“They Both Learned Some Lessons”

September 10th, 2018

Rookie cornerback Carlton Davis had a lot to ponder before and after Sunday’s game

Yes, the Bucs defense was messy yesterday.

It’s awfully rare to allow 40 points when your offense doesn’t turn the ball over — and you win the time-of-possession battle.

Brutal stuff.

A chunk of the Bucs’ woes, of course, were at the cornerback position. You knew it was coming when Brent Grimes was ruled out and Tampa Bay was planning to roll with rookies Carlton Davis and M.J. Stewart, along with mighty Ryan Smith to complement Vernon Hargreaves.

That’s just not the corps you want on the road against likely the NFL’s most high-octane offense. And the group got roasted far too often. (Side note: Joe still can’t believe Alvin Kamara caught a ball stopped, and then ran right through Ryan Smith and Lavonte David untouched. They were one step in front of him on either side!)

Dirk Koetter called it a quality learning experience, during today’s day-after gathering with media.

“Well, you know, if you’re a rookie cornerback and your first NFL game is in the Superdome against a Hall of Fame quarterback, I would say they both did about as well as most rookie cornerbacks would do in that same situation. I thought they both got better as the game went on, and I think they both learned some lessons that will carry with them as they move forward.”

Joe agrees with Koetter, but still, it was bad, especially for Davis. Thankfully, it will get easier in a hurry. The Eagles’ offense is downright impotent compared to the Saints’.

50 Responses to ““They Both Learned Some Lessons””

  1. Darin Says:

    Alot of offenses were impotent last year too, then they played the Bucs. Give any qb time and soft coverage and he will play pitch and catch. Matt Moore, yes the backup, passed for 300 yards in one half. Gota get a pass rush because smitty is gona play soft. No reason to think different anymore. But having said all that, i dont care how many they give up if the bucs score more. Fitz 3-1. Keep it goin Fitzy

  2. Buclife91 Says:

    Davis has AB up and down game true but his ceiling is pretty high jus gotta coach the negatives out for example locating the ball. I have faith in these guys grant it they track history are not good wit rookie corners but somethin tell me Davis is different give it time!!!

  3. JimmyJack Says:

    This was a very difficult game to judge a rookie CB in.

    I would have to say that the jury is still hung on the theory that our coaching staff cannot develop CBs…….stayed tuned for the verdict.

  4. stpetebucsfan Says:

    I do not dispute the missed tackles…but again it’s Kamara!!! Has he made plenty of NFL defenders look foolish?

    I zeroed in a couple of times and he had Saints receivers covered like a wet blanket…then you mix in the rookie mistakes. ALL rookies have a learning curve but it seemed apparent IMHO that he has the physical talent to play in this league…by the second half of this season he might actually be good.

    Two years ago many of the same people calling for Smitty’s scalp were praising him for how he turned the D around and crediting him for being a major part in a rare winning season for us.

    If we can hang on win one more of the first four games…beat either Philly, Pittsburgh or Chicago…we’ll be 2-2 with Atlanta coming to our house. Perfectly positioned for JW to take us on a playoff run.

    So let me understand if I’m comprehending. We beat the defending division champs in their house and there is ZERO optimism? Scrw pragmatism…I’m a fan so I’m going to enjoy the moment. If we collapse there will be plenty of time to beotch and kvetch.

  5. Lamarcus Says:

    Well we still have GMC. What are you expecting?? Even Jpp will succumb

    Wreak havoc?? Please. 10+ probowl combined, 2 SB rings,, and a new slogan can’t have you

  6. Lamarcus Says:

    *Save you

  7. JimmyJack Says:

    Despite our coverage problems yesterday our Corners kept their heads in the game and made big impacts. Davis showed off his tackling ability (something we sorely need) and made a great stop on a third down with a open field tackle.

    Everybody knows what VHIII did!!!! Hey, Ryan Smith even defended a pass!!!! Maybe he’s ready to give us solid snaps. Didn’t see how many snaps he had yesterday, anybody know?

  8. doolnutts Says:

    The defense was awful plain and simple… BUT I don’t recall as bad of a situation as we just had. Grimes and De’Vante Harris were out before we even started along and then we lose HGIII somewhere around half. I don’t think anyone anticipated us to be starting TWO rookie CB’s against a hall of fame QB in his own backyard.

    That being said I am hoping to see a big improvement from the defense this week. Fingers crossed…

  9. rrsrq Says:

    My guess is that, this will not be the last Alvin Kamara juke highlight. Both Smith and David are pretty solid tacklers, that just speaks of AK’s talent (that is why he was the OROY.
    Another note, Joe I have know idea how you swear by Pat Kirwin of NFL Sirius XM. He knows nothing about this team. First he totally dismissed the Bucs chances of winning. So after the win, now he saying how the team was so focused when they stopped for camp visit. Then lastly, he states that Fitz went 3-3 for the Bucs last year (did he?), after that he said Bucs were playing rookies and practice squad players at corners (did J. Elliot play corner yesterday?). He really dislikes Jameis.

  10. JimmyJack Says:

    Lamarcus…..Give this line time to gel. You could be singing a different tune by the halfway mark.

  11. Jbeachbuc Says:

    Kamara’s burst off that plant foot was nothing short of sick!!!

  12. Gambelero Says:

    I thought the outside corner play wasn’t terrible. It was their slot guy and Kamara that tore ups up. I haven’t rewatched the defensive side of the game though.

  13. ndog Says:

    I don’t want to be negative, but I thought having all of these extra pieces on the DL was going to help free up McCoy. Yet there we were with a 16 point knowing they were going to throw every play and where was McCoy? You see this is what people are missing when they say what more do you want from him. I want him to do something to help us win not just “disrupt” but actually make a play that matters like a sack/fumble or pressure that leads to a bad pass or blowing up the ball carrier in the backfield for a 3-4 yard loss. Something, anything!!!!!

  14. Belligerentbuc Says:

    Against the iggles will be a true test for both sides of the ball.

    Ain’ts D was always going to be hit or miss(mostly miss). Brees was always going to bring it. Our O played lights out and we still had a scare.

    When the O is slapped around like a rag doll from the best front four they are going to face vs the iggles is a true test.

  15. Bob in Valrico Says:

    Sure the defense bent too much at the end of the game. Truth is our running
    has to control the ball at the end of the game to play keep away from the opposing offense. Barber probably averaged close to 2 yards a carry after his two big runs. He needs to be spelled by a different hopefully quicker back. IMO ,
    Koetter made the right move with ROJO. Unwrap Shaun Wilson and see what he has to offer.

  16. VaTom Says:

    How many times have we seen “impotent” offenses destroy the Mike Smith Buc’s D? Answer…far too many. No offense is impotent enough. Stay focused Bucs. Come on coaches. Get these guys ready and give them a slid scheme.

  17. Tom S. Says:

    So is it the players or the scheme Joe? Or is one Joe a “players” and one a “scheme” person.

    I don’t see how a team with rookie first time playing MJ Stewart, Carlton Davis, someone who plays like he’s never taken a snap in Ryan Smith and mediocre at best Vernon Hargreaves is going to put fear into many QB’s.

    The defensive line managed one sack from Vinny Curry, who is not a sack guy. JPP manages 0 tackles. So which is it? Is Smitty keeping all of these all-pro’s from being the next HOF group? Or maybe just maybe Jason Licht doesn’t have the eye for talent you think he does.

  18. Trench War Says:

    We need to not defer the kickoff, set the momentum, and dominate offensively with every possession. Put the Eagles on their heels and force Foles to make mistakes. …and watch-out for that Philly Special or any other kind of chicanery they like to use. We can win this game.

  19. BucEmUp Says:

    Just imagine had we not had a fumble recvered td, a gifted turnover from Michael Thomas in clutch time and Fitzpatrick not created 5 tds. Consider all of that and our time of possession would have been much less and we easily would have lost the game.

    I am frieking crazy excited with Monken calling plays and the potential of this offense , but this defense is flat out embarrassing and it’s not the talent. Why is is against Bucs religion to EVER press at the line? Why is it considered to be the devils work around here. Holy hell if they just started pressing every game I would have already put money down on them making the playoffs. It was a lot of fun to watch but Mike Smith was bailed out big by Monken.


  20. Bobby Says:

    Watch the game again. There was a lot of pressure on Brees. The guy is just a damn good QB. I think the Saints will light up most defenses this year. Don’t you think they’re bitching about how their defense sucks right now!? Fact is, we have too many weapons for any defense to cover. We’d better win a SB soon because we’re going to have to pay these guys someday and when O.J. Howard and Chris Godwin are out of rookie contracts it’s going to be hard to keep this offense together. Godwin is a superstar and I can’t believe we have Evans, Godwin, Jackson, Howard, and Brate as well as well as Adam Humphries on the same squad. Any accurate QB would feast with that receiving Corp. We are truly blessed. Drew Brees would have put up 70+ with that bunch. Our D is not as bad as it appeared. Like I said, watch the game again.

  21. Ugotrobbed Says:

    Mike Smith’s defensive scheme is going to lose a LOT of games! Not sure why the head coach, GM and owners continue to stick there head’s in the sand. I don’t think it will be to long before some of the defensive players start rebelling.

  22. Bucsfanman Says:

    Lamarcus- How do you mitigate a pass-rush in the NFL? 2nd question: If the opposing team is playing rookie DBs and your QB is a HOF’er, how do you attack that defense?
    The answer to both is you throw quick-strike patterns negating the pass-rush.
    It’s funny how the same posters are quick to point to deficiencies of GMC but purposely leave out why that defense struggled as a whole. And I am positive that the answer is NOT that GMC is sucking the air out of the entire defense! Does he and that d-line need to play better? Absolutely,and I think we’ll see that.
    Crow season is upon us Lamarcus! Your place will be set alongside of the vocal minority who still think that a DT is solely responsible for our defensive woes.
    In this game, sans a play or two, the worst unit on the field were the LBs.

  23. BucEmUp Says:

    Tom …..brees continually hit wrs wide open. Our dbs were playing 12 yards back on 2nd and 6 for crying out loud!!!!This is the same reason backups low talent and always look good against the Bucs..

    Mike Smith is probably washing Monkens car out in Berns steakhouse parking lot as we speak

  24. Grt1 Says:

    This is a new year boys. Eagles won the super bowl with a back up QB. Good teams win no matter who’s at QB. Can anyone remember the last time we won in NO. Our offensive play makers showed up big time yesterday and so did our Oline. If the Bucs show up every week , we’re going to be a tough out. Fire the cannons!!!!!

  25. Conte Piscatelli Says:

    I guess I’m just not as down on the defense as everyone else. Mike Smith has a tough ask with only having rookie corners and Ryan Smith most of the game. That leads to some bland coverages and lots of keeping the safeties deep. I don’t recall the saints making many big chunk throws, mostly everything was underneath, see Alvin kamaras high catch count. I think they executed the game plan. Now would I like to see the coverage tightened up, hell yes, but I think Mike Smith needs to see the young corners prove what they can do before he can let them loose and mix things up more.

  26. FreeTheSecretWeapon Says:

    Last I checked Defence wins championship and this wasnt a championship game. We got 15 more games to get our D right… Meanwhile let the O carry this team and flip the script come playoff time…

    That would be the exact opposite from our SB run when the O suddenly showed up in the playoffs…

    I for one am enjoying my “W” burger today!!! Extra cheese is an option for some of you!!!

  27. rrsrq Says:

    Don’t underestimate this teams confidence and what they learned about themselves yesterday.

  28. George Says:

    NFL’s most high-octane offense is the Bucs not the Saints.

    Saints D > Bucs D
    Bucs O > Saints O

  29. Joe Says:

    Mike Smith’s defensive scheme is going to lose a LOT of games!

    Already has.

  30. Brad Says:

    The scheme sucks!! They drafted two press cb and play 10 yards off with no pass rush. By the way, did McCoy play or was he on the sideline with Vea

  31. BuccaneerScotty Says:

    Joe hate the bucs fan and the poster’s!! Y’all suck di@k guess what assh@les the saints defense gave up 48 points so suck on that! Your never happy with anything! That’s not going to happen every week! It was against a Hall of Fame quarterback top 5 wide out top 3 running back in the league I’m done with this piece of s*** site Life’s too short to waste on people like you

  32. Bucs fan #7423 Says:

    Fire Mike Smith!!!!!!!!

  33. GhostofSchiano Says:

    If Fitz goes off again, need a t-shirt made. On the front a huge beard and the words “It’s Fitzmagic”. On the back his number.

  34. SOEbuc Says:

    Jimmy Jack

    “Everybody knows what VHIII did!!!! Hey, Ryan Smith even defended a pass!!!! Maybe he’s ready to give us solid snaps. Didn’t see how many snaps he had yesterday, anybody know?”

    I saw Smith get his legs snapped in half on the play Joe mentioned and saw him on the opposite side of the end zone with his hands up when he was covering Johnson on his TD in the second half. Smith got worked on multiple plays just like every other game.

  35. GhostofSchiano Says:

    Well said rrsrq.

    Confidant team + a jacked ray Jay stadium = Bucs win

  36. SOEbuc Says:

    They’re not going to fire Mike Smith. Won’t resign his contract, but aren’t going to fire him 2 weeks after he spent the entire TC showing his team the scheme.

  37. D the Bucs fan Says:

    Its kind of hard to generate a pass rush when you give hofer drew Brees’ wrs 8 yards of cushion every play simple pitch and catch

  38. Jmarkbuc Says:

    Believe it or not it wasn’t the secondary play alone that had me scratching my head… other than their receivers running free with nobody near them, of course. I thought for a bunch of rookies they did OK

    What was most concerning to me was the LB play, I’d like to say especially Kwon, but none of them were very good. The missed angles and one armed “reach out” tackles were sad.

    Buckners unit wasn’t all that great either.

    All of these things are Smitty’s responsibility.. Defense Rules would tell you Smitty doesn’t have the horses. I say you coach up what you’ve got to at least be fundamentally sound.

    For all those that say “why cant you be happy with a win?” Of course we are happy with a win..But we are smart enough to know that yesterday was more of a Fitz magic trick. I for one want to get to the point where there is no doubt,and we win because of all phases, not in spite of one of them. We will have to if we are gonna make some noise.

  39. Defense Rules Says:

    SOEbuc … Ryan Smith got defensive 44 snaps (69%) plus 17 S/T snaps (52%). Read through the play-by-play and Ryan made several decent plays. Not sure what position he was playing at the time though.

    Looking through those same stats, the Saints ran almost exclusively to the left side (away from GMC?). Most of their passes were short (all but 7) and Brees did a nice job of varying between left & right (15 left & 16 right) with 6 over the middle. BTW, Barber did well running behind Donovan Smith & Marpet.

  40. Cometowin Says:

    St. Pete,

    We go to Atlanta for the 5th game of the season or my tickets for that game are seriously jacked. Lol.

  41. Defense Rules Says:

    @Jmarkbuc … “yesterday was more of a Fitz magic trick.” I love Fitz & I’m convinced he’s a LOT better than most JBFers gave him credit for BEFORE we traveled to New Orleans, BUT … yesterday was a TEAM effort. Fitz played his role to perfection IMO, but so did the OLine that gave him excellent protection, and Peyton Barber (who carried the ball 19 times but was on the field for 48 offensive snaps … providing protection?), and all the receivers who made some awesome catches).

    Oh & BTW, our defense does have the horses, it was just that too many of them haven’t been saddled up yet. Vea, Unrein, Grimes, Beckwith … they’ll all make a difference once they get healthy. Hopefully VHIII isn’t dinged up too badly.

  42. Tampabaybucfan Says:

    What I saw was inconsistency with our Defense…….great tackle….then no tackle…..good coverage….then no coverage….

    Justin Evans has a nose for the ball.

    Ryan Smith is better than many give him credit…..pretty good tackler….ball instincts good….needs help.

    We put more pressure on Brees than the stats would indicate…..much more pressure than they put on Fitz.
    Brees is simply remarkable and his receivers were able to get open.

    I expect much better D against Eagles

  43. Godeep66 Says:

    We won. That’s all that matters. And hell yes, those DBs got some much needed experience along the way.

  44. Lamarcus Says:

    Guys I was joking

    Want I was getting at is this D line really needed to make that statement week 1. Injuries or not. Playing rookies or not. Excuses or not.

  45. Dapostman Says:

    Why are people so worried about the defense? It doesn’t matter what teams do between the 20’s unless they turn the ball over. What matters is when you are in the red zone can you get that TD? If the other team has approached the red zone can you get a turnover or knock them back out of it with a sack. There are really a handful of plays that decide the winner of an NFL game. Does it matter if you get a 5 yard sack on 2nd and 6 and then give up a first down on the next play? NO! The Bucs offense outplayed the Saints offense and the Bucs defense outplayed the Saints defense.

    #Get After It!

  46. Jmarkbuc Says:


    Everything you said about the offense is true…

    It’s still an end result of Fitzmagic. A team that believes in its QB can do amazing things. That and great playcalling. That is the first Bucs game I can remember where I had no idea what was coming next.

    It seemed like every other pay, Fitz was dropping back and heaving one. For a completion. Or a TD. AND IT WAS FREAKING AWESOME.

    I still expected/expect more from the Defense. More discipline. More real effort.

    After all, Defense Rules.

  47. Rod Munch Says:

    Barber was active for I believe one game his rookie season. This is why you don’t draft guys and throw them into the starting lineup, which is the position that Licht put the team into. I think Davis, in particular, will be just fine in the long term.

  48. stpetebucsfan Says:


    Thanks for that correction. I’m not enamored of the Buc’s website layout of this year’s schedule.

  49. Brandon Says:

    Defensive observations-

    Ryan Smith played okay, he wasn’t the worst CB on the field by a long shot. He had a PBU as well as making almost all of his tackles and having decent coverage on most completions he gave up.

    The Saints used a lot of short drops, their offensive line seemed like they were in narrow splits and focused their protection to the middle forcing the Bucs to bull rush as they had narrowed the gaps. Blame our DEs for not running or being able to run the arc and bend and bring pressure from the outside. Overall, if the Bucs DL tackled better, they would have finished with four sacks, which would have been great but instead ended up with one sack and three missed sacks that all ended up being big completions.

    I saw some press coverage, and I saw us get beat playing press coverage. I don’t think it made much of a difference. The Saints are the Saints and they are capable of dropping 50 on anybody, especially at home. I’m disappointed we didn’t play better on D but we made a few important stops in the 3rd quarter and that’s what helped us win.

    Offensively, there is no better receiving group than our top 5 WR in Evans, the league’s best deep threat in Jackson, and our other #1 in Godwin as well as the gritty slot guy in Humphries, the most physically talented TE in Howard (sorry Gronk) and our clutch possession TE in Brate… and it’s not even close. If our line can continue to protect and Barber can keep defenses relatively honest, these guys are going to be huge this season… in reality the only way to stop any of these guys is to throw it to the other guys… somebody is always going to be open and somebody is going to be making big plays at the expense of other players on the team. No matter who the QB is, this will be a top passing offense this season. 99Rams/98Vikings-esque.

  50. Bucamania Says:

    Carlton had a real nice cover on Kamara on that 3rd and goal that went incomplete. Key play in the game, CD3 also had a big tackle on a 3rd down play in the 4th.