The End Of The 10-Yard Cushion

April 28th, 2018

“Seriously Rex, I might just let a cornerback breathe on a receiver at the line this year. No, really.”

How bad was it getting for Bucs fans?

Bucs fans were so enraged at bars throughout the Tampa Bay area watching Vernon Hargreaves and Ryan Smith give wide receivers 10-yard cushions, that even the bartenders starting throwing empty pints at the TV screens.

Why in the heck was Bucs defensive coordinator Mike Smith allowing this nonsense? It allowed receivers far too often to gallop through the Bucs secondary like a spooked horse.

It seems those days are coming to an end.

Sharing his thoughts on Day 2 of the 2018 draft yesterday, Bucs coach Dirk Koetter offered that the two new corners drafted Friday were specifically targeted because the Bucs believe they can handle themselves physically at the line of scrimmage.

Carlton Davis is “good in press [coverage],” Koetter said of the second-round pick out of Auburn. “You watch him when some of the bigger receivers that we have to go against, how do people try to shut down our big receivers [like] Mike [Evans]? They try to stop them at the line of scrimmage.

“Brent Grimes, for as fantastic of a player as he is, Brent Grimes is not going to get up there and press some of these big receivers too often. He likes to play off and have vision on the quarterbacks. We’ve added a guy that can get up there and play physical with them.”

It’s about damn time. Hammer these guys at the line of scrimmage to at least throw off the timing between the receiver and the quarterback and maybe allow a defensive lineman an extra step to get to the quarterback.

At worst, jamming receivers at the line makes both the receiver and quarterback have to work to complete a pass.

30 Responses to “The End Of The 10-Yard Cushion”

  1. Andrew Says:

    Probably more comfortable playing press when you have an improved pass rush

  2. Buc50 Says:

    Love press coverage. We just have to understand that they get burned…sometimes badly.

  3. Easy Says:

    Lol Grimes will still play 10 yards off the line.

  4. Bird Says:

    Carlton is from Miami.

    Lance zierlen did comparables and gave him Richard Sherman. Also, he is bigger which we need Mel kiper had Carlton as 1st round talent at one point. Think he will start opposite grimes

    Not sure about nc guy (not safety at this time ). Sounds like they want to give Hargreaves

  5. robertg Says:

    Hmm, buccaneers play a zone defense. Corners play zone, no press coverage. Hargreaves only doing what is asked of him, play zone and I always thought he was a press corner in college.

  6. Bird Says:

    Competition ^^^

  7. Defense Rules Says:

    Interesting logic. So according to Dirk “the new corners the Bucs drafted Friday were specifically targeted because the Bucs believe they can handle themselves physically at the line of scrimmage.” Dirk said press is not Grimes’ game. Got it (not exactly a secret BTW). But what exactly does that say about the OLD corners (VHIII, R Smith, Elliott and the now defunct McClain)? Seems to imply they couldn’t handle press, thus we replaced them. Obviously it’s a coaching deficiency Joe. Where’s Scapegoat Smitty when we need him?

  8. robertg Says:

    Mike Smith’s defense is a zone defense. They don’t play press coverage. Btw, Hargreaves was a excellent press corner in college. What changed? Smith made him play zone as Grimes is not a press corner

  9. Tampabaybucfan Says:

    Looks to me that the Bucs have decided to get much tougher…..look at the FA acquisitions and the draft picks…..they mostly have one thing in common…..toughness. These two corners are very physical….as is Vea & Cappa…, Cappa… gotta love this guy and love that he will be another Joe Dirt type.
    Our Bucs may now have an ATTITUDE!!!

  10. LargoBuc Says:

    At this point I’ll beleive it when I see it. We are damn near famous for playing our corners a good 10 yards off the LOS.

  11. Bird Says:


    I am wondering if they want to press more coverage cause they feel are dline could become a jail break collapsing unit so opposing guys won’t have time to get open ?

    Thinking positive?

  12. Bird Says:

    Mean machine

  13. BringBucsBack Says:

    I will believe it when I see it!

    Why and when exactly did they come to this realization? What took them so long to realize that Barber is as a decent RB and deserves more carries? Why do the commoners see things before the professionals do? Yes, these coaches can be quite worrisome in all facets of their job.

  14. LostinPA Says:

    We had better get used to the color yellow flying after they stop a play. Neither have speed and both have a tendency to get grabbie. I normally trust our scouts and GM to puck gems from day two. I’ll have to admit that these two seems like low upside candidates. I hope to eat my words but i’m Sketchy.

  15. Not there yet Says:

    Why does this matter to one of these Joe’s, you know that one that thinks we shouldn’t address the position because they can’t develop corners.

  16. John B Says:

    I specifically noticed how the GM mentioned we have D LineS now, two of them..we are going to attack like the good ole days when Sapp and Co would terrorize an OL ALL DAY LONG

    They sucked last year, badly, no doubt….but….it certainly looks like they have recognized the errors of their ways and have stacked this D with an arse load of talent this off season, I don’t care if you like every pick or every FA, look at the sheer volume of upgraded talent this year over last -that alone should mean more wins…

    Now we can decide if Smitty has lost it or not, he certainly has the guns to succeed and we have one more pick that can still make an impact today –

    I think the Griffin kid would be an outstanding SS, he is so fast, relentless, plays like his hair is on fire – special teams ace as well, I would trade another 6th rounder to move up and grab him

  17. Tampabaybucfan Says:

    Sometimes I think we overthink some of our draft picks…..Ryan Smith, for example…..but it is possible that he will turn out to be a great pick…..he is learning….he has the talent and the desire…..he can tackle….let’s see.

    But then, on the overthinking we have Ali Marpet…..and now Alex Cappa….

    Let’s just hope they are tight about these two CBs…..

  18. Bird Says:

    John b

    Totally agree on griffin. From Orlando and ucf grad but not a homer. But he would be perfect hybrid

    Strong safety in the box on run downs. Rush the qb on 3rd and long. His coverage is good enough. He would raise everyone game cause there is just no excuses on working hard when you watch him.

  19. Mike Johnson Says:

    Like somebody else here said, Beleive it when I see it! Yes our Draft is going good. But its going good for 31 other teams too! Smitty has got to do a better Defensive coaching job..period! I just hope Koetter doees not spring for a new pressbox recliner for Smitty. Get him on the sidelines with his troops!!

  20. El_Buc941 Says:

    Joe are these guys blind or what?! ITS CALLED COMPLIMENTARY FOOTBALL! You have the CBs jam the West/TEs at the LOS and the QB can get rid of the ball and what happens when you have Vea and McCoy taking on 4 guys them 2 alone and JPP breathing down you neck with Curry on the opposite side?SACKS….and if you have VH3 roaming at the nickel position and Kwon and Lavonte running wild through open lanes created by the 2 headed monster of Vea and McCoy?!MORE SACKS!and if the QB tries to through it before the pressure comes… INTERCEPTIONS!PICK 6s! At least that’s the scheme I have drawn up from all the new additions to the defense. Do you agree Joe?

  21. feelthepewterpower Says:

    Isaiah Oliver might have been the press cover guy in the draft…and we passed in him at 53 and 56. Falcons grabbed him up at tremendous value late in the roubd and now use him to shut down evans.

  22. Jjones Says:

    Joe reported on this back on October 11th, 2017 before the Arizona game for those that keep saying “do you not know we play in a zone scheme?” Well do you NOT REMEMBER Smith told us he allows the CB’s to play where they want and where they feel most comfortable on the LOS??? It’s on the coaches for not telling VH3 to be more aggressive at the LOS(maybe they did?)but if what Smith’s saying has an ounce of truth to it, and again Smith already mentioned it, then that’s on the player/players, so stop beating that drum.

    Mike Smith’s quote before the Arizona game…

    “I don’t think [the soft coverage] by design in terms of what we’re asking our players to do. We give our guys a little bit of flexibility in terms of where they fell comfortable.There’s ranges in where we would like them to line up,”Smith said. ” We don’t say, ‘hey, we want you to be right here in this specific defense.’ We do give them, because based on their skill set; you know, Brent Grimes is going to play it different than Vernon Hargreaves.”

  23. BucEmUp Says:

    I’ve been waiting to see press coverage for 10 years, I will believe it when I see it

  24. BucEmUp Says:

    Jones that’s bull….even if Smith did say that which I don’t doubt he did, fact is that he is the coach, it’s his defense, he sets the to tone he makes the rules on defense. I’m sorry after 4 or 5 games of the worst ranked defense the coach needs to step in and fix things not just allow the players yo do what they please. Sometimes pushing a player outside of their comfort zone brings the best out of them…its called.coaching!!!!

    I also don’t buy that b.s because Vh3 preferred tight coverage at Florida, that was just a b.s answer by excuse Smitty.

    If those corners are playing 10 yards (12 yards) back they better fire his acc and get someone who knows how to coach at the professional level

  25. SOEbuc Says:

    Mike Smith’s philosophy on his coaching: “Have to have good pass rush for good secondary.”

    Which is true. But last year, when you knew we had the d-line is when you gave them a cushion. And now this year, when our d-line looks much more impressive, you want to play press?

    That’s bad coaching.

  26. SOEbuc Says:

    *when you knew we had the worst d-line

  27. SOEbuc Says:

    And are they gonna try Stewart at Safety? He looks like he could be good SS. Has tight coverage skills and is a banger. And he’s All-ACC for the people that keep trying to call him Mike Smith #2.

  28. SOEbuc Says:

    Haha. *Ryan Smith #2.


  29. Duke Says:


    “Bad coaching?” Lol…….Saf fans!

  30. Mike Johnson Says:

    Please Coach Smith. get odd of your A…, and start coaching. give us some mixed coverages, Stunts on the line..Hell..anything. Come down out of that pressbox in the sky amd lead your troops dude!! Play to your rosters strengths. You have all of the tools now. No excuses. This Defense is primed to performed. If not..Please leave DC Smith!!!!!