Dungy Predicts Bucs Will Run A 4-3 Defense

January 25th, 2019

Gerald McCoy might enjoy this.

NBC Sports NFL analyst and Buccaneers Ring of Honor member Father Dungy was talking plenty about the Buccaneers this week during his sitdown with JoeBucsFan.com columnist Ira Kaufman, the Sage of Tampa Bay sports. There was lots of good stuff, including how Dungy and Arians were roommates in Kansas City years ago while their wives lived elsewhere.

But one notable football nugget from the Father Dungy chat was Dungy sharing that he believes the Bucs will run a 4-3 base defense next season based on their personnel. And if there’s one thing Dungy knows extremely well, outside of picking and developing assistant coaches, it’s defensive personnel. He also has a good handle on the free agent market.

As you read this, defensive coordinator Todd Bowles and friends are poring over game film of the Bucs. They’re seeing the good, like Carl Nassib’s hunger and athleticism, and they’re seeing the bad, like M.J. Stewart appearing two steps slower than whoever he’s covering.

We know Bowles will make the call on how the Bucs proceed when it comes to establishing core needs on defense, and Bucco Bruce Arians and Jason Licht will respond accordingly.

Joe really can’t make an educated guess at this point on the 3-4/4-3 debate. So much will come down to how Bowles evaluates the Buccaneers’ defensive line.

For example, if he thinks Gerald McCoy is too good to toss overboard and he thinks JPP would lose effectiveness in a 3-4, then it could be 4-3 all the way for Tampa Bay in 2019.

48 Responses to “Dungy Predicts Bucs Will Run A 4-3 Defense”

  1. BucDan Says:

    I just want to see an aggressive defense with moving players before the snap.

    Funny thing is, the offense could also use the same pre-snap movement to confuse defenses!

  2. SOEbuc Says:

    Yeah Tony. Come in and run the Tampa 2 for us and we’re guaranteed a win.It’s been 20 years. Need to switch this sh!t up!!!

  3. uckinator Says:

    You have Mount Vea in the middle that’s perfect for a 3-4. Also, the fast LB’s are in step with a 3-4 defense. Maybe we could also get some value of forgotten Spence as well.

  4. The Buc Realist Says:

    Would it be a surprise???? There is pressure from the higher ups to jam gmc into the stupid ring of honor!!!!! Would it be a shock of some were forced to patch around gmc for another year!!!! Not at all!!!!!

    The 2019 season will give the sheep answers that the “real” fans already know!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    Go Bucs!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  5. Darin Says:

    Theyll run both.

  6. AlteredEgo Says:

    Easy on MJ….he was thrown into the fire as a rookie on a bad team…slow your roll….he was drafted for his strengths as a football player…maybe he will maybe he won’t…cut him some slack I thought all those 3 rookie DB’s played well under the circumstances

  7. tmaxcon Says:

    dungy the clown needs to stick to what he knows best and that is spouting nonsense from the worlds best selling fairy tale and leave the football talk to winners. 2 playoff wins in 6 years… your opinions are beyond worthless

  8. Dewey Selmon Says:

    I don’t care if they run a 2-5, 5-2 or 1-10. McCoy is not worth $13 million to eat up double teams, avg 6 sacks and passive aggressive drama. We can get someone cheaper and younger. Drop him, Grimes, and Djax and you have 30 million in cap space.

  9. DooshLaRue Says:

    Hearing this pisses me off more than watching a Culpepper-Kurland commercial.

  10. Tampabaybucfan Says:

    @Dewey Selmon

    Dropping Grimes won’t affect cap space…..he is not under contract for 2019…..GMC & Djax would affect about $23 mil…..but I agree…..none of the 3 should be Bucs next year.
    We need the money.

  11. Joe in Michigan Says:

    Tmaxcon sticking to what he/she knows best, spouting nonsense. Dungy has forgotten more about football than you’ll ever know.

  12. Mike Johnson Says:

    I’ll say it now. McCoy will be a Buc and have a very good season this upcomin schedule. So get use to it…Haters

  13. 813bucboi Says:


    name your sources!!!!!!!!!!

    stop posting BS just because the staff you praised and made excuses for failed miserably!!!!!!!!!!!

    43 make perfect sense…..restructure GMC, draft his replacement in the 1st round and sign frank clark…..

    arent we tired of giving teams gifts in the form of players……


  14. Robert Says:

    thats an easy one..

    what does he say about the LGBTQ lifestyle though?

  15. 813bucboi Says:


    the 2019 season will expose you and your beloved incompetent staff!!!!!!!!

    when we win 11games and make the playoffs, you’ll be saying dirk couldve did the same thing, he just needed 1 more year….lol……

    stop making excuses!!!!!…name your source(s)


  16. Tampabaybucfan Says:

    I have never had a negative word for GMC……never. But we have reached a point with the cap that $13 is not affordable.
    Now if he’ll take a cut down to $8 mil…(doubt it) then that changes things.

    I like GMC….think he’s a great player….but we have gone out and paid big money to Brate, Marpet, Jensen and we probably will pay to keep Hump.

    The cap is catching up to us. Our current cap space of $16 mil doesn’t include Hump, D. Smith, Kwon…..or a CB to replace Grimes….

    Finding big money elsewhere is difficult.

  17. NOSBOS Says:

    And your idea of adding Q. Williams 813,would make this defense legit over night. Hope they’re listening bro,that’s the one true immediate defensive gamecharger in this class. Watch his film,his hands are already on par with Aron Donald’s.

  18. TexBuc Says:

    Can call it anything anyone wants, but a 4-3 under presents the same look as 3-4 one gap defense.

    Importance is Bowles aggressive one gap tendencies versus the read and react of Smith’s 2 gap 4-3 asking the DT’s to tie up lineman so LB can make plays

  19. Cover Deuce Says:

    Who cares what the front is? I want to know how they are going to scheme their gap responsibilities? That’s going to mean everything when it comes to what personnel they go after and who gets tossed overboard.

  20. BucEmUp Says:

    I say they run both depending on game sitation and opponent…you know, what good coaches do….

  21. AlabamaBucsFan Says:

    When Bowles sees how terrible our 4-3 defense performed last year, I am sure he will revert to a 3-4 this year. Vita Vea will make a great Nose Tackle and Noah Spence should thrive as 3-4 linebacker. I think it is BS to think that JPP can’t survive in a 1 gap 3-4. MJ stewart should do better when he learns how to play in the NFL. Most CBs are 2 step slower as a rookie because they have to think rather than use muscle memory during their play. The same case happened with Hargreaves and Ronde Barber as a rookie.

  22. Anonymous Says:

    It’s about interior pass rush. KC was tied with the steelers with 52 sacks and didn’t touch brady once in 94 snaps. As you know the steel city boys didn’t even make the tourny. Every team in the league should be gameplanning to beat one team. You need interior pass rush to stop that guy from stepping up in the pocket. See falcons/pats superbowl first half.

  23. Lordcornelius Says:

    Agree with Dungy based on our current front 7 makeup and what’s available in the draft, which includes a lot of 4-3 DEs and 3 tech DTs

  24. Bucfanforever Says:

    I’m just hoping they actually run a defense this season

  25. TexBuc Says:

    VHIII, MJ Stewart, and Davis III are all press corners in college asked to play off zone coverage. Front office is drafting player for press man coverage while Smitty played predominently off zone coverage.

    As a armchair GM my opinion is they would have had to discuss playing more man coverage or why would the front office keep drafting players with a different skill set than what the DC wanted?

  26. 813bucboi Says:


    whats good…where you been?….lol….


  27. Dave Pear Says:

    Welcome back.
    Long time no hear.

  28. Buccaneer Bonzai Says:

    It’s going to be both. Not really a mystery.

  29. Arizonabusfan Says:

    I have been reading here for a long time. I stopped at one point in time because of the cacer that is the commenters on this site. Tmax clearly has never watched a football game in his life to think the way he thinks about McCoy, super disappointed to see is toxicity and trolling have been let back on, time to find a new site for good. By joes it’s had been real

  30. JimmyJack Says:

    If it’s 4-3 just make sure it’s a new style. I can’t take no more of this Tampa 2 BuLL S!!!

    Somebody needs to take that rotten playbook and burn it already.

  31. unbelievable Says:

    pretty sure 813 is the only person that even reads comments from realist at this point

  32. William Walls Says:

    darin’s right. Bowles has essentially said that he’s going to install a flexible defense that will adapt to the game situation. We’ll see a fair bit of 3-4, a lot of 4-3, an absolute ton of 4-2 nickel, and other alignments besides. I think Bowles overarching point was that we weren’t going to have a “base” defense because playing defense in the NFL has evolved beyond that now.

  33. DB55 Says:

    I wonder if they’ll see McIceCream with his back to the LOS on 80% of run plays?

  34. 813bucboi Says:



    i just like giving him a hard time and exposing him for the fraud that he/she is…..lol….


  35. Pickgrin Says:

    Bucs will now run something that Mike Smith said he was planning to do a good bit of – but almost never did.

    4-3 base with different looks thrown in (like occasional 3-4 fronts or 3 safety backfields) – “designed to confuse quarterbacks and put our players in position to make plays”… – which sounds great when you say it – but doesn’t work when you have a # of rookies and young players in the secondary playing in a passive scheme when their strengths are to press.

    Biggest difference we will see on defense this year with Bowles in charge is aggressiveness! Attacking – Pressing – trying to take control of the game. As opposed to Smith’s “bend but (still usually) break” philosophies.

  36. THETRUTH Says:

    Was it just me or didn’t BA say we will run many type all based on personal, so why are we mentioning going to specific D. May run 46, we have creative minded coaches enough with the media pushing a specific defense.

    Coaches like this don’t let Revis go and play him out of his strength , or bench Joey Galloway cause you can’t find a spot for the fastest guy on team into your playbook.
    Best coaches teach and coach players and find where and how to use ability

  37. Bucsfanman Says:

    The name of the formation/scheme does not matter. It’s the results that matter.

  38. down in the dirt Doug Says:

    Bucs will replace 10 to 14 current players–take it to the bank.

  39. Buc-naked Says:

    tmaxcon, you are an moron! Your mom is 2-6 when leaving her underwear at my house!

  40. BigHogHaynes Says:

    realistknowsnothing : I like it!!

  41. SOEbuc Says:

    This NFL BS going on right now press coverage could be illegal next year. They’ll call it the Mike Smith instead of the 5-yard rule.

  42. Bradley Clement Says:

    He’s out either way

  43. Destinjohnny Says:

    Man missing two picks in the 2nd round was such a set back

  44. Joe in Michigan Says:

    New season, new hope. The whole 2 practice thing should help our players learn the system and maybe have more confidence when they’re in a game. Hopeful that MJ Stewart will make a nice transition to Safety, and Ronald Jones will come around. Not holding my breath until it happens, though.

  45. Nano Says:

    Why we listen to Dungy is beyond me
    He sucked as a coach and not very nice to the gay community

  46. Reach87 Says:

    TexBuc, thanks for the fidelity on the defensive front. Agree. Those subtle differences matter and consistent execution is the difference between having a good, average or poor front 7. Keep pushing great knowledge….Go Bucs!

  47. Owlykat Says:

    Watch how Clemson’s Defense humiliated a great Bama Offense. It was both aggressive and deliberately disguised the coverages which then produced a number of turnovers which broke the Bama momentum. It takes a great deal of training to accomplish a winning defense like that. I will support whatever Bowles comes up with because I believe it will eventually return the Bucs to a top ten defense every year. I also believe there is room for Stewart in that defense as a backup Safety along with Adams as the backup playmaker Free Safety and Justin Evans and Jordan Whitehead as our starting Safeties.

  48. Ludicrous Speed Says:

    Nano Says: Why we listen to Dungy is beyond me
    He sucked as a coach and not very nice to the gay community

    Robert Says: thats an easy one..
    what does he say about the LGBTQ lifestyle though?

    Who cares? Pretty pathetic when snowflakes get their little feelings hurt, because today militant homosexuals “feel” that tolerance is no longer good enough, but that now their lifestyle choice must be affirmed and endorsed by all. The point is, it has zero relevance to football or the Bucs, so anyone with an agenda to grind would be better served discussing it on a forum of their peers.