Goal No. 1 Complete?

July 12th, 2018

D-line needs to be a force.

You know what scares the hell out of Joe? With America’s Quarterback, Pro Bowler Jameis Winston, on the shelf for the first three games, the Bucs will have to rely on their defense.

Yeah, the same putrid defense that was last in the league last year. It’s early on a Thursday morning and Joe already has a headache.

The Bucs’ main offseason goal was building a semblance of a pass rush, adding four new defensive linemen that combined have a whopping 363 games of NFL experience. Then they drafted manbeast 347-pound defensive tackle Vita Vea.

This is all well and good but this is paper football. The Bucs should be better getting pressure on the quarterback. Time will tell.

Jenna Laine of ESPN.com noted the Bucs “devoted three draft picks to improving a secondary that surrendered 260.6 passing yards per game last season — more than any other team in the league — and gave up 37 rushing plays of 12 or more yards, tied for seventh most in the league.”

The way Joe sees it, the defensive line cannot just be good for the first three games. It has to be dominant facing Drew Brees, possibly Carson Wentz and Ben Roethlisberger (will Bucs fans boo him like they plan on booing Jameis? If not, why not?).

The Bucs, for reasons not at all clear, passed on obtaining a veteran corner. Instead, they are putting all their eggs into a rookie basket, hoping one can play like a vet right away facing two guys that will be in the Hall of Fame some day and a third who is one of the best quarterbacks to enter the NFL in years.

If the defensive line cannot get quarterbacks on the ground consistently through the first three games, we may be talking draft before September is gone.

37 Responses to “Goal No. 1 Complete?”

  1. D-Rome Says:

    I believe talent-wise the team is better. I am not convinced this is the right coaching staff to lead the team to a .500 record, which is the best anyone should realistically expect.

  2. SC Bucs Fan Says:

    Pictures of McCoy on a thread are like throwing chum to the haters. Watch them feed.

    D-Rome, I think the best we can hope for is a Jag like year where everything comes together quickly, but I have my doubts. Still, at 0-0, I can hope.

  3. 813bucboi Says:

    putting all our eggs in the smitty basket is suicide…..


  4. 813bucboi Says:


    100% AGREE!!!!!


  5. stpetebucsfan Says:

    I totally understand the frustration with off coverage by our DB’s instead of more press. I get that people are upset that Smitty didn’t blitz more. And perhaps those were mistakes.

    But I’m a guy who loves offense so when it comes to defense I read D.R…he obviously loves defense and he makes good points. First about how our D actually DID play last year and secondly about our lack of talent.

    It’s so freaking obvious. When a franchise has to go out and spend their #1 draft pick…their #1 FA acquistions as well as several other FA’s all on ONE position..the DL….that position was clearly bare of talent or you don’t have to spend so much.

    As far as Smitty. You guys can tear him down all you want but he gets the last laugh. No he’s not an esteemed poster on JBF. He can’t go back to the archives and repost his greatest hits…but he actually has some REAL accomplishments in football…unlike the vast majority of us posting here.

    So just to set the RECORD straight.

    During his tenure as the head coach of the Falcons, Smith became the franchise’s winningest coach by number of wins in addition to being the recipient of the 2008 NFL Coach of the Year Award by the Associated Press and was also voted NFL Coach of the Year Award by the Sporting News three different times 2008, 2010 and 2012.

    Did you guys get that. He was voted COACH OF THE YEAR of the 32 in the league 3 different times! His tenure in Atlanta was ended largely because of the acquisition of Julio. Dimitrof gave up FIVE draft picks including their first rounders in both 2011 and 2012.

    While nobody is still criticizing that move because they got the right player…it absolutely set the Falcons back a couple of years because of the lack of talent injected normally from the draft.

    And so Smitty gets here and it’s all #weaponsforjameis. Just like with the Falcons and JJ…Jameis cost this franchise big time in terms of draft capital and the direction…spending all that money and draft capital on our offense. I hope like the Falcons we got the right player…if so then it was worth it. Smitty gets to be the sacrificial lamb once again…at least he has this year with some talent let’s see what he can do.

  6. m0j0 Says:

    The Bucs defense will be better for two reasons. Reason one is they added a lot of talent and experience on the D-Line and added much needed talent to work with in the secondary, both at corner and at safety. Reason two is the Bucs coaching staff took a long hard look in the mirror and realized that they have to adapt the defense to take advantage of their players abilities and strengths (such as playing more press coverage) and they have to ensure everyone knows everyone’s job and communicate more effectively on the field.

  7. SC Bucs Fan Says:

    Mark your commas are all in the wrong places. Perhaps you should take a class in basic English so I can read your insults without hurting my eyes. Not that you will be long here under this name.

  8. Buccaneer Bonzai Says:

    “You know what scares the hell out of Joe? With America’s Quarterback, Pro Bowler Jameis Winston, on the shelf for the first three games, the Bucs will have to rely on their defense.

    Yeah, the same putrid defense that was last in the league last year.” – J0E

    Okay, I’m sorry, but that statement is just silly, man. If you think this is the same defense, you are drinking too much in Vegas! LOL

  9. Buccaneer Bonzai Says:

    stpetebucsfan, that was very well said.

  10. Bucsfan951 Says:

    Wow Mark no need for the racist stuff

  11. Bucsfan951 Says:

    Very well said st Pete. Couldn’t agree with you more.

  12. The Buc Realist Says:

    LOL!!!! Joe and the sheep think that with no pass rush, and R. Smith and An injured B.grimes that the answers were to jam the lOS and play press?????????

    Coach Koetter said that at the end of the year the two biggest issues last year was red zone scoring for the offense and pass rush for the defense!!!!!!!!!

  13. Buccaneer Bonzai Says:

    The point that Mike Smith was not given much to work with is valid.

    He had McCoy, Grimes, and Kwon. That’s it.

    The secondary has been a mess, and David has not turned into the stud we hoped he was (he was supposed to be as good a Luke Kuechly, but at OLB, a difference maker. He has not been close to it).

    VHIII looked promising, but had a down year. He might turn it around this year (I hope), but it’s uncertain.

    But this year? Mike Smith finally has real weapons. We’ll see what he is capable of.

  14. Dan McLaughlin Says:

    It is not the same putrid defense in any sense of the word. It’s ridiculous to compare them to last year. JPP alone makes them much better.

  15. 813bucboi Says:

    all the accomplishments are all fine and dandy but this is the NFL…..a “what have you done lately league”…..

    lately smitty has been trash….point blank period…..all the excuses for this staff is comical…..it all stops soon tho…..then we’ll see who gets the last laugh….right now, we’re laughing at smitty and have for 2 years now outside of 5games…..


  16. Defense Rules Says:

    StPete, great words about Smitty. This is surely a ‘prove it’ year for just about everyone on the team … including (obviously) Smitty & his defensive coaching staff. I’m convinced Smitty & company will do well this year with better ‘MonstersforSmitty’ (?) because I’m convinced he’s an excellent coach. But … only time will tell.

    Have long enjoyed playing chess, and I think that’s one reason that NFL (and college) football appeals to me so much … each game is an awesome ‘chess match’ in its’ own way. Also a lot like planning & executing large-scale military operations (done my share of that too) … the strategies & tactics involved are challenging to develop & analyze.

    I say that because I can really empathize with what Smitty was trying to do last year (convinced that minimizing POINTS ALLOWED was his focus, he simply lacked the horses when it counted). For instance, Bucs defense gave up the SAME number of total TDs in 2016 & 2017 (39 TDs Allowed) AND essentially the same number of 1st downs allowed (304/305). Defense ranked #1 in the NFL in 2016 in 3rd down efficiency, but #31 in stopping 4th down attempts. Yet in 2017 we reversed that, and ranked #32 in 3rd down efficiency, yet #1 in stopping 4th down attempts. ‘Timing is everything’ as they say, and last year’s ‘timing’ was quite bad (defense screwed up at the worst possible times IMO … didn’t have the horses in the trenches to stop the run when we most needed to?).

    This year’s defensive P-O-T-E-N-T-I-A-L is much better IMO, although I’m concerned it could take several games to gel (learn to communicate effectively on the field being the biggest factor?). I’m convinced we’ll do significantly better against the run for one thing (it all starts there IMO). We should also be much better at getting pressure on opposing QBs, and without having to use huge numbers of blitzes. If that materializes, our intermediate coverages should improve (maybe lower completion percentages & more INTs?). However, EVERY POSITION GROUP (DLine, LBs & Secondary) needs to improve significantly over last year if this defense is going to propel this T-E-A-M forward. Still ‘cautiously optimistic’ …

  17. BucEmUp Says:

    new players….same coach….same.results.

    Fire Mike Smith

  18. Bob in Valrico Says:

    I swear I don’t know where you get your facts from. LVD was available one more game and had 101 tackles compared to 97 for Kwon. LVD also leads in the turnover dept. 5 forced fumbles recovered to three interceptions for Kwon.
    Kwon and LVD both had 7 tackles for a loss.
    That said, they both are intregral parts of the only team strength last year IMO.

  19. Bob in Valrico Says:

    Strength on defense.

  20. Gambelero Says:

    It sounds strange, but stopping the run consistently will get us more sacks. Buffalo’s first down run on 3rd and 12 was The play that broke the team’s back last season.

  21. jmarkbuc Says:


    But I’m a guy who loves offense
    And you’re a Buc Fan? 🙂

    As far as Smitty goes…unfortunately we all know this is a right now business. 2012 was an eternity ago, in football years. The urban legend is that he was run from the ATL for turning their D soft. Not a good look for right here, right now.
    It wasn’t just being statistically bad, it was disgusting to watch on fundamentals alone. Watch Devonta Freeman on 11/26/17 against us. Coaches have to teach fundamentals. Smitty did not accomplish that.

  22. Big Daddy 58 Says:

    Defense has always been the Bucs identity I say Smitty’s defense will prosper this year .McCoy, JPP, Curry,and a healthy Noah Spence will have QBs looking over their shoulders.Sacks and pics stats will double or better.Tua and unrein will stop up the middle and the linebackers will feast!!

    GOOO BUCS !!

  23. Buccaneer Bonzai Says:

    Bob in Valrico Says:
    July 12th, 2018 at 12:48 pm
    I swear I don’t know where you get your facts from.”

    I was speaking about LVD not reaching the full potential of what we expected from him when drafted. He has more experience than Kwon. He was supposed to become a leader. He was supposed to be our Luke Keuchly. That’s what fans expected from him.

    Can you honestly say he has met those expectations? No.

    In Kwon’s case, slightly less is more. LVD gets in on the tail end of plays and shares credit. Kwon is more impactful, on and off the field. LVD has never reached his full potential, and not he is entering the age when injuries add up and he slows down. That’s why we have Beckwith, who will eventually replace him.

  24. jmarkbuc Says:

    Beckwith is surgically repaired twice over already. Love the guy, but, who knows how he plays out.

  25. Defense Rules Says:

    @jmarkbuc … “The urban legend is that he (Mike Smith) was run from the ATL for turning their D soft.” Hmmm, and I thought Mike Smith was Atlanta’s HEAD COACH from 2008-2014. If you do a little analysis jmark, you’d see that Smitty had outstanding WINNING records in his first 5 years there (2008: 11-5; 2009: 9-7; 2010: 13-3; 2011: 10-6; 2012: 13-3 … for a total 5-year record of 56-24). Kinda think that’s pretty decent. Things fell apart in 2013 (4-12) & 2014 (6-10). Why? My answer: crappy drafting, especially on defensive players. But a question: Is that on the HC, on the GM, or on the DC? The only one of the 3 who survived was GM Thomas Dimitroff, and I would contend he’s the one who should’ve been fired for lousy drafting.

    There’s an irony in all of this however. Dan Quinn (defensive guru) took over for Mike Smith (defensive guru) in 2015. They had a great draft (defensively) & the defense improved to mid-NFL. In 2016 they had another great draft (defensively). Falcons went to the SuperBowl (because their offense averaged almost 34 pts/game), but their defense was close to the bottom of the NFL barrel. Quinn’s done very well in Atlanta IMO … as a HEAD COACH. Defensively, Falcons are doing no better than they were under Smitty in his 7 years (even though they’ve now got better defensive players).

  26. Defense Rules Says:

    @Bonzai … “That’s why we have Beckwith, who will eventually replace him (LVD).” Beckwith will never replace LVD Bonzai. Totally different players. Kwon could potentially replace LVD (and Beckwith replace Kwon in the middle). Personally I think that LVD is the more instinctive & more mature player (than Kwon). Next year will create an interesting dilemma for Licht: Do you keep LVD? Do you keep Kwon? Do you keep both? And what will it cost?

  27. Destinjohnny Says:

    Do line should be much improved for sure
    Don’t have a 10 sack guy but okay for sure
    I’d say between 14-18th best line

  28. Bucsfanman Says:

    Defense Rules- Great points! You ALMOST, kinda, sorta make me feel for the guy! LOL!
    Agreed on Beckwith too. I see BW as a Mike. His emergence makes LVD replaceable. Wouldn’t want that but, it is what it is!

  29. 813bucboi Says:

    defense rules

    with all those wins and impressive records his team especially his defenses were always soft…..

    he had good records because the south wasn’t as deep as it is now….during that time smith only had to worry about the saints…..

    panthers went-

    saints went-

    you should know what we did during that time…..and when he made the playoffs those 4 years he was bounced in the first round each year except for 1….

    i disagree with your opinion regarding the falcons defense….since DQ has taken over, their defense has been better than under smitty…..their defense is light year more physical than anything smitty produced…..their defense carried their team to the playoffs and a playoff win vs the rams this year….DQ has made Adrian clayborn look decent….lol…

    I like the fact that you pointed out that even thought the defense a little shaky in 2016, the offense and the OC stepped up their game…..and they had the PATS beat in the SB…..that’s an indictment on dirk…..defense cant stop anyone….score more points…..with all the weapons we have scoring should be the least of our problems…..dirk is suppose to be an offensive guru…..

    i find it ironic that the falcons owner told everyone publicly that he thought his team was soft and the only dumba$$es to give him a gig was us…..ever wonder why he was out of football for a year picking his nose in the basement if he was as good as you claim…..


  30. Bob in Valrico Says:

    BonZai, Lvd has 75 solos to Kwan’s 70 ,so I don’t think your point is valid. LVD has
    done whatever has been asked including helping Kwon in his first year when he was out of position or didn’t know his assignment. To me,LVD is the glue and Kwon is the fire.
    So yes I think LVD met my expectations.

  31. Bob in Valrico Says:

    I also think Beckwith has the bodytype for MLB, but inlooking at kwon’s stats
    he has the speed to cover and contribted 3 INT’s. So I think Bucs will have a conundrum, do they put Beckwith in who might be a better run stopper or
    keep Kwon there because of his coverage skills. Bucs will have to evaluate
    how good the revamped D Line is at stopping the run.

  32. Trench War Says:

    It’s alright to slam last years Bucs defense but this seasons defense has a lot of new faces while the underperformers from last season have been tossed or moved on. Let’s watch tc and a couple preseason games before we go completely negative.

  33. RustyRhinos Says:

    Okay, I will jump in Joe. You ask if buc fans will boo Big Ben when he plays against our team like some might toward Mr. Winston. I feel that is the job of a teams fans to boo their own players, if those same players do not uphold a standard those fans believe that player should be striving to pass. In my own thoughts I would be booing against the Steelers QB not for any of his less than actions of my expectations of his “franchise QB” status. Now for our “franchise QB” yes, YES, YES. I feel it is within my obligations as being a fan of the Tampa Bay Buccaneers to voice my personal effect to the actions of “my” teams players. Especially those who represent “my” team as a face of the NFL franchise I support. And most Especially if that person is also the ” Franchise QB”. The one player who is most known in other NFL fan bases because they are our “Franchise player”. No I will not boo Big Ben for his bad actions he is not a player for “my” team. I will boo him because I want him to lose the game against us nothing more.
    GO! NICE!

  34. RustyRhinos Says:

    Bucs! “Nice”????

  35. Bob in Valrico Says:

    DR has done a good job pinpointing the person responsible for the decline of
    Falcon defense. Thomas Dimitrov made a mess and Blank hired two former
    GM’s to straighten it out. One reason for lapse IMO is they let DE John Abraham go who was a stalwart on their defense. He had 80 sacks in 9 years with them.

  36. Defense Rules Says:

    Bucsfanman … The Bucs’ defense will improve considerably this year, Smitty will get a HC job, and you’ll be wishing he was still here the next year. (Well, might not QUITE go down like that, but I’m close?). Oh & keeping LVD AND Kwon next year will be one of Licht’s Top-5 decisions to make. (I’ll put my money on LVD … at a reduced contract).

    813bucboi … You left out the Bucs records during all those years. (We had a MAJOR impact on how well the Falcons, Saints & Panthers did in that stretch). And regarding the present Falcons’ defense versus what Smitty had, look at the quality of the players the Falcons’ DCs had to work with. (No contest).

    Bob in Valrico … The point you made about DE John Abraham was perfect. Critical error by the Falcons (as bad as us letting Michael Bennett leave). It was probably THE primary reason why the Falcons’ defense stunk so badly in 2013 & 2014. Abraham BTW spent 2013 (and 1 game in 2014) with the Cardinals and had a total of 11.5 sacks in 2013 PLUS 4 forced fumbles & 1 safety. Not too shabby for an old man.

  37. stpetebucsfan Says:


    Yeah it’s been tough for a guy who loved the old AFL game.

    I was truly excited when we drafted Jameis. He has the talent to be a franchise QB. Then when we did all the weapons for Jameis I thought “Air Coryell” here we come.

    And now this….well I’m just going to toss in my lot with D.R. and the rest of you who love great defense. Vita will be an easy guy to cheer for…as will JPP and I’ve always like GMC…good to great LB’s…and now I can cheer for our new DB’s.