Fixing The Secondary

June 12th, 2018

Clock ticking.

The Bucs pass defense last year was such a horror show, Freddie Krueger couldn’t stomach watching it.

It was simply a nightmare. Couldn’t breathe on a quarterback to save their lives and opposing offensive coordinators thought they may have needed an optometrist, believing they were seeing things because their receivers had so much space off the snap.

Kristopher Knox of Bleacher Report believes Bucs AC/DC-loving general manager Jason Licht has solved the pass rush issue with his offseason moves. But can Mike Smith fix the secondary fast enough to potentially save his and his colleagues’ jobs?

The Tampa Bay Buccaneers had the league’s worst pass defense last season (260.6 yards allowed per game). There were two reasons for this. One was a pathetic pass rush that produced a paltry 22 sacks, the league low. The other was a secondary that lacked elite talent.

Tampa Bay took care of the first issue by acquiring both Jason-Pierre Paul and Vinny Curry.

The challenge now will be to figure out the best configuration of players in the secondary. While Brent Grimes is still a serviceable starter, the Buccaneers don’t have a lot of proven talent. Vernon Hargreaves hasn’t lived up to his first-round draft status, and there isn’t anything special in the safety room.

Well, Joe won’t go as far as to say the Bucs lacked elite talent in the secondary. Brent Grimes is one of the better corners in the NFL. Problem was, opposite of him was — gasp — Ryan Smith.

People gnash their teeth when Joe writes the following but until proven otherwise, it is true. This defensive staff has yet to demonstrate it can develop a rookie corner. It just hasn’t. So Joe isn’t exactly resting well at night knowing the Bucs decided, rather than go get another veteran corner — and this same coaching staff works very well with veteran corners — to instead throw more rookies into the meat grinder.

13 Responses to “Fixing The Secondary”

  1. budbuc Says:

    If we can rush the passer, everything else will fall into place!


  2. Bucsfanman Says:

    Fingers-crossed that the pass-rush will help the secondary! If this defense doesn’t get it’s head out of its culo, this will be Smitty’s swan-song.

  3. 813bucboi Says:

    I agree joe…..this staff cant develop CB’s to play in smitty’s system……one thing that would help would be to, stop drafting man press CB’s and forcing them to play off…..that’s the biggest and most obvious problem…..

    regarding VHG, he was injured most of the year just like Winston…..he was hurt early in the season and tried to tough it out just like Winston….and just like Winston his play suffered…..

    once this staff figures out all of our CB’s excel in man press except for grimes the sooner they’ll play to the strengths of the other CB’s… press…..and with the improved dline, we should go that direction this year…..

    and if you think smitty”gave CB’s freedom” to line up, then you must believe 5-11 is a winning record…….


  4. John5 Says:

    Don’t say no excuses while making excuses for Softgreaves. He didn’t play up to par at all. He went backwards. And that was evident in moving him to nickel. I think that bodes to Joe’s point about the coaches developing these rookie CB’s.

    I’m not going to make any excuses for Smitty, but I really think the defense was hot and cold, and the cold would always prevail. There was just a plague somewhere in the team that was growing. They would give up a lot. Was that coaching? Was that certain players? Was it both? One thing is for certain, they didn’t play like a team that is out there to dominate. And Softgreaves did not have his head in the game most the time.

  5. Mike Johnson Says:

    That performance by DC Smitty’s boyz last year warranted him being fired. But..he was saved by his buddy..Koetter. If these guys don’t finish 8-8 this year? HANG’EM HIGH baby!!..Smitty first.

  6. stpetebucsfan Says:

    Who coaches the DB’s? I like Mark Duffner a lot and of course he has a lot of talent to work with in that LB group and Buckner will have talent to mold on the DL but who is responsible for that back four? Serious question…not trying to slam whoever did it last year.

  7. Casual Observer Says:

    They do need to be fixed. Well said.

  8. SOEbuc Says:

    “Brent Grimes is one of the better CBs in the league.” I hope you’re not trying to say he’s one of the top CBs in the league. He’s good. Was especially good for us last year helping the younger guys and back ups. He plays the position well playing deep. Other than PDs, Robert McClain had better to equal/close numbers to Grimes and McClain started nine games compared to Grimes 13. AND WHY THE HELL ISN’T MCCLAIN ON THE FIELD WITH US RIGHT NOW??? CRAZY.

  9. 813bucboi Says:


    im not making excuses for VHG just stating facts…..he played bad and has to get better….but his poor play was caused by his injury…..when I say Winston regressed last year, folks say he played bad because he was hurt…..


  10. Not there yet Says:

    Can’t believe your back with this stupid narrative. So apparently you think Ryan Smith and javien Elliott are starter material ok that’s all you had to say and now we can hold you to that since you continue to blame the coaching staff

  11. Bucnjim Says:

    Surprised there isn’t more critiquing of the safeties. If Grimes did do a good job last year then that only leaves one other corner and two safeties when in our base D.

  12. John5 Says:

    @ 813bucboi

    I’m opposite haha. I think Jameis was hurt last year but his stats aside from fumbles still improved. I liked when he would get mobile and make plays, but Koetter doesn’t like that and wants him to stay in the pocket. Koetter is more conservative and Jameis likes to go for wins. It will be interesting to see how he pans out this year, assuming he plays all year.

    Softgreaves went opposite. Bad coverage, soft missed tackles, soft physicality, misread plays. He was burnt toast half the time. He wasn’t doing his job at all so they moved him to nickel. He got hurt at the end of the season. But he was playing bad all last season. The year before he had all kinds of highlights. Last year every highlight he was involved in was getting torched or muscled out of the way.

  13. BucEmUp Says:

    There is nothing wrong with soft coverage, just like there is nothing with tight press coverage. There is a time and a place for everything. This staff problem is they have the entire secondary playing soft all game every game every snap.

    There is no game planning against Mike Smith. Every team uses the same game plan against our defense.They know they will always get a completion on 3rd and long with a nice slant route.

    Just play a little tighter for a change….PLEASE!!!!!!