Defensive Shell Game

August 14th, 2019

Mixed messages.

Joe is always amused/curious how a weekly narrative of a team changes at the drop of a hat.

Two weeks ago, America’s Quarterback, Pro Bowler Jameis Winston, was struggling. The first practice of training camp, Jameis looked awful and he barely improved in the immediate following days.

By the middle of the second week of training camp, Jameis looked much better. However, the local pen and mic club was pressing team officials about why Jameis was struggling? This was the same guy Bucco Bruce Arians ordered to stand down in mid-July because he was working out too much in the offseason.

So why did Jameis struggle? The narrative and stock answer was that new defensive coordinator Todd Bowles was throwing the proverbial kitchen sink at Jameis. And it looked like it. Combined with defensive backs flying all over the field, it seemed, supported by words from coaches, that Bowles was holding nothing back.

OK, fine.

But in the last couple of days, that theme has flipped. Some have hinted Bucs defenders know maybe 10 percent of Bowles’ defense, or at least have only showed that much.

Shoot, even Bucs great Ronde Barber mentioned yesterday he was privy to a copy of Bowles’ playbook and said maybe the defense has shown five percent of the playbook.

So which is it? Did Bowles really throw the kitchen sink at Jameis and pull out every play he could imagine at the Bucs’ franchise quarterback, or has this notion the defense has barely scratched the surface just something that was hatched between the walls at One Buc Palace and sold to locals to cover for something else?

37 Responses to “Defensive Shell Game”

  1. JP_09 Says:

    Pretty sure they’re talking about what was shown in pre-season game 1.

  2. pete Says:

    I thought the story was going to be about the safety just added to the Bucs “totally fixed secondary”!

  3. Magadude Says:

    We know Winston has been an inconsistent turnover machine so far. Other than bad decisions on and off the field, that’s the biggest takeaway many fans see over the last four + years with Winston on this roster. Similarly, the D over the same period has been mostly bad, but has also flashed for short periods, only to fall again even harder. Now, who knows really? Good question. I chock it up as not being an either/or answer (not “which is it?”) but would simply deduce this is a young team, with new coaches, new players, and new schemes. There will be highs and lows throughout early weeks/months at the very BEST case. At the other end, not so good, we find out it’s the thin, awful D with sub-par players and the same ole inconsistent “Picks” Winston. Guys are going to have their highs and lows. We can HOPE when they are NOT at their best the other teams aren’t either (takes me back to 2010 where we seemed to hit 777s on a few games without good reason…had a better record than would be expected). So, we wait and see. And hope.

  4. Bucsfanman Says:

    Whatever!!! We need BOTH to improve.
    Whether it’s against his own defenders or other teams, it doesn’t matter. It’s time to step up. The defense needs to help Jameis but if Jameis doesn’t clean up the turnovers, he’s going to hang this defense out to dry.

  5. isrBuc Says:

    Rhonde was talking about the game not practice. It has nothing to do with Winston’s struggles. BTW, how Winston looks like against the fins sinks?

  6. BucEmUp Says:

    Ever thought that maybe he was knocking an offseasons worth of rust off??? Man I cant wait for this reading between the lines to be over

  7. #1bucsfan Says:

    You can blitz a lot an show diff coverages without exposing your whole playbook

  8. Pittsshore Says:

    What happened to Apples JW yesterday? Two pick sixes. Miami plays a vanilla D.

  9. Bobby M. Says:

    Nobody really knows what scenario they were working on….and its practice. Arians could have been showing Winston how Bowles would game plan/attack his weaknesses to show him what he needs to work on.

  10. Defense Rules Says:

    Aahh yes Joe, stir the pot. Jameis struggled early-on when confronted with the ‘proverbial kitchen sink’. But BA, TB, Clyde & Byron let the lesson ‘sink in’ (couldn’t resist) and now Jameis is looking much better. Quicker reads, better decision-making. Why does it matter if Jameis had 10% of TB’s playbook thrown at him or 100%? The apparent result is that he benefitted from the lesson. Good on Jameis.

    And as far as the Bucs’ defense goes, every coach & instructor I’ve ever had used ‘the building block approach’ when trying to teach students something new. Mastering the fundamentals first is obviously critical & that’s where great coaches focus initially. I doubt that this defense has seen but a small fraction of what they’ll grow into by the end of the season. Steady improvement, that’s surely what BA & TB are looking for.

  11. K2 Says:

    I agree with JP 09 they were talking about what they showed the Steelers in preseason. So, they are showing things in practice, but not to the whole league.

  12. Phil Says:

    The important thing is it’s definitely one of the two.

  13. Waterboy Says:

    Easy answer, he struggled the first week of practice in a new system. It happens.

  14. JGhoti86 Says:

    Nowhere has it stated the Bucs defense has only shown 10% of the playbook. It’s always been “shown”.

    I’m pretty sure that Ronde comment was related to the Pittsburg game as well.

    This article is just not good in so many ways and is borderline sneaky. Love the site, but this is borderline trash.

  15. JGhoti86 Says:

    the Bucs defense only knows 10% of the playbook ** ^^^ (my bad for typo)

  16. Father Rico Says:

    click-bait idiocy.

  17. Alanbucsfan Says:

    Better Coaching + Better run game + Better Defense + Better Special Teams =
    Better Jameis

  18. AlabamaBucsFan Says:

    Crazy to believe the Bucs defenders only know 10% of the playbook. BA and Ronde was only referring to the preseason game.

  19. AMI_Chris Says:

    It’s a combination of both. Todd Bowles is a good DC. Jameis is an average to slightly-above-average QB.

  20. Pittsshore Says:

    @alanbucsfan: you forgot to add in +benched JW= Better Jameis.

  21. The Buc Realist Says:

    Wait for the “excuses”/ stories change once the “real” season starts up!!!!!!!!!!!!!

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

    go bucs!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  22. Buccaneer Bonzai Says:

    Jadeveon Clowney is on the trading block.

    I would happily give up a 2nd and Lavante David for him. Jadeveon Clowney is only 26. Over 9 sacks in each of the last 2 years.

  23. Buccaneer Bonzai Says:

    @The Buc Realist

    Let’s consider this…what is so wrong about being a sheep?

    They try to have a positive attitude and outlook. They support players until they are given reason not to.

    I consider myself a homer. Is that different from being a sheep?

    I personally think it is. Homers support the entire team through thick and thin. Sheep tend to exaggerate potential and then flip on certain players rather quickly.

    But hey…it doesn’t matter how a fan acts, so long as they are a true fan.

  24. Race to 10 Says:

    Lol nonsense you guys come up with sometimes.

  25. Sport Says:

    Bucco Pessimisto. – The Shepherd is here and he definitely knows.

    In BA, The Shepherd, I Trust!

  26. webster Says:

    This is really insulting and there’s really no reason to make up things about Joe. –Joe

  27. Pickgrin Says:

    LOL – A theory sans conspiracy.

    No – of course Bowles “complete” defense has not yet been implemented. Neither has Arians offense….

    Its a process. This is year 1. The players have only practiced playing in these new systems like 25 times total and have 1 practice game under their belts.

    What’s important and apparent is the difference in scheme – the difference in attitude.

    Bowles runs an aggressive, attacking style of Defense. Blitzers can come from anywhere on the field and CBs challenge receivers on most plays with tight man coverage.

    Its a live by the sword – die by the sword philosophy that gives offenses fits when “things” are clicking and players are dialed in. It also has the potential to give up big plays when you put your CB on an island and he can’t stop his opposing receiver from catching the ball in a 1 on 1 situation.

    But the Bucs were giving up big plays in the secondary left and right last year anyways right? At least now with aggression (and some young talent and SPEED added via the draft), there’s a better chance of getting off the field and giving the offense the ball back whenever 3 plays in a row can be made by defenders.

    Coach Bowles knows not to show much in pre-season games. When the regular season hits though, we will see more blitzing and more aggression than we’ve perhaps ever seen from this team on defense.

    The Buccaneer defense does not even have to improve ‘dramatically’ to put this team in contention for a winning record and playoffs.

    Anything better than 20th in points allowed by seasons end will likely be sufficient.

    I’ve stated a # of times already that there are 3 key areas that need only modest improvement for this year’s team to be a winning squad.

    Defense (points allowed), Kicking (FG %) and Running attack (rushing yards per game)

    If the 2019 Buccaneers can rank 20th or better in all 3 of those categories by the end of the season – we are looking at an 11-5 record, playoffs, renewed Buc Fever, the works!

  28. Joe Says:

    I said it a couple of days ago. Joe is like the leader we see feeding raw meat to his base just to rile the masses. He does not care how idiotic or false narrative it might be.

    Patently inaccurate. Joe just doesn’t throw crap against the wall. There is nothing fake about Joe’s posts and opinions. This is an opinion-driven site, not an AP Style medium.

  29. webster Says:

    No, Joe has never been in the legal profession. –Joe

  30. CG Says:

    Pretty sure they were talking about what they showed in game 1 of the preseason

  31. 1sparkybuc Says:

    The coaches wanted to see how the defense reacted to passes. Jameis was instructed to just sling it no matter the coverage. Finding starters among the young crop of DBs was the objective. Refining Jameis comes later. We already know he is our QB.

  32. Mike Johnson Says:

    LMAO here. Without a great pass rush, Bowles will indeed have to use several hide and seek, cloaking and shell games. Good luck. Hope we some miracle develop a much needed pass rush without JPP, Vea or GMC.

  33. ManzielMadness Says:

    If buc defenders only know 10% of the defense are they supposed to learn the other 90% on the fly during the regular season?

  34. JimmyJack Says:

    Haha Joe why are you asking? You’re at practice. What are you seeing? A lot of different looks or a lot of the same.

  35. Anonymous Says:


  36. Oregonbucsfan Says:

    Other than the dopey people here at times, Joe is OK.

  37. pick6 Says:

    yeah it’s puzzling until you realize that ronde has not been watching training camp daily and was almost certainly referring to the pittsburgh game. as for the “some have hinted”, i don’t know who those some are and hadn’t seen such hints (usually joe hyperlinks if joe has covered it previously) in my recent reading