No Fan Of Three-man Front

October 26th, 2017

Prefers 43 defense.

It is pretty obvious that Bucs stud defensive tackle Gerald McCoy isn’t a huge fan of the Bucs ever running a 34 defense.

So long as the Bucs expect to get the most out of him.

Winning Bucs coach Dirk Koetter always talks about getting his best 11 players on the field. The Bucs enjoy a wealth of talented linebackers. Edge rushers (what edge rush?), pppffftt! Joe could cruise down South Howard Ave. tonight and drag dudes out of bars, and they would be equally competent to some of the Bucs bodies being relied upon (in theory) to bring a quarterback to the ground.

The Bucs have tinkered with a 34 front, in a handful of plays last year and more so this season. This happened more than a couple of times in Sunday’s groin-kick loss to the Bills.

One reason the Bucs will stay in a base 43 – which is what defensive coordinator Mike Smith repeatedly says the defense is – is because GMC is best suited as a 43 tackle. Running too much of a 34 front might neuter GMC. Last thing you want to do is limit your best defensive player.

Yesterday, GMC was asked what he thought about playing in a 34 front. The subject is clearly a sore spot for GMC; you could tell he was biting his tongue and he basically said he will do whatever the coaches ask of him.

“I just play what they call, man,” GMC said.

When probed further how that changes his game, GMC didn’t bite but what he didn’t say spoke volumes.

“I’m not going to answer that,” GMC said. “I just play what they call. I don’t have [a] say-so what we run. I’m a team guy. I do what they ask me to do. Do I feel like I could have been more effective in a different way? Yes, but I’m a team guy. It’s not about Gerald. Whatever coach calls is what I am going to run.”

GMC later suggested he can’t be as aggressive in a three-man front, especially against mobile quarterbacks.

“We just have to figure out a way to win,” GMC said. “I don’t think the coaches are here to put a clamp on anybody. It’s not about me. It’s about the team. The ultimate goal is to win. If coaches feel that is the best way to win, I’m going to go with it. I don’t gameplan. I just play what the coaches call. No complaints just go play.”

While Joe sympathizes with GMC’s concerns, if this is done intelligently, the Bucs could still run a 34 defense and get production from GMC.

Joe has pointed this out previously. When Wade Phillips took over the Rams defense this year, he had the best four-man-front defensive tackle in the game, Aaron Donald, but still installed a 3-4 defense. Donald, who also plays defensive end, has three sacks and 16 tackles, two tackles less than GMC. The Rams are in the top half of the league this season in both points allowed and yards-per-game allowed.

It can be done: A three-man front can work and still get solid production from a tackle. Phillips and Donald are proving it. The trick is, are Bucs defensive coaches savvy enough or open-minded enough like Phillips, one of the game’s greatest defensive coordinators, to pull this off?

Let Joe be directly frank here: As Ira Kaufman pointed out yesterday, if this filthy toilet of a defense continues, someone or some people will pay the price.

Bucs coaches better start dreaming up creative ways to get results rather quickly or the end result could be unemployment.

47 Responses to “No Fan Of Three-man Front”

  1. Bucsfanman Says:

    I like that he SAYS it’s about the team. That’s good because he needs to do whatever they tell him to do and whatever it takes to win.
    Somebody help me out. I understand the alignment and the premise behind the 3-4. How does it impact the edge? If a LB blitzes from GMC’s side, is it not akin to running a 4-3? The difference being the LB is upright and lined up in a different position.
    I know the 3-4 is more complicated than standing a guy up off the line, but explain to me why it is sooo much different for a d-lineman. Seriously.

  2. adam from ny Says:

    time to sign stick carriers to the active roster

  3. Wombat Says:

    Our front is so bad, I would throw GMC out at DE for a play. With his speed he may be able to disrupt, plus it may help get Swaggy some more plays and maybe have our best 4 lineman out there. With 57 gone, we are weaker, rush the kitchen sink at them!!! Just do something different

  4. Not there yet Says:

    We’re all fans of production but not getting it GMC!!! Not blaming you but as a whole this defensive is invisible. It’s hilarious he’s called dominant even in games where he barely logs any stats. Aaron Donald who’s better by the way since like the moment he walked on to the field as a rookie but look what he’s going in the 3-4 front. Neuter McCoy? This is why heads should roll along the defensive coaching staff after the season, the guy is neutered in the freaking 4-3 unless I’m mistaken no one on that line is doing anything whatsoever. Everytime Mike Smith talks I’m reminded of how horrible lovie Smith was. Never hire or draft anyone with the name Smith ever again.

  5. dmatt Says:

    How is it that other coaches can come up with creating schemes n ways to bring the best out of a player n we sit back n continue the status quo “that’s the way we’ve always done it”…lost that is! Let Mccoy take a shot at defensive end n for crying out loud. Lavonte is a playmaker just let him blitz n do what he does best… which is ball. Just back up n let Mccoy, Kwon, n David play backyard football n we’ll c the defense improve. If Mccoy can come off the end with a quick release, then that middle opens up for more pressures n potential sacks.

  6. tmaxcon Says:

    Captain blowout cancer93 is a me first selfish POS hiding behind a
    Smile…. a true leader and team captain would make any sacrifice for his teammates. Clearly pass rush is not working with him time to change things up…. glazers give these young guys a chance and get this POS hypocrite clown out of town…

  7. dm4bucs Says:

    Was he asked about 3-4 or the 3-3-5 they ran last game? The 3-3-5 should be thrown out of the playbook unless up by 30 pts b/c we got gashed with it.

  8. Gnawesome Says:

    Doesn’t matter how many we line up on the front wether it be 4/3 as long as these guys aren’t making the concerted effort to throw different looks at the opposing offense in regards to play gap-games, stunting, and throttling between run situation and ramping it up for impending drop backs. We waited too long on Jacquies Smith and should’ve been trying to add quality talent throughout the offseason, but it’s a swings and a missEs. Defensively as a whole this defense doesn’t look as competent as it has coming down the stretch ending last season

  9. Buc believer Says:

    Another example of Joe trying to make it look like GMC actually gives a crap. The only thing this piece of sponge cake cares about is will Robin remain his boy wonder and will his fat over bloated paycheck clear.

  10. Hodad Says:

    It’s losing coach Koetter Joe, take a look at the standings. Hopefully in January it will be fired coach Koetter.

  11. Teacherman777 Says:

    Put GMC at DE on 3rd down!!

    Just try it! Nobody can block him 1 on 1.

    Or run a 3-4 with Baker, McDonald and Siliga rotating at NT.

    GMC, Ayers and Gholston rotating at DE.

    Kwon and LVD at OLB. (Speed demons!!)

    Beckwith and Glanton at ILB!

    The defense would be so much better!!!!

  12. tmaxcon Says:

    It’s really simple just get the career loser captain out of town and instead of it being the gmc clown show they will become a TEAM

  13. tmaxcon Says:

    All you gmc to DE crowed are NOT PAYING attention as usual.. gmc has STATED HIMSELF he won’t play DE that he is a 3tech…. it’s hilarious how the fanboys have selective memory. Any other player makes a statement like they are labeled by locker room guy yet once again captain blowout cancer93 gets a free pass… he won’t play de, Does NOT like 3-4 and hates winning… that’s your guy people

    the bucs have proved they can lose with her now its time to move on from cancer93 and become a team.

  14. Dusthty Rhothdes Says:

    That is the reason Aaron Donald is the best DT in the league and it isnt close, he is plugged into a 3-4 and the rams defense is killing it, ol 93 just is a guy on the team

  15. Ndog Says:

    Addition by subtraction. I love how some on here say look what happens when McCoy is out. Well I say look what happens when he’s in, case in point Tyrod Taylor 75 yards 3 plays and 6 points! And there are literally 100’s of more examples just like that. I’m done, patience is gone time to build around someone else. Beating our head on the wall and hoping for it not to hurt it’s very old!

  16. Bucsfanman Says:

    @tmax- GMC aside, what’s the big deal in moving from DT 3tech in 4-3 to DE in a 3-4? LBs will be blitzing from the outside so you still, technically are “interior”. You’re just facing a T instead of a G or C.
    Again T, take GMC out of this. Is this transition THAT difficult? Help me out. I’m trying to understand the “difficulties”. Donald made the transition.

  17. tmaxcon Says:


    Gmc is way more than just a guy… he’s a locker room cancer in a leadership role holding back our young prospects with his mentally weak soft approach to his job.

  18. tmaxcon Says:


    There would be a transition or learning curve but if she is so talented it is,not a big deal. Main issues is rushing standing up vs stance. Lining up on the outside takes way more conditioning… 93 already is easily winded so his poor conditioning would be magnified at DE. A true ca ptain and team leader would do whatever it takes though and that simply is not the gmc way as you know

  19. Bucsfanman Says:

    If he plays DE then he would be in a stance so, other than lining up outside, and the possibility of playing less snaps due to the added effort it would take, the only issue would be gap assignments.
    I get that you want personnel for specific assignments but I’m having a hard time understanding why it would take such a lengthy transition. I would think that LBs would be licking their chops to rush the passer. AND, it’s a downhill attacking defense. The biggest learning curve IMO would be the LBs and the different blitzes and gap assignments.
    If I’m Smitty, I’d be looking over my shoulder right now. I’d tell GMC to pound sand if he didn’t like my 3-4! We need to win. PERIOD!

  20. Dusthty Rhothdes Says:

    Tmax…..very true and infected vernon in a super short period, problem is tj ward cant shake the crap out of thos einfected

  21. BigHogHaynes Says:

    T max : he said he plays what the coach calls!! Can you read or are you just a overly smart, high IQ guy like Trump!

  22. Bucsfanman Says:

    @tmax- I would hope that GMC would want to do whatever it takes to win. That’s who I think he is. That said, If he’s asked to play DE in a 3-4, then he needs to zip it and play.
    We don’t have a whole lot left behind him tmax, whatever your opinion of him. We need him right now to play, it’s that simple.

  23. tmaxcon Says:


    Bringing jokes this moring… your girl has proven winning means nothi g to her. anything behind him is better by subtracting the cancer frtom locker room it improves all players… you act like he actually produces… its all smiles, smoke and mirroirs

  24. tmaxcon Says:

    If gmc was as dominate as the fanboys say the team would not have spent his entire career in basement and void of playoff appearances

  25. Waterboy Says:

    I don’t care if they run a 3-4, 4-3 or a 1-10 as long as it’s working but whatever they’re doing right now doesn’t seem to be stopping anybody.

  26. T in Orlando Says:


    Agree with most of the suggestion, except I would keep Kwon as ILB with Glanton, and have LVD outside with Beckwith. I love Kwon, but he hasn’t shown a knack for getting to the QB when called upon, David has and I think Beckwith shows more promise for it than Kwon. I also think Bond could do really well at OLB in a 34.

  27. Defense Rules Says:

    tmaxcon, congrats of lots of posting this morning. Same broken record though. How about for a change coming up with some potential solutions. And no, ‘Let’s just cut GMC’ is not a solution. He’s played 85% of the defensive snaps already this season. Who in your brilliant assessment will provide even close to that many snaps?

    And ndog, I’m surprised at ya. Look at where Tyrod Taylor gained his 75 yds then tell us how GMC was responsible for that. Our DEs screwing up containment? Ya, I’ll buy that. GMC being responsible? Sorry, nope.

    And Joe, GMC did answer the question about running the 3-4. “Do I feel like I could have been more effective in a different way? Yes, but I’m a team guy.” That’s the only answer GMC could’ve given. Overall, he more than likely is more effective in a 4-3 … and I’m sure that Smitty recognizes that BTW. But … Smitty is pulling out all stops IMO to try ANYTHING that might work given the combined talent that he has available. Baker is screwing the pooch as we used to say & needs to get his act together ASAP. Siliga isn’t contributing hardly anything it looks like. Have no idea why Will Gholston has disappeared this year, but something’s not right there. GMC, Ayers & McDonald are holding down the fort, and 3 guys working their tails off in a 4 man front doesn’t work. Bucs NEED Baker to step up. They NEED Gholston to step up more. They NEED to find at least 1 (preferably 2) more productive DEs than what we’ve got. Until that happens, they NEED our LBs & secondary to do a better job in coverage AND better job of disguising their defense & blitzing.

  28. adam from ny Says:

    come on chuckie i know your frothing at the mouth while the bucs continue to play like sissies

  29. Tb2055 Says:

    I’m sure others have said this, but it’s not about 3-4 or 4-3… it’s about the role within those schemes. The NT/DT in a 3-4 has no real pass rushing responsibilities. His job is to free up the linebackers in passing downs and otherwise clog up the A gaps on running plays. It’s meant for Chris Baker types (or ideally better, harder working versions of Chris Baker). Putting GMC or any pass rushing 3 technique in that spot is a waste of that players talent. If we go 3-4 or any 3 like front GMC has to be at DE. Against bills he was consistently the NT. That’s just dumb, and it’s hard to understand.

    When Mike Smith came to Tampa, we heard about adjusting defenses to play to the strengths of the personel. This was the opposite. Like I said, hard to understand. And I say that as Koetter and Smith fans generally.

  30. tmaxcon Says:

    D R

    Getting rid of cancer93 is the only solution.

  31. Tnew Says:

    This is a bad look for GMC. No way to spin it. Can anyone on here imagine the uproar if Winston came out and said, this offense was limiting his game? I have been critical of GMC, but I’ve also been a huge fan. I bought a GMC jersey this year. (It was for my daughter, but I paid for it$$).

    Now first things first, the mobile QB thing. The success that Taylor had running the ball had very little to do with defensive alignment. It had more to do with missed tackles from the front 7, including GMC. I’ve watched the coach’s tape 3 times now watching the defense. Bottom line, we can’t stop the run from a RB or a QB unless Mike Glennon is the opposing QB.

    I have watched more film isolating on him than any other player, just trying to figure out why his disruptiveness doesn’t translate into more production for him. This rigidness to play like he wants to play is a huge part of the equation. The truly good three techs don’t try to play like GMC. They all have lower center of gravity and really good feet. (joke if you want but sappwasnt on dancing with the stars because of his awful feet). GMC is all about suddenness, his get off is special, but he very, very rarely uses this suddenness to establish dominance at the point of attack. He’s mainly trying to shoot gaps I really liked Malik McDowell coming out of college but this type of play was soundly criticized because “high level offensive lineman can use this aggressiveness against him”. This is what GMC does. Yes he uses his get off to disrupt the offensive line but he does it at the expense of cohesion within the defensive unit. When he plays dominant football he sacrifices some of the wow moments to first engage the o lineman. Watching Donald is a lot like watching Sapp. They beat double teams by squaring up one of the lineman and driving, then use hand strength to shuck the one lineman. GMC should be able to do this (although he did say in hard knocks he wasn’t overly strong in the legs, that shocked me). When he tries to split the double he often gets stuck. When he tries to squeeze thru sideways it’s really ugly.

    One of the reasons there isn’t a good edge rush is we generally lack the interior push, so when the edge rusher was there, he just flies by as the qb steps up into the pocket. This is where GMC has to make his living. But he is too busy either by scheme (which I believed until these comments) or by personal desire trying to make every play himself. I was in the off season hoping his revelations were that he needed to play more within the system. This year he has tried to do too much on his own.

    So what to do? It’s hard. You can go full TMax on him after this season. This is it for his guaranteed money. The Bucs only stand to lose 500k if they release him. I was never a fan of this option until today. His words should’ve been, “we are struggling as a unit. I’m going to do whatever I need to do to help us wins. If that means I have to play more conservatively, no problem.”

    When we “took off” last year defensively, GMC was playing within the scheme. Most of you guys have game pass… go back and watch. So, can Mike Smith sell this? Let’s hope for the sake of the season that Smith can. Firing him now would soothe the open wounds all Buc fans have but will that fix anything? When you watch the defense there are too many me’s trying to make the play themself, or not willing to play within their role. VHIII was begged to play aggressively all season, wouldn’t do it. Baker was just lazy during camp. Ward was frustrated and mouthed off. Someone (ahem, Kwon Alexander) needs to grab the unit by their units and demand they play as a team or don’t bother to suit up. (But of course he has to do that himself).

    Sorry that was so long. I’ve been holding it in.

  32. Tnew Says:

    One last note for TMAX. Can’t believe I’m giving you this ammo.
    Last season the Carolina game was widely believed to be the turning point of our season and our defense. Go look at the injury list for that game.

  33. Defense Rules Says:

    Tnew, that was E-X-C-E-L-L-E-N-T. Don’t have game pass, but will be watching for several of those things next game & in the replays. Thanks.

  34. Brad Isherwood Says:

    Usefull info the above article.
    Zone D requires communication…..It’s obvious the Bucs Zone D is getting a D – rating after watching the Tyrod Taylor highlights,…receivers ran thru zones with no one near them…
    I thought 3-4 adjust would force the D to communicate gap and man assignment in real time as LBs move/stunt while the QB barks out the play.

    Bucs…. 40 IQ Zombie Zone D … useless.

  35. Blake_Bucsfan Says:

    I’m almost positive Gerald would be absolutely fine with playing 3-4 DE. His issue was most likely due to the fact they had him in at nose tackle in a 3-3-5 alignment.

    Makes no sense to put the guy in at NT, it’s completely counter-conducive to his skill set.

    Also not mentioned in this article, Him specifically asking for less games and stunts and more straight up rushing rush.

  36. Lamarcus Says:

    34 will work if gmc will just let it work. BUT gmc won’t move over for rookie (donald) he damn sure nit moving now and then defense is now is held back. Nice Captain work gmc. Thank you me13 for forgetting Donald Donald should be looking good in Bucs jersey right about now

    I think no great lineman wantz to play with him. Licht does make the calls but no one answers??

  37. Lord Cornelius Says:

    Tnew that was a great write up.

    I haven’t re-watched the tape but missed tackles from the front 7 were bad. There were at least 2 plays I think I can remember where someone had a hand on Taylor and couldn’t bring him down; and it ended up being huge gains for the Bills instead of stopped drives.

    I’m ok with moving on from GMC after this year. I said it over the summer that I’d imagine 2018 is about a youth movement and overhaul for the D-line. All those guys are past their prime now and in their 30s basically.

    Could also make 2018 about a switch to 3-4. We have athletic LBs and are deep there… we could just draft OLB/DEs and DTs top 4 rounds. We need to fix this sh1t ASAP lol.

    The injury to Spence has proven to be freaking huge. We need 3-4 Spawns in that rotation.

  38. Bucsfanman Says:

    Great job once again tnew.
    And, I agree, you can’t move from him this year. You have nothing to replace him with. Whatever it is that needs to be done, needs to be done soon. I wish we could put this pass-rush conversation to bed once and for all. Looks like it won’t be THIS year!

  39. Suck-a-neers SMH Says:

    Our inability to change this loosing culture has reached biblical proportions. We are ruining Winston just like we’ve ruined McCoy. I believe if both had gone to another team there was potential for HOF careers…but to their demise they wound up here in the den of depression. I’ve tried folks…for years I’ve said “next season”. For years I’ve watched us draft players with great potential and watch them either fade away into non-existence OR (this is my favorite) suck epically here only to go to another team and morph into a monster. Think I’m done with this garbage franchise.

  40. tnew Says:

    Blake.. I hope you are correct about GMC willing to move to DE. I fear he won’t but you are 10000% correct. Putting him at 0 without a massive group of injuries is asinine. I have to say, I’m not a huge proponent of switching in season to a 3-4 given the injuries to Smith and Spence. I like Beckwith, LVD and Bond’s ability to play as outside backers but not full time.

    My big call to action is to have GMC move to DE on running downs then switch to the 3 tech on verified passing downs. This isn’t brain surgery. This is how Jacksonville uses Campbell (I bet he spends over half the time at DE and the other as the 3 Tech) But Campbell is much more disciplined in his rushes as an interior lineman and so must GMC as well as all of our lineman be.

    All of the switching, sliding and movement by the Dline is making it so tough for the run gaps to be maintained. The only free lancer (and this is just sort of) in a 4-3 should be the weak side line backer.

    In my opinion. Our #1 FIXABLE issue isn’t overall lack of pressure (this isn’t an in season change, this is a draft pick or free agent). But it is disallowing QB’s an easy area of escape. I want to see our interior lineman imploding the middle of the line with disciplined pass rushes. A combination of Baker, GMC, McDonald and Siliga should be able to do that. Stop all of the crazy stunts and twists, especially on likely run downs. This won’t turn our defense into dominant but it should turn us into average. Right now average looks pretty good.

    While I’m on the roll about the defense, keep VHIII in the slot, train him as a linebacker and teach him how to blitz from this position. We have the best in the business in Ronde Barber to motivate him to transition. USE HIM. Allow VHIII to try to be a dominant nickel/slot corner. His physical skill set allows for this. I know you don’t pick a slot corner at 11 but if he turns into a slot as good as Ronde Barber was when he converted, you’d pick him at 1. Its a harder mental game with way more dedication to film study and preparation but it doesn’t expose his physical shortcomings as much. Have Barber issue that challenge and see if VHIII will step up.

  41. Bob in Valrico Says:

    The one problem I have with the three man line is this:
    On one play I watched McCoy was in the nose tackle position with wide gaps on either side. Now McCoy tried to rush around defender to right. He was easily pushed out of the way. Now the question is should McCoy have been rushing or should he be holding his position. A huge running lane was created. Now if you want a nose tackle to hold their position, you choose Fats Baker or possibly Macdonald first not a rusher. WAs this a bsd coaching placement or a player
    doing his own thing. I’d really like to know.

  42. Bob in Valrico Says:

    Edit i should have said Silga. Because I believe both McCoy and Macdonald are both 3 technique plaYERS.

  43. StPeteBucsFan Says:

    What the f is wrong with my country. I barely recognize it anymore. Sooo many haters and negative nellies.

    Tmax wtf is wrong with you. It’s one thing to not be a fan of GMC’s play…but to call him a POS…what has he done to you. You act as if he’s actually bet against the Bucs that he hates his team.

    What makes you like JERKS sooo much? So much hatred and division in this country. We disagree about a player( PLAYER ITS A FREAKING GAME!) who says all the right things…gets All Pro honors…but put aside his results and that debate…what could possibly make him a POS…he doesn’t beat up hookers like Sapp…he doesn’t beat women like Hardy or fight with his teammates and coaches and get kicked off of 3 teams like Incognito…and yet GMC is a POS?

    SHAME ON YOU TMAX!!!! Don’t know about your education level but calling GMC a POS is what is known as an ad hominem attack.

    ad ho·mi·nem
    ˌad ˈhämənəm/Submit
    adverb & adjective
    (of an argument or reaction) directed against a person rather than the position they are maintaining.

    Cmon TMAX I know it’s a sports blogs loaded with opinions but you need to elevate your game. We all realize by now that you have some issues to hate any freaking football player that much…by the guys you DO like…pick up your game dude!!!!

  44. Reach87 Says:

    Tmax can’t answer the technical question about the impact if a 34 on a DT like mcCoy because he knows nothing (zero) about football. He is a moron. The most significant difference for McCoy (depending on how they run it is gap assignments (DE) versus coverage queue (LB). For a DT used to penetrating (and he is well-suited for that with his quick burst and power), often times the offensive scheme could force him to hold the edge while the LB covers a back or TE in the flats….negates his penetration advantage (the way its mostly run) on first and second downs where it could be a run or pass. Like Joe, I think it can be done more, but you really need some time to work with your inside linebackers WITH the DE to get the run fits right. Very tough to do alot in season just due to the time it takes from practice (limited due to the CBA). My thoughts only…welcome any thoughts from someone who has played the 34 alot (not you,tmax)

  45. Reach87 Says:

    Also, agree 100% with your comment on tmax, stpete…who wants someone like that wearing their colors, representing their team, town or country, interfacing with their friends and family, etc, etc. just a poor example all around…consistently.

  46. Lamarcus Says:

    Well gmc called the POTUS a coward. Idc who the president is…… u have respect. I do not support trump or any political talk. None.

    Our country become hypocritical to anything. Gmc can’t run a defense but to call anyone running a country is a coward is cowardly

  47. Lamarcus Says:

    U know it’s same thing wrong w the kneel downers. No respect for anything of our country. Trump should be respected.