“We’re Not 3-4; We’re Not 4-3 — We’re Going To Play Defense”

January 11th, 2019

Go inside the Todd Bowles way, the approach of our new defensive coordinator.

Joe talked to general manager Jason Licht about this today following the meet Bucco Bruce Arians news conference at One Buc Palace.

It was Arians’ day but Joe asked Licht to open up on what Bowles is like to work with and what he’s all about.

“Todd and I have a really good relationship,” Licht said. “I spent a year working with him. Yesterday I probably called him 10 times more than I did in that full year that I worked with him. Just wanted to make sure we secured him. He’s a completely different personality than Bruce. He’s a little bit more subdued, but you don’t want to rattle his cage, though.

“He’s extremely, extremely bright and the thing as a coach that I love about Todd, just like Bruce said, it’s not about the scheme; it’s about the players. And he builds the scheme around the players and makes it fun for them on a week-to-week basis on how we can attack [a] particular team.”

Not long after that chat, Arians hopped on NFL Network and put his foot down on how his defense will — or will not look.

“What we’ll do is we’ll evaluate our players and put systems in that match what they can do. We’re not 3-4; we’re not 4-3. We’re going to play defense,” Arians said.

Joe can’t wait. Opposing quarterbacks completed 72.5 percent of their passes against the Bucs this season. That’s not a typo and it’s beyond sickening. It ranked worst in the NFL and even worse than the Lovie Smith era.

Arians says “we’re going to play defense.” Good, Coach, the fans freakin’ deserve it.

39 Responses to ““We’re Not 3-4; We’re Not 4-3 — We’re Going To Play Defense””

  1. Bird Says:

    I would love to see an attacking style defense that likes to blitz. I watch it on TV every week when I am watching other teams games.

    Let Lavonte feed on the quarterbacks

    Bucs haven’t had that since around their super bowl year

  2. Bird Says:

    The old buc front 4 was nasty which we don’t have so again. I hope we bring some speed blitzes at linebacker. Bowles plays press coverage at dbs. Aggressive style.

    It will be interesting to see what The greatest need will be for the draft , considering coach and GM will bring in some of their free agents for what they want To run.

  3. Cometowin Says:

    I’m for some defense. I feel like we’re also going to have to say goodbye to some good players like McCoy and perhaps even Lavonte. We can’t afford everybody while paying Jamies 19 mil and resigning Kwon and D. Smith. Need some of the young players like Vea, Nassib, Beckwith and J. Evans to step up to the next level.

  4. HowToSpellRhonde Says:

    I wonder if Bowles would want to bring in FA Morris Claiborne?

  5. Barack's Crack Pipe Says:

    Playing primarily one-gap scheme should help rid Vea of any lingering velcro factor, also. “We’re going to be an attacking defense.”

    Remember when Vinny Curry first arrived, he wasn’t too happy about the way he was being asked to play. I bet if he is still here in the spring, he will look much improved!

    McCoy? He’ll probably still blow himself way out of the gap on running downs. :/

  6. Alaskan Abdominal Snowman Says:

    I am completely confident that this defense will be better this year. I mean can it really be worse?
    I have so much hope for next year but I think as a Buc fan, I have been scarred.
    Hopefully “we’re going to play defense” is nothing like “Tennessee Ready”.
    Go BUCS!!

  7. lambchop Says:


    I really don’t see Lavonte leaving. He stepped up when everyone else fell to injuries and he’s a heck of a blitzing LB. Plus we already extended his contract. Who else will take over at SAM? Beckwith’s recovery is still up for evaluation, otherwise he’s got the WILL locked up. Kwon has been getting banged up the last few seasons. And I really see Kwon as the odd man out given that Kevin Minter and Adarius Taylor filled in pretty well. It’s an unfortunate time for his injury because we picked up Minter who looks good and we still have to see how good Jack Cichy can be. We have the most depth at MIKE.

    Bye bye Kwon?

  8. Mike Evans Goat Says:

    Lvd plays Will, not Sam.

  9. Alaskan Abdominal Snowman Says:

    Why would we play Taylor or Minter ahead of Kwon? That’s a downgrade if I ever saw one.
    LVD has been a good blitzing LB but he is not a pass rusher. Has he ever had a sack where he was blocked? I can’t recall any. He blitzes gaps and gets to the QB unblocked. Just saying he is not a typical 3-4 OLB. He is 230 and OT would just own him.
    Put LVD in the middle and let him weave through traffic and make tackles. He is a high instinct player and blitzer, not a pass rusher.

  10. Deez Bucs Says:

    VH3, Carlton Davis and MJ Stewart are all better at man coverage than zone. Pussy ass Grimes was a zone corner. Bye Felica.

    Our secondary as is will already be better because we will be playing to their strengths!

  11. Jameis “Will” Win-A-Ton Says:

    “It’s music to my ears.”

    -Jason Licht

  12. Defense Rules Says:

    Coach Arians … ““We’ll evaluate our players and put systems in that match what they can do. We’re not 3-4; we’re not 4-3. We’re going to play defense.” To someone who loves great defense, that is THE PERFECT QUOTE.

  13. EA Says:

    Man I remember Mike Smitty saying the exact same thing, we’ll play defense to our players strength. BA said the core is much better here than when he took over at Arizona, he is really setting the bar high for himself.
    After 4 disappointing hires in a row I really hope this works out for the bucs.

  14. Defense Rules Says:

    And lambchop, solid observations IMO about the LBs except for that last line: “We have the most depth at MIKE”. I’m convinced that our starter at MLB isn’t on the roster yet (but no, it won’t be Kwon). Carlos Dansby (6’4″ & 243 lbs) was with Cards/Bowles in 2013 that year but they drafted Minter that year (6′ & 246 lbs) & played LB for them until 2017 (Cincy picked him up for a year, then us). I’m guessing from that Bowles prefers bigger LBs towards the middle. So do I. Any team that blitzes a lot is susceptible to runs IMO & needs a ILB who can shed blocks & hold the middle ground.

  15. Barack's Crack Pipe Says:

    “I’m not about rebuilding, I’m about reloading.”
    ~ Bruce Arians, 10Jan18

    Yeah, Buddy!

  16. Bucsfanman Says:

    Who would’ve thought that such a thing was possible?! Scheme to talent?!
    I like it. “We’re going to play defense!”

  17. TDTB Says:

    Draft day deal to swap 1st rounders with Jax, send them three late round picks plus DJax, GMC and Brate for their second round pick, Founette and Ramsey. They get the QB they need at the 5 pick plus shed a pair of malcontents that need a strong hand (Arians). We use Jax 1st round pick for OT (best available of Williams, Taylor or Little) then package two 2nd rounders to get back in bottom of 1st round to pick DE Sweat.

  18. Mord Says:

    Sounds more like a baseball trade or a Kevin Costner movie.

  19. teacherman777 Says:

    Tyranne Mathieu will be available again.

    I called for us to draft him. We drafted Banks and Glennon instead. I called for us to sign him after he was released from Arizona. We didnt. He balled out for the Texans.

    We need to play a 2 LB system with 3 safeties. Who knows how Beckwith and Alwxander will heal. Will they be ready? Adarius Taylor played very well in my opinion by the way.

    FYI- Deep safety class this offseason.

    Earl Thomas, Landon Collins, Joyner, Mathieu, Clinton-Dix.

  20. lambchop Says:

    @Alaskan Abdominal Snowman,

    First, your s/n is a mouth full but clever! We can’t afford to pay Kwon his market value with the needs at other positions, he’s kinda injury prone, and his production can frankly be replaced. He’s a great leader and a good defensive QB, but his individual play just doesn’t warrant sinking a lot of loot on his position.

    @Mike Evans Goat,

    Yes, I flipped the WILL and SAM depth. My bad.

    @Defense Rules,

    Totally agree. We will get another MIKE somewhere but even then the depth at MIKE with the experience that Minter and Taylor bring is more than the depth behind SAM and WILL.

  21. Tampabaybucfan Says:

    From the looks of how Arians is bringing in his old staff…..it seems quite obvious to me that he will bring in his players also……some may not look like upgrades but give them a chance….if they are highly motivated to play for him then they will end up being upgrades.
    Bowles will bring in some of his players also.

    Look for big personnel turnover.

  22. OneBucPerson Says:

    Considering teams play nickel about 70% of the time it really doesn’t matter whether our base is a 4-3 or a 3-4.

  23. teacherman777 Says:

    D-Line help available too.

    Trey Flowers (I love New England Players)
    Jadaveon Clowney (No thanks. Gonna quit)
    Ezekial Ansah (JPP’s Ghanaian twin)
    Grady Jarrett (great interior rusher, only 26)
    KingKong Suh (still a scary MF!)
    Danny Shelton -imagine Vea and Shelton sometimes? wow.

    Demarcus Lawrence
    David Irving
    Dee Ford

    Lots of d-lineman out there again!

    Replace Beau Allen and Unrein with Shelton
    Replace Curry with Grady Jarrett
    Replace Gholston with Ansah

  24. BucEmUp Says:

    Bring in patrick peterson and the honey badger!!!!!!

  25. lambchop Says:

    @Alaskan Abdominal Snowman and Defense Rules,

    I forgot to mention that even Kendall Beckwith can slide over to MIKE. He’s extremely talented and I hope his injury is nothing that will linger on. I think he would play better than Kwon at the MIKE. So, even if we don’t get another MIKE, I’m guessing we have enough reserve LBs that could fill the SAM spot if Kendall moves over. Noah Spence? LOL.

    This doesn’t take into consideration that we may be playing more hybrid 4-3 and 3-4 defenses. But with Noah, Minter, Taylor, Cichy, and Joe Dirt – that’s a lot of guys that we can pick from to develop, rotate and hold down the SAM.

  26. Anonymous Says:

    I love this quote! And damn it, it’s true. Todd has the resume to get it done. VERY excited about these smart hires.

  27. TexBuc Says:

    Ladies and Gentlemen may I introduce the Bruce and Todd show!

    We will see magical blitzes and a point for every minute we control the clock.

    Come on down and hop on the bandwagon everyone.

  28. Alex Says:

    Can we all stop for a second and look at that picture of Todd… does he not look like an older version of Chris Godwin?

  29. StoutGospel Says:


    Ever heard of the franchise tag?? 1/3 of your list will be franchised in worst case, back injuries for 3 of them, and Jarrett is the Falcons’ only offseason re-signing priority. Shelton 2-3 lazy years in CLE why they let him walk.

    Last but not least, I imagine the changes on the defense will also include getting smarter with our cap money dedicated there (i.e. cutting back), other than at the CB position perhaps.

  30. Bucs fan #7423 Says:

    Fans have been screaming for a scheme that’s built around the players for years now and Licht finally delivered a competent coaching staff

  31. #1bucfan Says:

    I love how exciting at times our offense has played but defense is what wins championships that’s how we won the SB. Bring a champion defense back to Tampa an with the offense we have now watch out nfl we coming out the basement. Let’s go Bucs

  32. 813bucboi Says:

    playing defense would be a good idea….lol….

    i think beckwith slides to the middle….

    lets just have an all LSU LB core…lol….minter..beckwith…kwon…

    #GO BUCS!!!!

  33. Jeff Says:

    My boss is from NY and a Jets fan. Popped into his office and asked his opinion of Bowles. “Great Defensive Coordinator,” he said. Said that his issue was that he didn’t get along with the NY sports media…. but who could?

  34. Patrick in SC Says:

    I’m excited about the possibilities here, but I recall having the same things said about why Mike Smith was such a good defensive hire 3 years ago. It’s because he would shape the defense to fit the talent. Almost verbatim. Not saying that it won’t happen this time, but it’s hard not to notice that we’ve heard all this before. That said, I’m happy to give them a chance to show me that it’s different this time.

  35. Kansas95Buc Says:

    Well that answered my question lol

  36. Brandon Says:

    I hope this is true. JPP and Nassib (during that 8-10 game stretch) were playing like men among boys. A great DC will see this, know that these two have talent, and will put them in position to be great.

  37. Mike Johnson Says:

    Great Defense Wins Championships!
    We did win one with great D..Didn’t we?

  38. TOM Says:

    I always thought Beckwith was more suited as a MLB than Kwon. I also have high hopes for Minter being back with BA & Bowles. David, Jpp & Nassib aren’t going anywhere. Also liked when we drafted Cichy as long as he can stay healthy. Mainly at the end of the day all I care about is W’s

  39. AlabamaBucsFan Says:

    @ Cometowin – “I feel like we’re also going to have to say goodbye to some good players like McCoy and perhaps even Lavonte”

    Arians already have said Lavonte would me a great inside linebacker in a 34 system. I don’t see the Bucs parting with him.