Excuse For Rotten Defense?

June 22nd, 2019

No help.

Joe has debated seeking therapy for being assaulted by the worst defense mankind has ever laid eyes upon the last two seasons. It is a wonder more fans don’t suffer from PTSD.

But the defense wasn’t getting any favors from the Bucs offense.

Jet-flyin’, kiss–stealin‘, data-analyzin’, Bucs-film-studyin’, limousine-ridin’ Thomas Bassinger of the Tampa Bay Times did some digging and found that while the Bucs offense sure moved the ball well last year, it also had a knack for playing Santa Claus equally as well.

The Bucs defense, rotten as it was, found itself in a no-win situation too many times the past few years. Bassinger details the average starting field position of opposing teams.

This is why (some) coaches kvetch about turnovers as if they are vials filled with the Ebola virus.

But you know what? If you have a halfway decent defense, every friggin’ turnover doesn’t turn into six points for the opponent. There are businesswomen in Nevada who don’t lay down as quick as the Bucs’ defense did under disgraced former defensive coordinator Mike Smith.

51 Responses to “Excuse For Rotten Defense?”

  1. Barack's Crack Pipe Says:

    “This is why (some) coaches kvetch about turnovers as if they are vials filled with the Ebola virus.”

    No need for vials these days. Human ebola hosts just walk across the Rio Grand.

  2. DB55 Says:

    Bucs gave up 40 points in 3 games last year, each game Ryan Fitzpatrick played and he gave up a total of 7 turnovers.

  3. Dusthty Rhothdes Says:

    So basically why is jason licht the GM of the bucs still. You build a franchise from the inside out or just build the defense and then go from there as Sam Wyche and Rich Mckay did back in 95. Too many questions regarding winston and mariotta in the 2015 draft throw the pick out there and see what you get for it. The 2015 draft was pretty garbage from #1 on down but maybe get a few picks and build the team from there. The bucs are bottom 5 in the nfl due to the moves by licht

  4. Joe Says:

    So basically why is jason licht the GM of the bucs still.

    Bruce Arians.

  5. Dusthty Rhothdes Says:

    Joe I hear you on the BA as the GM…BUT the cards (not your jim hart cards) are horrible now while he was the “GM”…love the podcasts with you all and ira and this site and the best time I felt the bucs were a legit contender was beginning of the end of the wyche days and the beginning of dungy and this team is not close to a solid team…ps wa floyd peters the DC for the end of the wyche days?

  6. Dusthty Rhothdes AWAITING MODERATION Says:

    Overall bad franchise does these things

  7. Joe Says:

    Thanks Dusthty!

  8. The Fighting Schiano’s Says:


    I have PTSD thanks to Mike Smith


    A Bucs Fan

  9. #1bucsfan Says:

    Starting understanding the game wen Sapp was drafted so I got to watch that great defense my favorite player good ol John Lynch. As much fun it is to watch offenses air it out these days I still gotta believe defense wins championships. We have got to get back to that punch you in the mouth make you scared to come play our team defense just like the my old Bucs. What Smitty put on the field was not defense IDK what you call it but that’s not defense. I bet you could bring all those guys out if retirement from 2002 an they would be waaay better than last couple of years we’ve had to watch. The glazers should be paying us loyal fans to watch that embarrassment lol #endthedrought go bucs

  10. Rod Munch Says:

    The Bucs, for the season, had 5 INTs in the 1st quarter. I’m not sure how that is putting the defense in a whole early…

    Meanwhile this is a much more real stat: INT’s while…

    …Leading 3
    …Tied 4
    …Trailing 19

    That’s the real story – the same one you could see just by watching the games. The Bucs didn’t have turnover issues, for the most part, when they were in the game. The turnovers came once the defense put them in a whole and the offense had to play catch-up.

  11. FLBoyInDallas Says:

    The defense will be tremendously improved, no doubt. It’s the offense that will stagnate or even possibly regress. Should be good enough for a couple extra wins, though.

    6-10 or maybe, maybe, 7-9 sounds about right this year.

  12. Magadude Says:

    Ah, spreading the turnover love between Fitz and Winston. Yup, definitely been a problem. Winston’s first NFL pass was a Pick 6 of course, and maybe that was the real indicator of things ahead, not his first game in college vs PIT. We already know the hot and cold hand of Fitz, who is not a factor here anymore, though he did give us a glimmer of hope at the beginning of last season when Winston had acted to throw it all away. Yup, INTs are deadly, and deadlier when the D is like ours is (which sucks until they demonstrate they don’t suck anymore). Are the up for the challenge? We can only hope.

  13. Kobe Faker Says:

    “I am the reason of the great 2016 9-7 season

    2016 season was the best season in 15 years

    I am treated as the white Love Smith

    *We are not related”

    Mike Smith

  14. westernbuc Says:

    Defense sucked no doubt, minus that stretch in 16. But Jameis melted down too many time. The running attack was miserable, and do Jameis no favors. But still, he’s a turnover machine. I don’t know how Ariana is gonna coach that out

  15. Defense Rules Says:

    @Bassinger … “Giveaways, particularly early in games, are most certainly putting the defense in bad positions. Doesn’t excuse the defense. The team hasn’t been playing good complementary football.”

    There’s absolutely nothing wrong with that conclusion … Thomas Bassinger hit all the bases. TOGETHER the Bucs’ offense, defense & S/Ts played some lousy COMPLEMENTARY FOOTBALL. 5-11 teams tend to do that.

  16. Bird Says:

    But we’ve heard it’s all the defense fault. It’s always the defense fault. Right? For no wins over the last 4 years.

    Now ,everyone knows the defense lacked talent and mike smith may go down as one of the most incompetent defensive coaches of our time. A guy who was still coaching Like it was 1995

    Dbs5- why do you keep dogging Fitz and go out of your way to defend Jameis at all costs
    Jameis was drafted 1 overall
    Fitz in the 7th round homie.
    I mean gimme a break.


  17. Bird Says:

    Honestly … how many 7 th rounders have an NFL career. At any position ?
    And you are acting like he was supposed to be some great consistent QB

    Does Jameis have more talent . No even close. Jameis has way more talent. Jameis has more talent then a majority of QBs in the NFL. But producing when bullets are flying and quick decisions being made ?

    But the results between the two ? Turnovers ? Yardage ? Wins vs losses
    Looked pretty much the same to me between fitz and Jameis

  18. Ndog Says:

    Rod Munch Says:
    June 22nd, 2019 at 3:38 am
    The Bucs, for the season, had 5 INTs in the 1st quarter. I’m not sure how that is putting the defense in a whole early…

    Meanwhile this is a much more real stat: INT’s while…

    …Leading 3
    …Tied 4
    …Trailing 19

    That’s the real story – the same one you could see just by watching the games. The Bucs didn’t have turnover issues, for the most part, when they were in the game. The turnovers came once the defense put them in a whole and the offense had to play catch-up.

    Wow somebody that actually understands football. It’s very refreshing on this site since it happens so rarely.

  19. Jim Says:

    Isn’t it the case that Fitz had a better winning percentage, as a Buc? Same defense, right? Not much difference, as I recall, but he did give the team and fans some golden moments…

  20. Bird Says:

    The NFL has changed. Back in the day , a team could win with a great defense.
    Ravens and dilfer who was less then average
    Bucs and brad Johnson (although brad was one of my fav players – the bull)

    But the nfl changed for the fans. They want shootouts. Points on the board – backs and forth. So they give the offense every advantage. Defensive players can barely touch a guy.

    This is a team sport
    But the QB is hands down the most important player on the field. He accounts as 2 or 3 guys in my opinion.
    Look at their salary which confirms it -around 30-35 mil.

    Another point that shows that – what is the second most important player on the field – a defensive end that sacks the QB (again who is the most important ) what do they make 15-20. Almost half.

    Somebody commented well look at Aaron Rodgers record the last 2 years. Green Bay oline with injuries is no better then ours. He had zero receivers. His running back was a converted receiver . We at least have questionably the best receivers/ tight end group in nfl

    Somebody also commented that if Patrick Mahommes was here the Bucs would have the same record last year. Give me a break people. No way.

    QBs win and lose games every Thursday , Friday , Saturday and Sunday. I included Thursday cause that’s freshman football night. The QB has the most impact on the game. Is it all Jameis fault . Heck no. But he has played a part with roller coaster play.

    Arians is the QB whisperer. I am pretty confident he will be able to take Jameis to another level. Let’s hope that’s the playoffs. Cause anything under 9-7 is not good enough.

  21. Bobby M. Says:

    Turnovers and slow starts by Winston aren’t some new issue, he was scouted for that in college….along with poor decision making off the field. He’s 2nd in most turnovers to Blake Bortles over the past 5 yrs. He’s settled another sexual assault case since college….The dude is who he is.

    Can it be minimized enough to win?….That’s the belief with hiring Arians and his staff. IMO…we are likely headed toward the franchise tag with Winston, when that dance ends, Arians will leave, Winston will walk and we’ll be “rebuilding” again with either Leftwich or Bowles taking over.

  22. Lou. Says:

    Bassinger’s stats don’t back up the claim. Field position was very bad in 2015, average in ‘16 and ‘17, and below average in 2018. What is the trend we are supposed to see, ‘cause it sure isn’t there.

    The stats just show that the Bucs were average to below average in defensive starting position for a four-year period. Nothing to see here. Move along.

  23. Defense Rules Says:

    Ndog & Rod … Yes the Bucs had 26 INTs last year, BUT it’s not JUST INTs that cause teams to fall behind. Little things like fumbles also can count as turnovers (IF your opponent recovers them). And 3-and-outs can also cause you to fall behind (after all, Bucs are notorious for starting slow). IOW, don’t cherry-pick stats.

    When you look just at last season and our 5-11 record, we stunk it up AS A TEAM. Our offense moved the ball very well IN THE PASSING GAME, but stunk it up in the running game. Our offense scored 396 pts (24.8 PPG average) for a #12 ranking in POINTS SCORED, BUT … we did poorly against teams with winning records & good defenses after our 1st 2 games of the season. Worst of all, our offense committed 35 turnovers in 2018 … ranking in LAST PLACE in the league.

    For its part, our defense stunk it up too, coming in #31 in POINTS ALLOWED. Yuck! What’s sad is that we were bad ACROSS THE BOARD … we gave up 34 passing TDs (#30 ranking) and 19 rushing TDs (#29 ranking). Although we improved considerably in the 2nd half of the season in turnovers generated, the Bucs defense was still only #22 in the league (with 17 turnovers gained). That left us with a turnover DIFFERENTIAL of MINUS 18 turnovers. How many teams do you think made the playoffs with that kind of deficit. Quick answer: Zip, zero, zilch (not even close … Eagles (-6) & Ravens (-3) were the only 2 teams with a negative turnover differential to make the playoffs).

    And oh ya, our S/Ts were nothing to write home about. In every category it looks like we ranked in the mid-20’s or worse in terms of the various S/T rankings.

    Conclusion: Bucs stunk it up last year … AS A TEAM. MAYBE that’s all why the coaching staff got replaced? MAYBE that’s why we’ve seen a major infusion of new talent on the defensive side of the ball? MAYBE that’s why we have a new kicker & punter? And yet, only time will tell if what we’ve got now will do any better than what we had. For my part, I’m convinced that it will, although I’d be surprised at a quick start given our crummy schedule & almost totally rebuilt defense. But that’s OK … they’re still OUR BUCS.

  24. Loyaltotheend Section 312 Says:

    Bucs as a team, I think led the league in turnovers combination of Fitz Jameis and the other guys was bad for ball security. Funny how Fitz gets the blame from Clueless Joe yet Bucs would’ve been 3-13 without him…

  25. Kobe Faker Says:


    Sheep still trying to find reasons why this team suks?


    For 3 years KOBE FAKER has told this blog what the problem is and always will be…

    Forrest Gump was a good movie but not a GM”

    Kobe Faker

  26. Jameis Almighty! Says:

    Fitzpatrick will go down in Bucs history as THE WORST acquisition ever. He sucked, divided the fan base, and aided the Jameis Bashers. FitzTragic can go play for the Dolphins and throw more picks than the MLB draft.

  27. ben Says:

    Fitz was great for the real buc fans.. He gave the bucs national coverage and was a fave of the players.

  28. Buccfan37 Says:

    So Licht is the builder of the stunk it up Bucs.

  29. Waterboy Says:

    I’d be curious to also see some numbers/rankings on how the kickoff and punt coverage teams compare to others in the league.

  30. Bird Says:

    Jameis almighty

    There you are. The hypocrite homer
    When fitz lost …threw interceptions it was expected. It’s was fitztragic a journeyman vagabond. you were routing for him to lose…the Bucs to lose .. so a nole could be at QB again who you feel is Jesus Christ walking the earth.

    But when Jameis loses …and throws picks what do you say? Oh the oline sucks , the defense sucks, no running game. Not Jameis fault.

    They were playing with same players.

    Just a reminder.
    Jameis went number 1 overall
    Fitz a seventh rounder

    And you think people who criticize Jameis are haters. So funny. Everyone ..well most people want Jameis to succeed cause Bucs are then winning games.
    Keep blaming everyone else though.

  31. stpetebucsfan Says:

    This focus could be spread to the entire team. There is enough blame to go around…from the front offices to the trainers rooms.
    I wouldn’t be surprised to learn our cheerleaders had bad breath.

    I think some folks talk as if we’re making massive changes to the entire team…as opposed to lookin for success from some players we’ve had…Spence and Nassib continue to blossom and along with some LB’s we get a very good edge rush. Suh will be better in the middle than GMC and Vea now has a year of experience as well as his health…we will be significantly better up the middle and if our depth players work out our DL should be far better this year. DW is a significant upgrade over Kwon who was a good LB…DW gives us a shot at greatness not simply good play. Our new young DB’s seem to the real deal…our speed has improved significantly.

    Ok I’m done…preaching to the choir with about half here and wasting key strokes on the other half.

    I do not see why folks believe the Bucs will suck this year. I can only believe these are the JW haters who can’t see his ability or won’t see it. I totally get the skepticism. However there are just as many reasons to be positive…off the field JW clearly seems to have matured and on the field he seemed to be a different player at the end of the season.

    Sorry but I just can’t buy a guy winning a Heisman trophy…National title and putting up the passing and running numbers #3 has in the NFL as indicating any lack of raw physical talent. This is not to excuse any mechanical issues…just saying dude has gotten it done at the top levels.

    If JW plays as expected by we optimists…the Bucs are in the playoffs…simple as that. If JW disappoints yet again…then the negative nellies here will get to rag on we optimists this coming January. I hope that cheap thrill is worth it.

  32. JimmyJack Says:

    Good post Bird. That’s part of the problem that is keeping the fanbase divided. If you are critical of Winston you are branded a hater.

    I know this because I have been called a hater even though I’m a huge supporter. Not sure why everybody has to be labeled either a hater or a nuggler about the QB……..Truth is there is a huge portion of the fanbase that is in the middle. But the extremists have the loudest voices and get the most attention due to the wild nature of their opinion.

    But rest well Buc fans. Know that just like with most anything in life the truth tends to be in the middle of two extremes…….Rarely to one side or the other.

    And a message to the actual nugglers. You do more to hurt your opinions and keep the fanbase decided when you compare our QB to HOF QBs…………The better and better your W-L record is the less and less relevant your statlines become. Looking for truths in statlines is something losing fans do to try to justify thing.

    And the message for the haters is simple. You have a few mother to keep hating and be heard. So have fun while you can. Once the games start on field results will be all anyone cares about. You’re opinions will be rendered insignificant once we start winning.

  33. Ptwalk Says:

    @RodMunch, that is a home run you posted my man great stuff

  34. SteveK Says:

    Jameis Almighty,

    You’re dead wrong. Jameis lies to his teammates and screwed himself over.

    Fitz just did his job and gave his all to the team. During which he Gave us hope and won back to back NFC Offensove Player of the Week awards.

    You can misconstrue however you damn well please, but the bottom line is Jameis 1.19. TD:1 Turnover ratio.

    Hard to win with a QB who turns it over almost as frequently as he scores a TD.

  35. SteveK Says:

    Rod Munch and NDog,

    How can you pay a QB a second contract when he has 1.19 TD’s for every 1 Turnover? That’s not $25-$30 million per year production.

    If Jameis has a better TD: Turnover ratio this year, and the Bucs can win some games you will see him back. This is what I root for, but the results this far on and off the field leave me with questions.

  36. DB55 Says:

    Field position:

    Last night I re-watched the saints week 14 match-up. At one point we gave up 25 yards in penalties on 3 consecutive plays.

    First Ryan Jensen gets a 15 yard unsportsmanlike penalty, next play we commit a false start while trying to punt, then on the next play we get a 5 yard neutral zone infraction penalty. Three plays in a row, 3 penalties 25 yards. Field position!


    A few plays later the defense causes Brees to fumble and we get the ball around their 30 yard line (field position) yet came away with zero points. This is early in the 3rd after Dotson fell on Winston’s knee bending it backwards. We come out running to no avail then attempt a fg 25 yards or so. Miss!

    Second missed fg in as many quarters. What should have been a 20-9 lead is now a 14-9 but it doesn’t matter bc no lead is safe with McIceCream at the helm.

    At one point the saints rushed 2 dline man. Cam Jordan beats the Dotson Benonch double team in 1.5 seconds pressuring Winston who almost throw a pick to Shelton Rankins who dropped into coverage. But seriously if you can’t block a 2 man defensive front for more than 3 seconds why are you even on the field?

    But you clowns will blame Winston for picks and turnovers when the man is being beaten to death behind the line. Cause and effect people. Cause and effect.



  37. DB55 Says:


    I’m just reminding you all that Fitz was terrible. It seems to me like some posters have forgotten. Seems to me like some posters would rather hold Winston accountable for every interception and loss in 2018. Feels like some posters took the first two games and forgot about the other 5-6 losses he produced or mentally transferred the bad play onto Winston in order to fit their narrative.

    I’m here to remind people that the worst losses were on Fitz to see if it registers but it won’t.

    As for 1st overall vs 7th round pick, I’d say the 13+ years of experience evens that out a bit. Plus using your logic every QB in the league is a bust bc Tom Brady was darn near the last overall pick and he has 6 rings so…..every first round QBs is a bust including geoff, Mahomes, Rivers and Luck bc they all got beat by a 7th round pick.

  38. Loyaltotheend Section 312 Says:

    Jameis Almighty you are always good for a laugh

    Worst acquisition? You must be a new Buc fan ha ha ha

    Fitz showed how a good qb could use these weapons and put up points

  39. Defense Rules Says:

    @StPete … “I wouldn’t be surprised to learn our cheerleaders had bad breath.” You may have stepped over the line there StPete. I’m losing hope now. I mean, we’ve got to have something to cheer for … even if it’s the cheerleaders.

    @Db55 … “I’m just reminding you all that Fitz was terrible.” Franchise QBs don’t bounce around to 8 different teams in 15 years, so obviously Fitz was PROBABLY not a franchise QB. And considering that he’s only had a winning record in 1 year (he went 10-6 with the Jets in 2015) he’s PROBABLY not who you want to have starting for your team every week. But IMO he’s an excellent backup QB, because IF he’s hot, he can get the job done. He has thrown 190 TDs in his career against 148 INTs … not great by any means, but that 1.28 ratio is still better than a number of starting QBs. And he’s also shown himself to be a great mentor for younger QBs, which is a valuable role on many teams. He was put into an impossible position with the Bucs last year, not of his own doing but precipitated by Jameis’ suspension & Koetter’s rather bizarre behavior during the season. He did commit a dastardly sin however … he had the nerve to win 2 games while America’s QB sat at home.

  40. DB55 Says:


    I’m talking about stuff like this

    -Fitz showed how a good qb could use these weapons and put up points-

    To me it sounds like Fitz played well and put up points in every or most games he played, this is simply not true. Heck against WAS he got shut out. He threw just as many INTs, lost 5-6 games. Threw 3 ints multiple times, once in just 1 qrt of play including a pick 6. Yet he’s cheered and hoisted on a pedestal by most fans. While these same fans rip Winston apart even though he won more games and played better than Fitz.

    Dude lost by 48 point to Mitch Trabinsky for goodness sake. I mean COME ON MAN!!!! All the 40 burgers were lost by Fitz. I just crazy to me that anyone could promote this guy as a good QBs while simultaneously bashing Winston. I suggest they go back and watch the games again.

  41. Rod Munch Says:

    Defense Rules – The Bucs gave up 464 points last year, the 3rd worst in team history. Meanwhile the Bucs scored 396 points, the most ever in team history…

    The offense was not the problem last year.

  42. Bird Says:


    Read my posts. I think Jameis has all of the talent in the world. But when bullets start flying he is all over the place. Human roller coaster. I think he has been average. 16 to 25 rage. Never said fitz was great. He was sure fun to watch those first few games. How was jameis up and down play any different then fitz. Their numbers and win loss almost identical if you break down per game. And I don’t blame every interception on Jameis .

    But you blame everything on everyone but Jameis. Bwtfdik

    And Brady is one of the one of the lone exception to the rule. Pretty sure belicheat has something to do with that too. How many garbage QBs have filled in when Brady injured and won games. Or was out whole year.

    And How many of the all time great QBs were taken in the first round or first overall.

    Plus your last paragraph makes zero sense.

  43. Loyaltotheend Section 312 Says:


    The way Fitz played those first 2-3 games I’ve never seen our first overall #1 pick play like that in consecutive games.

    Was Fitz perfect in every start? Hell no. But he’s a 7th round journeymen who looked better in consecutive starts than Jameis has in consecutive starts

    It’s telling and not a good sign

  44. BucEmUp Says:

    This is a joke. There is no excuse for how rotten the defense was…NONE!!!!!

    Bowles will help Jameis more than anyone this year. Arians and his staff will fux the special teams and Matt Gay will kill it and make everyone say Roberto who?

  45. BucHead588 Says:

    Any one remember Winston’s Stats last preseason when he was just out there playing with no worries he was Dam near unstoppable he was amazing Jameis will play calm an relaxed this year not trying to do to much but playing smart BA will have Jameis Rolling with Confidence this year GoBucs

  46. DB55 Says:

    The way Fitz played those first 2-3 games
    Correction: first 2 games. Hard stop 🛑

  47. DB55 Says:

    “You can’t have that many [quarterback] hits,” Koetter said.

    The Saints had 10 quarterback hits and four sacks.

    And that is not counting the myriad of penalties the offensive line had today

  48. Oneilbucs Says:

    Bird you are a Fantasy Football type of guy. That’s what the national media tell yall and yall believe everything that they say. The quarterback position is the most dependable position on the field. A quarterback does not win or lose games. It takes the hold team to win 1 game. Andrew Luck never gets blame for losing but gets credit for winning. So bird if the Colts lose this year and the saints and the chargers the national media and this trash fan base wouldn’t blame them losing so why do yall blame Jamies? Listen to the podcast from Thursday when Joe got caught cherry picking just like the national media does when it comes to Jamies but with others they gets passes all the time.

  49. Loyaltotheend Section 312 Says:


    11 TD passes through 4 games says differently.

    Jameis has NEVER had back to back games with 3 or more TD’s. Dude is definition of inconsistent. Again not saying Fitz was great but for 3 games and no running game and a bad defense he helped the team be competitive and win.

    Let’s start expecting our #1 overall pick to start playing like one

  50. Loyaltotheend Section 312 Says:

    Oops meant 3 games

  51. Magadude Says:

    @Buchead5888….Yes, remember last preseason Winston had. It was the one right before everything that actually counted started…with the #1 overall pick, face of the franchise, and team captain derailing the whole season before it started with his player conduct suspension and campaign of lies. Yes, I remember.