Defense Not That Far Off

July 14th, 2019

Injuries dragged down defense.

Yes, last year’s Bucs defense was a football atrocity. Disgraced former defensive coordinator Mike Smith should have been put on trial at The Hague on charges of Crimes Against Football.

When Smith was ousted by suits at One Buc Palace because the front office’s supply of Pepto Bismol ran dry, Smith’s Bucs defense was on pace to set 99-year records for the worst defense in recorded history, the worst humans have laid eyes upon.

Joe has stated the Bucs defense could still finish worst in the NFL and actually improve from last year. Joe firmly believes this. Last year was that bad.

Joe has been going through “Warren Sharp’s 2019 Football Preview.” Now injuries cannot be predicted and you certainly cannot use them as an excuse for atrocious play. However, as Sharp points out, no team in the NFL had more injuries than the Bucs last year. And the majority came on defense.

Sharp noted that no linebacker corps had more injuries than the Bucs and when it came to the secondary, the Bucs placed 31st with injuries. That did not help; that’s for sure.

Now the Bucs have a new strength and conditioning coach, Anthony Piroli. Joe has been told his predecessor was hostile and close-minded to sports science techniques in the team’s quest to keep players on the field. Piroli, whose background is in the SEC, is embracing sports science and anything deemed cutting edge.

No, one cannot blame losses on injuries. Every team has them, but not in the way the Bucs did.

Combine new, state-of-the-art conditioning ideas and methods with an upgraded roster at linebacker and the secondary, the defense should be improved before it ever takes the field on gameday.

49 Responses to “Defense Not That Far Off”

  1. Ndog Says:

    So while at first the draft was perplexing, it makes sense considering the depth concerns we faced last year and the positions we drafted.

  2. OneBuc55 Says:

    Injuries are always the one thing that you never want to factor into the equation; the reality is, injuries can and will always happen in football…

    Getting enough of them or even just 1 significant one will derail a season in a New York minute….

  3. Buc believer Says:

    If Smith were on trial for crimes against football then his buddy Koetter should be prosecuted as an accomplice.

  4. D-Rome Says:

    Joe has been told his predecessor was hostile and close-minded to sports science techniques in the team’s quest to keep players on the field.

    I’m not sure how that’s possible. Weren’t the Bucs one of the first teams in the NFL to invest in cryochambers at One Buc for the players?

  5. BA FAN Says:

    I am not surprised that Koetter turned his nose up to any techniques to avoid injuries and instead depended on his doughboy “soft” practices avoiding pads as much as possible which unwittingly contributed in his team’s not ready for physical play and just accelerated the injuries and his OL and DL getting pushed around. BA is just the opposite of Koetter except for promoting the long pass on Offense; so he embraces current scientific methods and conditioning techniques so his teams can play in pads as long as Rules will allow and with minimal injuries. However, our defense sucked last year from the beginning of the season with all starters playing and we had to put up enormous scores to just barely pull out a win before Pittsburg figured out our OL was so poorly trained and conditioned all they had to do was blitz every down and easily overpowered us to a runaway score and showed the league how to stop our otherwise potent passing attack. I doubt that will work with a conditioned and superbly trained BA team this year, even with most of our OL back.

  6. BA FAN Says:

    Even with off the street substitutes for our injured players Licht got us players that enabled Smith’s successor to out play Smith’s defense playing all his starters and one of the subs tallied three interceptions in one game.

  7. tmaxcon Says:

    garbage roster and cancer93 dragged down the defense for the last decade…. injuries are just a go to excuse for low standard bucfan and the delusional optimists.

  8. Alanbucsfan Says:

    It has taken the Bucs inheritors 10 years to finally figure out that you need a proven quality coaching staff and that you need to build defense through the draft –
    Running game is a big question mark- we shall see
    We will see Improvement this year, and that is a big step in the right direction.
    Schedule is not a factor, team culture is, and Bucs will be interesting and fun as opposed to embarrassing last year.

  9. tmaxcon Says:

    it feels just like yesterday when the glazer clowns pulled that unforgettable PR stunt and brought in bad character lovie smith and the family plan… all the comments of every post were easily summed up…. “At least with lovie back the defense will be fixed” lol how’d that work out. so now we have the right staff in place yet again… it’s a freaking broken record with the same damn failed results… keep drinking the cool aid ladies the nut punches are coming!!!! Guaranteed!

  10. Magadude Says:

    Better conditioning won’t keep the players from popping illegal substances though.

  11. Magadude Says:

    [Be very careful here. Joe likes you and enjoys your comments. But accusing any Bucs player of being guilty of a felony unless he has actually stood in front of a judge in a court of law and cops a plea, can and will get you run. Roger Goodell is not a court of law. Tread very carefully when you go to the place you just went. It could be your final comment on Joe would hate for that to happen but you also do not want to test Joe here. Joe is responsible for every word typed on this site. Joe is the one who would/could be dragged into court over accusations on this site or lose his successful business he has slaved over for years to build. No one else. Do NOT test Joe on this issue. — Joe]

  12. Alanbucsfan Says:

    It is true the defense fell apart the end of Lovie’s tenure. They were 6-6, then gave up 30 points per game the last 4 games. I would suggest that season ending disaster was a trademark of the McCoy years.
    A little more house cleaning of veteran losers would be welcome.

  13. Ndog Says:

    Wow Joe you actually enjoy his comments, well that makes one person.

  14. stpetebucsfan Says:


    “Better conditioning won’t keep the players from popping illegal substances though.”

    TRUE THAT!!! But they pop for a variety of reasons some of which I do not understand.

    I’m 71. 50 years ago this year…we landed on the moon…and I learned to smoke weed in a guard tower in Vietnam. I’ve watched our overly aggressive morality police fight ANY weed use for 50 years. Obviously at long last our society is turning the corner and “Reefer Madness” is now just a cult classic comedy.

    So that’s society but the NFL is still lagging. There is tons of research that THC is far better for these players as a means of coping with pain and injury than alcohol much less the amazingly addicting pain pills the NFL has historically passed out like candy. Combine those pills with alcohol and you’ve created a truly damaging toxic stew. OK off the soap box. LOL

    The other busts for “banned” substances come IMO in two forms. Those that are obvious…guys roid up to get an advantage…and the others that I have difficulty understanding.

    The suspensions of LVD and all the other whiners who claim they didn’t know the substance they took was banned is beyond a lame excuse. I simply cannot believe that the NFL and individual teams do not have their trainers talking to players weekly if not daily about what they are permitted to put in their bodies. Just like with weed legality of use has nothing to do with it. They are afraid somebody is sneaking PED’s into the equation.

    OK I get that but how can you not totally educate your players if a popular energy drink may contain a banned PED? I blame this on all three groups. The players…it’s their freaking careers are they too damn lazy or dumb to keep up with this stuff. Taking an energy drink…run it by the trainer first.

    The league is also culpable and for me at least the BUCS! These guys are huge investments you would think they would be highly motivated to totally keep their players informed. Any doubts run it by the Bucs trainer before taking it.

  15. stpetebucsfan Says:

    OOPS! Sorry wrong LB…dont’ know why I put Kwon’s stupid mistake with poor LVD. And I’m not even smoking anything. LOL Maybe that’s why I made the mistake.

  16. Magadude Says:

    I did not mention any names. But Joe, yes, I got it. Thanks for the words.

  17. Magadude Says:

    I guess you are wrong as usual.

  18. Magadude Says:

    @StPeteBucsfan…first, thanks for the work in the guard tower, especially as a guard. I was attacked at Khobar Towers and we never seem to lighten the load on the guys doing forece protection. And, I’m sorry our vietnam veterans got treated so badly, but I can assure you lessons were learned and passed down (no, not about weed, etc, the rest of it.)

    Yeah, I know the players hear about it constantly…worse is the drug testing seems kind of odd as part of the time they know what is being tested for. I think it comes down to discipline. Nothing to do with the Bucs cases, no accusations that is, but just in general, have to wonder if some of these cases are about taking one substance to mask another…

    You’d think they’d know. The policies are also negotiated and like government, sometimes the rules are little bit flakey…not unlike max number of practices in pads.

    My take on it.

  19. Cobraboy Says:

    Even an average NFL defense would make the Bucs huge winners.

    And improving defense is far easier in the NFL than improving an offense.

    Just one more 3rd down stop per game and 3-4 fewer points given up per game would have a significant impact on the team W-L record.

    Add Winston reducing turnover, no more pick-6’s and 4-5 fewer missed FG’s and the Bucs win bigly.

    There is not that big a difference between winning and losing teams in the NFL.

    Coaching matters.

  20. tmaxcon Says:

    Coaching does matter but just like all free agents who come to the NFL’s black hole Tampa bay Florida they all regress. all of them… all coaches outside of grudens accidental glory year fail when coming to the bay…. NFL’s worst team with NFL’s best retirement plan.

  21. Tampabaybucfan Says:

    It’s baseball instead of football….but you can’t find a team with more injuries than the NY Yankees this year……many of their stars down for multiple games….out for season…..but yet, they are currently first in their division with a top record in MLB…..IMO two reasons……Coaching & Depth…

    The Bucs now have the coaching….but not the depth…, injuries will definitely hurt us.

  22. Steven007 Says:

    Hey Maga, what Joe said we’ll get you run but don’t worry if that happens you simply have to create a new identity and you can post away. Just ask trollmax!

  23. Ghost of Darrell Henderson Says:

    “Smith’s Bucs defense was on pace to set 99-year records for the worst defense in recorded history, the worst humans have laid eyes upon.”

    After watching that clusterfock in Chicago last year, the NFL should have a Rotten Tomatoes category in the Hall of Fame.There you would find Mike Smith’s bust.

    “However, as Sharp points out, no team in the NFL had more injuries than the Bucs last year. And the majority came on defense.”

    Well, the Buc’s have already had two career ending injuries on defense and training camp hasn’t even started. JPP and Beckwith.

  24. #1bucsfan Says:

    T-m-a-x-i pad the only thing bad about this franchise is you an realist talking about it. We don’t need you as fans or anything else matter of fact just do us all a favor an leave the state your consistent negativity is how cancer spreads. You should seek professional help.

  25. BigHog Says:

    Could not have said it any better!!

  26. BigHog Says:

    Could not have said it any better!! GO BUCS GO SUHY!

  27. BA FAN Says:

    You can tell Coaching matters. That explains how Jensen was the 6th best Center in the NFL in his first year playing Center. He comes to the Bucs and had to work for Clueless Warhop and even with a year of experience as a Center he drops like a rock to a less than average Center in the NFL according to PFF and you saw it live last year, but with great coaching and better scheme in his first year in Baltimore as a Center, just watch as his production with BA’s Coaches and scheme produces even above 6th best Center this year!

  28. Magadude Says:

    @Steven…thanks for the advice. HOWEVER, I get Joe’s point and direction–he justifiably pointed out my careless use of words. Magadude will be here for a while.

  29. Ghost of Darrell Henderson Says:

    “…and I learned to smoke weed in a guard tower in Vietnam.”

    Nothing like being on watch, blasted out of your mind, and you hear the rattle of those beer cans in the wire while the sappers probe the perimeter.

  30. Steven007 Says:

    Maga, I’m actually taking nothing away from Joe’s point in your obvious understanding of it. I don’t know if you were lurking before, but before I saw you posting we had troll number one who got banned for something you were perilously close to. After he was banned, and I use that word lightly, he created a new moniker and posted the same simple-minded drivel he’s always posted. I pointed it out immediately and other saw it as well. Pretty sure Joe was fully aware but let him go on his merry way. That was my point.

  31. Mike Johnson Says:

    Coaching matter. But you sure as hell better have yourself some very good players. And we’d better find a replacement for Pierre-Paul. cause if you ain’t got a pass rush in the league, you will get beat..Down. I’m waiting to see this final product on the field. Everything else is just crazy speculation.

  32. Ndog Says:

    Magadude will be here for a while.

    Man you just ruined everyone’s day with this post. Thanks a lot!!!!

    Signed anyone that has a clue about football.

  33. Oregonbucsfan Says:

    I don’t buy all this BS about how Mike Smith was the worse coach in history and that the Bucs problems (and famous-Jameis’) problems were all his fault. He was for a while successful in beating the Bucs when he coached the Falcons. Then last year all was sweetness and light before the season started. I’m sure the same “super-fans” that we can find here today were predicting great success in 2018. Then the season happened.
    Maybe his departure will trigger unparalleled happiness in TB, but I will wait and see.
    There used to be a question in the original S.B. IQ test that asked what does, “One swallow does not make a summer” mean. I predict that one coach removal will not fix the Bucs. Replace the GM, and maybe it does.
    This team needs great players in addition to the receiving corps.

  34. stpetebucsfan Says:


    Thanks and thanks for your service as well.

    As a Viet Vet the happiest occurrence for me has been that returning Vets are now honored and not cursed or looked down on.

    I do not agree with a LOT of our country’s foreign policy. But it’s not the soldiers, sailors and aviators I disagree with and it’s up to me and other like minded people to change the situation politically certainly not to make fun of those who have done our dirty work for us.

    I respect ALL Vets even those who served in stupid wars like Vietnam.

  35. TheCollegeBuc Says:

    Y’all have a short memory… Our defense has been awful for years. And I feel that Lovie’s first season was worse than last year, based on the eye-ball test. Back then opposing slants hit every time (like they do now), but our D-line didn’t even have a basic plan for dealing with QBs who take three steps after the snap. Joe Flacco and Matt Ryan obliterated us early that season and after that we made games look close in garbage time and that’s about it. Does no one remember Ghost Johnson? Does no one remember Larry English? 2-14. Our defense has been atrocious for years and anyone who thinks its the coaches is a fool. This is mostly to blame on the head honchoes at one buc palace.

  36. Joe Says:

    Does no one remember Larry English?

    LOL Some things you think you have permanently wiped out from your memory drive, only for someone to randomly bring fresh memories back.

    To be fair, it’s hard to remember someone who didn’t do anything.

  37. Magadude Says:

    @Stpete…I hear ya. Gotta contain those commie pinkos though. Thx.

  38. Magadude Says:

    @Ndog…my entire goal in life is that one day you don’t call me clueless, idiot, etc. You don’t know how much that hurts, man.

  39. Buccaneer Bonzai Says:

    So far as I’m concerned, weed, cigarettes, and alcohol can all be banned from this nation. That would save millions of lives.

    Btw, the Bucs have led the league in injuries for years now. Fans have wanted better strength and conditioning coaches for a long time.

  40. Defense Rules Says:

    StPete … I understand what you’re saying about weed but I had a much different experience. No, not with marijuana … I’ve never touched the stuff or other drugs (not worth the risk in my chosen profession). But 50 years ago I was there too, that particular year flying F-4’s out of Cam Ranh Bay in Vietnam. That’s about the time us pilots noticed maintenance guys getting high on weed, resulting in tools, etc being left in the cockpits after maintenance was performed … some of that maintenance not very well done I might add. Same experiences on my second tour at Ubon Airbase in Thailand over the next 2 years. I have no idea how many if any, aircraft were lost because of ‘shoddy maintenance’ but I do know this: it’s not very comforting flying over bad guy territory unless you trust your aircraft 100%. During those years I can’t truly say that I did.

    My attitude towards weed has changed ‘a little’ over the years. There seems to be some medical benefit to cannabis and I applaud that. But with its use comes responsibility, and too many today don’t seem to get that part. For instance, driving while high is just as bad IMO as driving while drunk. On some issues friends say I’m too liberal; on others they tell me I’m right of Genghis Khan. A good example of the latter would be if what someone puts others in jeopardy while driving under the influence of alcohol, marijuana or other drugs.

  41. Barack's Crack Pipe Says:

    stpetebucsfan Says:
    “50 years ago this year…we landed on the moon…”

    “There is tons of research that THC is far better for these players as a means of coping with pain and injury than alcohol much less the amazingly addicting pain pills the NFL has historically passed out like candy.”

    First, thanks for serving, StPete. My dad served in Danang, and was there in January of 1968.

    Second, marijuana use is suppressed for the reason that you stated. Because the plant is effective in a number of different ways. The corporatocracy doesn’t benefit unless you are paying for their petroleum-based chemicals to poison your body with.

    Third, the moon landing?… woo-woo woo-woo SMH.

  42. Barack's Crack Pipe Says:

    Magadude and Defense Rules,
    Thank you all for your service, also. DR, I was friends years ago with an Air Force Phantom pilot by the name of Storter. I don’t know where he was stationed in Vietnam, just thought it might ring a bell. He later served a tour flying C-130 evac flights to Okinawa, if I remember correctly.

    “I do not agree with a LOT of our country’s foreign policy. But it’s not the soldiers, sailors and aviators I disagree with and it’s up to me and other like minded people to change the situation politically certainly not to make fun of those who have done our dirty work for us.”

    There’s something that we can agree on. Amen, Brother. Smedley Butler and Dwight Eisenhower both had a lot to say about that. It’s too bad nobody paid attention.

  43. BucEmUp Says:

    Mike johnson, Carl Nassib would have matched JPPs sack total had he plaued equal snaps

  44. Magadude Says:

    @Steven007….okay. It’s a fine line more than likely. And it’s not my ballywick anyway. I aim to play by the rules either way.

  45. stpetebucsfan Says:


    I hear you loud and clear. I also don’t want to jump on any airliner if the pilot is stoned.

    You have made all very valid points in terms of using ANY mind altering substance wisely and not when the situation calls for a clear head.

    Which brings up the real issue confronting society and the NFL. So when is it appropriate? Dock Ellis claims he was on LSD when he threw a no hitter. It was clear he had a substance abuse issue and after baseball he sobered up completely.

    Still I don’t think any of us want to see players fire one up right before a game…although some might disagree. We also don’t wish to see them slam a fifth of Wild Turkey pregame either or a six pack for that matter.

    As for my personal use I defend it but do not necessarily recommend it. I take my cues from Solomon and that discussion we had yesterday…time and a place for everything.

    Never a time to enjoy booze, pot, and many other legal drugs when involved in any aspect of aviation. Pilot, mechanic, ATC they all need to be incredibly sharp.

  46. stpetebucsfan Says:


    Oops forgot to address the important issue of driving. It’s illegal and I got no problem with that. It should be along with alcohol.

    Crash statistics however show that Alcohol and Texting while driving are actually more dangerous. But again it would depend on the level of impairment.

    I do not smoke and drive and my wife is always available as a designated driver and I respect your wishes to not have others jeopardize YOUR life on the highway. I hope my alcohol consuming friends respect your safety as much.

  47. Defense Rules Says:

    StPete … I do apologize if my comments came across as ‘holier than thou’. Was never my intention believe me … I’ve ‘sinned’ as much if not more than most in my life. But as C.C. Lewis is credited with saying … “Experience is a brutal teacher, but you learn. My God do you learn”. I suspect that both of us have ‘been there, done that’ and have the badge to prove it (and the signs of wear?).

    In some ways our country has become too ‘conservative’ but in some others we’ve become too liberal IMO. It varies issue by issue I think. People forget that there was a time in our own US history when all of these things (marijuana, cocaine, etc) were legal. And from what I’ve read, our laws clamped down on them for a variety of reasons, many of which were political (isn’t that always the case?), but abuse by some was apparently also a factor. Far as I’m concerned, folks can exercise their ‘free will’ however they like, but I have a problem when what they do adversely impacts others. i’m not cool with a pilot flying stoned or drunk, because impaired judgment on their part could adversely impact hundreds of passengers and others on the ground. I feel the same way though about people driving stoned or drunk, and for the same reason. And yes, I’m for VERY harsh penalties for ‘breaking the rules’ in those cases. HOPEFULLY we as a nation come to our senses about some of these issues.

  48. Defense Rules Says:

    C.S. Lewis would be angry with me StPete for misspelling his name IF he were still around.

  49. Bucsfanman Says:

    Great conversations here. I had to scroll up to remember what the original post was about.
    I’m glad we’re starting to recognize the premise behind drafting the way we did. Secondary injuries are going to happen. We need to prepare for them.