2016 Defense An Optical Illusion

October 25th, 2017

Bucs fans are puzzled and so is Joe. How could one of the better defenses in the NFL go from dominant to a full and complete jailbreak in a matter of months?

Last year after the Atlanta debacle at home, the defense turned in a masterful transformation from turrible to dominant almost overnight. Many thought that would carry over into this season. Instead, the exact opposite has occurred.

How? Why? Well, it seems your eyes fooled you last year. That’s the word from data-driven, limousine-ridin’, jet-flyin’, kiss-stealin’, data-analyzin’, Bucs-film-studyin’ Thomas Bassinger of the Tampa Bay Times.

In a panel discussion on how to fix the Bucs, Bassinger said there is no fix. And in reality, there wasn’t one last year, either.

Koetter and Mike Smith have said it themselves, numerous times: These are their guys. That means there’s no quick fix coming. Sorry. In the meantime, the only thing we can adjust is our expectations. This is basically the same defense as last season, and while the defense appeared to improve during the second half, that was mostly turnover driven. The defense didn’t generate much pressure last season; it’s not generating pressure again this season. It allowed too many explosive plays last season; it’s allowing too many explosive plays this season. It struggled to contain the run last season; it has allowed 333 rushing yards over its past two games.

Bassinger may be onto something here. The Bucs had 18 turnovers in their last eight games last year, which is damned good. However, the Bucs are doing an OK job of getting turnovers of late, and are still getting run over by opponents. So Joe doesn’t know if the entire story can be answered by simply ascribing the improved defense of last year to turnovers.

Joe’s not convinced there is an apples-to-apples comparison.

28 Responses to “2016 Defense An Optical Illusion”

  1. Blake_Bucsfan Says:

    I said it a few times Sunday eve after that pitiful, disgraceful performance the Defense put on tape.

    It’s beginning to look more and more like the defense we saw during that win streak was a complete and total fluke.

    Does anyone really expect for this defense to regain it’s 2016 form out of no where? As much as I would like to believe that, I just can not say that I do.

    The good news? This offense, which continues to get better, is legit and here to stay. Add in Saquon Barkley and we’ll have a top 5 unit for many years to come.

  2. LakeLand Says:

    Actually the defense gave up over 400 yards of offense to both the Cowboys and the Saints in week 15 and 16. That’s what kept the Bucs out of the playoffs last season. They beat a injured, tanking Carolina Panthers team by one point in week 17. But they should have seen the writing on the wall, it was there in plain view.

  3. Lamarcus Says:

    Flat is the word

  4. LakeLand Says:

    The Bucs did sign 33 year old future Hall of Famer, DE Daryl Tapp. They waived S Isaiah Johnson to make room for him. The Seattle Seahawks signed 7 time Pro Bowl DE Dwight Freeney to replace DE Cliff Avril place on the roster.

  5. DB55 Says:

    Well then there’s hope yet. Considering LVD and Kwon have been out now that there back maybe we can get those turnovers we’ve been missing.

  6. Lamarcus Says:

    Gmc lead defenses are flat like 10 times a year on average

  7. Lamarcus Says:

    ^^^ if we all can accept this we will be good.

  8. Seattle Buc Says:

    Kieth Tandy was overachiever during that winning streak last year. He was making clutch plays that determined the outcome of atleast 2 games. Wina against SD ans NO.

  9. Pickgrin Says:

    What was the name on the brain that I put into Mike Smith’s head?

    Abby – something….

    Abby Normal I think

  10. Lamarcus Says:

    We could of had donald. If gmc wanted him. No dice. Gmc rather play second string to Donald if came before he played next time.

    Thanks Mike evans for forcing us to forget that! From the bottom of my heart

    “What pass rush”?

  11. Lamarcus Says:

    Not next time I mean next to him

  12. LifeOfABucFan Says:

    And Simeon Rice tweeted out tonight, complete with video that he’s ready to play again!! All Bucs have to do is contact him..

  13. Lamarcus Says:

    On a positive note we will get to the playoffs for sure. Last week was offense was “getting there” and damn right impressive. Talent alone will get us there. This Bucs team is not done. Not with a guy like JW on team. His turnovers and all.

  14. Bill Byrne Says:

    Adjusting the scheme and players would help. Try a 3-4 defense with McCoy at defensive end and bring in Beckwith at inside linebacker with Alexander and the results will speak for themselves. ALL COACHING DECISIONS and change is hard in the NFL!

  15. Defense Rules Says:

    Wow, you guys get nasty in the middle of the night. The only ‘positive note’ in there was from Lamarcus … “We will get to the playoffs for sure.” (BTW, you need to give DB55 & Lakeland some of what you’re smoking I guess, because they don’t share that feeling apparently … Neither do most JBF commenters I’d venture to say). This defense is a Bottom-Third defense (and maybe Bottom of the Bottom-Third), so unless this Bucs offense starts putting up 30-35 pts/game (or more), controlling the TOP and we win the turnover battles then playoffs will be a lot less likely than ‘winning’ a Top-5 draft pick.

  16. Not there yet Says:

    There’s a full year of tape in Mike Smith’s defense something teams didn’t have last year, can’t think of any other reason they are so below average with the same players. Weak mentality is definitely the reason they are so inconsistent but this team wasn’t as dominant as people are making it out to be so stop with the stats and look at the tape

    During that so called dominant run on defense we had the Dallas game and the saints game hmmmm wonder why this year’s defense resembles the defense in those games? We have to wake up and accept that Kansas city game was a fluke last year

  17. dm4bucs Says:

    This defense needs to be coached harder than Winston is being coached. They are seem to be soft and lack accountability. Winston the most team first guy is getting coached so much harder than that side of the ball and it shows.

  18. doolnutts Says:

    Bill Byrne —- You can’t just install a 3-4 in the middle of a season with no BYE week… Come on man this ain’t madden…..

  19. '74 Bucs Fan Says:

    “Are you saying i put an abnormal brain in a 7ft tall 400 pound gorilla!?”

    “Give him the sedagive!” “SEDAGIVE!?”

    One of the greatest movies of all time!

  20. Pvine Says:

    It’s been said many times that the secret to winning football games is to have a good defense and a good O-line. The Bucs have always refused to use this combination. Plain and simple.

  21. Destinjohnny Says:

    Not having a players capable rushing the passer or stopping the run.

    When u get cute with the draft this is want happens

  22. 813bucboi Says:

    Im done discussing this defense….on to CAR!!!!…

    GOTTA OUT SCORE EM DIRK…..Putting up 40 is the only way to win a game….our best defense will be running the ball to drain the clock….GO BUCS!!!

  23. D-Rome Says:

    The Bucs had 18 turnovers in their last eight games last year, which is damned good. However, the Bucs are doing an OK job of getting turnovers of late, and are still getting run over by opponents.

    This site and the majority of the readers used to bash Lovie Smith and Greg Schiano for wanting and being obsessed with takeaways.

    Takeaways create opportunities to win. Mark Dominick and Jason Licht have failed to significantly improve the defensive line. Coaches past and present know that without a good pass rush the only way they can win defensively is with takeaways.

  24. Tony from Los Angeles Says:

    Why does no one at least mention one key factor:

    The Bucs at one point had arguably their six best defenders out – and haven’t had the entire first string D together for more than a game with a months worth of practices missed by several key defenders. Smith’s D is all based on communication and timing – meaning it gets exposed when players are rusty.

    That doesn’t mean the D will be dominant with time by any stretch – but we have to at least acknowledge the missed games by multiple defenders has played a part in the regression.

  25. rrsrq Says:

    Bradley McDougal, its simple as that. We kept Conte, who is ok

  26. Lord Cornelius Says:

    No man not buying that at all. It is obvious visually that we were playing great defense last year

    I don’t recall tons of big plays or broken coverages to end last year at all. Nothing like this year. I don’t recall QBs getting so much F8cking time every game either.

    It wasn’t just turnovers but breaks on the balls / passses defended / pressures / and sacks. Night and day difference. Think of VHIII breaking on slants vs KC. THink of the constant pressure we had on Wilson / pressure we got on Rivers and others. Tandy alone had probably more passes defended by himself to end the season than our entire secondary this year through 6 games.

  27. SOEbuc Says:

    Really seems like Glazer’s are getting ready to clean house of Licht, Koetter, and Smith and the rest of the coaches at the end of the year. They obviously aren’t giving them any dough or picks for any much needed defensive trades before the deadline. Gonna make the announcement on the field week 15.

  28. Ed Says:

    Really comes down to being more physical and aggressive in the trenches. The Bucs dline doesnt fight back, they are getting steamrolled by offenses like Buffalo and Minnesota because they are pushed back 3-4 yards when the backs arrive at the line.

    I see that most of these players are not fighting off their blocks and they sure as hell cant tackle worth a damn.

    Our defensive coaches need to be way tougher and teach them to play harder. More than anything Im watching guys that dont want to compete or are playing not to get hurt.

    Sorry but Im seeing a defense that is mentally and physically weak.