Yearning Safeties

November 22nd, 2017


Buccaneers head coach Dirk Koetter was talking defense today and shared rare insight into the happenings at One Buc Palace.

Koetter has spoken previously about having an open-door policy for players. And it seems his safeties are making use of it — to either moan or offer a sales pitch for playing time.

Rookie Justin Evans has been getting 100 percent of the defensive snaps for weeks, so he has to be a happy man. But the other safeties are yearning for more work.

“We are playing a three-man rotation and it’s tough to play a three-man rotation. I know the guys that are rotating aren’t happy about that,” Koetter said. “Then we’ve got a fourth guy in Keith Tandy who I am sure is the unhappiest of them all because he is not playing at all on defense – very little – and he was playing very good for us at the end of the year. I know all those guys care about it because they all come to my office and tell me how much they want to be the man and that is the first step.

“We’d love for the play to separate. I think good football is easily recognized by everybody, especially by the guys coaching them. We are not disappointed in the play. We thought going into the year we were going to be much deeper at safety than we are, but I don’t think we are playing perfect at any position.”

Joe was confused by Koetter’s take that he thought the team would be deeper at safety than they are. It’s not like the Bucs overhauled the position in August. They simply traded J.J. Wilcox and signed Pro Bowler. T.J. Ward. Is Koetter saying he thought Ward was better than advertised?

Joe followed up and asked Koetter if it’s fair to say Evans is playing the best since he gets the most playing time.

“It’s fair to say that he is getting the most reps,” Koetter replied.

Joe is all good with the rookie Evans playing full-time even if the “separation” between him and the other safeties is negligible. The only way to develop Peyton Barber  the young guy is to put him on the field.

18 Responses to “Yearning Safeties”

  1. BuccaneerByBirth Says:

    This forsure says Ward is nowhere near as good as they thought. After getting rid of Wilcox, they said they got deeper with Ward. Turns out Denver knew he was washed up

  2. Pa Privateer Says:

    If the rookie is playing just as good as the vets, then by all means keep playing Evans. I love Tandy as a team player and he provides good depth, but he isn’t a pro-bowler. Let Evans get the reps.

  3. Blake_Bucsfan Says:

    Based on his play so far, T.J. Ward hasn’t earned his way into that rotation.

  4. SteelStudBuc Says:

    TJ Ward is paid well. Hopefully he’s a player/coach for Evans… cuz Ward won’t be back next year.

  5. BigPoppaBuc Says:

    This is stupid. All the talk of miscommunication in the secondary and the coaches have safeties in and out in WEEK 11! They should know what they have by now. Pick one, stick with him and let the secondary develop some continuity.

  6. Lamarcus Says:

    Justin evans is starting safety in this league. I said during the pats game. He improve the most out of those safeties anyway. Sure he clean up some tackles but he is a better tackler today than preseason

  7. I'm a Tandyman Bucs Fan Says:

    Been saying all year Tandy should be playing. He was the best Safety the Bucs had the last 5 games last season. Now he is the only Safety not in the rotation and the Bucs lost 5 in a row. Just never could figure it out. Bet Smith and Koetter wish they could go back and allow Tandy to play because he had earned it last season. Maybe they could have saved their jobs. To late now. Guess they will continue their 3 man rotation and continue losing and Tandy will get his chance again next season when these clowns are gone!!!

  8. Lamarcus Says:

    Oh yea tandy
    Miss that game changing tackle in Bills game. For the first down and game sealing play. I was at my ” wits end” with tandy along tj ward.

  9. German Buc Says:

    I would love to see Tandy and Justin Evans to be our starting Safeties. Imho this two have the highest ceiling.

  10. Richbucsfan Says:

    Pretty good gig for all of them. At best all of them are part time in that they ‘work’ less than 6 months and get paid a king’s ransom. best of luck to them

  11. Grt2 Says:

    Yea I’m really excited about Evans I truly believe he’s going to be a great safety in the NFL the young man has ED Reed instincts. Although I’m extremely disappointed in this season seeing rookies setup and produce has gave me some real hope going forward. Howard is just a stud, Beckwith is the real deal and Godwin catches everything although I would like him to clean his routes up some but that will come with time. I’m still pissed off at Licht for not addressing the D line , O line and the kicking game this offseason. That being said he went 4 for 4 again on this draft class.

  12. Bird Says:

    Man. I was like who is Justin Evans when they drafted him. Another second round bust I thought. Was so peaved they didnt look running back.

    However this kid has a chance to be a stud. And He can improve his tackling at next level. Good coaching will do that. He is getting the snaps. Can’t wait to see his improvement next year. The kid can ball

    Ward gone next year.

  13. adam from ny Says:

    evans and tandy would be the move, but “welcome back koetter” is fugged in the head or something…just ask vinnie barbarino or better yet, juan epstein

    #WelcomeBack Koetter #ForOne More Week

  14. webster Says:

    Where are the posters who were calling justin evans a bust at the beginning of the year? Where are the arm chair gms?

  15. Tampabaybucfanr Says:

    It’s always a good idea to let a young player develop before you call him a bust. Evans & Ryan Smith are very good examples of that…..hopefully, we can add Hargreaves to that category…..of course, the higher the draft pick the greater the expectations.

    It’s time to play Godwin,Barber, Benenoch, Bond, Ryan Griffin more often……especially if we can’t win Sunday.
    Players won’t improve sitting on the bench or playing nothing but special teams.

    An average player doesn’t make an interception like Evans did vs Miami.

  16. MadMax Says:

    @Webster, not me. I was one of the few who liked the pick. I thought maybe DE, but remembered our secondary during the draft and how bad we needed safety help. Hes a rook, but i knew he’d come around.

  17. Tom Says:

    I must confess I was not thrilled when they drafted Evans in the second. Not that I thought he was a bust, just didn’t know much about him. But he’s been playing pretty good lately. I do think Tandy should be in the safety rotation. IMO he’s as good as any of the rest.

  18. Issic Haggins Says:

    Conte has made as many or more big plays than most of the D , never ever gets recognized