistake of “potential equals production”!!!!!!!!!!!!! They hyped and talked trash all off-season and then 1 bump in the road and they have a new username and/or trashing the team and everyone associated with them!!!!! all it shows is how weak minded they are!!!!!!!!!! Its worse than when the ” the bucs did not draft who I wanted” so that is all the reasons of woe!!!!!!!! it is just as bad a the “Joe’s” are right now, who touted how great the Bucs are all off-season and now have ran to the bunker and gone def con 5 for the season!!!!!!

    next Monday Joe will be typing articles of if Head Coach Koetter should rest starters the last 2 games for the “playoff run” LOL!!!!!!!!!!! what is Joe’s opinion of the Bucs??? Which way does the wind blow!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    Go Bucs!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  15. Conte Piscateli Says:

    Hey I get it the personnel challenges hurt, but it really looked like he didn’t trust the subs to do anything but play soft vanilla defense. A coaches greatest attribute is to ask players to do what they do well. Remember that while square peg round hole thing. I think it is safe to say we don’t have a team that thrives in a soft cover 3 scheme, or we didn’t in Minnesota. Zone schemes are great when you can pressure the QB into making throws early and without fully assessing the coverage. Zone coverages expand the longer the QB has the ball, the holes get big and it’s easy to find open receivers. We cannot sit back in zones, if we cannot pressure the QB.

  16. Defense Rules Says:

    Conte, when you don’t have the ‘weapons’ (on offense or defense) you’re extremely vulnerable in today’s NFL. Easy for an OC to find the weak links & unmask them. Second-stringers are behind the first team guys for a reason. Bucs have a competitive starting rotation on defense, but our depth is hurting in some areas (CBs & DEs especially). Hopefully we get several guys back this Sunday (Grimes & Baker & Jack Smith) to help close those holes. This is a winnable game, but the Bucs will have to bring their A-game to git-er-done.

  17. CautiousOptimism Says:

    “That will happen when you can name the fairy tale GM that can come in here and not make 1 mistake!!!!!!!!”
    His name is Jason Licht. He can do no wrong much like his Uncle Lovie for a little while. All this guy’s mistakes and blind spots are excused, ignored, swept under the rug, sold as a feature or sadly tolerated.
    It is nothing short of criminally negligent that we do not have a shred of a pass rush from the defensive line after four whole offseasons. May as well have saved the money and kept Michael Johnson and Bowers. Robert Ayers is no beast, on the field anyway. Apparently he is fearsome in the locker room, padding his stats in the shower with the fellas.
    Enough protecting this guy like he is some holy savior. Less than middle of the road. But hey mediocrity is what this fan base has been conditioned to root for so it figures.
    A few of us still expect better.

  18. ndog Says:

    Realist you can say whatever you want but Hargraves has shown nothing to prove he is a starting CB in this league, much less a number 1. We have no DE’s to speak of and no RB’s to speak of and that has nothing to do with injuries that has everything to do with talent evaluation or the lack of. Wasting picks on a 3rd string safety and a runningback that does care (or could not learn the playbook) are what is killing this team. And no it is not hindsight when everyone on this very site was debating which RB we should be drafting. Heck Blake and I went back and forth for weeks but at least we both knew this team NEEDED to draft a runningback high and they just ignored it for a less than average safety in the 2nd round. Then when it comes to DE they are really relying on J. Smith who is always injured, Spence who is undersized and already injured in year one, Ayers who is clearly done, and Gholdson who is a great run defender but clearly cannot rush the passer. How is this anything to be excited or positive about when they just flat ignored our clear needs and now those clear issues are bitting us big-time. So forgive us “sheep” for pointing out facts that everyone can see.

  19. Dusthty Rhothdes Says:

    ndog……and us being “armchair GMs” would have had a better overall personnell record and players on this team with just using the SEC Network and the internet, what are all the bucs scouts and assistants in that department doing? It takes 2 years to say YES lets get a kicker in round 2? CMON MAN….serious question was folk drafted?

  20. The Buc Realist Says:

    You can throw in the towel if you like!!!! Was the pass rush and RB the biggest need after last year??? or what you just saw this last game??????? You can judge the team and 2017 draft class after 8 quarters of play if you like, Its just not what “real” fans do!!!!!!!!!! Joe says to panic and the sheep run!!!!!!!!!!

    I am going to wait and watch this team progress as the draft class gets more time playing!!!!!!!!! I will watch the O-line who had 60% turnover of positions!!!!! I will watch AM74 snap the ball better, and make better line adjustments as he get comfortable in the new position!!!!! I will watch the defense become more in-sync as KA58 who calls all the defense adjustments and audibles make this defense more aggressive and tighter because he is making the right calls, instead of the more vanilla defense because of all the rookies and backups we had to play this past week!!!!!!!!

    I can’t wait until next week so you can tell us the “huge” need that was missed all off-season from what you saw from the Giants game!!!!!!!

    GO Bucs!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  21. Dusthty Rhothdes Says:

    Team progress? This is supposed to be a “playoff caliber” team right this second, a team that got lit up by a 3rd string qb….the main stay of playoff teams is a strong defense that can go on the road and play in any type of playing condition and do well, like the kiffin defenses of the past…..it gets frustrating for 12 years of this crap from management on down

  22. ndog Says:

    What draft class as we don’t have any RB’s or DE’s that we drafted on our roster, hence the problem! So your going to wait for Godwin, Evans, Beckwith and OJ to help the pass rush and running game? OJ might help the running game 2% but if you don’t have a back to get through the holes what good does that do you? Scheme is great but you need talent to win and this team just in not good enough. We could use major upgrades at RT, CB, S, RB, and DE. That is a lot of holes to fill via scheme. And yes if you keep reading I will tell you exactly what we need at the end of this year just like I did at the end of last year, hence the debates before the draft as to which back we should draft, to bad they didn’t listen. This is not a one week observation as again many of us begged for a RB and DE in the draft last year but got nothing and here we are again saying the same thing.

  23. CautiousOptimism Says:

    The fairy tale of Jason Licht lives on…

  24. Lord Cornelius Says:


    Thank you. It’s absolutely insane the amount of turnover we had that quickly. No d coordinator could ever be prepared for that or be ready to adjust when it’s like 8 backups playing at points.

    The only thing I”ll say in terms of coaching adjustments he really needs to make is playing Ryan Smith in press man coverage if he’s out there. Smith excels at that and sucks at zone coverage. Put Smith on the island and let him use his athleticism to run with the WR if needed. He’s probably the fastest guy we have on defense but doesn’t have the hips / movement of a zone type CB like VHIII or Grimes.

    Other than that – the Bucs gave up a few big plays early and were playing scared the rest of the game. They also likely did not trust the personnel they had out there to be on islands and aggressively play coverage. The combination of soft coverage and blitzing just was doomed to fail from the start. And in the end there were plays VHIII or Smith actually had solid coverage and the WR just made great plays.

  25. NOSBOS Says:

    To say begged would be an understatement. “We will not allow our draft day decisions to be influenced by the fans” -Jason Licht

  26. NOSBOS Says:

    The other night I asked does anyone have a theory as to why this team seems to get hit by the injury bug every season. Lakeland was the only posters to respond. Here’s my theory they’re soft,I don’t mean soft as individual men they’ll knock yo @$$ out if you cross that line. I mean soft collectively as a team. That falls on Koetter,early mourning practice to beat the heat ain’t working,no helmets periods ain’t working,cutting practices 20 minutes early if a field goal is made ain’t working. You see seem like to me koetter wanna be liked by the the guys. While that dude up in ne says “no days off”.

  27. NOSBOS Says:

    Again everyone s@$!ted on BoBo for “saying this soft this easy in comparison to Florida State”. I watch team after team every week,we seem to be the gimiess unit in the entire league man.

  28. NOSBOS Says:

    Last week we heard Jameis say he doesn’t mind being chewed out by koetter in front of the team. Does 93 share that sentiment??? Has anyone in this organization ever said we need more BIG fella,maybe more means galvanizing a defensive unit,getting a personal foul to stir up the team. I wonder how they would respond if they ever saw him kick a trash can like ME did Sunday.

  29. ECREDIBLE22 Says:

    I’m pretty sure if NOSBOS was on the team you wouldn’t be complaining about beating the heat or leaving early or practicing with your helmet off and to me BoBo was just complaining if It was truly that soft wouldn’t he be on the 53 man roster that’s just my opinion not trying to start anything just voicing my thoughts

  30. Defense Rules Says:

    @NOSBOS … “Here’s my theory they’re soft.” Gotta disagree NOSBOS, although in a few positions I would agree with you. These guys are pro’s, and they know how to take care of their bodies. Bucs biggest problem is too many undersized defensive players at their positions. Example … Noah Spence. A 240 lb guy is gonna get hurt as a DE in a 4:3; as an OLB in a 3:4, not as big a concern. Example: Kwon Alexander. A 227 lb MLB is gonna take a lot of hits & won’t hold up as well as say Ray Lewis (245 lbs) or even our own Kendell Beckwith (247 lbs). And yes, I’d prefer to see Beckwith & Kwon switch positions … on certain defensive situations. Both need to be on the field 80-90% of the time at least though (in addition to Lavonte). Also, we seem to have too many players (defense & offense) who’ve had some pretty injuries in past years (Jack Smith comes to mind, but he’s not the only one by a longshot). We seem to get all surprised when the same guys keep getting hurt. And oh ya, playing guys ‘in the trenches’ (DLinemen) for 80-85% of the defensive snaps on hot, muggy Florida days is pretty much a guarantee they’ll get banged up sooner or later.

  31. Wausa Says:

    I agree it was tough to have so many guys out with injuries but that was an awful game plan(corners lining up 10 yards off the receivers and then backpedaling at the snap.

    Coach Smith deserves an F grade for that game.

  32. Defense Rules Says:

    Oops … ‘pretty SIGNIFICANT injuries’ (sometimes type faster than my brain works).

  33. 813bucboi Says:

    so basically smitty admitted to being out coached…..lol…what else is new…

    @realist…this current staff has been here for 2 years now….but I guess its still the previous regimes fault we had poor game planning from the OC and DC….GTFOOH!!!

    a breathe of fresh air would be dirk and smitty NOT being out coached….

    a breathe of fresh air would be dirk STICKING TO THE RUN GAME…

    a breathe of fresh air would be dirk getting creative with his play calling…

    a breathe of fresh air would be smitty creating QB pressure…somehow. Someway…


  34. Big Stinky Says:

    That’s great that Smitty took the blame for how bad the defense played but that happens to EVERY team in the NFL. You never know when a team is going to put up 30+ points on you, look at the Jaguars against the Ravens last week. We can’t put up 30+ points UNLESS the defense helps out with turnovers. It doesn’t make sense with ALL the talent we have on offense. This week is probably going to be the same way, the Giants’ WR’s are better than the Vikings. Winston & DK better be ready to score more than 3 points in the first half this week. We can’t afford to go down by 18 or 25 points before the offense lights a fire under their ass. Protect the damn ball and score early and often OR we are probably going to start out 1-3 again. This team looks like it’s in DEEP trouble after last weeks showing. I hope we can bounce back and win Sunday but if the offense can’t keep up it’s NOT going to happen. Don’t expect the defense to hold the Giants to less than 20 points (probably 30) with ALL the injuries we have. Time for Jameis to show us fans why we drafted him No.1 in 2015. Can he EVER win a shootout or bring us back in a game? Can we make the Giants go to 0-4 when they need a win SO bad? Guess we will see. Go BUCS!

  35. NOSBOS Says:

    22 I’m born in central Florida bro,and served in the military. My unit stayed in field. Did I love it no but I dealt with. Babying not going to harden this team. They brittle as s@$!.

  36. Bucsfanman Says:

    Someone mentioned it above and I want to expand on it. Our OFFENSE can help out our defense. How, you ask. Well, by running the ball more than 9 times for starters. Throw the “passing league” mantra out the window. We’re short-handed. Chucking the ball 40 times does not lend itself to clock control. Now you have a defense that’s short-handed AND tired! Not good!
    The D had a bad game. Lets hope they bounce back on New York.

  37. ECREDIBLE22 Says:

    @NOSBOS hey thanks for serving but that’s two totally different situations if you was able to come home or go home I’m pretty sure you would of took it I mean I understand where you coming from but if the opportunity rises where you can go home early I would take it

  38. Reach87 Says:

    For those ready to blame and bail…please do. Alternative: have faith, pay closer attention to the games, and enjoy rooting for the team you profess to be a fan of.

    Go Bucs!

  39. ECREDIBLE22 Says:

    I’m not much of a blaimer or a bailer but I will stick around for a long time I believe this team can get it turned around if it needs to be turned around it was only 1 game things will not always go are way but as fans we sure wish it could but it doesn’t I understand all the frustration with what happened but we can’t sit here and point fingers at whose to blame the team will get better we as fans should get better as well

  40. Dreambig Says:

    Right now the Bucs are 1-1. One great game, one horrible game. Its Friday and past time to move on! Now is the time to go Giant hunting and leave last week in the rear view mirror. There are 14 games left to be played.