It Didn’t Matter

October 17th, 2018

“Well Mike, who are fans going to blame Chris Conte on now?”

This really shouldn’t surprise many Bucs fans.

The good folks at NFL Films by way of BSPN’s NFL Matchup have documented all the times teams played nickel defenses, and that is when teams use five corners. It turns out teams use nickel some 62 percent of the time. That, friends, is a passing league.

But even when the Bucs trotted out five corners, it didn’t matter. Four, five, shoot you pick the number, the Bucs secondary got lit up like a SpaceX rocket.

Per NFL Films, only two teams got roasted over coals as badly as the Bucs defense did in nickel coverage giving up an average of seven yards per play.

And people wonder why teams barely broke a sweat marching the ball downfield on the Bucs.

29 Responses to “It Didn’t Matter”

  1. doolnutts Says:

    What was most alarming to me is at how lost everyone regularly looks. It wasn’t even missed tackles etc. It was players more often than not seem completely lost and unsure of what it is they’re doing. Usually, this would indicate a poor awareness on a player but when it seems to be just about anyone it would indicate to me poor teaching/coaching.

    I don’t have much faith that Duffner will improve the defense but at the end of the day I am a bucs fan so I hope he does…

  2. JJ Says:

    The only surprising thing here is that the Rams are in the lowest tier with us. Injuries to Marcus Peters and cabby-punching Aqib Talib must be to blame?

  3. Greg Says:

    I also will root for them (Even Jameis) but I just dont see the hope if Im being realistic. The personel on the defensive front is terrible. Ive said before with the exception of JPP our whole front is slow and meant to stop the run. Our linebackers are too small to blitz and cant cover. Our secondary has been totally lost. I see Jameis throwing 2 or 3 interceptions aginst a good defense with 2 touchdowns. I see it coming down to a field goal and that’s not good.

  4. Bucsfanman Says:

    doolnutts- Cross your fingers!
    I agree, they look TOTALLY lost. And, not for nothing, Grimes has looked anything but “sharp” so far.

  5. uckinator Says:

    Time to mix it up ! Put Vea at nose tackle and run a 3-4 defense. Blitze, Blitze, Blitz ! Especially with young QB’s like what’s coming up this week.

  6. WyomingBucsFan Says:

    5 corners??? Really??? Obviously you ment 3 corners and 2 safetys lol

  7. JabooBuc Says:

    I was not a big advocate of firing Smith in season but there is no getting around the fact that these guys do not appear to understand their assignments. That is totally inexcusable considering this is what they do all day everyday. Saw it again during the Atlanta games where players are pointing at each other. Simply can’t happen at this level of football.

  8. theodore Says:

    Too bad there wasn’t a DB to draft in Vita’s spot.

  9. Ryan Baker Says:

    @wyomingbucsfan Just goes to show how much these Joes know.

  10. 813bucboi Says:

    where’s @realist?….lol….


  11. unbelievable Says:

    I think he meant 5 defensive backs, because that’s what nickel actually is.

    I will say, that injuries are probably playing at least some part in this:

    – Grimes was out, and now that he’s back, he looks like father time has finally caught up and beat him.

    – VH3 is out, who plays nickel and outside, and actually looked better before his injury

    – Carlton Davis out, who was holding his own after game 1

    So now we have MJ Stewart and that other guy Hoam (or Hoads?) playing, who clearly should not be on the field yet. Stewart is always behind the receiver, and looks like the slowest person on the field.

  12. unbelievable Says:

    With all that said, there’s still no excuse for your linebackers (who are very experienced), your safeties and your cornerbacks ALL looking lost on almost every damn play!

  13. Eric Says:

    Good luck Mr. Duffner.

    Either you got a lucky break or this could end your NFL career.

  14. adam from ny Says:

    this whole downward spiral started when conte got freight trained on mnf…

    they thought banishing conte was the answer…but the cloud still quietly looms at one buc place…i mean avent stealth center

  15. GhostofSchiano Says:

    Wonder what they are looking at in the picture? GMC practicing? Seems very comical, maybe its the secondary practicing.

  16. Rayjay1122 Says:

    Mike Smith had to go to appease the fan base but it is not going to fix the problems with the defensive unit.

    Poor tackling
    Poor angles and awareness
    Confusion and communication issues
    Absolutely no pass rush
    Defensive backs either rookies or long in the tooth.

    As I see it, coaching has been awful. All of the coaches have failed and Mike Smith probably had input in hiring them.

    The talent evaluation especially in selecting defensive players has been atrocious.

    This season is a list and next season will be rebuild process after the Glazers terminate the current staff from the team.

    Even if the Glazers are smart enough to get someone like Derrick Brooks (if he even is interested in such an offer) as Director of Football Operations to make all personnel decisions, it would still take a few years to begin to turn around…..the offense will be past their prime by the time this slop is fixed!!!! Totally frustrating!!!

    Shame on the current staff for their head scratching stupidity.

  17. gambelero Says:

    Even if the system has the same nomenclature and framework, a new coordinator can change things up significantly by reprioritizing. Making prevention of big plays on third or fourth down a priority is bad strategy. Prioritize getting a high percentage of stops instead. If they throw over the top on third and 2 and get a big play once in while, I can live with that, because the great majority of the time, we’ll get a stop when teams throw long on 3rd and two. In the modern NFL, a punt is a turnover.

    A new coordinator can get significantly better results just by not doing some of the M. Smith specials: (1) Having a safety drop 20 yards and start backpedaling from there on the snap on 3rd and 10 and allowing a guy to catch an easy 15 yard pitch and catch in front of him, (2) playing 10-12 yards off coverage on 4th and 3 or 3rd and 4 and allowing a quick uncontested throw to get an easy first down, and (3) allowing their best receiver to go one on one against our worst DB (aka Julio Jones versus Ryan Smith). Just one more stop, one, probably wins the game for us in Atlanta.

    So, put me down as one of those that thinks a new person in charge Can make a difference.

  18. Regulator16 Says:

    Nickel is 3 corners not 5 Joe. 5 DBs…not corners. Quarter is 5 corners usually. Just a side note…it’s the little things you catch every now and then.

  19. Rayjay1122 Says:

    @gambelero, I hope you are right.

  20. Mike Johnson Says:

    After You see our Defensive line battling, the rest of our Defense has looked like Deer in Headlights..No clue whatsoever! I got Duff trying hard to change this. I’m pulling hard for him.

  21. Jim Says:

    The Ghost of Realist, Realismo, is omnipresent…

  22. Ed Says:

    How about disguising things, I watch on TV and I can see blitz 5 or 6 seconds before the snap, you think QB’s like Matt Ryan and Big Ben don’t know how to audible and burn this defense when their is no element of surprise. That’s what is so different about 3/4 defenses, the blitzers come from all different angles and unlike Buc blitzes, they are usually unblocked.

  23. Bucsfanman Says:

    gambelero- I agree. And I don’t think it would take much. Remove whatever “plays” were being used and go back to sound fundamental football. These guys are “pros”, everything else SHOULD work itself out, IMO.

  24. Pickgrin Says:

    C’mon Joe… You certainly should know that:

    Base = 3LB, 2CB, 2 Safeties
    Nickle = 2lb, 3CB, 2 Safeties
    Dime = 1 LB, 4CB, 2 Safties

    As it stands with the Bucs currently – more DBs coming onto the field means more rookies in your secondary and thus higher likelihood of “mistakes” due to inexperience.

    So not surprised to see this particular stat.

  25. jmarkbuc Says:


    Brooks is my favorite Buccaneer of all time..hands down. But I think you have to put a more senior figure in as Pres. Football Ops..Like T Dungy, someone respected in the league that knows how to assemble a staff.

    If Tony were around, I could see DBrooks working under him for awhile, as GM/Asst GM.

    Like you said, if he were even interested. At the end of the day, you hire a good Pres. and let him pick the next GM.

  26. Back2bucball Says:

    Someone said stupidity about the staff… I agree but I will take it a step further… I say from linebackers on back we have about the stupidest bunch of players! These yahoo’s are just about the dumbest bunch you will see.. Maybe a half a brain between them all.. For them to always be out of position, hardly ever work together, terrible angles ” always “..passing a player off to the next man when there is no next man in the position to be the next man time after time is just laughable at this point!.. I do like Justin Evans, I like jpp , beck needs to get better and vv needs more snaps.. Other than that our whole entire defence never stands a chance and it’s a disgrace

  27. Clw JB Says:

    playing 3 rookies in the secondary is never a good look -add to it an outdated, uninspiring philosophy and you get what we have been watching all year, a completely lost and confused defense. Their body language clearly demonstrates they had no faith in the system

    We teach 10 year olds how to cover the bunch and the RPO in about two weeks of practice, 2 hours a night, 3 days a week

    These guys are working full time making millions and cant figure out who gets who – its just disgustingly embarrassing to watch and makes my stomach turn thinking about the thousands of dollars I drop every year to watch this crap…

    If we do not see a near complete turnaround this week in philosophy and play calling, its time to start scouting for the draft full-time

  28. Dom is gone ... Licht? Says:

    Were playing 2 to 3 rookies , a second year safety and a 50 year old on the back end of this defense…. what did y’all expect ? Plus still no signs of a pass rush!!!

  29. Rod Munch Says:

    When you play your corners 15 yards off the LOS, teams just toss a ball out to a wide open WR who picks up 8 yards before a defender can even get to him. Yes, if it’s 3rd and 13 then OK, that works, but Mike Smith was doing that on 1st and 10, and 2nd and 5 and 3rd and 2.