Defensive Improvement

September 4th, 2019

Bruce Arians explains.

It was really that bad.

Last year the Bucs defense was so bad, Joe just wanted to walk out onto the street and sucker-punch someone.

How and why the shot-callers at One Buc Palace allowed disgraced former Bucs defensive coordinator Mike Smith to return to One Buc Palace after such an awful 2017 season is beyond Joe’s comprehension. He should have had his access card disabled the moment America’s Quarterback, Pro Bowler Jameis Winston, completed his game-winning bomb to Chris Godwin to seal a comeback victory ending the season.

Last year was a predictable nightmare and damn near led to a housecleaning at One Buc Palace. So Joe is on the record that no matter who is playing defense or who is coaching the Bucs’ defense, it has to get better than the feces we watched last year.

So last night when Bucco Bruce Arians hopped on “Late Hits” co-hosted by Alex Marvez and Bill Polian, heard exclusively on SiriusXM NFL Radio, Arians was asked what element of the defense has improved the most.

In short, Arians said teams are going to have to fight like hell to gain yards on the ground.

“I think shutting down the run,” Arians said. “Everything we do is predicated on stopping the run and then getting after the quarterback.

“I thought we did a pretty good job of shutting down the run this preseason no matter who was on the field.”

Now this is encouraging because we all know opponents did pretty much what they wanted to do with the Bucs last year. And as Arians hinted, the goal of every defensive coordinator is to make an opposing offense one dimensional.

Honestly, the Bucs were very good being a one-dimensional defense last year. They were just plain rotten to the core.

If the Bucs can just be good at one thing this season, it would be a huge help. And Joe thinks if somehow defensive coordinator Todd Bowles can make the Bucs’ defense average, the Bucs just might tease us with a wild card chase.

23 Responses to “Defensive Improvement”

  1. Clw JB Says:

    Happy Hump Day Joe’s -Vea & Suh with DWhite and LVD behind them, we should be much improved against the run

  2. Hodad Says:

    Bruce Arains was brought in to do one thing, and one thing only, make Winston a franchise Q.B.. Any coach we hired could’ve hired Bowles as D.C., he wasn’t going to get any H.C. offers. Any coach not named Koetter could’ve hired a competent D.C., and made the defense better. Arains better to make sure Jameis doesn’t throw four picks in a game like he did in Cinn, or stopping the run won’t matter much now will it?

  3. Defense Rules Says:

    BA’s comments are right-on IMO. Stopping the run is Job-1. Funny thing is, EVERY HC & DC says EXACTLY the same thing (including Koetter & Smitty). And yet, many if not most teams struggle in that area. Often wondered why (as I’m sure Koetter & Smitty did), but I think the reason is probably quite simple. PERSONNEL … bad defensive teams just don’t have the horses to shut down the run CONSISTENTLY. They’re bad not just in the DLine, but also in the LB group and in the Secondary. It’s a TEAM deficiency IOW. A TEAM must be well-coached, competent & disciplined in ALL THREE position groups to function as a well-oiled machine. The Bucs are getting closer, but we’re not there yet.

  4. BigHog Says:

    It’s preseason ^^^Hoot-nanny! The real fans already know …Todd B. Will turn loose the horses once we get to SAN FRAN and give them a taste of the NEW FLORIDA FUNK!! What you gonna do, when Vita V. and Shu come looking for you!!!

  5. dmatt Says:

    Com on man this new defense is much better than last year’s debacle. The preseason gave us a snippet of improvement from 2000faketeen,my bad, 2018. Being that BA’s past years of experience has been under the tutelage of some of the greatest defensive minds n the game n now with defensive guru TBowles on his side, BA knows a good defense when he sees one. He did not really let the dogs out during preseason but the defense demonstrated aggressiveness, take always, sacks, n consistency during practice n in preseason games, something that didn’t occur over the past 10 yrs under the former Bucs regime. Last year was a total embarrassment for this defense n BA will not put up with that from players nor coaches. 22 years ago after years of Bucs embarrassment n defeats, the 97 defense came out first game of the season n made a statement against Jerry Rice, Steve Young n the might 49ers. The Bucs put Rice n Young out of the game n put the nfl on alert. The Bucs were mad as hell n ain’t gon take it no more.

  6. JA Says:

    The defense will be better. How much better remains to be seen.
    Going into Week 1, I agree with those that think the OL will make or break the season. Most everybody else thinks it will be Jameis who determines this year’s success or failure.
    Many here also want him gone. Fans in San Diego once wished the same for Drew Brees, who after four years and one game had a resume of 80 TD’s 53 picks and 12,408 passing yards. Some thought Brees too pedestrian and far to inaccurate to ever make a great QB. And thoughts of him ever becoming a no-brainer for the HOF were a sealed deal for insane asylum confinement.
    The “inaccurate” Jameis has 88–58 and 14,628.
    Be careful for what you wish …
    If great QB’s grew like weeds I’d also yearn for a change. But they don’t. Mostly, college quarterbacks are like Gump’s chocolates.

  7. isrBuc Says:

    Were we such a bad run defense last year? I don’t recall. Teams abused us but it wasn’t the run game or I forgot.

  8. Cobraboy Says:

    If the D improves, Winston won’t think he has to score on every drive to stay competitive.

    That alone should help him reduce turnovers.

    I suspect we have seen virtually nothing beyond a better kicking game in the PS.

  9. isrBuc Says:

    @BigHog are you holding a pon pon in the other hand while typing?

  10. isrBuc Says:


    No. that’s a myth. You the drive to score. It wasn’t a 4th down turnovers issue.
    The runnung game was bad. I’ll accept that but the offense need to be able to score points and not just move between the 20s.

  11. Arians and Licht are a joke Says:

    I think the negotiations for Arians went something like this.. “if I decide to coach again I want to have 60 assistants so I don’t have to do anything and I want to have unlimited food budget for me and my fatty friend err GM and also a golf cart to drive around.”

  12. Ndog Says:

    Hodad Says:
    September 4th, 2019 at 5:32 am
    Bruce Arains was brought in to do one thing, and one thing only, make Winston a franchise Q.B.. Any coach we hired could’ve hired Bowles as D.C., he wasn’t going to get any H.C. offers. Any coach not named Koetter could’ve hired a competent D.C., and made the defense better. Arains better to make sure Jameis doesn’t throw four picks in a game like he did in Cinn, or stopping the run won’t matter much now will it?

    See comments like the above just reinforce how clueless people are about football. Dude if you make the defense better it helps the QB, but clearly you think the two are mutually exclusive don’t you. Oh boy these people will never understand.

  13. Ndog Says:

    Give it up JA they will never get it, CAUSE THEY DON’T WANT TO.

  14. Bucsfanman Says:

    Stop with the excuses people. In order for the TEAM to be successful we need scoring, better defense, better kicking, better coaching and fewer turnovers. No one aspect lives in a vacuum.

  15. JA Says:


    Agree. I realize that trying to blow sense into the senseless is a futile endeavor. I pen my thoughts here when I am bored. This morning, apparently, I was exceedingly bored.

  16. GhostofSchiano Says:

    @BigHog…..let me show you how it’s done……..

    Watcha goin to do Niners, when over 700 pounds of humanity also known as Vea & Suh come busting through the middle of the line?

    Watcha goin to do when LVD and DW torpedo your ball carrier ?

    Todd Bowles showin he’ still Bull of the woods in the world of defense

    Bucs receiving corps styling and profiling, with Winston limousine riding and BA jet flying,

    Bucs eating their vitamins and sayin their prayers, Bucs opponents will REST IN PEACE.

  17. WestChap Says:

    I may have blocked out most of last year… It was certainly scarring, but I don’t recall the run Defense being so bad… maybe because our passing D was so disgusting QBs were completing 70% of throws to wide open receivers? An improved D will ease pressure on the Offense but no D player can help score in the red zone… just having a kicker who can provide 3 points as a worst case is going to help but I’m hoping for a full year out of Howard, a coming out party for Godwin and a full-on rebirth for RoJo. Please.

  18. Barbosa Says:

    I’m with you Joe. The defense will be better, it can’t be worse. How much better though? We are about to find out!

  19. tmaxcon Says:

    just being better is never good enough but glazers have trained low standard bucfan that winning does not matter when you have excuses prepared in advance

  20. BA FAN Says:

    Our running game definitely sucked last year. That hurts if you have to bring a Safety in the box to stop it making passing easier. It also makes play action work because your LBs and CBs may bite on the handoff fakes. You noticed we stopped runs by even the Browns in Preseason! Our biggest weakness last year was our Defense and not our OL which did average when blocking on passes. So BA and Licht took care of our Defense in the draft. Our Defense will be Top Ten again before the end of the year.

  21. BA FAN Says:

    And we fixed our placekicking woes in the draft and now BA just picked up a runback specialist that has scored two TDs in the NFL on runbacks. Our OL was terrible on run blocking last year because Warhop forced them to zoneblock. But BA knew we had the right material for power blocking and he proved it in the first Preseason Game with Pittsburg when he had Cappa pull blocking and taking out Pittsburg LBs and getting our runners to the second level. You will see a lot of that against San Fran! They have a top level defense but BA knows how to defeat it. We will whip them.

  22. Nick2 Says:

    Joe, know you loved GMC but the guy had two blown out bicep muscles and having torn my bicep muscle in the recent months moving I can tell you its obvious why we were constantly gashed by the running game the last several years. Suh will be a huge run game defense upgrade over GMC and since you have to stop the run before you start getting to the QB Arians knows exactly the personel he wants on the field and weak biceps GMC was not parft of that plan!!!!

  23. BucsFan727 Says:

    Are we still crying about last year. I thought Joes articles couldnt get any worse. Boy was I wrong.