3-4? Pfft. It’s “A 4-3 Attack Scheme”

March 16th, 2018

“”Swaggy, I said ‘attack’ not ‘stop for a snack.'”

Many Bucs fans — and some media — run around convinced the Bucs are preparing to transition to a lot of 3-4 defense.

Those people haven’t been paying attention.

That’s just not Mike Smith’s thing, and since the Bucs retained the defensive guru behind the NFL’s worst-ranked defense last year, Joe’s going to assume the Bucs adore the Smith approach.

New defensive line coach Brentson Buckner greeted media last month and shared his excitement to get back to a 4-3 defense.

Yesterday, shiny new Bucs defensive tackle Beau Allen was asked about ties he has to his new line mates. Allen said he arrived without connections to his Tampa Bay brethren but they’re familiar because they’re part of a 4-3 fraternity.

“There’s not a ton of defensive linemen in the NFL, not a lot of guys who play in a 4-3 attack scheme, so you kind of get to know guys. And you know of them,” Allen said. “Like I said, I’m excited to meet the guys and obviously get to know them more.”

The Bucs lined up well last year on defense but the “attack” part Allen referenced is where they were lacking. Joe still can’t believe Lavonte David and Kwon Alexander racked up zero sacks after all that blitzing.

Yes, it’s a 4-3 defense, make no mistake, and Bucs fans continue to yearn for an edge pass rusher and effective blitzers.

60 Responses to “3-4? Pfft. It’s “A 4-3 Attack Scheme””

  1. Baxter_Barts Says:

    Best form of attack is defense?

  2. AlteredEgo Says:

    The defense is going to be a lot better with the same guys……

  3. Defense Rules Says:

    Getting more forgetful as the years go by Joe, but didn’t the Bucs’ defense use the 3-4 last year in around 25% of the defensive snaps? A lot of that is open to interpretation based on the personnel and how the Bucs were so desperate at edge rush they were using linebackers off the edge. Many assumed that meant 3-4, but that wasn’t the case.–Joe

  4. Shane247 Says:

    This off-season has no doubt put a smile on the face of every offense we will face this year.

  5. Joel Says:

    It’s not the players, folks. It’s the coaching. NFL is 90% coaching. Did you see the Rams turn things around with basically the same players? Do you see New England win every year with the usual roster turnover? Did you see the Eagles turn things around under new leadership?

    This team has a COACHING problem.

  6. SteveK Says:

    We need talent st pass rusher. We don’t have the talent to compete. Coaching helps.

    The Rams by and large improved bc McVey was in his #1 overall draft pick, Goff’s ear feeding him the plays and reads.

    Coaching can help, but this game is all about QB play and your team’s ability to get to the opposing Quarterback.

  7. Lamarcus Says:

    Well if we stick to 4-3 getting 22 sacks will be a miracle this year

  8. CarrollwoodBucFan Says:

    Let’s go Lightning! Only team in Tampa that has some sort of plan for success.

  9. SteveK Says:


    5 if those 22 sacks, McDonald, remain unsigned.

    Scary times being a Bucs fan. We can’t even sniff a QB.

  10. ScottyinFatAntonio Says:

    It was a 4-3 defense. But as Joe states above, not sure where or how they are getting the word “ATTACK” from.

  11. SCBucsFan Says:

    I think as posters we have about exhausted the negative things we can say about this team, so on a bright note things have to get better, don’t they?

  12. R.O. Says:

    I believe we used the WVU special 3-3-5.

  13. JonBuc Says:

    How happy are the Falcons knowing that Smiley Smith is trotting out his bend and break defense? I didn’t like Smith as a smarmy head coach of the Falcons and the 2016 accidental 5 game winning streak gave him breathing room and seemingly a guaranteed, no-cut contract.

  14. tnew Says:

    Good call on the personnel usage Joe. Many times Beckwith or Glanton were lined up and used as the 4-3 DE. Just because they weren’t in a 3 point stance and they are a line backer on the roster doesn’t make it a 3-4. Beckwith played a fair amount of straight up DE, last season.

    The draft is so crazy important to the Bucs this season. They almost have to trade down to acquire picks unless Chubb, Barkley or possibly Nelson fall there. Staying at 7 and drafting James, Fitzpatrick or Ward is making less and less sense.

    One guy I wasn’t crazy high early but as of late I am really warming to is Harold Landry. Yeh he’s about the same size as Spence was coming out; however, he is a higher level athlete. His draft profile and combine measurements compare very favorably to Demarcus Lawrence. Seeing a ton of comments that he needs to be a 3-4 end and they said the same about Demarcus Lawrence, but he’s worked out ok at a 4-3 I would say.

    If the Bucs can trade down and pick him up in the middle of the first, acquire an extra second, they could grab a Guard (or better, sign a Guard and pick up another DE, then get a Guard later in the draft, say Ragnow if he slips to the 4th) and a RB in round two. A CB in round 3 and a Safety in 4. No need to target a DT (even tho this is a loaded DT draft) given the approach in FA.

    Trying to find some Licht in the end of this dark and dreary FA period.

  15. AlteredEgo Says:

    yep….almost need to trade down to stop up all the leaks….

  16. Dusthty Rhothdes Says:

    Smitty wants a defense like the one the falcons use like the one will muschamp uses but just dont have the jimmys n joes… multiple attack defense not pigeion holed like lovies or the “tampa 2”

  17. JayBucBoi Says:

    Jesus “Bucs” fans!!! Free Agency is still open, and the draft has yet to come! Funny how that happens huh? We ALL know the talent exists on this team. The Joes are right, we have a couple holes to plug, but they can still be plugged before August!!
    We won’t be going 5-11 next year. Allen, and possibly Stevie T., is going to help keep Kwon & David clean … see Ray Lewis always running free because of Gouse and the boys of that Ravens D line. Gouse NEVER put up huge numbers (like Allen) but he was key to that Ravens defense being as great as they were.

    Check it. We get Jensen (IF?) and possibly Gaines, being we didn’t get Morris Claiborne, then our draft focus doesn’t have to be so broad. Our line looks a whole lot better with Marpet back at G, and we have some dawgs in the secondary with Grimes & Gaines. Maybe safety is the focus next year. This year, we can grab Guice at RB & whichever (multiple) defensive linemen Jason Licht/Koetter/Mike Smith/Buckner feels can complete this defesive line overhaul this off-season!! Then EVERYBODY is praising Licht, Koetter and the Buccaneer off-season moves!!!

    I’m a real fan just like a lot of you … and the Joes, of course. I’m just not of the mind that Licht and Koetter have already begun their search for new homes in a new city with a new team, because we all know it’s the “Not For Long” league if there are no results. Our young nucleus is good, and they will be getting paid here soon also (next off-season!), so Licht is doing what good GMs do … building around that young nuclues while being mindful that we’ve got a good problem on the horizon next off-season. Paying our own guys!
    I’m chillin’ Bucs fans. Join me!!!!

    Go Bucs!!!!

  18. JonBuc Says:

    Yeah, Boi! I’ll have what you’re having!

  19. Buc believer Says:

    Jayboi also works for the Bucs promotion department.

  20. darin Says:

    Exactly. Its not hard for a true football fan to know this staff blew last year. Since they wont adjust their schemes to fit the players nor adjust to plan against their opponents they must get alot of different players. To me that means a 4 man pass rush and running the ball alot better. So Olinemen and DEs who can get to the qb. So far weve got none of that. Why isnt licht on the same page as the staff? This team wont be good until it gets a coaching staff who knows the importance of unpredictability. Not without a pass rush and a time controlling running game.

  21. Not there yet Says:

    Doesn’t matter who the bucs bring in. Even if they had traded for Robert Quinn, Michael Bennett and drafted Chubb, good players can’t make up for bad coaching. Licht has probably realized this and decided it would be a waste of time to go get premium talent

  22. Mike Johnson Says:

    Our competitors are..chompin at the bit knowing our Defense will return the same as last year. The Falcons will probably send Pressbox Smitty a box of..exotic snacks to keep him company on his perch above the game with his binoculars. He hired an Alpha Dog to do his barking for him in practice and on gamedays. I can’t wait for him to get his pink slip after this season..along with his son Koetter. I’ve said all along our problem was coaching. This upcoming season will prove me right.

  23. Tackleblockwin Says:

    I’m just ready for the draft at this point.

  24. SCBucsFan Says:

    Bad coaching lol. Because bad coaches miss tackles, don’t get to the QB, fumble at inopportune times. Keep trotting that excuse out and when we change the staff and still go 4-12 the refrain will be we hired the wrong guys. Its on the players; not saying the coaching was stellar but put the blame where it belongs, on the guys with those God awful numbers on their backs.

  25. SteveK Says:

    Mike Johnson,

    You may be right about coaching, but there is no denying that our current coaches are twice the coach Lovie Smith is/was.

    Coaching may be on the hot seat; but no doubt at all Lovie was twice as bad. Can you admit that? I remember you being pro-Lovie and anti Koetter.

  26. Not there yet Says:

    Check it. We get Jensen (IF?) and possibly Gaines, being we didn’t get Morris Claiborne, then our draft focus doesn’t have to be so broad. Our line looks a whole lot better with Marpet back at G, and we have some dawgs in the secondary with Grimes & Gaines. Maybe safety is the focus next year. This year, we can grab Guice at RB & whichever (multiple) defensive linemen Jason Licht/Koetter/Mike Smith/Buckner feels can complete this defesive line overhaul this off-season!!

    “If if’s and buts were candy and nuts, everyday would be Christmas” -Warren Sapp

  27. TOM Says:

    Still can’t believe McDonald isn’t resigned & Gholston is still on the team.

  28. derrickbrooksforGM Says:

    Joe what happened to the Friday lightning pod cast or was that a joke?

    Anyhooooooo… Lavonte David and Kwon Alexander anchored the WORST LB corp in the NFL last year ok?! Please get off these guys band wagons, Kwon is horrible against the run and David is just OK, he’s average. They didn’t get sacks cause they can’t shed a dadgum block.

  29. 813bucboi Says:


    way to smack @realist in the face joe!!!!!!!!!!….job well done!!!!!!!!!……

    as you stated, folks like @realist haven’t been paying attention(too busy helping dirk pack)…..lol…..

    34 is not smitty’s thing…..has he ever coached 34?….and if so, if players haven’t grasp his 43 defense in 2years, what makes folks think players will grasp a 34 defense in 1 offseason with the entire staff on the hot seat…..lol….

    in addition, the dline already stated he will be coaching a 43 dline……is he lying to the fans?….or is smitty lying to him?…..

    and GMC doesn’t seem to be please whenever discussing 34 defense…..we all know what GMC wants he gets…….

    folks better walk up…..glazers are building depth for a new regime!!!!!!!

    #NOEXCUSESIN2018!!!!!….GO BUCS!!!!!

  30. derrickbrooksforGM Says:

    813bucboi folks better walk up…..glazers are building depth for a new regime!!!!!!!


  31. JayBucBoi Says:

    DBforGM –
    Kwon was hurt all year until the last quarter of the year, otherwise he would have led the league in tackles. As far as getting off blocks, ask any LB in the league and they’ll tell you that the big boys up front have a lot to do with that. Yea, they are quicker backers, but that’s ideal when you’ve got an Allen and not a Baker in front to open up the gaps! One of us is right. We’ll see which one this coming season with us having the hogs (Allen & Stevie T.) in the trenches.

    Buc believer –
    I wish I did work for the Bucs promo dept! Joe, Irv, can you guys put me on?!

  32. Tackleblockwin Says:

    Just a thought.

    Unless Barkley falls to the Bucs I think we will bring in a veteran RB as our starter. No idea who, but I predict our starting RB will not be on the team until after the draft through a trade or release. Bucs will draft DE and DB early. My shock pick is either 3rd or 4th rd we pick a QB to learn one season with Fitz and we trade or release Griffin. We will carry two QBs only next year…Winston and the mystery rookie. No idea why we continue to carry Ryan Griffin. He should have by now earned the 2nd string QB.

  33. JJBucfan Says:

    I’ll say it again, the signings so far have been very solid signings. Anyone who says otw, is just being ridiculous. However, you will have every right to b*tch if we don’t get a decent CB Gaines, Melvin, etc., Okafor, Ealy, Curry (if released) at DE and a freaking C or G. Anyone know about Jensen? Dude disappeared.

  34. Aaron Says:

    We are the only team that brings the blitz on 3 and 3 and plays off-coverage.

  35. Lord Cornelius Says:

    well then god help us cuz i duno wtf the plan is then…

    I guess run D slightly upgraded weee but that is not why we lost games at all..

    We lost literally like 4-5 games because we couldn’t stop teams in obvious passing situations to hold our leads. Doesn’t take a genius to fiigure this sh1t out.

    Koetter never mentioned not stopping the run as the reason we couldn’t close games.

    Scoring in the red zone and rushing the passer = the biggest indictments

    To me that says O-line/RB upgrade plus offensive philosophical reevaluations (hopefully that’s what this Monken move was about) +



    We could have Michael Bennet/Robert Quinn and all 3 of our first round picks still right now. The impact of those 2 would likely be insane for how pathetic this line was last year.

    Simply unacceptable.

  36. Lord Cornelius Says:

    i said that weird but meant to say our first 3 rounds worth of picks still*

  37. SCBucsFan Says:

    JJ from what I read Jensen was going to visit the Colts regardless of what happened here then he was to make a decision. I agree with everything else you said.

  38. SCBucsFan Says:

    LC it takes 2 to tango; if Licht made offers just as good and they traded them elsewhere was was he supposed to do overpay?

  39. tmaxcon Says:

    Jensen is not coming to the least desirable location in nfl…. glazers rendered the bay the nfl black hole with no hope for future…

  40. Lord Cornelius Says:

    Per Pewter report – Regarding 6’2 253 lb DE Okoronkwo (Potential r2 pick) – profiles more as a 3-4 OLB than 4-3 DE

    ““They expressed interest in me as a pass rusher, and they said how much they needed pass rushers,” Okoronkwo said. “We had a good conversation both times and it seemed like they enjoyed it, too. Playing in a 3-4 and a 4-3 came up in conversation and I told them I was comfortable playing in either scheme.”

    At least they have said they want pass rushers…

    Sign Jensen. Sign Gaines. Sign Okafor.

    Leave the first 4 rounds with 1 DT that rushes the passer, 2 DEs, and 1 RB. Take fliers on OT/S/CB/OG in late rounds

    Maybe take a CB top 4 rounds if value is right; and then get more DEs in the late rounds to make up for it on top of a top 2-3 round DE pick

    I’d at least have some hope if that happens. That’d be 2-3 Rookie DEs + Okafor + a hopeful healthy Spence in terms of upgrading the DE room – or potentially 4 new pass rushers. I think those are the numbers we need to hit.

  41. Tval Says:

    Tavarus mcfadden late 3rd…or maybe trey marshall late 4 early 5th. The type of guys who were let down by defensive coaching and can blossom quickly

  42. I’m a Tandyman Bucs Fan Says:

    Watch the Browns and 49ers flourish next season with all they have done in Free Agency. Maybe when Smith, Koetter and Licht are gone after next year John Lynch out or loyalty to the Buccaneers will come home and hire a GM (Himself), A new Coach and certainly a new Defensive Coordinator. The way I see it there is no reason the Bucs can’t be an organization everyone wants to be a part of. Get rid of Smith cause as Steven Tyler sings “Same Old Song and Dance” with Koetter and Smith making the calls!!!!!

  43. Bucn Enough Says:

    Licht is setting us up perfectly for 2019..

    Get a top 3 pick next year for the new GM and HC…


    Do you want them to go 9-7 and have the Glazer clowns waffling on keeping Licht and Koetter for another three years…

    I am up for a new GM and coach…

  44. LakeLand Says:

    There will always be excuses for this pathetic team. They have led the NFL in excuses for 42 years.

    Another year of excuses

  45. JonBuc Says:

    I too am ready for some fresh answers at GM/HC. Licht’s Out .333 winning/losing percentage doesn’t quite do it for me. In fact…the team will have to finish at least 6-10 to raise his career average. Think about that for a moment…

  46. ScottyinFatAntonio Says:

    I’m SHOCKED…SHOCKED I tell you that Okafor is resigning with the Bucs. One visit to the Sh!t Show yesterday convinced him.

  47. ScottyinFatAntonio Says:

    Saints….not bucs

  48. Eric Says:

    I know the defense is a big issue, but the key to the team and the future of the coaches is Jameis taking that next step and becoming an elite NFL QB.

    This year. Not flashes of it or some really good games, we know he can do that. Can the man pull it together for a entire season and stop with the boneheaded mistakes.

    Otherwise its all academic.

  49. BucEmUp Says:

    I don’t think many fans will be upset sticking with a 4-3 , WE JUST WANNA KNOW WHY THE SECONDARY PLAYS IN I DIFFERENT TIME ZONE 10 TO 15 YARDS OFF THE LINE!!!!!!!!!!

  50. LakeLand Says:

    No top free agents will sign with the Bucs. Even the lowly free agents don’t want to come to Tampa. But they will overpay for another team backups.

  51. Ed Says:

    Better get some defensive ends if they want to continue to play that 4-3 defense because it was one of the worst in NFL, you cannot continue to coach a system that your players don’t fit into or can’t adjust to. This is a bottom of the league defense, good quarterbacks and average quarterbacks love playing the Bucs, they post career numbers. Smith has to come up with better ways of disrupting quarterbacks, a 4 man rush doesn’t work with their personal and the blitzes rarely get to the passer. There is something wrong with the system, the coaching and the players, how long can this go on? I would trade either their star lineback or their star defensive tackle if they could get decent draft picks for them, then just draft athletic guys that Buckner can coach into edge rushers. What point is have top 5 DT and top 5 LB if you have bottom defense, it means you need to change it up, it won’t get better unless you do.

  52. LakeLand Says:

    Alex Okafor Reportedly Agrees to 2-Year, $10 Million Contract for Saints Return

    He was using the Bucs for leverage

  53. JonBuc Says:

    Bucs can’t even get a sniff from players coming off major injury? Not sure Okafor is the answer anyhow…

  54. Evolvingbucfan Says:

    Day 3 of free agency and …………..crickets.

    Alot of empty seats will be seen next year, heck i don’t even want to go to the free open to public practices anymore.

  55. BucEmUp Says:

    The fact that kwon and David had zero sacks on blitzes should be drawing your attention to the secondary. You can’t get sacks when someone is always open. It’s not the players it not the line it’s scheme.

    Again week 7 Buckner will have the look of defeat on the sidelines knowing he cannot replicate what’s he’s done elsewhere with this crap scheme

  56. Gambelero Says:

    Line on Okafor, flirted with Bucs, but left us standing at the altar, again. Is there a prize for being second in all these negotiations?

  57. Buccaneer Bonzai Says:

    Every year the same people around here think we are switching to a 3-4 defense. They are always wrong.

    Watch. If the Bucs take a 3-4 OLB, people will still think we are switching, even though such a player would be a 4-3 DE.

  58. Capt.Tim Says:

    Most of us didnt think we would switch to a 3-4.
    We knew that we SHOULD swith to a 4-3

    Mike Smiths inability to assess the talent on his own defense- is yet futher proof that the game has passed him by.
    Even the Free agents the Bucs signed, are run stoppers!!!
    Smith keeps building to stop the run- in a passing league

    With McCoy, David, Beckswith,Alexander, Conte, and Grimes,
    You have to be really clueless to finish dead last in the league in defense

  59. James G Losinger Says:

    Still love Dirk but he needs to go back to just OC. Let Monken or Smitty be the super secret head coach.

  60. CarolinaBucFan Says:

    You guys want to start taking bets as to what week we fire Mike Smith? I’m saying week 5