Defense Did Something Right

July 21st, 2018

Deep statistical analysis.

Joe doesn’t know what the following means. Interpret this however you wish. But numbers from guys Joe respects seem to reveal one thing the Bucs defense got right last year.

The defense as a whole was about as wretched as it could get. Horrendous in so many ways it isn’t funny, particularly the inability of corners not named “Brent Grimes” to cover anyone. Sorry doesn’t begin to describe it.

Defensive coordinator Mike Smith is a fortunate man. Quite a few coordinators in the NFL last year lost their jobs for far, far, far less.

The Bucs defense was ranked No. 32, dead-last in so many categories. But Bryan Knowles of found an area where the Bucs finished in the top half of the league. Yeah, really! (Dude must have spent weeks before stumbling across this.)

Seems the Bucs did an OK job of defending play-action pass.

Per Knowles, who charted every play-action pass play attempted in the NFL last year, 22 percent of the time the Bucs successfully defended a play-action pass.

So how did the Bucs compare? Well, Knowles typed the Bucs finished 12th in the NFL in defending a play-action pass.

The rest of the plays the Bucs defended against, as Knowles documents, Tampa Bay was pure, unadulterated garbage.

Joe has often wondered, with America’s Quarterback, Pro Bowler Jameis Winston, out for the first three games, if Bucs coach Dirk Koetter might get a mulligan from Team Glazer if the Bucs stumble out of the gate and never recover.

That may not be an option for Smith. Joe thinks Smith has run out of mulligans.

25 Responses to “Defense Did Something Right”

  1. Buc believer Says:

    When I saw the pic of Smitty and the headline that the defense did something right I thought he finally got canned. Wishful thinking.

  2. Buc believer Says:

    I saw the headline and I thought Smitty got fired. Wishful thinking.

  3. Joe Says:

    I saw the headline and I thought Smitty got fired.


  4. Adambomb418 Says:

    If Smitty has another bad year, I wonder if this is his last real job in the NFL?

  5. Joe Says:

    If Smitty has another bad year, I wonder if this is his last real job in the NFL?

    Guessing yes. He’s 59 and has made a boatload of cash.

  6. Defense Rules Says:

    Have heard folks say many times Buc Believer to ‘Be careful what you wish for.’ Smitty has taken a beating here in Bucsville, yet I’ve never once heard him make excuses or throw others under the bus. Too much of a gentleman & a professional for that. For those who’ve fingered him as THE PROBLEM with our defense, you might want to look a little deeper.

    For Smitty’s FIRST 4 yrs as Atlanta’s HC (2008-2011) he had a combined 43-21 record (67.2 winning %). His assistant coaches for all 4 yrs? OC Mike Mularkey and DC Brian Van Gorder. Their offense ranked #11 average and their defense ranked #11 average over those 4 yrs. Pretty good TEAM BALANCE.

    BOTH of those assistant coaches left in Smitty’s LAST 3 yrs in Atlanta (2012-2014) and he brought in Dirk Koetter as OC and Mike Nolan as DC. Their offense ranked #13 average (did well in 2012 but slid quite a bit in 2013 & 2014) and their defense ranked #20 average over those 4 yrs (somewhat misleading since it ranked #5 in 2012 but #27 in BOTH 2013 & 2014). TEAM BALANCE seemingly disappeared. Coincidentally, Smitty’s 2012-2014 record was a combined 23-25 (47.9 winning %).

    So did Mike Smith, the owner of a 67% winning percentage from 2008-2011 forget how to coach in 2013-2014 or were there other factors at work? Maybe factors like the Falcons GM made personnel changes that were detrimental to TEAM BALANCE, or maybe the change in assistant coaches? My hunch is that Mike Smith is too much of a gentleman to reply to any questions like that, but that same hunch tells me that given some respectable TALENT here in Tampa, Smitty’s defense is going to improve a bunch this year. Hope the same can be said of Dirk Koetter’s offense, because IF it can, we’ll have a winning record and might even make it to the playoffs.

  7. Not there yet Says:

    That’s not surprising actually, their entire Mama was don’t get beat deep which why they were giving up everything else. I actually didn’t have much issues about how we played against the Patriots for instance but no one talks about how offenses first half issues put the defense on the field so much which had them exhausted in the second half of games, that won’t be an issue this year regardless of how many quarters it will take the offense to wake up each week

  8. BrianBucs Says:

    The Bucs drfense gave up a couple of leads late last year, but at times they stiffened and bailed Winston out after his ints and fumbles. So you take the bad with the good.Licht didn’t give Smith the players that he needed and gave him some huge holes to try to work around. Hopefully the new additions will help

  9. BucEmUp Says:

    Adam bomb nobody would hire him..

  10. Joe Says:

    Defense Rules:

    Smitty is a class act, but (blank blanking blank) this team needs acceptable play and wins, not a (blankety blank) etiquette instructor.

  11. Lunchbox Says:

    The Bucs defense was #1 defending against 3rd and 17, against a 4WR set, when the wind was blowing out of the East. Just kidding.

  12. BucEmUp Says:

    Just imagine how much better our offense would be if they had to practice against a god defense all week.

    Iron sharpens iron, are defense is more like crumbling sandstone

  13. webster Says:


    Winston put the defense in position to win at least 4 games with 3 minutes to go and the defense failed period. The reason the bucs were 12 against play action passes is because they have a very good linebacker core. They do not bite on the fake handoff because kwon, david and beckwith are very good. You add the linebackers to a dline that could actually do their job and rush the passer then that number 12 ranking jumps to top 7 at least.

  14. Defense Rules Says:

    Joe, totally agree about needing wins. This is the first year Smitty has had any decent talent to work with IMO (unless you consider Baker’s humping a tree worthy of America’s Got Talent). I’m perfectly willing to give Mike Smith as much of a chance to ‘redeem himself’ as you’re seemingly willing to give Jameis to do the same. Let’s see at the end of the year which unit improves the most. I’ll put my money on the Bucs’ DEFENSE.

  15. Jeffbuc Says:

    Defense rules are you really defending the guy who has coached the last place defense two years in a row. Please just stop. Who cares what his record was as a head coach 7 years ago. He sucks everyone except for I guess you knows it. He is like a tenured professor no matter what he does or how bad he does it he will stay employed until the whole ship goes down. I think this is koetter biggest mistake for not letting go of a friend. There is some defensive talent there some up with some different schemes. Joe has posted we were one of the most effective teams at blitzing but yet blitzed the lease amount of times. I could game plan against a four man front with 7 yard cushions on the outside. Double McCoy and run quick slants. Touchdown all day. I would rather see is fail running the Dick LeBeau defense of bringing the house every play. Then just sitting back in a soft coverage watching efficient 5 minute drives against us all day. I mean he is the definition of insanity. If he got fired today I know for a fact he wouldn’t be hired as an assistant on any other team. Maybe USF might let him coach linebackers. But nfl or a major 5 conference college team would say no thanks we watched the tape only needed to see single coverage on Julio Jones in One game to the tune of 250 yards to politely say we decline your application. Have a nice day. 2011 is leather helmets compared to now.

  16. Jeffbuc Says:

    Defense rules I bet you still think kiffin, Frazier, and smith can all still coach also. In 2000-2011 there defensive schemes dominated the league. Man we should hire Rod Marinelli and bring in the Tampa 2. I dont think anyone has figured out how to beat that defense yet. As I laugh listening to my hilarious billy the bass. A talking mounted bass how funny. Oh that reminds me I have to wash my z cavvaruchi pants. To wear with my Jacquez green adidas jersey tomorrow. Let me flip to side b of my boys two men tape first. Motown philly back again doing a little peaceful song. Boys two men going on. Not to hard and not to soft.

  17. Bob in Valrico Says:

    Jason Licht drafted a DT, 2 corners and a safety. He traded for JPP and signed 3
    defensive lineman. There was a lack of talent and depth on the team. Licht had to upgrade the defense and give the defensive coaches a level playing with a level playing field.
    In spite of that defense did:
    Tie for third in in defensive TD’S with 3
    Tie for 6 th with 26 defensive takeaways.
    Tie for 6th with 1056 tackles
    So IMO Smitty should have the chance to to make this new and improved defense work.
    What Smitty can’t fix is Jameis, His sluggish play in the first half of games
    and 23 turnovers has to improve.

  18. Bob in Valrico Says:

    tied for tenth in tackles with 1056

  19. Scurvy Dogs Says:

    @Jeffbuc lol those are NOT the words to Motownphilly…funny post though.

  20. Ptwalk Says:

    Here’s to hoping we can out talent this bad coaching. More talent doesn’t lead to better caching.

  21. Buccfan37 Says:

    When Smith first came aboard I was thinking yeah baby all right!. I must have been grasping at plastic straws because the results have showed the fishing ain’t so great.

  22. Buccaneer Bonzai Says:

    We were 23rd in rush defense! That’s not last place!!!!


  23. Buccaneer Bonzai Says:

    Bob in Valrico Says
    “What Smitty can’t fix is Jameis, His sluggish play in the first half of games
    and 23 turnovers has to improve.”

    An injured shoulder while getting hit on almost every play had a lot to do with that. Yes, Winston makes some mistakes, but its no coincidence that most of his turnovers were fumbles last year.

    Injured Throwing Shoulder plus Bad Offensive Line Blocking equals fumbles.

    And his sluggish play? Well, if his throwing shoulder was injured in game 2 as suspected, then that explains it. Also hard to complete passes when you are almost sacked on almost every passing play.

    And still, regardless of that, he somehow managed 4 comebacks (blown by defense) and had a 92.2 QB Rating. All while being sacked 33 times and hit more times than I can count.

    Winston will be fine, trust me.

  24. Buccaneer Bonzai Says:

    Correction, it’s no coincidence that he had more fumbles than picks last year. He actually only lost 7 fumbles.

  25. Bob in Valrico Says:

    Even the fumbles he recovered usually stalled drives. Ad the sluggish starts have been going on for several years.He has got to overcome this, because getting behind early is the main reason for most of the 4 th quarter comebacks
    attempts. The shoulder did affect some games but not the entire season.