“It Allows You To Focus On That Run Defense”

June 14th, 2019

Telling take from Saints Pro Bowl DE Cameron Jordan

For each of the past three seasons, the Buccaneers’ run defense was ranked among the worst 10 teams in the NFL when it came to yards per carry allowed.

And a reason why could be found on the other side of the football.

Saints defensive end Cameron Jordan was chatting on SiriusXM NFL Radio this week and was asked about practicing against the Saints’ prolific offense. The highly-intelligent, four-time Pro Bowler served up an intriguing answer.

He talked about how having Alvin Kamara and Mark Ingram at running back forced the defense’s work on stopping the run. “It allows you to focus on that run defense,” Jordan said.

That got Joe thinking about how the Bucs defense spent the last three years practicing against the likes of tap-dancing Charles Sims, sluggish Doug Martin, lost Ronald Jones and an emerging but average Peyton Barber.

Consider that in 2015, when Martin and Sims were spectacular, the Bucs’ run defense allowed just 3.4 yards per carry, best in the NFC.

Think that’s a coincidence? Joe doesn’t.

Back in 2012, Martin was a rookie Pro Bowler who was explosive and punishing from Day 1. That year the Bucs defense led the NFL in yards-per-carry allowed, just 3.5.

It makes sense that it’s harder to have an elite run defense when you practice against second-rate running backs.

28 Responses to ““It Allows You To Focus On That Run Defense””

  1. Succaneers Says:

    1-15, big season for the Succaneers

  2. Morgus the Magnificent Says:

    With that reasoning, the Bucs defense should rank near the top in interceptions..and fumble recoveries.

  3. Bird Says:

    Obviously Arians and Koetter had different approaches to coaching ?

    Practice in heat vs practice in A/C from time to time
    Practice balls to the wall vs controlled practices.
    Accountability vs not to many negative comments

    The team was soft and it had something to do with koetter approach

    Arians approach is what this team needs
    I just hope we don’t have an uptick in injuries before we start the season. Injuries are part of the game , but we don’t have the depth most teams have with next man up mentality. ..I hope are good players are able to start the season cause it seems like arians will rip your head off if you don’t run around the practice field with your hair on fire.

  4. R.O. Says:

    What was training camp like in 2015? Was there live hitting and tackling? We know Dirk stopped that when he was HC. That’s the diff..

  5. Buczilla Says:


  6. bucnole Says:

    Apparently that doesn’t work for Pass D either. Tampa was 26th, ATL was 27 and NO was 29 – all with very good passing offense to practice against.

  7. Prada...sec 147 Says:

    Kwon was a big liability for our team so was GMC. Suh,White, the rooks going to get the job done

  8. BA FAN Says:

    The strength program is the key to reducing injuries. The better shape a team is in the less injuries. Look at Ohio State and last year’s Gator’s football team who both have great strength programs and practice a lot in pads full speed and you will see what I mean. Koetter produced weak football teams who year after year had high injury rates and had no clue why. The minute they had to play physical football teams they were toast. Now you know! BA knows what he is doing! Remember Dungy who had the first turnaround Buc’s Team learned his football knowledge as a player for Pittsburg where BA first Coached also and soaked up a lot of his knowledge too. Pittsburg Teams were physical and won lots of Super Bowls!

  9. TexBuc Says:

    When any offense gets a 2 score lead against the opponents the right call or adjustment is to call more run plays with just enough passing to keep the chains moving. Our Run Defense ranking should be better with an more efficient offense.

  10. Sport Says:

    Joe, just a few.articles down, you commented that Iron does NOT Sharpen Iron. Now you just made the case that it does, which I agree with. Different Joe?

    In BA I Trust!

  11. Harry in Costa Rica Says:

    Pass D and run D are two different situations in our case. Competition in practice for both is important – I completely agree with Joe’s take here. Pass D sucked because of bad coaching and a lack of talent in the secondary. Personally, I think that is very obvious.

    This, IMO, is one of the benefits of swapping GMC for Suh. Suh is a better run stopper, hence the more productive “tackles” stats than GMC. GMC was too worried in acquiring “sacks” so he would not look so bad as “Sapp lite”, and he maintains his rep for his quick “get off”. It was never about money as the Bucs could have realistically signed GMC for less then Suh.

    This segways into why BA wanted to swap GMC for Suh. First, Suh fits better in this D, as noted above:
    1) TB wants to be stronger vs the run, in order to focus on pass D.
    2) Suh is a better fit as a DE in a 3-4, as he makes the middle strong vs the run but can still pressure the QB,
    3) Dumping GMC sends a LOUD message to the team that anyone is replaceable. It is a win-win situation for the Bucs

  12. Lord Cornelius Says:

    Devin White + Suh + Year 2 Vea = improved run D IMO

    The biggest thing we got killed on was intermediate zone with quick RB/WR YAC type plays. This is where Kwon was terrible in terms of angles and where Smitty’s passive scheme literally dictated coverage holes for easy completions pre-snap.

  13. tye Says:

    Maybe the same is true for the pass defense.. If they had to work harder to get fumbles and interceptions in practice then they would be better at it in games… The qb just tossing the defense ints frequently puffs them up in practice and they go into games cocky while watching opposing receivers make plays on them…

  14. RawDog Says:

    You bash Martin & Sims in one paragraph. Then the following you imply that those two being good RBs were what helped the run D. Can’t have it both ways.

  15. Bucsdelight Says:

    Yes, this is what I have been talking about. Your defense will not get better unless they have someone good to go up against. That’s why our Defense has never been any good. Our offense is awful. Run game, Pass game, all of it.

  16. Loyaltotheend Section 312 Says:

    What this Joe is mentioning seems like an outlier

    Lovies last year here Martin ran wild as well but the run defense was nothing special. When something happens once it’s a coincidence when it happens consistently it’s a trend

    Be better Joe

  17. 813bucboi Says:

    coaching is the difference…..

    dirk failed to create a run game so the run defense suffered….

    GO BUCS!!!!

  18. Curse of Gruden Says:

    “Morgus the Magnificent Says:
    June 14th, 2019 at 9:20 am
    With that reasoning, the Bucs defense should rank near the top in interceptions..and fumble recoveries”

    Yes. Morgus blows Joe’s theory out of the water.

  19. Patrick Says:

    I’m pretty sure that a very important factor in this is the blocking scheme being used as well as the actual running backs themselves.

  20. Defense Rules Says:

    Great comments throughout this thread. Lord C nailed it IMO: “Devin White + Suh + Year 2 Vea = improved run D”. Run defense all starts with the middle IMO. Beef up the middle with BEASTS & opposing offenses will have to look elsewhere. With Allen & (hopefully) Beckner spelling Suh & Vea periodically in the middle, it’ll be hard for teams to run up the gut. And with our speedy ILBs & big DEs/OLBs it SHOULD be just as hard to run around the ends.

    You know Joe, it MIGHT just turn out to be the other way around: our new run-stuffing DEFENSE might just make our running game better. Heck a beefier & speedier defense might even make our OLine run-block (and pass-block) better.

  21. SOEbuc Says:

    2017 LVD- 5 FF/5 FR/101 CTK/1TD/0 SK
    2018 LVD- 1FF/2FR/120 CTK/0 TD/3.5 SK

    Add White next to this dude in the middle and I believe you will get your practice at the RB position. And if everything works out like it’s suppose to, large rise in opponent fumbles.

  22. SteveK Says:

    Mark Dominik drafted Adrian Clayoborn 20th overall, and passed inn cam jordan who went 24th to NO.

    At the time of the draft I remember scratching my head thinking- how do you draft a DE with a known physical limitation, and pass on the son of an all-pro, with no limitations physically?

    What went into that pick? It seems so obvious to me, a fan, that Can Jordan was the pick.

    I guess that’s why we are the Bucs!

  23. bucsfan561 Says:

    Yall keep trying my boy sims lol I know hes gone but the bucs didn’t have a running back last yr that could catch out of the backfield.. lol koetter actually thought Rodgers was the answer.. The run defense was trash because mike smith was asking penetrators to hold their guys up and choose a gap instead of do what they do.. When we had lovie smith you couldn’t think about handing it off but on the flip side our back end was like playin a high school team in 7 on 7

  24. BucFan727 Says:

    O so you changed your mind and now think iron sharpens iron?

  25. JimmyJack Says:

    If you wanna see awful run D go back and watch the first quarter from our blowout in the desert. Watch as Bruce dials up AP play after play after play and watch our LBs backpeddle play after play after play. Watch as we simply allow AP to chew us up for a entire length of the field and watch us never make an adjustment.

    This is awful game planning and this is being wildly unprepared.

    What still pisses me off to this day is on the second drive we call the exact same freaking defense and our LBs just keep on backpeddling. And again we refuse to adjust and embarrassingly allow AP to run all over us. It was truely one of the most pathetic displays of defense I had ever witnessed.

    Yes, make no mistake, coaching absolutely matters. And when I hear Bruce tell us how this defense will be an attacking stlye I get filled with Glee!!!! All’s I gotta say is those better be more then words and this D better attack as promised!!!!

    Can’t wait!!!!

    GO BUCS!!!!!!

    Let us get good first and then we can be great.

  26. Stanglassman Says:

    JJ- Just watching the 5 min highlights of that ‘16 week 2 beat down in the Az desert was painful. One thing that kept showing up was details and coaching. One team clearly had it a one team clearly didn’t.

  27. unbelievable Says:

    “That year (2012) the Bucs defense led the NFL in yards-per-carry allowed, just 3.5.”

    That’s a mirage- what was our pass defense rated that year? Worst in the league? Teams didn’t run the ball b/c they could literally throw all over us on every down they wanted.

  28. Brandon Says:

    Yet the 80’s Dolphins and Chargers could throw the ball like no teams ever before them but neither defense could stop anyone! Sound logic but one thing has nothing to do with the other. Last case, Bucs offense 1996-2001 was dreadful while the defense from the same era was amazing.