Applying For A Job

December 4th, 2018


The difference in the Bucs defenses led by defensive coordinators Mike Smith and Mark Duffner is striking.

With the exception of a five-game fluke two years ago, Smith’s defense was positively offensive. When he was fired (?) by Bucs Bit-O-Honey-snacking, Ozark-watching, yams-eating coach Dirk Koetter in early October, the Bucs were barreling toward setting a 99-year NFL record for most points allowed in a season.

In the past seven week after Duffner has taken over, not only has he energized the defense, but he has done it with a secondary that has been hammered by injuries and carved out one of the better defenses in the NFL.

Through the past four Sundays, the Bucs defense is allowing an average of 19 points a game. And this included facing a team atop its division at the time (Washington), a team loaded with some of the best offensive weapons in the game and a borderline Hall of Fame quarterback (New York) and a team led by a former NFL MVP with one of the most dangerous offensive players in the NFL at running back/receiver (Carolina).

Jenna Laine of ESPN documented the turnaround with Duffner.

Bucs’ first five games (under Mike Smith): 9 sacks, 1 INTs, 440 yards and 34.6 points allowed, 42.9 percent 3rd down %. Bucs’ last seven games (under Mark Duffner): 24 sacks (2nd in the NFL), six INTs, 363 yards and 26 points allowed, 33.3% 3rd down (3rd in NFL).

Now earlier today a loyal reader of Joe, @JTHV, asked if Bucs fans might be getting sucked in under the same false premise that got fans excited when Smith engineered the five-game fluke got the Bucs into a wild card race two years ago.

That’s a fair question and it might be an accurate observation.

Joe understands why some would compare the about-face of the defense under Duffner to the five-game fluke under Smith two years ago. Joe, however, thinks the two incidents are a bit different.

Smith’s fluke was largely fueled by turnovers. Yes, the Bucs are getting more turnovers now but the pass rush is night-and-day different. That’s not a fluke. The third down defense doesn’t appear to be a fluke either.

A scrub safety who was panhandling for work getting three picks in a game? Yeah, those were created by guys making plays, a tipped pass by Lavonte David and a quarterback hit by Gerald McCoy.

Regardless, Duffner is doing a helluva job putting together a resume to be a full-time defensive coordinator somewhere in this league next season.

24 Responses to “Applying For A Job”

  1. isrBuc Says:

    These are all stats. What’s the actual difference in scheme? we know we got picks yesterday. no need to go to stat sheet for that. You guys (americans?) are obsessed with stats.
    Also, I find it a bit bizarre that duffner escapes all criticism for what was going on when smith was HC like position coaches and especiall veterans and experience ones like duffner have no part in decision making and planning. Its hard to believe MS was doing all of this alone in spite everyone else’s opinion.
    duffner got the job in a nothing to lose situation where he can be more aggressive . let’s not make this more than it is.

  2. martinii Says:

    Logic would be that the Buc’s might be interested.

  3. John B Says:

    Defense is all about attitude and pressure- Duff gets it MS didn’t – it’s as s Mole as that!

  4. John B Says:

    It’s as simple as that

  5. adam from ny Says:


  6. Tampabaybucfan Says:

    Defensive players were motivated by the Smith firing…..they realize the urgency and the fact that they are costing Koetter his job….
    Simply having Duff on the sidelines with them is likely making a huge difference.

  7. Phil Says:

    Did we sign Kareem Hunt yet? He cleared waivers. If we haven’t why haven’t we. The kid can play. We need a running back in the worse way.

  8. El Buco Realisto Says:

    Maybe it takes time to “gel” because there was a whole new d-line!!!! that and word on the street is that cam’s shoulder is banged up like jw3 was last year!!!!!! But who could have guess the defense would look better in the second half of the season whether coach smitty was here or not?

    The Buc Realist Says:
    September 14th, 2018 at 4:24 pm
    “This D-line was built for immediate high-performance.”

    Was it?????? 2 salary cut casualties and 3rd round draft pick trade and some expect “immediate high-performance”???????? We “real” fans think while it was upgraded, this is not a finish product!!!!! Its a work in progress!!!!!! And to think other wise is foolish!!!!!!!!!! or has an agenda against a certain coach??????

    The “real” fans are excited to see what the defense “is” in the back half of the season!!!!!!!!

  9. Tut Says:

    I have noticed the corners pressing at the line and not giving a 8 yard free run at the receivers route options…

  10. SB Says:

    Phil Says:
    December 4th, 2018 at 7:09 am
    Did we sign Kareem Hunt yet? He cleared waivers. If we haven’t why haven’t we. The kid can play. We need a running back in the worse way.

    Um he will be suspended for at least 10 games seeing as they are investigating Another assault by him back in June.
    The best ability is availability.

  11. OneBuc55 Says:

    @ Phil

    As much as I like Kareem Hunt there’s no way we can have Hunt and Winston…The media heads would have a field day…But then again, a red flag is our team logo so he’d fit right in with the rest of the misfits…

  12. Tampa Bay Demon Says:


    Sorry man, no interest whatsoever in Kareem Hunt.

  13. 813bucboi Says:



    you were the main person on here saying that there will be no difference because duff wont change schemes…..he didnt and the defense is producing…..the thing he did was make adjustments!!!!!!…something smitty never did…..

    bottom line is, duff is getting production out of the defensive players!!!!!…the same players that were looking clueless, unprepared and uninspired under smitty!!!!!!!…..

    the “real” fans are excited to see our defensive players finally getting competent coaching!!!!!!!!…..


  14. Bojim Says:

    Isrbuc. You always try to be the expert and find fault in the good stuff. You’re as bad as my mom and that’s not a good thing Dicko.

  15. El Buco Realisto Says:

    Its funny to hear joe and the sheep speak non-sense about defensive coaching, when in many of the first games they had new guys with no d-line rotation!!!!! and wil Gholston was getting up to the 70% of defensive snap counts!!!!!!!!

    why dey sheep? cause they never learn!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

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

  16. AlabamaBucsFan Says:

    This is the team and defense I expected to see at the beginning of the season. I hope they continue to succeed. Duffner has his work cut out for him but if he shows he can rally a half decent defense then this will buy him and Koetter another year. Hope it works out.

  17. TOM Says:

    Duff for president. Gholston is another one of those players not earning his salary. He should be let go or traded at the end of the season.

  18. neal Says:

    “These are all stats. What’s the actual difference in scheme?”

    Why don’t you actually watch the tape or game instead of trying to make us explain the differences in scheme?
    “You guys (americans?) are obsessed with stats.” you foreigners seem to be lazy and unable to use simple observation. just look at the d line scheme. Where Smith had linemen pushing the pocket and essentially playing a 2 gap scheme, they are now attacking a single gap.

  19. 813bucboi Says:


    you want to hear some nonsense!!!!!!!!…..

    try, the Bucs’ first five games (under Mike Smith): 9 sacks, 1 INTs, 440 yards and 34.6 points allowed, 42.9 percent 3rd down %.!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    now thats nonsense!!!!!!!!!….lol…..

    wanna know why smitty sucks……because you keep blowing him!!!!!!

    now pull your skirt down and let dirk know smitty preferred U-HAUL over Penske!!!!!!!!!!


  20. SOEbuc Says:

    We’ll have to see what happens the rest of the year. If defense can continue it’s wonders and keep this defensive energy that players talk about Duff brings, we have to bring him and Buck back next year. This is a much longer interview than Smith’s five game win streak. That was a lovely scheme used on Sunday.

  21. TampabayAllDay Says:

    Lol some people dont know when to admit theyre wrong. Sounding so stupid

  22. Pickgrin Says:

    Duff is on the sideline – talking directly to his players about what they are seeing on the field, making the appropriate in-game adjustments and generally playing more aggressively while keeping his defensive troops “fired up” throughout the game.

    Smitty sat comfortably up in his air-conditioned eagles nest eating Nachos and talking into his headset microphone all game.

    We need look no further than this distinct difference in management style to understand why “Duff’s defense” is playing effectively while “Smitty’s defense” was historically bad – with roughly the same players. If anything, Duff has had less talent on the field than Smith did – with Kwon out for the season, LVD missing 2 games and a secondary full of rookies and undrafted no-names the last few weeks.

    Keep it up coach Duffner. This little opportunity that popped up for you might just lead to finally getting that chance at an NFL DC job next year (with DC PAY – LOL). Here or perhaps elsewhere if wholesale changes happen in Tampa Bay.

    It all starts up front and from what some of the players are saying – Buckner’s influence is finally having a very positive effect on the DLine’s recent strong effort and effective play.

    If this Defensive resurgence continues for the next 4 games and the Bucs win at least 2 or 3 of those games – then a pretty good case could be made for keeping Koetter and the offensive staff intact – giving Duffner the permanent DC title – keeping Buckner (and Spicer) as DL coach(es) and letting Duffner pick his own LB and Secondary coaches if he wishes to try for better than Hoke and Maxie.

  23. TBTemojin Says:

    Simplify the Scheme let these guys play with instinct and anticipation and not have to overthink

  24. Jason S. Mclaurin Says:

    I love the pressure that is being dialed up by Duff but I feel he still needs to run some different looks as far as the front seven goes. Vea is forcing big time pressure and can the defense would be well served if they use Vea and run some 3-4 to allow McCoy and JPP to rest and to get Noah Spence out of street clothes as well and become a Blitzer from outside at LB. Gholston and Nassib can be the ends on the front line. I like the way the mixture came when we ran nickel though this week. We have to stay physical and wreak havoc.