Not All Roses For Defense

December 12th, 2018

Fresh NFL Films data

Bucs defensive coordinator Mark Duffner has done a nice job taking over for defrocked defensive coordinator Mike Smith. But it is a task that Duffner would admit is far from complete.

Take the red zone defense.

Smith was jettisoned after the fifth game of the season. Duffner has been running the Bucs defense with a lot more success. So Duffner has to take his share of the blame for the following.

The Bucs still have the worst red zone defense in the NFL. The good people of NFL Films, collecting data for BSPN’s NFL Matchup, have run the numbers and found that when opposing offenses enter the red zone against the Bucs, they come away with a touchdown 82 percent of the time.

That’s pretty awful.

Yes, the defense has improved. Yes, it’s still a work in progress. If Duffner can trim a chunk of this percentage down in the final three weeks, it may go a long way in deciding whether the veteran 65-year old coach will be working next year or calling it a career.

20 Responses to “Not All Roses For Defense”

  1. Destinjohnny Says:

    Guys we can get a slight lift from changing a coach
    But we still don’t have the horses to win more then 6 games as a team

  2. Tampa Bay Demon Says:

    When Duff took over, though, we were sitting at a pathetic mid 90% range in this stat. It least it is improving, lol.

  3. Destinjohnny Says:

    We can change coach after coach and if still doesn’t change the fact that we have marginal talent at most positions.
    You should start breaking down past free agent acquisitions and past drafts that put us in this mess
    We don’t get better until we get a proper gm and that should be everyone’s focus

  4. Buc50 Says:

    He’s done enough in my opinion to have a job as a DC somewhere if not here.

  5. RaShad Says:

    @ DestinJohnny

    I thinking you are trippin. to say this team doesn’t have the horses to win more than 6 games. I believe that this team could have easily had 10 wins with proper coaching/decisions. Atlanta, Washington, NY, Cincinnati were all winnable games.

  6. Dapostman Says:

    Need to see how this defense performs on the road the next two weeks. Good defenses travel. If they don’t show up in Baltimore and Dallas then we know it’s just a mirage.

  7. Troy Says:

    Good defenses do travel. The next two weeks will tell us a lot.

  8. AlteredEgo Says:

    Still need interior push and back end patrol…..the 2019 draft will be critical for L&K…..unless the team shows quit this weekend or in any of the remaining game….no quit has been the most impressive statement from the team…we all know the talent shortcomings and the QB’s generosity with the ball

  9. Harry in Costa Rica Says:

    I agree with RaShad. This team has talent as is evident in the D’s turnaround. For those who think Kotter deserves another year, I say you are crazy. Yes, we have a top 10 offense. But what happened Sunday? The Saints pass rush was killing us. Did we shorten up our passing game to make quick throws underneath? No!

    Just like with Dougie last year, Mike Smith not getting fired last year, wasting weeks this season to not make a change with the DC, Kotter does NOT adjust well. He flat out was out coached against the Saints as Joe(s) pointed out. Duffner did well vs Saints O, but our O never adjusted to the Saints D.

    I hate that the Bucs can’t get it right year after year. But Koetter is not going to lead us to the promised land. No way, no how

  10. ManzielMadness Says:


    They can get rid of Dirk, this team still won’t have enough talent to get to the playoffs. The offensive line needs an overhaul, besides maybe Jensen and Marpet. On the DLine you can keep Vea, JPP, and Nassib. Secondary isn’t much better. Wayyy too many holes to be a competitive team next year, Licht does not get enough blame.

  11. Bucsfanman Says:

    We’re ranked 30th overall in defense. Yea, I would say there’s work to be done!

  12. 813bucboi Says:


    i agree….

    take the colts for example….

    bucs need to draft in the trenches and clean house and we’ll be playoff bound….



  13. DislocatedBucsFan Says:

    No way Donavan deserves big money! Dirk should get another year. Licht deserves more blame. Dirks not perfect but Jameis appears fixed to som extent

  14. Duthsty Rhothdes Says:

    Destin Johnny, right on my man….jason licht one of top 2 worst gms in pro football and we have been fed as a fan base that his personnel moves have been the best. HOGWASH…they have sucked you can really only say he has drafted two legit consistent NFL players that you would keep on this team and that is Mike Evans and OJ. And with OJ it was the wrong pick at the time for this team; the bucs needed so much more than OJ like a RB or DL or OL same things the bucs still need today. He additionally made 1 good off season trade and that is JPP. Basically if you took then entire team and let them walk except for those 3, you could build a better team through FA, trade and draft than what licht has done in the past 5 years

  15. Destinjohnny Says:

    Rashad what is our record ?
    Worst secondary talent in the nfl
    One okay backer
    Slightly below average d line
    So what magical coach is going to come in and make our marginal talent better

  16. Defense Rules Says:

    @DestinJohnny … “We can change coach after coach and if still doesn’t change the fact that we have marginal talent at most positions. We won’t get better until we get a proper gm and that should be everyone’s focus.”

    BAD starts at the top and filters down. We’ve got owners trying to run a multi-billion $$$ NFL franchise using a committee approach … doesn’t work. We’ve got a GM who started off ‘learning on the job” … under Lovie Smith. We’ve got a HC (dual-hatted in reality as our OC) who also started off ‘learning on the job’. Combine that with marginal players at too many starting & key rotational positions and what does it spell? A perennially LOSING TEAM in the toughest division in football.

    Change has to start at the TOP. Glazer Boyz need to hire a highly-experienced professional with a strong background in making exceptional personnel decisions in a winning franchise … let’s call him (for kicks) the Bucs President of Football Operations. The Glazer Boyz then need to step back and stop trying to run things by committee. Let the new honcho pick the future GM and HC with no strings attached. Let him also decide (with input from the new GM and HC & their staffs) which players stay and which players get their walking papers.

    Bucs certainly have some pretty good talent on our current team … just not nearly enough of it. And what we really lack is LEADERSHIP and ACCOUNTABILITY (especially on the field on game-days). If we stay as we are we’ll continue to see the same results next year and the year after. Change for change sake is stupid, but to continue with a losing model is even dumber.

  17. Destinjohnny Says:

    Great post mate

  18. Sumo Says:

    This team has been out of the playoff hunt by November for the past 11 years. It seems like we are finally showing signs of improvement. We have many good players, Give theses guys some Damn credit. Biggest problem- Koetter does not like big backs. Its a big mistake in today’s NFL. Draft a big back and get rid of the smaller ones we have. Get a running game with some beef HARD HEAD. Realize the mistake and go forward.
    We have good safeties now. Draft another corner. Get your linebackers healthy. The biggest thing is GET YOUR PLAYERS EXCITED ABOUT EACH GAME. IF THEY ARE NOT EXCITED, THEY HAVE TO GO. The most important thing a coach does is excite his players. If you can’t do that, you do not belong as a coach. That’s all we need to be successful. I believe we are that close.

  19. Owlykat Says:

    I believe the Glazers will fire Koetter, and hire a new Head Coach. The Glazers probably admire how Licht has kept them out of cap problems and realize he has brought this team near 34 players still on our roster and some of those managed to beat both the Saints and the world champion Eagles, so they likely will wait and see if the new Coach is willing to work with Licht or wants and can attract what he feels is a better GM. The New Coach will decide what position coaches stay or go. He may keep Duff and Buckner and our OC but he likely will kick Warhop out the door if he isn’t fired before then. He will realize what players we still lack and tell the GM to get them. He likely will retain Jameis, but devise an offense that mostly develops a lot quicker than 5 seconds. Whoever the new Coach is he needs to know how to manage time, make adjustments, and prepare his team well for each game.

  20. unbelievable Says:

    @RaShad 100%

    This team does have talent to win far more than we have. Is enough talent to win the superbowl right now? Heck no. But we’ve pissed away at least 4 winnable games this tear, even with the atrocious defense.