Ronde Barber: Bucs “Starting To Understand” What’s Going On In Coverage

November 28th, 2018

“Ronde, man, don’t get me started on our defensive backs coaches.”

It wasn’t just luck that led to better defensive play against the 49ers on Sunday.

Derrick Brooks addressed changes he saw on film in the new episode of TAMPA TWO (see home page), and Ronde Barber called one out during the game.

Barber was the game color analyst for FOX last Sunday, and he dropped an interesting nugget late in the first quarter.

Niners QB Nick Mullens had just thrown a third-down pass 10 yards over the middle to stud tight end George Kittle, which was broken up by rookie safety Jordan Whitehead. It was representative of something more, Barber said.

“That’s just good underneath defense by the Buccaneers. Nick Mullens is going to have to double-clutch this ball because the coverage is so good on the back end. They’re looking, this Bucs defense, like they’re starting to understand what’s going on in coverage,” Barber said.

Of course, Joe wants to cry hearing a legendary film guru like Barber say the Bucs are “starting” to understand their coverage. Jiminy Christmas, it’s Year 3 (Game 11) of this defensive scheme with largely the same coaches!

Regardless, there were a lot of great foundational signs for the Bucs defense against the 49ers. How that might rollover this week against a diverse and confusing Panthers offense will be interesting to watch.

26 Responses to “Ronde Barber: Bucs “Starting To Understand” What’s Going On In Coverage”

  1. Says:

    9 pts from that ragtag D squad was nothing short of a miracle. Great effort. Joe Dirt getting his time in the sun!


  2. Larry Says:

    Koetter has been here for 4 years and his secondary is just now starting to understand the defensive scheme??? R U kidding me? Pathetic!!! Licht and Koetter need to go. It’s always on the people in charge to make sure everyone understands and is on the same page. After 4 years it’s too late. Time to move on.

  3. AlteredEgo Says:

    I think the 3 rookie DB’s did well for being thrown into the fire on a bad defensive unit…all 3 will be much much better next year, IMO.
    So we need to draft 1 DB and 1 DL with the first two picks……ideally trade down with Oakland swapping our (10th as of today) for their 2 latter 1st round picks

  4. First Down Tampa Bay Says:

    Biggest thing to prevent against the Panthers is missed tackles. Last game, they would run options to get 1 on 1 tackling situations in the open field, which we blew time and time again unfortunately. It’s a sure bet they’re going to do the exact same thing this time. We’ll see if our defense can rise to the challenge at home.

    Let’s hope none of our players end up on SportsCenter like last time. 🙄

  5. JimmyJack Says:

    Joe I remember you saying in the offseason how our defensive staff could not develope a CB.

    So now I’m wondering what the difference has been. Like you said it doesn’t take 3 years. That’s just absurd…….But this year we have shown results developing young Corners. C. Davis has been solid in coverage. VHIII looked like he may have figured more out. Heck, even Ryan Smith looks much improved from a year ago.

    Im sure they didn’t change coach’s so what is it? Did they change some scheming?

  6. Duthsty Rhothdes Says:

    Lets get real here and pump the breaks, the bucs played against an undrafted 3rd string QB, then 3 undrafted WRs, that would all be inactive if the starters showed up, do it this week against a playoff team w an all pro TE & all pro RB, then you got some improvement, but the worst team in pro football isnt some vast improvement

  7. JimmyJack Says:

    First Down. Agreed…….I also think we need to attack the ball more.

    Last game they created a lot of havoc and misdirection while our defense stayed back on their heels looking scared to get beat over the top.

    Yet again another example of lack of adjustment and piss poor game preparation. We made a division opponent look like a foriegn opponent and that’s embarrassing.

  8. Alaskan Abdominal Snowman Says:

    Yeah we looked great LAST week. This is the Panthers, who embarrassed us last time with misdirection and making people miss tackles. If this defense doesn’t play disciplined they will be shredded again.
    On offense, if we do what we did last game and run efficiently and limit turnover, I can see us pulling this one off.
    If the defense gives up the lead; Jameis doesn’t need to be playing hero right now, we need him to continue to take what’s there, but if we go down big, I’m afraid Jameis might start to force things.
    Keep this game close and run the ball and we can win this thing.
    Go BUCS!!

  9. BucEmUp Says:

    Horse crap I’m calling it right now Cam Newton beats the hell out of the bucs on Sunday. It doesn’t take 3 years to FINALLY GET IT!!!! LAST WEEK ELI MANNING LOOKED LIKE TOM BRADY!

    This defense is STILL outdated and full of holes. And aim for the spot in between where corners til coverage off to the safties and it’s a free for all..



  10. JimmyJack Says:

    Alaskan……Correction. The Panthers have embarrassed us the last 3 times.

    That’s off the top of my head. It might be more then 3.

  11. AlteredEgo Says:

    “3 years to get it”…
    gezzo oh pezzo…you folks get tripped up on numbers and stats…Jamyth stats too…
    it ain’t the years or the coaches….it has been the talent and neglect in 3 years of defensive draft focus…even VH3 will come back and surprise folks next year….the DL pressure last week helped everything…stick to the big picture

  12. First Down Tampa Bay Says:


    Yea the Panthers have owned us the last couple times. Ironically, our last win was a walk off by Roberto Aguayo in 2016 on MNF. Go figure.

  13. Not there yet Says:

    Lol how many times have we seen media guys jump the gun with headlines like this for the bucs to come out the next week and get blasted. Play the panthers like that then I’ll be impressed

  14. BucEmUp Says:

    This is one thing that scares me about DERICK Brooks being brought on board. He’s still stuck on this scheme along with everyone else from the 02 bucs. IT’S OVER TRY SOMETHING NEW!

  15. SOEbuc Says:

    It’s easy to look decent against the third string QB of the second worst team in the league. Great game but the only thing that impressed me with our play going into the future was Jameis’ good decision making.

  16. NewTampaChris Says:

    Oh come on!!! We played a third-string QB with none of his front-line receivers at 10am body-time. And it’s the team in the position to get the #1 overall pick.

    They suck!! And the Bucs suck!! Let’s not fool ourselves.

    My 6-10 preseason prediction continues to look overly optimistic.

  17. SchwiftyBuc Says:


    What do you mean they didn’t change coaches? They got rid of the single biggest detracting force on the entire team when Dirk Koetter was either forced to, or finally built up the stones to fire Mike Smith.

    Koetter not being cognizant enough to see how horrendous of a coach Mike Smith had become after just how awful of a product he produced in 2017, is the main reason why I want Koetter fired.

    Because it was clear as a cool summers eve to me and anyone with a pulse that wasn’t a Smitty sycophant like Realisto or Stpete that the dude’s philosophy, mindset and scheme was cottonelle soft, incredibly weak and stupid. Calling a never ending string of quarters soft zone coverage, and actively asking the Dlineman to 2 gap and take up blockers to free up the Backers to make all the plays. This is information I recently learned on another Bucs podcast.

    The fact that Koetter couldn’t see or chose not to acknowledge that his boy had lost his marbles is the single most damning demerit on Koetters resume. But I guess you can’t really be surprised when Ol’ Dork openly admits that he doesn’t know anything about defense and never offers any input…

    It really amazes me that there are still fools that call themselves fans of this team that actually still want Koetter to be the head coach next year…

  18. Mort Says:

    It’s not year three Joe. Good grief. It’s just not. Look at the players. Jordan Whitehead, MJ Stewart and Carlton Davis. Even our other safety Mr Justin Evans it’s only a year and a half in for him. Its not year 3 for these guys.

  19. JimmyJack Says:

    Schwifty what I meant was that we didn’t bring in any new coachs. Had we brought in a new position coach or something it would help explain why our staff is now having some success developing corners

  20. SchwiftyBuc Says:

    Ok, and what i meant was, is that the explanation for the growth is that Mike Smith and his cancerous leadership are no longer here. Hence they are not being held to the standards of his ludicrously wrongheaded doctrine.

    It’s really very simple if you think about it. With Mike Smith we easily would have attained the title of worst defense in NFL history. Without him we actually have a chance of not being that.

  21. JimmyJack Says:

    That doesn’t explain it because the signs of growth were seen before Mike Smith was fired. It’s also kinda silly to think that once Smith leaving is like flipping a switch and undeveloped players suddenly become devoloped.

    Whatever these corners are doing right has to be a result of the work they put in from the start of OTAs in the offseason.This wasn’t a radical change that happened overnight night.

    Not defending M.Smith here. Him getting fired doesn’t answer the question IMO.

  22. SchwiftyBuc Says:

    OK. Even if Vernon didn’t look awful on a handful of plays against the Saints, they still gave up 40 points that day. You may call that growth but I don’t.

  23. Christopher Schiefen Says:

    What part are you not understanding, Joe? MJ, Jordan, and Carlton are rookies, and Isaiah and Justin are in their second years. Plus, maybe Duffner changed the coverages. None of the above have to do with Mike Smith or year three of the defense.

  24. Antman Says:

    Jiminy Christmas, it’s Year 3 (Game 11) of this defensive scheme with largely the same coaches!

    Uhhh… the corners are relatively new…🤔
    Not sure what a 3 year scheme has to do with a player on the team for 6 months

  25. RickinFtMyers Says:

    Let’s remember that Ronde Barber himself has told us that he largely sat for two years and a good part of a third before he started seeing the field a lot in games. The Bucs have been drafting and playing players in the secondary for a couple of year now so it seems logical that they’re starting to get it as Barber says.

  26. Gruden4President Says:

    ^^^^^what he said. I remember seeing Barber play his 1st 3 years and thinking,” why da hell did we draft this short slow poke from Vtech but come starting yr 4 Ronde rewarded The Organization and Fans for their patience.