“There’s A Litany Of Things On The To-do List

October 25th, 2017

Mike Smith speaks

Defensive coordinator Mike Smith only had a few revelations at One Buc Palace this afternoon talking about his defense.

No surprise there. Bad is bad.

Smith was clear about that and blamed himself.

However, Smith dove into a little data. He said the Bucs’ self-scouting shows not enough winning on first and second downs, leading to far fewer 3rd-and-long situations like they generated last year as a defense.  Smith said the Bucs this year are sitting in too many “3rd-and-2 to 6s” situations, which he said greatly benefits offenses.

Last year, the Bucs were the NFL’s best third-down defense.

Over and over today, Smith talked about getting better on third down.

“There’s a litany of things on the to-do list we need to be better at,” Smith said. “Let’s be real.”

36 Responses to ““There’s A Litany Of Things On The To-do List”

  1. jwash8503 Says:

    How about leaving the same Safety combo in for the whole game so they can establish some chemisty with the corners and lbs. I’ve never seen a rotation at safety before, on purpose as though that’s some kind of plan. So much ineptitude

  2. '74 Bucs Fan Says:

    Do better on 1st and 2nd down? Damn – genius!

    Problem solved.

  3. Kobe Faker Says:

    Mike Smith looking at Kobe Faker archives of posts

    “Is it my 25″ bubbleback tv, but I never seen so many running backs going into the end zone STANDINGUP vs a goal line defense”

    Kobe Faker

    “When I see pathetic defenses not doing there jobs like that, it makes me want to just leave and not pay for the escort service”

    Warren sapp

  4. Patrick in VA Says:

    The problem is that the things that are on the to-do list have been on the list since the pre-season. If they haven’t been done yet, that means we don’t have answers. Opposing teams have clearly figured out what the recipe is and they’re putting up Madden numbers and padding their stats against us every week. It’s outrageous and appalling to watch.

  5. LakeLand Says:

    Where’s the Run-Stuffers? No Pass-Rushers, No Run-Stuffers=Pathetic D-Line.

  6. Brandon Says:

    Litany of things to do… like finding a good defensive coordinator for one. Mike Smith stinks. He couldn’t build anything better than a barely average D in all his years in Atlanta, he went through defensive coordinators like crazy when he was always the problem. He’s living off his work as the 2000 Ravens LB coach.

  7. rrsrq Says:

    teams picking up 3rd and long been pretty easy, ask the opposing teams punter, easy checks

  8. Hawaiian Buc Says:


    Mike Smith wasn’t the D coordinator in Atlanta. He was an excellent coordinator in Jacksonville though.

    How many coordinators do you need to go through before you realize it’s the same problem – no pass rush. Aside from Adrian Clayborn, we haven’t invested in any ends in the first round, and we barely touch them in the second either. To top it off, we always go after 2nd and 3rd tier ends in free agency. I don’t care if Buddy Ryan is resurrected from the grave, he’s not going to make Will Gholston and Robert Ayers into Reggie White and Bruce Smith. It’s just not going to happen. You can change coordinators if you want, but it will be the same problem. If you can’t rush the passer, you will have a bad defense.

  9. Hawaiian Buc Says:


    You might be on to something there. I know last year we never rotated safeties or corners. This year we seem to be doing it almost every play. I would safely assume it’s because everyone is at about the same level and no one is separating themselves, but at some point it may be best to just pick a guy and go with him.

  10. mdsbuc Says:

    rrsrq Says:
    October 25th, 2017 at 1:01 pm
    “teams picking up 3rd and long been pretty easy, ask the opposing teams punter, easy checks”
    So true. It does’t matter what you do on first and second downs when you can’t stop 3rd and 17, 3rd and even more….

  11. ElioT Says:

    I know Smith was a good DC in Jax, but is it possible the NFL game kinda passed him by in terms of what defenses need to do to stop modern NFL offenses?

  12. g720 Says:

    Mike Smith has no business being the defensive coordinator. He doesn’t know how to use his players properly and his scheme is horrible. He doesn’t know how to adjust at halftime to what the other team is doing. He continuously rushes 4 guys who do not have the ability to reach the quarterback as our defensive stats show. He refuses to blitz like most other NFL teams do regularly. Why would you blitz when it couldn’t get any worse that what you are doing now. Koetter’s friendship with Smith is not allowing him to see plainly what other people see and that is going to hurt this team the rest of the season. Hopefully the GM steps in and gets him to make the change needed or gets rid of both of them.

  13. Hawaiian Buc Says:

    “Mike Smith has no business being the defensive coordinator. He doesn’t know how to use his players properly and his scheme is horrible. ”


    So what did you think last year when our defense was dominating toward the end of the season? It’s not the scheme. There are other teams that run similar schemes that are successful. It’s the players. There’s no edge rush. Name me one good defense that doesn’t rush the passer well. You can’t, because it doesn’t exist. We can’t blitz because we don’t have the secondary to cover guys. Blaming the coaches is the lazy way out, and what we’ve been doing in Tampa for far too long.

    Not everyone on our defense is bad. We have several really good players. However, we have maybe the worst defensive ends in the history of the league. I’m not kidding. I could keep Gholston from getting to the QB. Our safeties and corners (aside from Grimes) are probably below average at best, but they are going to look even worse when they have to cover for 15 seconds.

  14. Lamarcus Says:

    Msmith is not the problem

  15. Hawaiian Buc Says:


    This adjustment at halftime thing is far overrated. Do you know what players do at halftime? There’s no time to adjust the game plan which you’ve been working on all week. Again, if you can’t get to the QB and you can’t cover, I don’t know too many adjustments or too many schemes that are going to be successful.

  16. Hawaiian Buc Says:

    “I know Smith was a good DC in Jax, but is it possible the NFL game kinda passed him by in terms of what defenses need to do to stop modern NFL offenses?”


    I really don’t think so. Had he been out of coaching for 10 years, then maybe, but that’s not the case for Smitty. Besides, our defense was pretty good last year, especially late in the year. The game really isn’t that complicated – get to the QB. If you can’t do that, you won’t be successful. Period.

  17. 813bucboi Says:

    smitty is the problem….and so is his scheme….that’s why players are simple as that….GO BUCS!!!!

  18. Hawaiian Buc Says:

    “smitty is the problem….and so is his scheme….that’s why players are simple as that….GO BUCS!!!!”


    Fair enough. But why don’t you tell me what you mean by “his scheme is the problem”. What is his scheme? Are you referring to a 4-3 defense? What exactly is his scheme, and what makes it no good? Give specific examples.

  19. 813bucboi Says:


    during that 5 game winning streak we beat 3 teams with a losing record…its not like we were beating the whos who of the league….but I was happy for that streak nevertheless…

    when you have players coming out in public saying,” I could’ve done more but I was playing within the defense”(LVD) or players saying, “I need to be on the field more”(ward&baker)that points to coaching….

    coaches aren’t making the right decisions….you cant say its the players….dirk, joe and fans have all admitted this is the most talent we’ve had on a team in years and it aint even close…..

    at what point do you hold the coaches accountable…GO BUCS!!!!

  20. Defense Rules Says:

    @813bucboi … “smitty is the problem….and so is his scheme.” Very good, I see you’ve found your scapegoat, and apparently that answers everything BucBoi. Not quite that simple IMO. Smitty isn’t the one missing tackle after tackle. Smitty isn’t the one getting blocked out of position time and time again. Smitty isn’t the one not putting any pressure on opposing QBs. And Smitty isn’t the one giving up some pretty explosive plays out on the field.

    But Smitty is the one trying to piece together a functional defense with a number of banged up defensive players, several of whom have missed quite a few games. And Smitty is the one who has to come up with ‘schemes’ that make the most of limited talent at several defensive positions, and that try to hide ‘weaknesses’ from other teams’ OCs. And Smitty’s also the one charged with trying to incorporate someplace between 4-5 ‘new guys’ into this defense on any one play who weren’t Bucs last year. Maybe ‘communication’ in situations like that is going to be an issue … just like it was in the first 8 games last year. This defense drastically needs a BYE week to to sit down & get their collective act together, just like they needed it last year. Oh wait, Irma took that away, didn’t she. Bummer … hard times ahead for this defense it looks like unless Smitty can work a miracle.

  21. Not there yet Says:

    Oh please down and distance had been a non factor in how horrible they’ve played. It doesn’t matter how many yards to get a first any team can go get it

  22. Hawaiian Buc Says:


    Again, you aren’t saying what scheme he runs. Just because some players say something doesn’t make it fact. Do you than you of our players are qualified to be coordinators? Players aren’t executing, mainly because we lack talent at the most critical area on a defense. No scheme, no coach, no adjustments are going to change that simple fact. Not sure how many coordiantieswe have to go through for people to understand this very simple concept.

  23. Kobe Faker Says:

    Thanks Def rules

    smitty has been blamed and used by the website propaganda to save koetter and licht beer

    these past 2 weeks, i seen petterson and mccoy jogging upright thru a so called run defense at the goal line…what?

    jogging standing up and laughing

    this is mike smiths fault?

    Cant even put the runner on the ground? what?

    they were going to run it, we knew they were going to run it and we knew they knew we knew they were going to run it

    “You know what i mean?”

    Kobe Faker

  24. JimmyJack Says:

    I hear ya Kobe but could you please tell me what happened on that 1st drive in Arizona? Cause it sure looked to me like our linebackers were back on their heels and were little to no aid in the run stop. After getting chewed up for 2 of 3 plays they needed to get out of that defense………but they didnt. They just stayed in the same set and just allowed it to happen.

    We had a long week coming into that game and there is no excuse to not have a defense ready to stop the run against a pass heavy team. Mike Smith’s defense got made like fools all game and especially on that one drive. He was purely outcoached……Just like last year.

    Aside from that each week we see players barely set on the snap and it’s O bvisous they don’t know their assignments. That falls back on coaching.

    And if Know is too hurt to make tackles and he is your best player that you are using as a stationary spy on T.Taylor then he has no business being on the field over Glanton who has proven to be more effective then what Kwon showed on Sunday. Same can be said about Spence who has been doing nothing but taking up space.

    Of course the players deserve some blame but the coach is absolutely responsible for sending ineffective players onto the field snap after snap. Better coaching does not allow for this.

  25. Evolvingbucfan Says:

    we had #WeaponsforWinston how about some #HelpforMcCoy finally??? if we could only have a good pass rush alot of these problems would be solved, hhhmmmmm?

  26. Kobe Faker Says:


    pertaining to arizona, i just hope we dont play arizona for a long time especially at their place. it just seems like arians has our number on both sides of the ball. seems like he knows our play sheet and and is 1 play ahead everytime. it seems like if we played them 10 times we will get blown 9 of them.

    im glad you also see what i see and not biased

    KWONIE was not ready. of all the qb we had to face for kwonies first game. taylor was the absolute worst…he was out of position and missing tackles the whole game

    remember last year, smith took out nowhere spence and made him just a 3rd down player because he was a detrimite vs the run…i think a run stopper/body will do wonders

    smith is playing too much of lichts draft picks because he wants to make licht beer taste good…i think smitty is getting po ed

    might see a very good defense this week by the scapegoat smitty

  27. JimmyJack Says:

    yeah well the problem is that we get owned by Arizona and they aren’t really that good a team.

    We get matchup problems with teams that play physical football close to the line. That’s just never going to cut it for a line that wants to stay in a steady 4 man rush and try to cross their fingers that we can pressure the QB. Eventually we are going to get into a mismatch that’s going to allow a Palmer or a Case Keenum to get way to comfortable and be able to complete 20 for 20.

    We just ain’t got the line that can rush 4 each and every week and be consistently successful.

    we seen them throw a few different looks last week so hopefully they are figuring it out…………..But it not going to work with this coaching the way it’s going because when we finally took the lead vs Bufe had McClain playing corner opposite Grimes and he didn’t even know that he was supported cover the sideline only to leave the reciever wide open for the dagger play of the vaunted replay drive…………This is nothing new as we saw Ward last week completely abondion the end zone and leave it totally unmanned as we gave up a gimme.

    Our game plan really sucks at times and on to
    of that our players don’t even know their assignments. it sucks starting at coaching and trickles all the way down to the last player

  28. Pickgrin Says:

    There’s only 1 of 2 possibilities:

    WELL respected and long tenured NFL coaches Jay Hayes and Mike Smith forgot how to coach football and now suck…


    The Bucs do not have nearly enough talent on their defensive line – and in particular at DE.

    Hmmmm – I wonder which?

    Licht will be putting major focus on procuring DL talent in 2018 (and CB as well I hope).

    Everyone is pissed at the major hole we have at DE – with almost NO productivity from the position.

    While understandable – you have to realize that Jason Licht has only devoted 1 draft pick at that spot to the horribly under talented team as a whole that he inherited 3 years and 10 months ago.

    And that one draft pick has been projected – by everyone who knows whats what that comes in contact with Spence – as a future star NFL player. Problem is – he can’t stay healthy and is now on IR. Not Jason Lichts fault or bad judgement. He made a great pick that has been injured often early in his career. It happens.

    Most posters here I imagine take the position of – “yea – well that’s the problem – Licht hasn’t devoted enough resources to fix the ongoing DL problem. One 2nd rd DE in 4 drafts ain’t nearly enough.”

    and as a result, some are amusingly advocating – “OFF WITH HIS HEAD!!!”

    The former is a fair statement and a reasonable argument. The latter is ludicris.

    But here’s what most who see it that way are not considering….

    You finally have a GM who values drafting for talent more often than drafting for “need”. Jason works his big board on draft day with great respect towards the analysis because he trusts his scouting dept and coaches opinions.

    When Oline coach Warhop told Jason that D. Smith and Marpet were the 2 Oline players likely available in the 2nd round that he would like to work with – Licht went and got both of them. Oline help was a desperate “need” in 2015 having sucked the year before and just drafted a QB#1 overall. So in that case as well as in the case of JW – the need and the talent intersected well.

    In 2016 the ‘needs’ at DE and CB seemed so great that Licht chose Hargreaves and Spence 1 and 2 – and a kicker to boot in the 2nd rd. that turned out to be a head case. Those 1st 3 picks are not working out so well putting it generously.

    In 2017 – Licht took the opposite approach and drafted almost exclusively based on perceived talent. It could be argued that young talent upgrades at Safety and 3/4 WR were “needed” – but that’s not why J Evans and Godwin were drafted in the 2nd and 3rd rounds. They were drafted where they were because the Bucs had them rated higher on their big board than where they were selected.

    Bucs had OJ Howard rated as a top 7 player (drafted #19). They had Evans rated as a late 1st rd talent (drafted #50). Had Godwin rated as an early to mid 2nd rounder (drafted mid 3rd) and Beckwith rated as a 2nd rounder (drafted #107 – basically a 4th rd pick).

    Licht has either fixed, partially fixed or made good attempts at fixing the following positions:
    – QB (Winston)
    – OL (Pamphile, Smith, Marpet, Sweezy)
    – WR (Evans, DJax, Godwin, Hump)
    – TE (Howard, Brate)
    – LB (Kwon, Beckwith, Glanton, Bond)
    – CB (Grimes, Hargreaves, R Smith)
    – Safety (J. Evans, Ward)

    I say CB and Safety because he paid Pro Bowl talent FAs Grimes and Ward and drafted VH3 and Evans with high picks.

    That’s at least 12 if not 13 starting spots filled well with talented players.

    RB has not been addressed. DE has not been addressed outside of a 2nd rd pick for Spence which hasn’t worked out that well due to injury. CB will need to be addresses again because of Grimes’ age and Hargreaves shortcomings. Our DTs are getting old and that position will need fresh blood. We could use a talented young OT prospect if Benenoch and Wester dont ultimately work out.

    Any or all of those positions “need” addressing. DE most of all.

    But anyone wanting to get rid of Licht “because he hasn’t addressed glaring needs” is a fool. This entire team was practically a glaring need when JL walked in the door. Now? Not so much.

    We’ll get there. Stay the course. Steady as she goes…

    Go Bucs!!

  29. Not there yet Says:

    MIKE SMITH “When you have safeties, I think you have different skill sets in terms of some guys are better playing closer to the box, some guys are better in half field, some guys are better in quarters. Based on what you’re trying to get accomplished, you can have some flexibility in terms of having different safeties in there.”

    If that’s the case aren’t you basically saying if you have more than one starter you have no starter. This is why the defense is so unhappy

    The rookie playing every snap so he’s the best safety on the roster is what he’s telling the veterans. You 3 split time because the rookie can do everything but you other 3 only have a specific skills set. At the very least it’s stupid and high schoolish or tipping your hand with personnel groupings

  30. Bird Says:

    It’s funny. It could be 3 and 20 and the opposing team has a chance. Don’t get that comment.

  31. darin Says:

    Doesnt matter if its 3rd and 2 or 3rd and 17. Send 3 wrs out, wait 3 seconds to find the soft spots in that soft zone defense, then complete the pass. Doesnt matter who the qb and wrs are. It matters if u can affect the qb. Blitz!!!!!

  32. JimmyJack Says:

    pickgrin…….I agree with some of your points but Jason Licht is not here to just assemble talent. Yes the head honcho and he is calling the shots. The direction of this team is his responsibility and he needs to be judged on wins and nothing else. Getting talent is a decent start but he has to surround them by the proper tools and coaching to make it all payoff in the win column.

    He’s getting judged harshly right now because this team is showing no signs of progression. Whatever the true reason is for our lack of progression has to be pinned on Licht……….Many are pointing a finger at Mike Smith and for good reason. Nobody gets a pass in this league because of success they had in another tow That was n

  33. JimmyJack Says:

    just because Smith had success in Jax a dozen years ago does not mean in any way he is the right man for the job here in Tampa. The two scenarios are just not comparable.

    If Smith can’t make this defense better then league worst with the players and staff he has here in Tampa then he just is the wrong guy for the job and Licht is accountable for hiring him. Same thing with Dirk. HE ain’t getting the job done either. His offense has left much to be desired and it has not lived up to expectations. Again, Licht hired this guy and he hired his staff. If they can’t figure it out Licht is accountable…….If Licht can’t figure out how to put a staff together that can get the most out of our players then Licht is gonna need to get canned. I can care less how much talent the guy gets if he can’t make it produce………..He’s not just a paper pusher GM, he’s running the show man, and all that matters is wins.

  34. JimmyJack Says:

    And I’m not say I g off with his head but Licht needs to show us he’s worth more then giving us a team that has gone four years and counting without being able to kick FGs……..going 4 years and counting with the worst Dline in the league……….4 years of the worst go alone defense in the league……worst go alone offense too.

    This team has lacked fundamental skills on both sides of the ball for his tenure as well. You can take Lichts assembled talent and stuff it u your butt when they are showing up on game day with a spectacular play followed by a missed tackle(LVD) or block(OJ&Brate) or assignment.

    The Bucs play a losing brand of football regardless of talent level or resumes. If only talent and pedigree matter then the Chiefs AllPro corner makes the pick that ices the Pats in 2015. Instead NE goes on to win it with position players that wouldn’t make our practice squad while we get to watch our ProBowl reciever wearing a lei in Honolulu

  35. JimmyJack Says:


  36. Duke Says:

    ???? Can anyone answer this question. What type of team is Licht building?

    If you look at the Jacksonville Jaquars and the Tennessee titans I think it’s clear to see what identity they’re going for. I’m not comparing wins and losses but rather the philosophy of what type of team the GM’s is attempting to construct. Then comparing to see if they are following an overriding philosophy. Which brings me to the question of what type of team is JL trying to build.

    The last time I checked “a bad ass football team” is not a solid plan to approach the draft and fa.