“He’s Not Lyin'”

June 18th, 2019

Bucco Bruce Arians made one wild and bold statement about the Bucs three weeks ago and one of the great Buccaneers of all-time is backing up the claim.

You heard it or read about it. Heck, it completely stunned Joe.

Arians was hit with a very simple question after a late-May practice. A reporter asked him to name a position group, following 10 days of OTA sessions, that surprised him with its performance.

The head coach had a quick answer.

“Yeah, probably secondary, we’re really, really good,” Arians said with extra energy in his voice. “With Carlton [Davis] and Vernon [Hargreaves], we knew we had two solid corners. Now we got five solid corners. Ryan [Smith] came along. So yeah, earmarked as a problem set back in January, it’s totally fixed. Just knock on wood they stay healthy.”

“Totally fixed?” With three rookies and Ryan Smith developing? Manbeast JoeBucsFan.com intern Zachary Seifter asked Pro Bowl receiver Mike Evans about that claim during an exclusive interview on Friday.

Evans gave his blessing to the very young secondary.

“He’s not lyin’,” Evans said of Arians calling the secondary totally fixed.

“They look like they fit right in. They don’t look like rookies. Corners and safeties, our young guys are looking really good. They brought a lot of energy to practice, as well as the veterans. Our defense just looks revitalized, like they have new life.”

Evans went on to rave about the speed of the defense, calling it the best he’s seen in Tampa, though Evans was clear that real practices in training camp are a different animal.

Regardless, this is all very encouraging stuff.


Thursday, June 20, at Ed Morse Cadillac Brandon, 5 p.m. to 7 p.m.
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37 Responses to ““He’s Not Lyin'””

  1. Magadude Says:

    Encouraging sure, but anything that suggests somehow Ryan Smith is good for anything other special teams is looked at with great scrutiny. But with a pass rush that continues to lack, that the same coaches didn’t address very well, the DBs had better be pretty darn good.

  2. BA FAN Says:

    This is very encouraging and we need five dependable CBs with the Division Foes we have to face each one twice every season. There will be times where we will put more CBs out there too and those that are not starting will need to use their speed on Special Teams. We are also now looking good at Safety as well with Edwards who is not a burner but is so instinctive and such a leader and playmaker I would not be surprised with his intelligence that he will be our starting Free Safety with hard hitting Whitehead at Strong Safety and with speedy Brice who is an experienced Safety as one backup and Justin Evans as the other with his prior experience and perhaps one of the other Safeties if they are a major force on Special Teams. We are now going to have a dangerous backfield capitalizing on mistakes which our aggressive defense will cause with all their pressure. Our backfield will all be good tacklers too and help stop attempts to run on us.

  3. Bucit Says:

    How can someone make a definitive statement about the pass rush that continues to lack when they have not played one down with this whole new highly regarded coaching staff. In time we will know but to make predictions based on the past when things (coaching) are totally different is creditable. Two of the three phases of the game were completely horrible and the third was only half efficient because of no running game. We have a two time coach of the year with a history of knowing what he’s doing.

  4. Architek79 Says:

    I understand it’s just underwear season but like take the positive strides for what they are. This is a proven staff and proven pro-bowl (all pro) WR/ top 5 he knows what CB play looks like.

    This I positive news and all we can hope is the “team” continues to get better throughout the season.

    That should be the litmus, not instant gratification.

  5. Morgus the Magnificent Says:

    Glad to hear that the DB’s are great. Who could possibly doubt that?

  6. Magadude Says:

    Bucit, it will lack until it doesn’t. Yes, they have not played one down yet. You answered your own question.

  7. WyldKat Says:

    On the plus side, it’s not like they can get worse.

  8. Magadude Says:

    The Bucs have had a host of coaches, one even in the past decade I’ll add…who have a a multitude of division titles, even conference titles and trips to the SB. Oh, they were great…instant excitement to lead the Bucs out of the wilderness, too. Arians has does nothing yet. Wait until he turns something good in other than talk and hope. Then it will be time get gushy.

  9. JA Says:

    Not worried about the defense getting better. Am worried about how much better they get. If the new DB’s are in tight coverage during underwear football it’s a good start. It still remains, however, to see how well they tackle. If they cover like Deion Sanders and tackle like Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie we’re in trouble.
    IMO we also need to work a trade or grab a vet or two after/during training camp that will be a salary casualty. Yeah, I know we’re in our own cap hell, but it can be done. We need a JPP filler and DEFINITELY need more help on the OL.
    Maybe that’s why RJ is having anxiety issues. He’s seen them block and fears for his life!

    I’d love to see JPP’s X-ray. I could prognosticate his return in a jiffy. My qualifications to do so are beyond reproach. I attended the Frank Abagnale, Jr. School of Medicine.

  10. Clw JB Says:

    Well, at minimum, the depth chart at CB and S looks much better this year than last -the kids, Brice, DBuck playing dime safety/backer…

    It’s a start, they are so very young still – would not be surprised at all to see a vet S added right before camp, probably not a CB though -and who do you move on from at S, we drafted Evans, Whitehead, Edwards, Stewart all with 2-4th rd picks..and signed Brice & Buchanan

    11 man secondary, 10 if you count Buchanon with the LB’s

  11. Buc believer Says:

    Anyone can look good when firing blanks. Let’s see what happens when the bullets are real.

  12. Allbuccedup Says:

    Depth with O-line and D-line sucks.

  13. El Buco Realisto Says:

    Its a far cry from pass practice with fold like a lawn chair jw3 to going against the “real” QB’s of the NFC South!!!!! The rookies will then be tested!!!!!!!!!!!!1

    2019 will reveal answers to the sheep, that the “real” fans already know!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  14. Sport Says:

    This group of rookies and young guys will become a Band of Brothers. Tone setters.

    I am firmly in the camp of believing our new coaching staff. If they say it’s fixed, I’m pumped.

    In BA I Trust!

  15. Allbuccedup Says:

    They are pumping you up for ticket sales. You are not going to know if the defense is fixed until they meet the Saints. Who Dat?

  16. Buccaneer Bonzai Says:

    I remember when Dungy came in. The first thing players mentioned was how the speed of the defense had been faster than ever.

    This is a good sign.

  17. Defense Rules Says:

    @Joe … “MANBEAST JoeBucsFan.com intern Zachary Seifter”. That’s cruel Joe. Poor Zachary will have to live with that now for years to come. Ndamukong Suh is a manbeast. Vita Vea is a manbeast. Zachary? Uhhh … yup, that’s cruel Joe.

    Back to the Bucs’ Secondary, last year at cornerback we played Brent (I don’t get paid enough to do that) Grimes for 13 games (13 starts), Carlton Davis for 13 games (12 starts), Ryan Smith for 16 games (6 starts), Javien Elliott for 15 games (5 starts), MJ Stewart for 11 games (5 starts), De’Vante Harris for 10 games (1 start) and VHIII for ONE game (1 start). All under the guiding hand of … wait, who were our Secondary coaches last year?

    As of now, it looks to me like Davis, Smith & VHIII will return (30 games & 19 starts among them last year), and be joined by 2 very speedy newcomers … Murphy-Bunting and Dean, both of whom appear to be very promising rookies, to replace Grimes, Elliott, Stewart & Harris at CB. We’ve got all new, very experienced coaches for that group. Don’t know at this point whether or not it’s “totally fixed” but I’d say we’ve got a LOT more potential than we had at cornerback.

  18. Bucit Says:

    Megadude my point is to not count on what was done with a previous coaching staff and to wait and see the new results. I didn’t answer my own question you did in your second post which contradicted your first post. Nothing is going to be the same as it has been with the last coaching staff except for some left over players and we have to see what they will do with a new coaching staff.

  19. BigPoppaBuc Says:

    Evans said the magic word when it comes to playing defense in today’s NFL…. SPEED. And Bowles system will use that speed to be aggressive. I think by mid season this defense will be surprising a lot of fans.

  20. Anonymous Says:

    Good on Mike Evans for restructuring again this morning. Apparently converted some cash in to yet another signing bonus. Gives the Bucs more cap space to sign our last 2 draft picks.

  21. Scotty in Fat Antonio Says:

    Good on Mike Evans for restructuring again this morning. Apprently converted some base salary into another signing bonus. Second time he has done so this year. Frees up money to sign our last 2 draft picks.

  22. Hodad Says:

    Last year our DB’s lined up 10, or more yards off the receivers. That’s an easy 8yd pick up, with no worry of an interception. A missed tackle after the catch because we didn’t practice tackling live in training camp, and it was off to the races. It’ll be better this year just by letting your young DB’s get in the grill of the receiver at the line of scrimmage, instead of having them play some complex zone. Will they get beat playing press? They will, but they’ll also at least be in the same zip code as the ball when it’s thrown giving them a better chance for a pick.

  23. Allbuccedup Says:

    Carlton Davis and Justin Evans(if healthy) were good in the secondary. Hopefully with the 3 in this years draft we will be okay. Don’t expect anything from VH3 hes always hurt and he never played like a first round pick.

  24. 813bucboi Says:

    Our defense just looks revitalized….

    i bet it does since smitty sucked the life out of them…..lol….

    GO BUCS!!!!!

  25. Barack's Crack Pipe Says:

    JA Says:
    “If they cover like Deion Sanders and tackle like Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie we’re in trouble.”

    If they cover like Deion Sanders and tackle like Deion Sanders we’re in trouble, too.

  26. Mike Johnson Says:

    Yet not a word about our upcoming improved Pass rush. DB’s had better be fast. Especiially if the opposing QB is gonna have all that time like they have before.

  27. TexBuc Says:

    Without pads and contact no one can evaluate pass rusher or OL.

  28. Cobraboy Says:

    I understand links are discouraged here, but there are a few paragraphs in PFT that are worthy reads:

    Coverage is more important than pass rush, all else being equal

    Analytics have a way of upsetting your sensibilities and upending some preconceived notions. Growing up, we’ve been conditioned to believe that pass rush is critical. And for good reason—pressure reduces passer rating substantially (by about 30 points) and nearly halves a team’s yards per play average. And we can see from the broadcast angle when pressure affects a quarterback. Because passing is so important, good pass-rushers have been the highest-paid members of most NFL’s defenses.

    However, we found that not only does pass coverage (as measured by PFF grades) explain team success better than pass-rushing, but predicts it better as well. This helps explain why the winningest team in the league (New England) has used its only two big-name defensive free-agent signings on cornerbacks over the past decade (Stephon Gilmore and Darrelle Revis), and why defensive end Trey Flowers is currently a Detroit Lion. One need only to go back to last year’s playoffs to see how the quick passing game of today’s NFL mitigates even the strongest pass rush, with the Patriots racking up 78 points en route to the Super Bowl despite facing the vaunted pass rushers on the Chargers and Chiefs.

    The caveat to this finding? As a trait, coverage tends to be less stable year to year. The upshot? Invest a lot into coverage, so that some subset of five or six of these players give you an elite group.

    If you’re going to invest in a pass rusher, prioritize his pressure rate, not his sack rate

    Sacks are important and worth about two points for a defense. They usually end drives and often force turnovers. They are the ultimate goal of all pass rushers and rightly the most valuable non-turnover play for a defender.

    But if you want to know how good a pass rusher is, and how good he’ll likely be the following season, look at his pressure rate. We at PFF define a pressure as a sack, a hit or a hurry on a quarterback, with the best pass rushers able to generate a pressure on 15 to 20 percent of their pass-rush snaps. For a pass rusher with 500 pass rushes during a season, you’re talking about 75 or so plays, versus just 10 sacks.

    Generally speaking, “finishing” pressure with a sack isn’t really a trait a pass rusher possesses per se. If you want to predict a player or team’s sack total one year, use his or its pressure rates from the previous season. A 20 percent decline in a player’s sack total from 10 to eight, for example, is mostly noise. But a 20 percent dip in a player’s pressure rate from 50 to 40 is less so. Process over results.

    I have been preaching the this for years: QB sacks are nice and certainly exciting, but QB pressures and hits, in the big picture, are more important.

    Add tight, physical pressure coverage by DB’s, and the QB pressures and hits…and maybe sacks…will come. Make the QB hold the ball .5 to 1.0 seconds longer and they will come.

    The Smith scheme caused abysmal pass defense the last few seasons.

  29. Defense Rules Says:

    Cobraboy … EXCELLENT info; thanks for sharing it. It’s hard I think to find accurate stats on ‘QB pressures’ but rather easy to find them on Sacks, QB Hits and TFLs. Those 3 give a fairly good picture IMO of how often a DLineman in particular is ‘in the backfield’.

    That’s why I think it’s way too premature to release JPP for instance (12.5 sacks, 20 QB Hits & 16 TFLs for 48.5 total … led the Bucs defense BY FAR). Also why I didn’t mind releasing GMC (6 sacks, 21 QB Hits & 6 TFLs for 33 total) & adding Suh (4.5 sacks, 19 QB Hits & 4 TFL for 27.5 total … close enough considering the $4 mil savings).

    Lots of folks didn’t really appreciate Carl Nassib last year either as much as they should have IMO. Ended the season with 6.5 sacks, 14 QB Hits & 12 TFLs for 32.5 total … essentially the same as GMC. That’s more than what Carl had in his first TWO years with Cleveland combined. If he duplicates or improves on that this year, Bucs can expect to pay him some big $$$ (hopefully we don’t pull the stupid Bennett trick again).

  30. SOEbuc Says:

    Ryan Smith was a 4 time All American in MEAC playing man coverage. Dirk and Smith dropped him to safety and CB in a zone defense that went from one side of the field to another. He now has NFL experience and maybe fits very well into Bowles secondary. We shall see…

  31. Lord Cornelius Says:


    Yeah this has been the theme all year for articles I’ve read. So hopefully PFF is right and the Bucs are actually doing things that make sense for having a solid defense to build on for 2019 and beyond.

    @Defense RUles

    Oddly enough PFF didn’t even think JPP had a great year and graded Nassib over him (69.5 grade for top 43 edge rusher, vs 60.1 / #81 edge rusher for JPP).

    JPP had 933 snaps to Nassib’s 598 – or almost double. If you prorate Nassib’s per snap production to the amount of play time JPP got:

    10 sacks / 22 QB hits / 18 TFL

    Still makes no sense to me JPP isn’t graded higher… Unless his pressure rate was simply horrible on his non 20 QB / 12.5 sack snaps and he happened to just be lucky to rack those #’s up. I doubt that’s the case tho and guessing just another flaw in PFF rating

  32. SOEbuc Says:


    “It still remains, however, to see how well they tackle.”

    In college, Dean was a ballhawking banger. Edwards is a good tackler on the blitz. Once again. Rookies in underwear practice.

    I am praying VH3 doesn’t play opposite Carlton Davis. Davis and Dean are both two good man CB that played on the same team at Auburn.

    I’m praying for Dean to totally ball out in TC and PS and get the #2 job.

  33. Cobraboy Says:

    IMO, a team needs 3 starting CB’s.

  34. Cobraboy Says:

    @DR and LR: those stats from last year came WITHOUT press coverage by DB’s, when receivers were running free at will in the Bucs’ secondary.

  35. Cobraboy Says:

    ^^^LC, not LR^^^

  36. Lord Cornelius Says:


    For sure. I have the same hope you do for all the same reasons pretty much.

    And in todays NFL yes agree a team needs 3 good CBs at least.

  37. Pryda...sec147 Says:

    We gonna see I’m going to be patient till the pads come on in a few short weeks. I think the strength of our defense will be our unpredictability.