Answers Need To Be Found, Quickly

September 10th, 2018

Running out of excuses.

Look, Joe loved, loved, loved how the Bucs won yesterday.

Swear on a stack of bibles, when the Bucs took a 24-point lead, Joe honest to goodness thought he was watching the old San Diego Chargers with Don Coryell.

Every time Ryan Fitzpatrick went back to pass, it seemed like he was throwing for a touchdown. That’s what the Chargers did with Dan Fouts (there’s that name again!). You didn’t even want to go to the bathroom because every time he dropped back, it was liable to be a 35-yard touchdown pass to John Jefferson. It was the sickest offense Joe had ever seen. It didn’t matter if the Chargers had the ball on their own-5, they were capable of scoring on the next play.

But the Bucs defense, good grief! It was just like the Chargers’ back in the day, too. One reason Coryell ran up the score is because he never had a lead that was safe. His defenses were terrible.

That was the Bucs yesterday. For all the feel-good emotions about that win in New Orleans, Joe just cannot shake the horror of the Bucs defense for a variety of reasons.

Joe got on Lovie Smith pretty good and it was warranted. His Tennessee-ready game was an embarrassment. He had months to prepare for a spread-option offense with injury-prone, overrated Marcus Mariota and the Bucs played as if they only watched 15 minutes of tape in preparation.

That’s what yesterday was with the Bucs. It’s not like the Bucs defense faced Drew Brees for the first time or never faced Alvin Kamara before, or Mike Thomas.

Has anyone tipped off the Bucs that maybe they might want to try to stop Thomas? He was targeted 17 times yesterday and caught 16 passes. The one pass he didn’t catch had nothing to do with the Bucs defense, Thomas just flat dropped the ball.

Has any of the Bucs secondary coaches heard of the word “adjustment?” Maybe, just maybe in the second half the coaching staff might have got on their headsets to brainstorm a way to defend him better? It was almost like last year when Julio Jones tore apart the Bucs by himself and Bucs coaches said after the game they couldn’t figure out a way to put Brent Grimes on Jones. #facepalm

Mike Smith and his defense had five months to prepare for Brees, Kamara and Thomas when the schedule was released and they still got beaten like a rented mule.

Bucs AC/DC-loving general manager Jason Licht spent millions of Team Glazer loot to beef up the defensive line; traded for Jason Pierre-Paul and spent three draft picks (including two seconds) for defensive backs and the defense got worse! How can that be???

Another thing that irritated Joe was all offseason, the Bucs never saw fit to find a veteran backup corner. Joe wrote numerous times how dangerous it was to rely on rookies and Ryan Smith in the division the Bucs play in with three lethal quarterbacks.

And now here we are. Brent Grimes is out for who knows how long with a bum groin. Joe saw Vernon Hargreaves yesterday (who had the play of the game forcing a fumble that turned into a scoop-and-score) with his left arm in a sling.

So right now we are looking at two rookies and/or Smith in the defensive backfield… against the Super Bowl champs no less.

Joe is running out of words that can be typed on a family site to describe what a trainwreck this defense is. And if adding a bunch of new, talented players isn’t getting the job done, perhaps it is not the players?

Again, Joe wishes he didn’t have to type this after a glorious win. But Joe jumped on Lovie for a pathetic showing to open the 2015 season. If Joe didn’t do the same after yesterday’s near-choke job for the ages, Joe would be a fraud.

78 Responses to “Answers Need To Be Found, Quickly”

  1. Bucsfanman Says:

    Joe, you knocked this one out of the park! I agree 1,000%! There’s nothing else that needs to said here.

  2. Easy Says:

    Let’s see how well they adjust this upcoming weekend. If Foles lights up this D like Breesus did then I’ll be worried.

  3. SKBucs Fan Says:

    “Has any of the Bucs secondary coaches heard of the word “adjustment?” ”

    Nailed it Joe!

    I honestly believe Mike Smith is too proud/stubborn to admit that he needs to adjust his defensive schemes. He has had two years to do it and he hasn’t yet. What makes anyone believe he will now? Ya we gave up 40, but we got the win. It’s all good! Right?

  4. Lamarcus Says:

    Love the Bucs win also. Fun game.

    Defense will be our downfall this season. Once again. We have talented players but the scheme is Doo doo. Fire Mike Smith today please and pass it over to someone else. Anybody but Msmith. He forgot how to coach.

  5. Says:

    As I wrote last week when Grimes went down, nothing a little FitzMagic couldn’t overcome.
    We played against a HOF’er in is voodoo home
    Offensive Rookie of the Year
    No Grimes, VH3 goes down.
    Two rookies out there.
    A sack, consistent QB pressure, including a few missed sacks due to Brees’ elusiveness.
    Two turnovers
    Defensive TD
    We were up 48-24. Of course Brees is going to shred anyone playing 3 deep prevent and rack up some stats. We bent, didn’t break.
    All in all, not a bad outing

    Grimes comes back, VH3 back, Vita Vea back, we’ll be fine.


  6. Doolnutts Says:

    I like Koetter and I love our offense. If Koetter survives the season based on whatever results and our defense is this bad Mike Smith has got to go. Talent alone should have us at least average.

  7. Waterboy Says:

    Sounds similar to the Atlanta Falcons teams when Smith was in charge. They would put up a lot of points but couldn’t stop anyone else from scoring. That’s why he was fired in Atlanta.

  8. Marc Says:

    PSA: I was very very down on Fitz being able to win any one of these first three games. I WAS DEAD WRONG! WHAT A SPECTACLE BY FITZ. I AM NOT WORTHY! I AM NOT WORTHY!

  9. DB Says:

    Really curious how much patience Koetter and the Glazer family will have with Mike Smith. What are your thoughts, Joe? If the defense continues to give up 30 a game coming into Chicago do they make a switch? Have they ever done this before?

  10. Casual Observer Says:

    Agree. Pass D was horrible. Even when they knew short passing plays were being called all the time. Try something new to stop such success!

  11. m0j0 Says:

    The coverage needs to help out the D line and give them at least 3 seconds to get to the QB.

  12. Architek Says:

    This is why I remain and will always be loyal to Joe(s) = ACCOUNTABILITY

  13. OneBucPerson Says:

    If the D doesn’t improve by the end of the month I want Smitty canned and either Duffener or Buckner promoted to DC. They couldn’t possibly be worse than what Smitty has been to this point.

  14. Jmarkbuc Says:

    Dead on point Joe…

    The only defense worse than ours yesterday was, well New Orleans.

    We will definitely have a hard time winning with non defense like that.

    I don’t expect us to score 40+ a whole lot, especially with film on Fitzmagic out there now

  15. Mike Says:

    I’ve never agreed with you before, but you’ve nailed this one.

  16. OneBuc55 Says:

    Playing Devils advocate here…

    Im not going to hit the panic button on Smitty and the defense this season just yet for a few reasons…

    1, we played Drew Brees/Sean Payton in NO.
    2, NO played from behind to whole game.
    3, NO couldn’t run the football, resulting in more pass attempts.

    The good news is this is the best offense we’ll see all year…Although they’ll have Ingram next go round…

  17. diggler Says:

    Waterboy Says:
    September 10th, 2018 at 2:09 pm
    Sounds similar to the Atlanta Falcons teams when Smith was in charge. They would put up a lot of points but couldn’t stop anyone else from scoring. That’s why he was fired in Atlanta.

    ^^^ thank you I can never understand why Joe blew his load when he found out the Bucs hired Mike Smith I’m like wait a minute the dude that had one good year defensively the rest of the time this is the exact same defenses we saw in Atlanta you’re absolutely right

  18. Mike Johnson Says:

    In post game interview, Hargreaves said, When out Offense plays like that it does not matter..we will win. Wrong Mr H. You will not outgun many teams in this NFl. They are just to good. When you are ahead 48-24 with 8:57 left in the 4th qtr and the opposing Offense just about..walks you down” Hello Houston, we have a big problem. Not a single Buc fan did not get jittery on Sunday in that 4th qtr. I did not see the needed improvement in this Buc Defense. And DC Smitty continues to sit his lazy A.. up in that pressbox for his..better viewing. Get on the GD field of play Smitty!

  19. Howard Cosell Says:

    The Bucs won their 1st game last season too.
    The D needs to be fixed asap. Looking at you GMC

  20. Howard Cosell Says:

    The Bucs won their 1st game last season too.
    The D needs to be fixed asap. Looking at you GMC

  21. danr Says:

    That Tennessee ready team? Mariota completed 13 passes for four touchdowns. That is how ‘Tennessee’ ready we were.

  22. Howard Cosell Says:

    Lead from the front and stay healthy GMC. That alone would do wonders

  23. Steve in Mad Beach Says:

    What was with all of the prevent defense? Does that ever work?

  24. Howard Cosell Says:

    Dear God,
    Please help Brent Grimes and Vernon Hargreaves to get 100% healthy.

  25. Says:

    Guys, we’ll be fine. It was Brees. In New Orleans. We kept him in check in the third quarter when we really won the game. Nicky Foles will not hang 40 on us, and it won’t take 48 to beat the defending super bowl champs. By the way, noticed the following headline in the Wall Street Journal: The NFL’s Week 1 Powerhouse: The Buccaneers?
    @Joe- there’s some blog fodder for you.
    Wall Street Journal covering their Haaahvahd man.
    GO BUCS!!!!!

  26. Knoxville Bucs Fan Says:

    Said it yday. Promote Buckner to DC… also one of you Joe’s and it’s probably Steve, you always have to put a negative swing on things. Sometimes the best things said is to say nothing at all

  27. miken Says:

    No one is better in the game than Drew B at home and kamara is like no other. They averaged 32 points a game at home last year. The d made some key stops and scored a td so i didn’t think it was that bad. This roster was built to score. However, where were the adjustments on thomas and we should not have gone into the season with only one proven cb especially since that cb is in his30’s. They that got torched was the saints. I don’t think we punted and they had the home crowd, played a back up qb and have like 4 pro bowlers on d

  28. FreeTheSecretWeapon Says:

    Bottom Line.

    One game is nothing. Win or Lose

  29. Joe Says:

    Thanks for the compliments guys. Joe wants to wallow in joy with the win — and is.

    But man that defense was disturbing.

  30. zzbucs Says:

    Well, I guess we have to cool down a little guys…..First game of the season, obviously our defense can play way much better….We should consider that our secondary was really bad without Grimes and with Ryan Smith in …My god is there any chance Ryan Smith can play at least decently for only one game???? Am I asking for to much here? Also I love Kwon Alexander but this guy misses to many takles!!!!….But again lets be patient, first game……

  31. cmurda Says:

    It almost feels like we will need to be the old Rams “Greatest Show on Turf” to win games. I have zero confidence in this defense. Sure, I think the D Line will play better as the season progresses but the secondary is scary with the amount of rookies we will be forced to roll with. Carlton Davis got toasted yesterday and that’s not a knock against the guy. He could easily have great potential but he was going against a 1st ballot HOF QB and a stud receiver. Mr. Adjustment (Mike Smith) didn’t roll any help to the rookie. He hardly mixed up his defensive looks contrary to what D Brooks suggested. It’s as vanilla a defense that you can have. Any team can scout our defense and know what our looks are and they can be sure what they see is what they get. Mike Smith has held this team back for 3 years and sadly I think he will be the death of Koetter. It’s unfortunate because I really like Koetter and think he is a great coach.


    The first 2 points I’ll give you but the third is all the more reason our defense should have been put in good positions to make plays. The Saints got down big which all but eliminated the concern of stopping the run. The fact that Brees was able to sit back there without pressure from our line and ate up this defense is an indictment on Mike Smith as a defensive coordinator.

  32. D-Rome Says:

    On top of everything written here, Drew Brees completed 82% of his passes.

  33. Not there yet Says:

    Why go get a veteran corner when your going to give 15 yards of cushion on 3rd and 12? It’s a waste of money on the pathetic coach my scheme coordinator

  34. Rod Munch Says:

    The answer… trade for Le’Veon Bell, offer up Ronald Jones and I bet the Steelers take it as they’d be more than happy to get something at this point. As they say, the best defense is scoring 40 points a game on offense.

  35. Rob Says:

    As I watched the game unfold and became more and more worried that Brees would complete the comeback after being down 24 points in the 4th, I told my brother, another die hard Buc fan that Mike Smith would be fired in the locker room if the Bucs lose this one. When you put up 48 damn points, you should not be worried about losing a game people. I don’t care what injuries you have, giving up 40 points is inexcusable. Figure it out Mike Smith. You have plenty of bodies on the d line to give us more than what you gave yesterday. I realize the HOF Brees does this to nearly everyone but figure it out or you should pack your bags. Anyone could coach the defense and give up 40 points, we don’t need you for that. Do your flipping job. Go Bucs!

  36. BigMacAttack Says:

    Joe you seem to forget the fact that Drew Brees and his offense can, and usually do score every time they get the ball. It doesn’t matter what defense he plays, he can shred them. Our defense got some crucial stops. For the number of injuries we have on defense, I thought they did a respectable job. The Saints are easily a top 5 team in the NFL. I guarantee if Brees stays healthy that the Saints make the playoffs. They will easily win 10-12 games, especially after losing yesterday. Kamara will likely get 2000 all purpose yards this season. It was the first game and although our defense has a long way to go, I think you’re reading way too much into this. Hold your horses Chicken Little. Smith basically donated two late TDs to the Saints with his stupid prevent BS. I don’t blame our players for that. That’s on Coach Smith. Drew Brees will have another 5000 yard season. Feel lucky we got the win and there will be many more to come. For the record, I’ve been saying the Bucs were going to beat the Saints for months. And it happened. Now they’re going to beat the Eagles next. Pittsburgh will be tough, but it’s very winnable. You may be looking at a 4-0 start big fella. That’s all I have to say about that. Go Bucs!!!

  37. The Buc Realist Says:

    LOL, joe throwing a bone to the so-called fans!!!!!!! you won’t hear one good thing from joe about what the defense they did do!!!!! not while the campaign to get rid of coach Smitty continues!!!!!!!! Why lie? Why make things up? Joe has written about good things the defense did yesterday. Reality is that the Bucs didn’t turn the ball over. So New Orleans scored 40 points without the benefit of a short field AND the Bucs won time of possession. New Orleans averages 30 a game, not 40, and not when they’re forced to be one dimensional. It was brutal. Wake up! –Joe The number 2 overall offense from last year, and the so-called fans thing they will happen the next 15 games!!!!!!!!

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

  38. JoebucsFlan Says:

    then again if the D didnt get that fumble for 6 it would have been a loss

  39. Reach87 Says:

    Agree the Defense needs to play better (mostly scheme, I think). Why would they not play better? Who thought the Head Coach would give up playcalling? He did. Who thought we would hang near half a hundred on the Saints? We did. Who thought our OL would play so well? They did. Who thought Fitz could surgically dissect the Saints? He did that. And so the question this week is “Who says a veteran defensive coach cannot make adjustments week to week (new team this year with new personnel) to improve his scheme?” I expect scheme changes to meet the opponent this week and expect the defense to play better. Hope we tackle on Defense and stay diversified on offense. We can beat the Eagles. Go Bucs!

  40. jmarkbuc Says:

    Number one problem (of many ) for this D


    The most fundamental skill on that side of the ball, and we are POOR at it.

  41. Rod Munch Says:

    Look, the defense was overmatched. The Bucs lose by far their best player in the secondary, Grimes, then VH3 goes out with injury – that leaves you with two 2nd round rookies making their NFL debut against a HOF QB, on the road, in a dome. Even worse than that scenario is having Ryan Smith playing. This is in large part on Licht for putting the team in a scenario where you have all those issues at corner AND Chris Conte starting. This secondary wouldn’t look as bad as it does now in 2002, but even then the Bucs would have just been an average defense if they were starting the guys they were starting at the end of the game. I like Justin Evans, so no dig on him, he’s just dragged down by the peoples he’s surrounded by.

    Also Mike Smith did no one any favors by going to a prevent with 4 mins left. Who didn’t think the Saints would get a TD nearly instantly in that situation?

    Mike Smith just doesn’t seem like a very bright guy as a DC, not sure what else to say. His timing for blitzes are mostly awful (although he did get Brees in the first half with a blitz, so it’s not 100% awful, only like 98%) and he doesn’t seem to adjust throughout a game. He’s not a dumb guy obviously, but as a DC he doesn’t seem to have a very good football IQ, or whatever term you want to use.

    We’ve seen the offense look amazing without Dirk calling the plays, so if Dirk isn’t calling the plays what exactly does he do? Well nothing he’s doing is better than what Mike Smith can do as HC, and if Mike Smith, a proven winner at HC, was the HC, then he’d be forced to get a real DC. The entire team would be so much better off in this scenario. Yes, I’ve been saying for a season and a half, but we saw yesterday what I was saying that entire time, Dirk can not be the OC and the HC at the same time, that he was limited what the team could do by crippling it with terrible play calling after he became HC. Now what if the team had a real modern DC as well… wow.

  42. Syl Says:

    After the 1st quarter I actually thought the defense played okay. Once VH went down then it was pretty much all zone, and Brees picked them apart.

  43. Tom S. Says:

    New talented players? Well Joe, when two of those “talented” DB’s are rookies playing their first game against Drew Brees and another is Ryan Smith, are you telling me you’re shocked that Drew Brees threw for over 400 yards? The best corner this week was….Vernon Hargreaves? Carlton Davis was crispy fried toast like something you might see at a Lousiana state fair. Drew Brees went at him early and often.

    There was 1 sack by Vinny Curry, are you honestly telling me that you blame the scheme on JPP and William Gholston combining for 0 tackles this week?

    Vinny Curry has had exactly one season over 4 sacks in 6 years in the NFL. JPP hasn’t had a double digist sack season since he had two hands in 2014. So Mike Smith’s scheme is what’s preventing things? Are you saying you could organize a bunch of slappies to play against Drew Brees and if given enough time you could figure out how to stop him with a motley crew of misfits? LOL

  44. adam from ny Says:

    ey mun…we got aye bumba clod running the d !

  45. 1sparkybuc Says:

    We’ll know more next Sunday. It will be strength against strength and weakness against weakness. Something’s gotta give. The fleagles struggle to move the chains but have a very stout D. It should be a great matchup. I like our chances to start the season 3-0. Bottom line, we went toe to toe with a contender, and came out on top. Impressive offense and a handicapped D facing a sure fire HOF QB still in his prime. We got the win. O BUCS

  46. LJ'sDaddy Says:

    Hey Joe…how about a confidence poll on Smitty??

  47. firethecannons Says:

    Kamara was causing missed tackles every play he was targeted throughout the game. Drew Brees gets the ball out fast too. Hopefully we have a better defensive showing against the Eagles. I hope if Koetter is maintained after the season–that he considers ditching Mike Smith as his tenure has been disastrous.

  48. Wesley Says:

    If I were The Saints I would have thrown the ball on every single down.

  49. Architek Says:

    “LOL, joe throwing a bone to the so-called fans!!!!!!! you won’t hear one good thing from joe about what the defense they did do!!!!! not while the campaign to get rid of coach Smitty continues!!!!!!!!“

    – This is the empty stuff I come to expect from this clown. Since when has giving up 40 pts and one 15 yard scramble away from potential OT after being up by 20 pts is okay???

    – Campaign to get rid of Smitty?? there is no campaign here but the truth serum.

  50. Big Boss Bucs Fan Says:


    AMEN!! If we had lost that game yesterday after dropping 48 on the Aints’……the Stick Carriers (as should every Bucs fan) would’ve marched up to One Buc Place with torches and pitch forks demanding Mike Smiths resignation. Heck I think he should still resign anyways!!!

  51. Defense Rules Says:

    What I’m reading is a bunch of bitchin’ with the only proposed solution being “Fire Mike Smith’. It’s the old ‘the grass is always greener on the other side of the fence’ routine … bring in ‘someone else’ (whichever unemployed DC that is) & we’ll supposedly be fine. Or promote Buck & all of a sudden we’ll be back to a Top-5 defense.

    Sorry ‘fans’ but those aren’t solutions at all. The DLine yesterday had TWO bonafide DTs active … GMC, Allen & Worthy. There were 64 defensive snaps … GMC played 59 of those (92%), Allen played 31 (48%) while Worthy added 15 (23%). Looks like the DLine desperately needs Vea & Unrein in there at DT.

    And if you take a look at the play-by-play it looks to me like our LBs were making tackles, BUT they were way down the field. LVD’s tackles averaged 10 yds down the field, and Kwon’s averaged almost 8 yds down the field. Our other LB made 1 tackle on the day (whoopee). Almost all of those tackles BTW were in pass defense. Something’s wrong in Mudville when LBs are making tackles that far down the field IMO (reminiscent of Barrett Rudd?).

    In the Secondary, Carlton Davis got roasted quite often, and got a great baptism by fire (56 snaps worth). VHIII was in there for 53 snaps before he got hurt, and Ryan Smith played like … Ryan Smith (he actually did several things quite well yesterday & got 44 def snaps). MJ Stewart was only in there for 18 plays, and Whitehead only got on the field for 1 play. They all got whooped up on, but it was a great learning experience more than likely. Especially since we won.

    @Joe … “So right now we are looking at two rookies and/or Smith in the defensive backfield… against the Super Bowl champs no less.” The lesson IMO Joe should be that our DLine AND our LBs need to pick up the slack. Those rookies back in the Secondary NEED the guys in front of them to kick some ass. Those guys didn’t do that yesterday, but Philly is a whole nuther game.

  52. JimmyJack Says:

    Don’t worry about the defense.They are 1-0 coming off an extremely difficult match.

    And while the defense was touched for a ton of yards and points let’s not act like they didn’t do nothing to win us the game. VHIIIs play was the biggest play yesterday……. And the defense all blood coming out of halftime and shutout Drew Bress in the 3rd.

    they made the plays when they had to and that can all you need when your riding with a top tier offense………..Justin Evans looks primed to bust onto the scene. Carlton had a tough day but held up in coverage and a an enormous hit/tackle on 3rd and 13.

    Next we get the Eagles and their offense is going to cost them some wins til Wentz gets back. This game sets up as a perfect opportunity for a defense to start clicking and getting more confident.

  53. stpetebucsfan Says:

    Wow just wow! This team had an 18 point lead midway through the fourth quarter in the Dome against Drew Brees. We simply needed to execute a 44 yard FG to ice this game and all this panic about Smitty’s prevent D or Moncken turtling too soon would not even be discussed!!!

    This is full blown PREMATURE panic!!! IF we convert that FG all these conversations disappear. I realize the ifs and buts but seriously…our offense AND our defense WON this game…yet another mess up by our ST’s in particular the FG unit made this game close…NOT our coaches. When we missed that FG it not only fired up the loud crowd and Brees and the Saints…you could feel the air go out of our own balloon. How many thought…oh noes here we go again.
    Do we not suppose some of that affected the Bucs?

    So enjoy your panic but could we correct some actual facts. Smitty did have press coverage in many instances early…an 18 point lead midway through the 4th does not demand press coverage…the FG would have made it all moot!!!

    At least three of the posters here I respect the most…guys who go back and look at the recordings have mentioned that indeed Smitty did mix in press coverage….That’s fact #1.

    Then there’s this…”Sounds similar to the Atlanta Falcons teams when Smith was in charge. They would put up a lot of points but couldn’t stop anyone else from scoring. That’s why he was fired in Atlanta.”

    Yes it does sound similar indeed…and for the same reason…a lack of personnel.

    So let’s review Smitty’s Atlanta history…in his first five years he went…11-5…
    9-7…13-3…10-6…13-3…what Buc coach has ever come close to that kind of a five year run.

    And then yes defense was his downfall. See if the story sounds familiar?

    In 2008 The Falcons drafted Matty Ice…signed RB Michael Turner…with star WR Roddy White already on the roster. The Falcons got excited about their prospects. A year later Dimitroff signed Tony Gonzalez and Smitty/Koetter went on their amazing run with 13 wins in two out of three years. Have I mentioned signing ONE defensive star? Does this sound like #weaponsfor(MattyIce/Jameis)?

    But it gets worse…Dimitroff after creating that offensive juggernaut with an aging weak defense The Falcons traded their first-round pick in 2012, second-round pick in 2011, fourth-round pick in 2011 and fourth-round pick in 2012 in addition to the 26th overall pick in 2011 to the Cleveland Browns in order to move up to the sixth selection. Reports later surfaced that Dimitroff offered that same package to the Cincinnati Bengals for the fourth selection in an attempt to draft star WR A.J. Green out of Georgia, but was rebuffed.

    Again the aging defense was not addressed which was the ultimate downfall of Smitty. Yeah they had a bad defense…DUH…is that on Smitty or Dimitroff?

    Does it sound familiar? As D.R. likes to point out after #weaponsforJameis Smitty had poor talent last year. Does anybody really argue that point?

    Soooo after one game this year against the defending division champs..with an HOF QB…an offensive rookie of the year…a blown FG…we let Brees tag 40 on us.

    We were playing without our best DB…Unrein never got to even show up…our #1 draft pick is injured and yet to play and our secondary was loaded with rookies. So yeah let’s blame all of this on Smitty!

    Can we at least get a couple of facts straight? Smitty did play press coverage early…the D did force two turnovers including one scoop and run for a TD.

    Smitty’s D in Atlanta did grow old and suck his final two years…can you say “Trader Tom” Dimitroff.

    Two years ago this very board was singing Smitty’s praises for turning the defense around at the end of the season when we ended up 9-7.

    But this year…after a win in the Dome against Brees and the defending Division champs…made tougher because of yet another CHOKE in our FG unit…let’s fire Smitty!!!! Makes sense to me.

  54. passthebuc Says:

    You know why I like beating my head against the wall, because it feels so good when I stop.

  55. Frank Pillow Says:

    This is what we are- it’s not the Bucs of yore- we have an aging DL that lacks a fast-twitch pass rusher, our LBs are inconsistent, our CBs underdeveloped and our S’s are also inexperienced (or in the case of Conte, limited in range)- we don’t have the dynamic difference-makers that other teams do.
    Sure, the scheme and rush games are puzzling at times- but they made some big plays yesterday and settled down for nearly 2 qtrs. The missed FG was an epic fail. Make that and we’re all feeling a tiny little bit better about this D.

  56. Gene Deckehoff is my hero Says:

    Maybe Derwin James Jr. could’ve helped…

  57. BuccaneEric75 Says:

    I’m not going to hit the panic button on the Defense just yet. A hall of fame QB and upper tier playcaller had all offseason to devise a game plan against a team they play twice every year. The Eagles had a really good Defense last year and still let Tom Brady throw for over 500 yards on them in the biggest game of their life. It happens. If that game was week 1 what would Eagles fans have said? I’m not saying that our Defense is in that class, the young secondary would suggest otherwise, but we could still be a 15th ranked Defense, and that could win us a few games that we lost last season. The Offense won’t score 41 points every game, but the Defense won’t give up 40 every game either.

  58. JimmyJack Says:

    Frank don’t be so quick to rush to judgement. You say we don’t have dynamic playmakers but I just saw Hargreaves make a dynamic play………heck he could have been using a tip he learned from M.J.

    I also saw some great flash from J.Evans. It won’t suprize me one bit if he emerges.

    Kwon, LVD,JPP,McCoy?? I’d say there’s some dynamic potential in that group.

  59. stpetebucsfan Says:


    Is Derwin a great pass rusher? If not…thanks but no thanks I’d rather wait for Vea to get on the field. He might actually provide help where we need it most.

    Evans is blossoming into a great NFL safety…Conte is only adequate but I believe when he gets enough reps Jordan Whitehead will make a great complement to Evans.

    Derwin is a great player…but Evans may be as good and who knows Whitehead’s ceiling. But we NEED a pass rush!!! I would have never wanted a safety over a DL in this past draft. Imagine if Vea had been healthy and was able to collapse the center of the pocket on Brees.

  60. 1sparkybuc Says:

    stpetebucsfan………..monumentally fine analasis……..thank you sir

  61. Kgh4life Says:

    If the Bucs defense have another horrible performance against the Eagles next Sunday, i think a change is definitely needed. Ever since Mike Smith was hired his defenses have been nothing but inconsistent, there is flaw in his scheme.

  62. Defense Rules Says:

    StPete, one heck of a run-down and some great points. Too many Bucs’ fans have gotten to the point where they not only can’t enjoy the victory, but they can’t objectively see what worked & what didn’t work … as well as what needs work.

    Our defense has been in turmoil for so long we wouldn’t know what to do if we didn’t have massive personnel changes every year. I still doubt that we have the defensive personnel we need (especially with guys injured), but the more they play together the more ‘instinct’ will set in (Derrick Brooks made a great point of that a couple days ago). I think we can all agree that this offense won’t be putting up 48 points a game for 16 games, but for now, it’s an awesome feeling their potential come alive.

  63. unbelievable Says:

    Joe I pretty much agree with everything you said, but I do think that made some good points too, mainly that:

    Our #1 and eventually #2 cornerbacks were both not playing.
    2-3 new guys on our defensive line.
    It’s Drew frickin Brees, in his own house.

    I was disgusted with it too, but I’ll wait until week 3 or 4 before I declare the house is on fire.

  64. 1sparkybuc Says:

    Mike Missinelli sic on 97.5 FM Philly sports talk radio still sees the Bucs as an easy W for the fleagles. He says he will eat his visor if the Bucs tack 40 points on their D. Brian Westbrook agreed with him that the fleagles should beat the Bucs no matter whether it’s Wentz or Foles. This is my SB since I live up here with these people. GO BUCS

  65. Defense Rules Says:

    @BigMacAttack … ” It was the first game and although our defense has a long way to go, I think you’re reading way too much into this. Hold your horses Chicken Little. Smith basically donated two late TDs to the Saints with his stupid prevent BS. I don’t blame our players for that. That’s on Coach Smith.” Agree with you BigMac about the prevent defense. I hate prevent defenses … why coaches change at the last minute is way beyond me, because they never seem to work. And you’re right, that call is on Smitty & it was a bad call.

    Also agree with you on your ‘Chicken Little’ comment, particularly since that was the first game of the season against a very high-powered offense, with a great OLine. Until our Secondary gets its’ sea legs, the DLine will have to generate consistent pressure on the QBs & our LBs will really have to step up. Neither of those position groups wowed me Sunday. BUT … Philly is another game. Go Bucs!

  66. Jmarkbuc Says:

    The missed FG was an epic fail. Make that and we’re all feeling a tiny little bit better about this D.


    I’m missing the logic here.

    If we make the field goal we feel better about our kicker, and the fact that the three points would have pretty much insured that our Defense doesn’t screw the pooch. That’s more accurate.

    No Buc fan yesterday was even remotely comfortable, even after dropping 48 on N.O., until Fitzmagic ran for the first down. That’s a damn was one of the most fun games, probably the best offensive game to watch ever. Even just a good defense would have made it ten times less stressful.

    What if Fitz had been stopped short and the game had come down to one defensive stop?

    So Frank, I realize we aren’t at full strength on D…but who knows what that really is anyway?

    It’s gonna take a lot to make us all feel even a tiny little bit better about this D

  67. GhostofSchiano Says:

    Can’t fairly judge smitty or the unit until the injured return and then see them on the field in action to know for sure.

  68. Buc believer Says:

    Agree 1 million percent!! The ass clowns over on the radio station don’t feel the same. They are all in love with what the offense did and seem fine with this God awful choke job of a D! It’s really unreal! They are going to cost us game after game after game until Smith is FINALLY put to pasture but then the damage will be done it will be to late.

  69. Buccfan37 Says:

    If the Saints had come back and won the game I don’t think I would be reading JBF for a week because many of the responses were depressing and imagine if the Bucs had lost. 48 points beats 40 points every time.

  70. amitp55 Says:

    Joe, I am willing to bet anything that Dirk Koetters offense would not have gotten the team to 48 points.
    Likewise, with Mike Smith calling these plays and dictating what the defense does. It will continue to play at a very low level. the 4 man pass rush never got there, so they blitzed… when they blitzed they never got there either.
    Atleast with Raheem and Schiano, you knew the 2nd half the team was going to come out firing because of adjustments made.
    With this staff, you just dont have that same comfort level, that they can get the job done. plain and simple.

  71. SchwiftyBuc Says:

    @stpete and realist

    So the fact that Mike Smith and the Defense gave up not only 2 touchdowns in the span of 4-5 minutes in the 4th quarter, but 2 easy 2 point conversions doesn’t concern you at all?

    You both are delusional.

  72. Dapostman Says:

    Win the Red Zone………..Win the turnovers…………Win the sacks……………


    #Get After It!

  73. Brad Isherwood Says:

    It may be sedition…
    The D players themselves need to sound off.
    If you got beat like a rented mule….ya….it’s you then.
    If the scheme* is not working,…
    Then Say something really loud !

    Smith can…or cannot coach…
    By now…one or the other is fact.
    The Players however have to own their positional failure.
    Bad tackles,…
    Poor communication…
    40 points is a loss,…except on rare occasions.
    IMO,…you gotta play up tight and force the O player to beat you on speed and the throw.
    Hits makes things happen…
    Just ask the Bengals who turned a hit on Doyle with Game winning drive into 6 and road team wins!
    The Superbowl winning Bucs D made it happen on D…the points followed.

  74. stpetebucsfan Says:


    Perhaps you don’t get to see many NFL games, in particular New Orleans games or you wouldn’t find us delusional.

    I find you ill informed. Drew Brees is an HOF QB….NOBODY doubts that…Kamara was the Rookie Offensive player of the entire league. Sean Payton who I loathe is a great coach and his calling card has always been his offense which Brees runs to perfection.

    When we missed that FG the entire momentum of that game changed dramatically. Koetter has credited his football coaching father for teaching him the value of the mighty mo. All NFL coaches acknowledge momentum. Our’s went dead…as in here we go again…the Saints and their loud fans were inspired. They could feel it.

    But hey…once again they can feel all they want…and you can whine and moan about “style” points for a defense without it’s best DB…without a DT they had just signed to help the rush…without their #1 draft pick…specifically drafted to tie up two OL or collapse the pocket in the center…could have helped a little against Brees?

    So call me delusional LOL…I call you out as a negative fan who tries to snatch a loss from a win…but guess what….WE WON!!! We won with that defense on the field and yes they did have some critical stops in that game…forcing three punts at a time the contest was still very much on the line.
    They did manage to force two TO’s including a scoop and run for a TD. I suspect instead of giving Evans credit for being an opportunistic safety you’d credit it to luck.

    This blog runs on giant loads of hyperbole both pro and con. The D was simply NOT a trainwreck yesterday and especially if you consider the injuries…the opponent and the location. Forcing three punts against Brees in the Big Easy is not horrible.

    But I’m not trying to err in the opposite direction. Of course there is work to be done…two rookies maybe three in a couple more weeks mean a lot of work for the staff. We change QB’s in 3 or 4 games…we have only ONE excellent RB…although Jaquizz is a great blocker at picking up the blitz.

    Our DL is now thin..we need Vea to perform like a #1 draft pick…we need both he and Grimes to get healthy.

    This will be a slow season long process…I fully expect this defense to improve incrementally as the season progresses.

  75. Jmarkbuc Says:

    So the fact that Mike Smith and the Defense gave up not only 2 touchdowns in the span of 4-5 minutes in the 4th quarter, but 2 easy 2 point conversions doesn’t concern you at all?

    Bingo.. we essentially gave up 4 TD’s in a 4-5 minute span.

    D is not good at a lot of things. Situational football is one of them.

    Thank God Fitz got that first down….

  76. Dean Prince Says:

    I totally agree joe…but let’s not forget the saints were 4th in points last year….those timely penalties gave momentum to get to 42 ……no excuse to lean on a 35 yr old corner w/ rookie backups though

  77. FortMyersDave Says:

    I agree with StPeteBucsFan on the whole momentum thing. If the kid from Clemson simply made the freaking field goal as he should have the momentum would have vanished from the Saints and the Superdome fans. The Saints probably would still roll down the field and score in about 60 seconds but it would have been a lot LESS stressful to us Buc fans who week after week watch this joke of a soft vanilla defensive package where Smith is giving up a minimum of 8 to 10 yards of space between his defenders and the receivers get chewed up and choke as getting to 51 simply would have put the game out of reach with less than 5 minutes left despite how darned ugly and inept Mike Smith’s prevent package is but the missed FG; yeah that was a typical Buc
    special teams failure! Winning teams usually make those kicks and I think the Clemson kid should be on notice as he was brought in to be automatic on anything under 45 yards and indoors…. I hate to say this but BSPN looks pretty spot on with their defensive rankings as #31 is an appropriate number with only the Aints slotted below Mike Smith’s sieves…..

  78. lambchop Says:

    Philly has an arsenal of weapons on offense. It’s not gettin any easier. We have to get some FA help till the rooks can adjust. But, for all that is mighty, why does Mike Smith still have a job?

    And where o where is Noah Spence?