Nickel (Defense) Not Worth A Dime

November 29th, 2018

“Don’t ask me about developing DBs, Rex. I’ve washed my hands of the Bucs.”

It’s enough to launch a coffee table book at the TV with both hands.

The reason teams play nickel defenses is because they know a pass is coming and the thinking behind this is more defensive backs on the field will make covering receivers a bit easier.

But not with the Bucs. Per the stats from NFL Films by way of BSPN’s NFL Matchup, the Bucs may as well have five pylons on the field for defensive backs.

No team coughs up more yards per play in nickel defense than the Bucs (though they are tied with Chucky’s Raiders). The Bucs average — think about this, average! — a hair under seven yards per play in nickel defensive packages.

To be specific, the Bucs (and Raiders) average 6.9 yards per play while using a nickel defense. That’s absurd!

Joe is pretty confident when Team Glazer sits down with Bucs AC/DC-loving general manager Jason Licht, they would want Licht to detail where is the development with Carlton Davis and M.J. Stewart and Vernon Hargreaves and Justin Evans.

33 Responses to “Nickel (Defense) Not Worth A Dime”

  1. AlteredEgo Says:

    chicken or the egg
    DL or DB

  2. Orlando Buc Says:

    Vernon has been hurt all year and the other two guys are rookies.

  3. stpetebucsfan Says:


    I’ll take the DL thank you. If we can pound QB’s like we did on Sunday it’ll cover up a lot of our deficiencies in back.

    And I really like the development of our safeties. Evans looks like NFL quality and I think Whitehead is on his way to stardom.

    Let me stir the pot in fact….Whitehead is improving so fast that by this time next year some folks here will have to say…Derwin who?

    If our DL pounds QB’s…I think that and our improved safety play will help cover up our manifest deficiency at CB.

  4. Edjustshootmebucsfan Says:

    Look on the bright side we are leading in another stat.

  5. AlteredEgo Says:

    Joe…how about an article sleuthing out DC candidates for next year…L&K will be back and the 2019 draft heavily weighted of defense…which everyone must admit as taken a backseat while the offensive has been favored

  6. Rod Munch Says:

    When you go into the season with Ryan Smith as your starting nickel what do you expect?

  7. Doctor_berto Says:

    VHIII is awful and will always be awful

  8. LUVMYBUCS Says:

    Damn Fangio got Bears at or near the top in every defensive category the past 2 seasons.

    Defensive Coordinator: Vic Fangio
    Defensive Alignment: 3-4

    Chicago Bears Points Allowed
    • (2018) Points Against: 211 (19.2/g) 2nd of 32
    • (2017) Points Against: 320 (20.0/g) 9th of 32

    Note: The Chicago Bears had the worst defense in the league before Fangio got there in 2015.

  9. SOEbuc Says:

    Can we stop with the Tampa-2 four technique that’s kept us in the dumpster for two decades? Change things up and get a good DC that can run a three technique. Bring back Kwon and hope Beckwith can return to full strength. VV is a 3-tech DT. JPP and Nassib both have the length and motors. Draft Devin White in the first round.

  10. Jean Lafitte Says:

    Darn they didn’t turn out to be all pros in their first season. Burn it all down I tell ya.

  11. D-Rome Says:

    You know, for years and years I read from this site and the commenters that if we only had a pass rush the play in the backfield would be much improved.

    Well, the Bucs have a pass rush so what gives?

  12. SOEbuc Says:


    A banged up secondary that isn’t out of their rookie contracts with sh!t for depth and old man winter as our #1 CB.

  13. Jordan L Says:

    I’m pretty sure this is Jameis’ fault…..

  14. Larry Says:

    As far as the secondary goes:……..Hargraves is a little bit above average but hurt way too much. M J Stewart is too slow to play in the NFL. Who timed this guy anyway? At this point, the rest are just average. Either bad drafting or bad development or bad free agents. Take your pick.

  15. SOEbuc Says:

    MJ Stewart has been an injured rookie all year so unlike all the idiots, I’m not gonna call him a bust. He looks more like he could be a better Safety than a slot CB. He doesn’t have good footwork in the slot. And I’m taking any of these young guys over Javion Elliot or Isaiah Johnson.

  16. Bob in Valrico Says:

    No breaking news here, Injuries and lack of skilled players usually had the team
    about two Db’s short of a full complement.

  17. BucEmUp Says:

    It’s been the coaching all along. Bad corners get beat on plays. Poorly coached corners are 10 to 15 yards away when the catch is made.

    Promote Buckner

  18. Rojas Says:

    I hear Peyton Manning is interested in being a GM.. hmm what you guys think ?

  19. AKickInTheBucNuts Says:

    No worries…things are always as bad as they seem.

  20. First Down Tampa Bay Says:

    Here’s something to chew on:

    Since Mark Duffner relieved Mike Smith of his duties as Defensive Coordinator, the Bucs rank 2nd in the NFL in sacks with 20 in that span.

    How interesting…

  21. Bobby M. Says:

    MJ Stewart is the next Ryan Smith…..Regime change and he’ll be cut.

  22. cmurda Says:

    I’m all in on Fangio. I prefer a defensive minded coach. The offense is there. Monken could run with the O. I’m basically all in on Fangio, Schwartz, either Harbaugh, or pretty much anyone not named Dirk.

  23. Joe Says:

    Joe…how about an article sleuthing out DC candidates for next year

    That’s putting the cart before the horse. Don’t know who is coaching next year.

    Does Joe have some ideas? Sure. First thing is first, though.

  24. Joe Says:

    Can we stop with the Tampa-2 four technique that’s kept us in the dumpster for two decades


    Yeah, it is no longer 2002.

  25. adam from ny Says:

    vh3 spotted at publix on dale mabry buying wangs and dipping sauce at the deli counter…when taking money out to pay, a pack of “bambu” fell out of his pocket…he looked around and quickly picked it up…people saw it tho!


  26. Darin Says:

    Highest paid dline in the league. Time to scrap it all except for jpp, vea and nassib and start over. Only vea because the obvious. Ive been a gmc fan but its time to move on. Need some hungry dogs. Guys who give 110 on every play like jpp and nassib.

  27. Bucs Fan #7423 Says:

    I have faith we can win the rest of our games. D#mmit Tampa, you got me hoping again

  28. LUVMYBUCS Says:


    The last really good defensive coordinator for the Bears; to come to the NFC SOUTH?

    Ron Rivera

    No bad company

  29. SB Says:

    What’s Up LUV!!!
    Good to c Ya man!

  30. DB55 Says:

    It’s so weird what happens when a QB is under pressure, it’s almost like pressure amounts to picks. Hmmm

  31. Jason S. Mclaurin Says:

    The DB situation started awful when VH3 gave everything he had to beat the saints in the first game then we had to rely on the rookies because Grimes started injured. Then the Grimes came back and the rookies got hurt. All along they gave Ryan Smith no love and he’s got all the interception this year. I said it in a few comments before pretaining to defense but Duff gotta mix up that defensive front. They got the personnel right now to do it. They need to find as many ways to not have to use as many DBs as possible and that includes running more 5-2,4-6,or 3-4 defensive fronts. We don’t have many LBs but the wild card in a 3-4 is definitely Spence. Gotta get him out there Duff into his strength to. David would also benefit from a 3-4 and you Vea to keep the dline reserved to.

  32. Mikey Says:

    Pressure is better than coverage and that will never change.

  33. Cobraboy Says:

    Nickel? Nickel?

    The Bucs are one of the bottom feeders when NOT in the nickel.


    The best pass defense is QB pressure, period.