Collared Or Frustrated?

December 6th, 2018

Bucs linebacker Kevin Minter flattens Stinking Panthers quarterback pouty Cam Newton.

Joe doesn’t think there is a sober Bucs fan who believes the defense hasn’t changed in the weeks following the jettisoning of defrocked defensive coordinator Mike Smith.

With Smith had the helm, the defense, beginning last season, was on a steady decline to the point this season it was hellbent on setting a 99-year NFL record for futility. It was godawful.

Whether Bucs Bit-O-Honey-snacking, Ozark-watching, yams-eating coach Dirk Koetter fired his good friend over desperation or on orders from above, the defense has improved. Heck, the Bucs are second in the NFL in sacks with 26 since Mark Duffner took over the defense in mid-October.

Sunday against the Stinking Panthers, the Bucs secondary, due to a rash of injuries, was a bunch of nobodies and never-beens yet the Bucs four times picked off pouty Cam Newton, the former NFL MVP.

In some circles, that’s enough to get a starting quarterback benched.

Eight days before Smith was fired, the Bucs signed veteran free agent linebacker Kevin Minter. After Sunday’s win over Carolina, Joe got Minter to discuss the vibe in the locker room and what he has seen change in the defense from the time he arrived at One Buc Palace.

From Minter’s perspective, the Bucs defense seemed like caged tigers when he arrived.

“When I came here, it looked like they had a chip on their shoulder, honestly,” Minter said of his new defensive teammates. “They had some games they felt like they definitely should have won. That they didn’t finish.

“So when I came in, you could feel the energy: It’s time for us to go. It’s time for us to get it.

“This team is answering the call.”

Joe’s not trying to put words in Minter’s mouth here. And Joe really doesn’t expect anyone from the Bucs to trash Smith. He was well-liked personally by some Bucs defenders, including some starters.

It just seems Minter is saying players either felt shackled or at least frustrated in Smith’s defense.

On face value, with the talent Smith had to work with, there was no excuse for the Bucs not to play at least respectable defense unlike the disgraceful results we witnessed for too long.

Minter himself got the ball rolling in a big way when he had a thumping sack-blitz of Newton in the first quarter.

This Sunday, we will find out just how far this defense has evolved, or if we all have been victims of another mirage.

17 Responses to “Collared Or Frustrated?”

  1. Seminole Bill Says:

    This Sunday we’ll find out if last Sunday’s defensive effort was real or a fluke. Drew Brees and the Saints put 40 points on us in that first game of the season. Had if not been for the long, down the field plays, the Bucs would not have put 48 back on the Saints. Based on the Panthers game, I think the long TD’s will not recur. Which means defense, defense. The only way we’ll slow down the Saints scoring machine is pressure on Brees. That means blitz, blitz blitz.

  2. Robert Says:

    if NO adjust to the blitzing and burns em deep early it gone be a long day

  3. JimmyJack Says:

    One big factor I’m curious about is how they plan to handle our DTs. Carolina saw what Bea did and decided to throw a lot of double on him. McCoy earned his keep in that game and took full advantage.

    So what are the Saints going to do? I see them flipping the script and throwing the doubles at Gerald. Vita could be the the most important player for us. We might need him to show up in a big way to have a chance.

  4. 813bucboi Says:

    smitty sucked, couldnt adjust and couldnt develop player…..tell us something we dont know joe….


  5. LUVMYBUCS Says:

    Shout Outs to all the Young Katz out there on the workout circuit.
    Doing there best to keep the dream alive. There’s a lot of gems out there like Kevin Minter; begging for their shot.

  6. Tampabaybucfan Says:

    NO (Brees) can burn a team with or without a blitz…….the blitz and pass rush must be successful…..that means in his grill.

  7. Lord Cornelius Says:

    All I know is I’d rather get torched while playing press man aggressive coverage and doing everything we can to pressure the QB; than playing soft coverage and getting torched and acting like we had no choice and suggest that if we didn’t play soft coverage we would get torched even though we’re getting torched already with soft coverage.

    Might take a while to re-read that and make sense but that’s the confusion that is the Bucs

  8. Bucsfanman Says:

    Lord C- Amen brother! Why not?! If you’re getting beat anyway, at least get beat looking like you tried.

  9. Another J Says:

    Breezy gets rid of the ball in 2.5 seconds,
    They pass rush, and the secondary must continue to play at a high level in order to sweep the Saints.

    I feel better knowing Mike Smith isn’t there, and the DB’s are no longer playing 17 yards off the line of scrimmage.

  10. Another J Says:

    * The pass rush…

  11. ThunderSack Says:

    Minter has flashed every game he has been in. From Special Teams to regular defensive alignments. He may not be a superstar, but he is going to make plays.

    It seems we have hit on the players Licht has signed for depth which is becoming apparent the later we go in the season and injuries pile up.

  12. teacherman777 Says:

    Minter is an LSU grad!

    2nd round pick.

    He got that SEC speed!

    We may have found a keeper!

    I love Riley, but he is not a starting MLB in the NFL, YET. (I wish him well)

  13. Bucamania Says:

    Sunday was a refreshing change for the Bucs D. Cam is usually smiling and dancing and clowning the Bucs defenders. Not this Sunday. Bucs D got in his face for once and played hard. And look what happened! You have to get after the QB to win, period. Smitty’s off coverage and passive D along with non-contact players like Grimes was a recipe for disaster. Thank you Duff for bringing some swag back!

  14. Ra'Shad Says:


    In some circles, that’s enough to get a starting quarterback benched

    I just loved that line. He larry us

  15. Joe Says:

    I just loved that line. He larry us

    🙂 Thank you.

  16. Tampa Bay Demon Says:

    Bucamania Says:
    “Cam is usually smiling and dancing and clowning the Bucs defenders. Not this Sunday.”


    Nooooo doubt, man. — That was damn beautiful on Sunday.

  17. JroD Says:

    I have been waiting for this defense all dang year.
    Im surprised they kept Smitty as long as they did.