Mike Smith Lauds Deep Defense

May 16th, 2018

Defense rich in talent.

When Bucs fans read how Mike Smith thinks his defense is deep in talent this season, they may think of the word “deep” to mean something entirely different.

The embattled Bucs defensive coordinator, who oversaw the absolute worst defense in the NFL last season, didn’t try to dodge any blame today or sugarcoat how rotten the defense was in 2017. For a defense that has Pro Bowlers and high draft picks on every level of the defense to be that pathetic truly was a feat.

That should change this year, Smith suggested. Why? Because, the personnel upgrades this offseason may force skilled players to be pounding the pavement come September, looking for a new team in order to put food on the table.

That’s what Smith stated when he met the local pen and mic club for the first time in 2018.

“It is going to be fun watching the competition,” Smith said. “Not only in the defensive backfield but across the board. We feel we have some good football players that are going to not make this team because of the depth we added this offseason.”

So let Joe get this straight: Some good football players on the roster from last year may not make it back for the 2018 because of the upgrades?

If these players were/are so talented, then why was the defense so embarrassingly bad? If these players were/are so good, then why the need for expensive upgrades? If these players were/are so good, wouldn’t other teams have been interested in acquiring them for draft picks?

Joe is confused.

Could Smith have just slipped up and meant the players who won’t be back on defense come September might be talented XFL players?

34 Responses to “Mike Smith Lauds Deep Defense”

  1. Wausa Says:

    I watched the press conference and I am pretty sure he was basically trying to say the defense is more talented and much deeper than last year.

    I did feel like he was possibly talking about VH3 when he was stating that it did not matter where you were drafted or how much money you make because he is going to get the best 11 out on the field. He seemed very high on the defensive players the Bucs drafted.

    Hopefully VH3 has a really good camp, but I am getting the vibe that Coach Smith may already think there is a good chance VH3 doesn’t start(I am including the nickel position).

    On another note Coach Smith is an easy man to pull for. He seems like a very nice man.

  2. SOEbuc Says:

    I think he was talking better depth spots and having a chance to make an NFL team. Not entirely beating out GMC and JPP. But who knows. Just resigned Harvard guy Cam Brate to gigantic contract and he was cut twice (three times??) by us.

  3. Pickgrin Says:

    Its a team game Joe. Not that confusing.

    One guy blows his defensive assignment and the whole unit looks bad. That circumstance happened quite a few times in 2017…

    “good football players that are going to not make this team because of the depth” is potentially referring to guys like Cam Lynch, Javien Elliot, Josh Robinson, etc

    Spots 40>53 on the roster

  4. SB Says:

    Look, we lost 4 games last yr by a FG and 7 games by one TD or less. We had a Horrible FG game, an injured QB for half the season probably, and the worst Run Game in the NFL
    Anyone who thinks we are not a better team this yr is a hater or a troll. “Simple as that”

  5. LUVMYBUCS Says:

    Mike Smith in reference to playing LB Kendall Beckwith out of position at DE.

    Certain things you’ve got to deal with in this league.
    And U play the hand you’ve been dealt.

    Lol, Sounds like a shot across the bow to me.

  6. SB Says:

    Lol … LOVE the intended pun there LUV!
    Good to c ya man. Hope all is well with you and yours

  7. LUVMYBUCS Says:

    Most of it was typical coach speak. But ^^ that statement at the tail end was personal.

  8. LUVMYBUCS Says:



    We good brotha. How’s everything on yo end?

  9. gambelero Says:

    So, the futures lines are out, but just like last year, it didn’t include week 17. Based on the that, Vegas expects us to win 6.24 out of our first 15 games.

    Given that game 17, Atlanta at home, is very close to pick-em, that gives us something like a 6.75 mean win expectation.

  10. Licht’s Out Says:

    Time to stand and deliver, El Smitty. You can’t hang the safari hat on a fortuitous five game win streak in 2016. The talent appears to be there…so wipe off the Smitty smirk and get to work!

  11. SOEbuc Says:

    “good football players that are going to not make this team because of the depth” is potentially referring to guys like Cam Lynch, Javien Elliot, Josh Robinson, etc”

    Josh Robinson needs to stay on the team. He was really good on special teams last year. He was in the returners face’s as soon as they caught it a lot last year. He should get more props for that.

  12. Destinjohnny Says:

    22nd best talent

  13. Eric Says:

    What confuses me is that his boss said last years squad was the most talented bucs team in years.

  14. passthebuc Says:

    He did not say what they were good at

  15. Phil Says:

    One has to be concerned about our corners & safeties. Don’t know if we have enough. Draft picks have to step up. Hopefully a better pass rush will help.

  16. Tampabaybucfan Says:

    If it weren’t for his guaranteed salary, Will Gholston would have a hard time making this team…..we certainly have great depth and I agree:

    Pickgrin is right…..the players on the bubble are Cam Lynch, Javien Elliot, Josh Robinson……all you need to do is look at the contracts of players to know which ones are in jeopardy.

    We will still have a couple of slots left for a promising UDFA……perhaps a DB or Oline slot but we have some solid talent competing this year.

    I’d like to see us use a PS player for our 3rd QB spot and free up a spot on the roster.

    Also, from the looks of things our special teams should be improved.

  17. Wausa Says:

    I wish we had more fans like SB. Unfortunately, we have a bunch of idiots that want to run the best QB in franchise history out of town.

  18. Pickgrin Says:

    Sure Josh Robinson is a good special teamer.

    But he also is scheduled to make almost $2M this year and has barely seen the field aside from special teams since he got here 3 years ago. And now the CB room just got more crowded with 2 high draft picks coming in.

    Special Teams is a young man’s game. Better teams have to rely on their young talent and “coachin em up” to get the job done on ST because better teams don’t have room for an expensive vet whose only contribution (albeit a good contribution) is playing Special Teams. There are already 3 designated spots on every roster for ST players – K, P and LS. Using more for anyone who has no upside at their “position” and is relatively expensive is not really something that the better teams can afford to do.

    Ryan Smith has shown himself to be just as good as Robinson at the “gunner” position IMO. And guys like Justin Watson and Cichy – who they don’t want to expose to waivers and are thus very likely to occupy a spot on the final 53 – will be expected to fill the void if you cut a guy like Robinson – assuming they show they are capable of that in TC and Pre-season…

  19. Rod Munch Says:

    No defense that is starting Chris Conte, and perhaps Ryan Smith, is a deep defense.

  20. 813bucboi Says:

    yall believe smitty if you want to….lol….

    and some folks still think the CB’s had “freedom” to line up where they wanted to….lol….I bet yall believe the sky is yellow too!!!!…lol…

    with that said, glad to hear smitty say we have good talent and depth….he’s going along with the offseason theme….you have the players now produce some wins….


  21. Defense Rules Says:

    @Joe … “Joe is confused.” I’m really surprised that all of the above JBFers let that one slide by Joe. But just to set your mind at ease … Smitty is a genuinely nice guy. Maybe he was being K-I-N-D when he said players on last year’s team were good? I mean if JBF had a bad year, would you throw Rock or Ira or The Commish under the bus? (Just a rhetorical question BTW).

  22. AKick'nTheBucNuts Says:

    Smitty should quit “Feeling” they have good players and use the “EYEBALL TEST” like all of us do every Sunday. That will tell him who is good and who isn’t.

    Hint: It is NOT Rocket Science.

  23. K2 Says:

    Just listen to the Press Conference…and I’m not confused at all. Smith said many many times that they didn’t win the line of scrimmage last year. Multiple times he stated…you can’t win games loosing the line of scrimmage.

    End the confusion…”line of scrimmage” win it and win…

  24. Jason Mclaurin Says:

    Once you look through all the moves they are aiming at going 1a & 1b with every position. Dline is deep with former starters coming off the bench now such as Unrein, Gholston, and Spence to go along with B. Allen. It’s now the same with the DBs with Hargreaves which Smith basically calls him out and pretty much Hargreaves is now destined for the bench. R. Smith, Conte as well to go along with MJ Stewart. That’s great depth from a year ago in the secondary to along with one of those UDFA ( Igwebuike) and someone is going on the street probably Conte because he’s the only one that’s not an interchangeable player that can play all over the secondary. LB as well with Beckwith, Taylor, and now Cichy to go along with D. Bond off the bench for special teams. No more returns for opponents to go along with the fact they will never start full time because David and Alexander are never injured but Kwon does need to continue to upgrade his game.

  25. GhostofSchiano Says:

    SB Says:

    Look, we lost 4 games last yr by a FG and 7 games by one TD or less. We had a Horrible FG game, an injured QB for half the season probably, and the worst Run Game in the NFL
    Anyone who thinks we are not a better team this yr is a hater or a troll. “Simple as that”
    EXACTLY!!!!! Bucs go 11-5 this year and make the playoffs.

    Yeah, I am buying into the hype, so what! GO BUCS!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  26. Lord Cornelius Says:

    I didn’t take the statement as being about last year’s talent/team necessarily. Moreso just the current depth and competition being good enough that some good players won’t make it.

    And by good players – he may just mean guys with a lot of good traits and ability – that have yet to develop into starters. I don’t think he meant “there will be quality better than average NFL starting caliber players we will have to let go.”

    Basically there’s just a big difference in how Smitty is defining “good players” vs Joe assuming him saying “good player” = him meaning a better than average starting player.

  27. The Buc Realist Says:

    @lord of corn

    joe is just continuing with his “status whine campaign” to discredit Coach Smitty and show in any way how he is holding this defense back!!!! I would have more respect for joe if he just said his opinion no matter how incorrect he is, instead of saying ” he is a nice guy” and then lobbing grenades in every story!!!!!!!!! Setting up a false scenario that if the Bucs are successful only because a new D-line coach is laughable!!!!!

    Listen to Coach Smitty press conference and you will get a totally different impression!!!!!!! The scenario of that the Bucs in 2016 lack talent and the coaches covered up many holes and got the team to over achieve is not even an option for joe and the so-called fans!!!!!!!!!

    GO Bucs!!!!!!!

  28. StPeteBucsFan Says:


    We’re with ya bro…except of course for the trolls and haters!
    But not ‘Ghost”….I love his attitude as well.

  29. Lord Cornelius Says:


    I saw the PC and yeah I didn’t get any of the conclusion or take here.

    I don’t think the talent was that bad in 2016 because Ayers/McDonald/Spence were all contributing in ways that they didn’t in 2017. McDonald was still serviceable in 2017 but Ayers/Spence were toast early. It was visible in 2016 that we had a 4 man pass rush during the defensive turnaround and it seemed we played more press/aggressive coverage as a result at that time.

    If your starting DE is a 3rd round rookie MLB like Beckwith was at times… i mean I don’t think I’ve even heard of that lol…

    This year the offense needs to score more. That was the key issue of 2017 imo moreso than the defense; in terms of relative talent.

    The defense has enough pieces to start well and get better. I don’t expect a huge learning curve because we’ve seen new D-lines built and dominating early on other squads. D-line isn’t as complicated as a rebuilt secondary or LB scheme. Much of the LB core and secondary are returning players who know the system. Every NFL team has big turnover year to year so I won’t buy that excuse if we are getting blown out early or giving up 21 points in 1.5 quarters. I don’t think that’ll be the case this year tho


  30. Mike Johnson Says:

    Good football Players aye coach Smith? 5-11 and you got..good football players on Defense?. Ok coach, thanks for the spin. Just call us fans..Willie Lump nuts.

  31. The Buc Realist Says:

    @Lord Corn

    agreed about the Dline, Mcdonald was best with his snaps limited, Kept him healthy and fresh and more effective in my book!!!!!! I would not mind seeing them start GMC and JPP but the coaches limit their snaps as well!!!!!!

    And don’t forget the other D ends they brought in off the street that played with Beckwith!!! Will Clarke lead the DE in sacks last year!!!! followed Ryan Russell!!!!!!

    GO Bucs!!!!!!!!!!

  32. SB Says:

    SPBF.. you know you have always been one of the most respected commenters here. Still are.

  33. SB Says:

    I am going to the Imax and watch Infinity War with my fam. Peace out all and Go Bolts! Go Bucs!

  34. Capt.Tim Says:

    Its a 5-11 team.
    You can makr any excuses you want, but its a 5-11 team until it proves otherwise.
    I think they have made some major upgrades.
    Other than The Great Gerald McCoy, no one from last years Defensive line should be on the team this year. We had absolutely the worst Defensive Line play I have ever seen- on any level.
    Other than McCoy, who was always doubled team, often Triple teamed

    But despite all the rhetoric, how can you have any confidence in this staff?
    They looked at those miserable players last year, and thought they were good to go. They made no effort to improve the DE talent,when it was obvious that our DEs WERE NOT CAPABLE OF GENERATING A PASS RUSH.

    How obvious? I was screaming about it all offseason last year. And I wasnt alone. There were several other knowledgeable posters saying the same thing.

    A competent defensive staff would have made some changes. The fact that they didnt, makes you question their coaching ability.

    Time will tell
    Other than Hargreaves- oue secondary didnt play bad. They looked bad, because we had no pass rush
    Hargreaves played so bad- at corner and slot- that he would have been cut, if he werent a first round pick