“It’s Got To Be A Hell Of A Lot Better Than What We Put Out There Last Year”

May 17th, 2018

Taking a bullet for slackers?

Joe has used this line before but it bears repeating. There were times last year when Team Glazer, after watching the horrid Bucs defense (No. 32 in 2017), had to have a near-uncontrollable urge to pull a Bobby Knight and wing a suite chair onto the field.

(Joe would have if he cut the checks.)

To be fair, the Bucs defense played fairly well at home. In the loss to the Belicheats the Bucs played fine defense and the effort against the Saints at home to close the season wasn’t embarrassing at all. They also suffocated the Bears and held Carolina to 17 points.

But on the road the defense was too bad for words to describe and in domes, good grief, it made Bucs fans heave whatever they consumed from the previous evening. The Bucs coughed up an average of 34 points and 462 yards a game playing under a roof.

For an NFL team to do that, well, there is a reason there was an overhaul of talent on the defensive side of the ball this offseason.

Perhaps with the heinous showing in domes fresh in his hard drive, Bucs defensive coordinator Mike Smith made no dodges yesterday that the defense must be more consistent. Smith didn’t hold back when asked what the defense had to do this season for success.

“It’s got to be a hell of a lot better than what we put out there last year,” Smith said. “I’ve said it many times, the numbers are not anywhere close to what we’ve got to do. We’ve got to be more consistent in everything that we do and it starts in the meeting rooms and building trust with one another across the board. I think that’s the most important thing.”

Hhhmmm? Trust? So did Bucs defenders tune out coaches last year? Given how horrible the defense was, this really isn’t a surprise.

Joe will let folks in on some inside baseball when it comes to Bucs officials and players speaking. A crew of media relations professionals working for the Bucs coach up both staffers and players alike on talking points for expected questions from the pen and mic club.

The last two years we heard a whole lot about “communication” from Bucs types in public talking sessions. This is a vague term, little more than empty chatter.

About this time last year, Joe had heard what that term really meant. Joe couldn’t get anyone on the record to explain the details of what was specifically meant by “communication” but Joe did have this sort of confirmed off the record — at least not denied. The term “communication” is accurate, but vague and in a way a tad misleading.

Now Smith drops the word “trust.”

Joe can only take an educated guess that at times, too many dudes were freelancing. We know offsides-jumping, Lightning-trolling, belly-shirt-wearing, practice-hating, kicker-heckling, tree-grinding , non-contact-football-loving, chicken-wings-grilling, playing-time-squawking, TV-cooking-star Swaggy Baker did. How about Mr. Beasting Robert Ayers? Was T.J. Ward also a freelancer in addition to being a stoner?

12 Responses to ““It’s Got To Be A Hell Of A Lot Better Than What We Put Out There Last Year””

  1. Lord Cornelius Says:

    My first thought was why do you guys only consistently cite the yardage given up ranking and not points given up (22nd)?

    Then again – on a per drive basis – they were pretty much last in both categories (which has nothing to do with the offense really – who actually helped the defense in 2017 in terms of possessions faced because of net turnovers / punts compared to the league averages)- so it doesn’t really matter I guess.

    Bad is bad mkay. Glad to hear they’re trying to fix it and building from the ground up. I just want to see this D-line wreck some QBs and everything else should take care of itself

  2. Eric Says:

    Ah so its the old no trust problem.

    Sure hope they solve that.

  3. jmarkbuc Says:

    I wouldn’t/don’t “trust” Smitty to run a D either…look what happened to him in ATL..

    I sincerely hope he can turn it around this year and restore what has really been our truest sense of pride in Tampa for 40 yrs..DEFENSE.

    Hopefully, this isn’t closing the barn after the horses have been let out..


  4. Baz Says:

    I didn’t read it as lack of trust in the coaches, so much as lack of trust in each other. I’m sure they probably trust their defensive teammates to watch their wallets, but if they don’t believe or know they KNOW their defensive assignments (i.e. I’m performing my assignment, but it’s gonna leave a huge hole right here IF that other guy doesn’t fulfill his assignment) then it ends up being a mess.
    Back to basics means making sure everyone KNOWS everyone else knows their assignments. And if they don’t carry them out, then we have other players itching to play who can perform those assignments.

  5. unbelievable Says:

    Nothing wrong with being a stoner if you can still do your job and fulfill your responsibilities effectively. If not, then yea maybe it’s a problem lol.

  6. Defense Rules Says:

    Really sorry Joe that you’re having such a hard time with words like ‘trust’ and ‘communication’. Most of us who’ve played various sports much of our lives and/or had careers in military combat arms readily understood what Smitty was talking about I’m sure.

    Smitty’s problem with the defense is not unlike Dirk’s problem with the offense. BOTH sides of the ball lack true L-E-A-D-E-R-S-H-I-P on the field. Oh we’ve got several guys who talk big, but when push comes to shove they’re not the ‘field generals’ that we need. You know, the Derrick Brooks, Warren Sapp & John Lynch ‘field generals’.

    We’re missing the Logan Mankins types, but I’m really hoping that this year’s crop of FAs (like JPP, Curry, Allen & Jensen) will be able to provide that field leadership that we’ve been missing. Also hoping that some of our young ‘leaders’ (like Jameis & Kwon) will play at a high-enough level to where other players take notice & step up their game also. Communication on the field takes a LOT of work … and trust doesn’t happen overnight. It has to be earned, and with so many new faces each year, teams like the Bucs and Cleveland are at a significant disadvantage.

  7. SOEbuc Says:

    It’s a team sport. It means a player can “trust” the rest of his team mates by “communicating” what they’ve all learned together at the same time to make that play.

  8. SOEbuc Says:

    When you got ass clowns like Fatty Baker, Ward, and even coaches in the locker room that just don’t care to push it to limit both mind and physical, you’re likely not to win.

  9. Joe Says:

    Really sorry Joe that you’re having such a hard time with words like ‘trust’ and ‘communication’.

    Joe has no problem with the word “communication.” Joe knows exactly what these guys are polishing. If anything it is the Bucs using that word as a vague cover. When it doubt, blame it on “communication” and hope folks swallow the answer.

    Just wish Joe could get someone on the record to confirm it — though Joe has it confirmed off the record.

    It’s nothing sinister. Just some folks would be triggered to take it the very wrong way if someone ever spilled the beans.

  10. Lamarcus Says:

    Trust and communication goes hand in hand. U ever had a job?

  11. Mike Johnson Says:

    TRust aye Smitty? Well, I don’t trust you sir. Your Defense absolutely sucked to holy hell last year while you..sat up there in the air conditioned pressbox slurpin down cold drinks and getting your better view of the field. I wonder Mr Smith..Are you going to make a guest appearance during a game on the sidelines to lead your defensive troops this year? That would be a welcomed change!!

  12. Horse Liver Says:

    In 2016, the Bucs sucked on defense until they didn’t. After that famous meeting where Smith asked the players what they saw.

    Where was that meeting last year? Mike Smith is on thin ice. Dude got paid and his defense was historically awful. C’mon, Smitty, COACH.