Fix Defense And Offense Improves

May 3rd, 2019

Calls out Mike Smith’s defense.

Even though Bucs offensive coordinator Byron Leftwich works on the offensive side of the ball, he was quite open yesterday when calling out the Bucs defense.

That is, Mike Smith’s defense.

Leftwich sort of pulled back the curtain of the mindset of the Bucco Bruce Arians regime at One Buc Palace. Simply put, the new army of coaches seems to be all in on saying there is no way they can tolerate the defense to play so terribly if the Bucs hope to win games.

Leftwich was asked about working with America’s Quarterback, Pro Bowler Jameis Winston, and getting him right. Leftwich answered with a sermon about the defense and was quite open that the Bucs defense, as much as anything else, set up Jameis to throw picks — and for the Bucs to lose.

“I think the mentality with us as a whole must change, because a lot of these interceptions – we talk about it as a staff, right, wrong or indifferent you’re down 28-7, around the league that’s when interceptions begin to show up,” Leftwich said. “So, as a whole, as a coach that’s what I see. I say let’s be in a better position, better predicaments to give him an opportunity to be successful. I know at the end of the day people just see interceptions [and] touchdowns. I get that, trust me. But, being in that position and now coaching that position I have an understanding when those little nuances and those little things begin to show up.

“So we’re going to try and do a better job of creating an offense to help us score points and help us win football games and being more situational-football aware and try not to end up in situations that these guys have ended up in the past where it’s 28-14, 27-10 in the second quarter – third quarter, where you’re just chasing trying to play catch up, because around the league that’s where most of the turnovers show up.”

Remember, when Smith, the shamed defensive coordinator, was (finally) kicked out the door last year, the Bucs were on pace to set several records tied to being the worst defense in the 99-year history of the NFL. How Smith was allowed to return after a horrible 2017 season set up the Bucs to blow chunks last year. Just irresponsible from the top down in the organization.

This reinforces Joe’s notion that Bucs defensive coordinator Todd Bowles blew smoke earlier in the week claiming he didn’t lobby for an upgraded secondary.

Leftwich outed him.

Derrick Brooks is excited about Devin White! TAMPA TWO is back featuring Brooks and Ira Kaufman, the Sage of Tampa Bay sports, presented by Caldeco Air Conditioning & Heating.  Joe is fired up, too, for this gem of Bucs coverage from The Identity Tampa Bay and Joe.

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40 Responses to “Fix Defense And Offense Improves”

  1. DB55 Says:

    Well darn ain’t that just a kick in the britches.

    Next thing you know they’re going to say something like “if we protect the QB we might lower our turnovers.”

    Profound stuff.

  2. Rod Munch Says:

    I love that they’re repeating, nearly word for word, what I’ve been saying for the last 2 years. The Winston haters are going nuts since in their world it’s not the defense that is the problem, it’s the fake Winston can’t put up 38 points a game to win.


    Maybe 2019 will reveal that the “true fans I mean fan” was wrong af JS 💯🤷‍♂️😂😂😂

  4. Defense Rules Says:

    @Joe … “This reinforces Joe’s notion that Bucs defensive coordinator Todd Bowles blew smoke earlier in the week claiming he didn’t lobby for an upgraded secondary. Leftwich outed him”. Aahh yes Joe, in search of the next great scapegoat I see.

    Remember the movie ‘A Few Good Men’? The exchange between Jack Nicholson (Colonel Jessep) and Tom Cruise (Lieutenant JG Kaffee) reminds me so much of what I see when the media questions coaches …

    Col Jessep: I’ll answer the question. You want answers?

    LTJG Kaffee: I think I’m entitled to them.

    Col Jessep: You want answers?!

    LTJG Kaffee: I want the truth!

    Col Jessep: You can’t handle the truth!

    Ya Joe, since the draft you’ve accused our new DC of throwing “his general manager under a PSTA bus in the middle of U.S. 19” and now of blowing “smoke earlier in the week claiming he didn’t lobby for an upgraded secondary”.

    Leftwich didn’t “out him”. He merely stated an opinion that if you’re playing catch-up, that’s where most of the turnovers occur (pretty logical, and one that I happen to agree with BTW). But this discussion occurred several days ago on JBF … a LOT of the ‘falling behind’ was because of self-inflicted wounds, by the offense. Slow starts, early turnovers, things like that. Did the defense stink? Duh, ya. Does it need improvement? Uh, yes again. Were they SOLELY responsible for us falling behind early? Not on your life.

  5. Magadude Says:

    I don’t disagree with young and green Leftwich, but what he’s saying isn’t some big revelation. And what happens when Winston continues to fumble and throw picks?

    These coaches should harken back to “Tennessee-ready” Lovie talking about the “we’re a 4-12 football team” he constantly talked about inheriting and how he was improving it…as he turned them into a 2-14 team. And don’t forget how so many in this town were terrified of Mike Smith leaving for a HC when the Bucs had apparently turned a defenisve corner in their last 8-7 year.

    None of these new guys have proven anything yet. Talk talk talk.

  6. Magadude Says:

    ^^^^correction 9-7 year.

  7. German Buc Says:

    ***BREAKING NEWS***BREAKING NEWS: Football is a team sport!

    It is no rocket science that a better O helps the D, a better D helps the O and better ST-play helps both.

    DR, I really like your posts and I stand firm to your conclution on this one, but I don’t like how you get there.
    Even if the O don’t score in the opening drive, who says the D is not allowed to stop the other team? Or if a INT is thrown and you have to play a short field why not holding the opponent to a FG every now and then? Hell, even generating an INT on our own would be allowed by the rules of the game in such situations.
    The blame never goes SOLELY to one side of the ball – but you can’t really say our D was free from blame in the last two years.

  8. Magadude Says:

    @D Rules…I agree…and I didn’t even think of Smith when I read Leftwich’s Captain Obvious comments. The O had some serious firepower, but you are right…and did plenty of bad stuff on their own…the worst of which is hurting the team by getting suspended and go from there with mistakes on the field.

  9. Jonzey Says:

    True fact it’s not JW

  10. Kobe Faker Says:



    Fans get on their knees and ask Kobe how does this team get better…

    The day we fire Jason Gump is the day this team gets better”

    Kobe Faker

  11. OneBuc55 Says:

    Finally, someone who sees the big picture…

    We can’t blame Winston for the defense allowing 30+points, or the kicker missing multiple field goals, etc…The bottom line is the kid has had to press and do everything in his power to keep us in games…This defense withe exception of about 8 games 2 years ago has been an absolute embarrassment the last 5 or 6 years…

  12. Big Stinky Says:

    @Defense Rules

    You took the words right out of my mouth Brother. I am sick of everyone that makes excuses for Winston that it’s the defenses fault or that we NEED to have a running game for him to be successful. If he would just focus at the beginning of games we would NOT get behind a lot of times.

    @Rod Munch

    Go ahead and pat yourself on the back again for me too. Anyone can see the defense needs to get better, you’re NOT the only one. And as far as those of us that blame Winston JUST as much as the defense for our loses he doesn’t need to score 38 points a game Brother. But is 27 TOO much to ask for. IF he had scored 27 points in 5 of those games in 2017 we would have been 10-6 instead of 5-11. FACT! BTW, it’s Jason’s fault the defense has been SO bad for the last 2 years. One defensive pick (Kwon) in his first two drafts. Defense STILL wins Championships and his defensive picks have been terrible.

  13. Big Stinky Says:

    I meant 5 of those loses in 2017

  14. BucEmUp Says:





  15. BucEmUp Says:

    Big stinjy your righy had they scored more points they would have been 10-6. But it wasnt JUST the defense. Special teams blew, field goal kickers blew, clock managment blew, play calling blew and if you try to.convince me or anyone else that Dirk or Smitty EVER made any in game.adjustments or even adjustments at half time….please let me know what game so.we can go back and watch it. Its a team.sports..The defense sucked because of coaching, the offense sputtered becuase of predictability (coaching) it ALL sucked becaise of coaching.

    If all.of yhose things improve, Jameis will improve by default. Jameis haters just dont want to admit it. FACT!!!!!!!!

  16. Big Stinky Says:

    Wow, I was wrong, it was 6 games and we would have been 11-5. Sounds to me like it wasn’t the defense AT ALL in 2017. We ONLY needed to score 20 in 2 of those games and 23 in another but you get the point. Jason has spent ALL those Draft picks on a QB that doesn’t know how to find them open. He should have built this defense first but what’s done is done. You guys that blame it ALL on Smitty should take a look at Jason’ first 4 drafts here. It’s obvious!

  17. Big Stinky Says:


    Go ahead and keep telling yourself it was because of coaching if it makes you feel better. Fact is, Jason Licht got ONE DL (Spence) in his first 4 drafts here and brought cast offs like Swaggy Baker to make up the difference. The rest of his Draft picks were LB’s and DB’s, MOST of which have been NO good. Bowles even said himself that ALL the pieces are NOT in place. What’s that tell you? Jason has done a chitty job of drafting defensive players in his SIX years here. I STILL don’t see us winning more than 7 or 8 games even though everyone seems to think this coaching staff is SO much better than the last one.

  18. Bob in Valrico Says:

    in 2018 had 18 TD’s in 10 starts. Eight of those were against Atlanta. Their defense suffered some of the same injury woes as we did. In the remaining eight games Jameis only averaged less than 1.4 TD’s a game through the air. This is one of reasons we fall behind early in games.
    Leftwich is right, the offense needs to score more points. Blaming it all on the defense is a lame.

  19. Bob in Valrico Says:

    edit: jameis had 18 touch downs through the air.

  20. Tampabaybucfan Says:

    Give Jameis a running game and just an average defense and he will win games.
    I’ve been saying this for several years….
    And, we still don’t have either.

    That is not to say that our offense doesn’t contribute to the problem…..failure in the red zone….missed FGs. and untimely penalties.

    When you rack up 500 yards and score only 3 points when your defense holds the other team to 16…..there is a serious problem…..I know that wasn’t Jameis….but it could have been.

  21. Bobby M. Says:

    Winston has more turnovers since he came into the league then any other QB other then Bortles. The Jaguars proved the only way to overcome that is a top 5 defense, stout running game and pray Bortles doesn’t give the game away. So is that where we’re at with our “franchise QB”? Now we need top 10 defense, running game and prayers? Winston can be a very good game manager if his ego will allow him to accept that role but he has a need for the spot light….and for whatever reason he struggles to resist the urge for the big highlight plays that routinely lead to 3 and outs or turnovers.

  22. Petra...Sec147 Says:

    MVP season coming up for Jameis !

  23. Bob in Valrico Says:

    Leftwich and Jameis are tasked fixing the things that they can control. One way to do that is to play better against the good defenses. IMO, Jameis should to eliminate games
    where he produces 0 or 1 TD through the air. It will be up to him to take what the defense gives him and produce more points.

  24. CChead Says:

    Joe…go find Robert Ayers (he’s local) and ask him what he thinks of Smith.

  25. Chris Simms 2020 GM Says:

    I think Leftwich is one of the bright shining upcoming stars of the NFL’s and this team’s future.

    Very impressive!

  26. Ryan Says:

    The point I make when discussing this topic about defense, defenses win championships. Even when the Patriots have the best quarterback in history they have always went to the super bowl with the top 5 defense! Don’t tell me we don’t need defense! Jamie’s has similar stats as Payton coming into the league, so stop saying it’s Jamie’s and be blessed to have a top 10 QB

  27. Bucsfanman Says:

    “Chicken or the egg?”
    Can a defense help an offense? Unequivocally, yes.
    Can an OFFENSE help a defense? Unequivocally, yes.

    See where this is going? These TEAM aspects do not live in a vacuum.

  28. chargedcbh Says:

    This reinforces Joe’s notion that Bucs defensive coordinator Todd Bowles blew smoke earlier in the week claiming he didn’t lobby for an upgraded secondary.


  29. TexBuc Says:

    This time of the year when I have GM hat on I daydream about how to make the Bucs a better team :))

  30. Lord Corn Says:

    I’ve charted it before in his highest turnover games and he’s right. They are typically all games where the D gave up 21+ by early in the second quarter and not due to offensive turnovers / struggles

  31. 813bucboi Says:


    poor coaching folks……poor coaching…..

    all 3 phases of the team sucked…..

    how many times did we come out, flat, unprepared, sluggish and slow….every single week….

    players offensively and defensively weren’t developed….players playing in the wrong scheme and playing the wrong position…..

    the title should be fix the coaches-and-team improves…..

    GO BUCS!!!!!

  32. NOSBOS Says:

    Petra🤫sshhhh.. Don’t let it out yet,let’s keep to ourselves for now. Let these lames run they mouths.

  33. donuts Says:

    I think most of you missed the most important line in the article which was “Just irresponsible from the top down in the organization.”

    The Buc franchise has weak ownership. The Glazers are perceived as weak by other NFL owners. Hence, why we got the schedule of death this year because the NFL knew the Glazers would not say anything publicly to rebuke the NFL. Ya think Jerry Jones would be quiet if he got the schedule we did? Hell no. He would talk about it everyday and grind it in to get something later down the road. We got nothing to cash later. I think our new coaches may add a win or two this year so 6-10 is my thought. If we lose anyone on the OL/DL, I only see 4 wins. This team is setup for failure at the moment and that all falls on Licht and BA. The OL/DL depth is non-existent and I think the chances of Buc team staying healthy 2 years in row is less than 20% chance based on NFL history. It would not shock me if Dotson retires mid camp. His wheels are broken. The fact we drafted a kicker instead of an OL to add depth is he death nail for this season. Its gonna haunt BA and Licht.

  34. TOM Says:

    Thanks Leftwich for stating the obvious. Your a real coach now. God help us. If the Bucs fail once again this year & BA throws up his arms and retires again, I would not want any of his coaches retained. Just sayin.

  35. D1 Says:


    You mention that our kickers missed multiple times in a game and that’s why we lost. There’s no shortage of comments blaming the kickers for losing a game. Strange is that most of the people who claim a missed fG cost a game , do so in an attempt to defend jameis. Never heard anyone who takes this road acknowledging the turnovers, fumbles and interceptions as the reason for a loss.

    Now just to drive a stake thru the lazy analysis “horrible kicking game cost games”
    Last season, in games where the kicker missed a FG, and the team lost by 3pts. That total is 2 games. 2.

    Making the 3pts in those 2 games would have tied the game. So the miss didn’t cost the lead, or win. It cost a tie. So please stfu until the opiod addiction is treated and memory loss isn’t such a handicap.

    Amazing that so many knowledgeable fans, who follow the bucs 24/7 365 suffer from memory loss or are just satisfied with lies and falsehoods because it doesn’t upset they’re own invented narrative. Everybody sucks but the unsuckable mvp..

    Bucemup. ..

    Continuing to copy and paste the exact same thing….adjustments adjustments….while somehow completely missing the comments that completely reject your idiotic rumblings. .
    (See above) from BA….so stfu and listen . Learn. Quit the pills. And embrace the team as a smart fan . There’s a shortage the team needs you…

  36. D1 Says:


    Listen to the full interview. And keep in mind who these coaches are talking to and answering questions for.

    Your comments are be berift of context and wholly worthless. But thanks for sharing..

  37. D1 Says:

    Lord corn,

    All but 2 missed FG were in the same situation. Behind by 21…

  38. ATL Bucs Fan Says:

    tmax/realist/kobe so easy to tell this group doesn’t actually understand football.

  39. Joe Says:


    That’s a wide swath of humanity there.

  40. stpetebucsfan Says:

    @Joe Humanity? You’re feeling generous today.

    I certainly get Leftwich’s point and agree somewhat but we have to stop the excuses…for anybody on this team including JW.

    TBBF nailed it…”That is not to say that our offense doesn’t contribute to the problem…..failure in the red zone….missed FGs. and untimely penalties.”

    Whose defense was on the field for all those red zone failures? Ours or theirs?

    Lord C made an interesting point. Take away two of JW’s worst games every season (he provided the stats) and his stats are not bad. But that’s kind of the entire rap on JW…lack of consistency and bad judgement. He seemed to correct that the last six games. Seems like JW got a little Patti Labelle and a “New Attitude”.

    It’s the total team…top to bottom..not just Licht…not just coaching..not just JW…not just the OL…and NOT JUST the defense although they were poor.

    No more excuses and I can’t wait to see Arians turn purple when he reviews some of the penalties with the team. We are a dang dumb team.