No More Loose Coveage?

October 12th, 2019

Baffling explanation.

Joe has to wonder if Bucs defensive backs are still trying to work the Mike Smith out of them?

Remember former commenter “Thomas 2.2?” He was an avowed hater of Raheem Morris. When the Bucs defense struggled early in the former commander Greg Schiano administration, Thomas 2.2 once quipped that Bucs’ coaches, in helping the defensive players, “Had to work the Rah out of them.”

This came to mind in reading the words of Bucs defensive coordinator Todd Bowles.

Last week Bucco Bruce Arians referred to his defensive backs as “soft.” But Bowles believes too many people ran with the wrong impression. Bowles suggested Arians wasn’t saying his defensive backs were too effete.

Instead, Bowles said what Arians was referring to was soft coverage by the defensive backs and that the cushions the defensive backs were giving needs to stop.

“It’s not so much a mentality – in certain situations, we probably need to be up as opposed to being off in coverage and giving up some easy throws,” Bowles said. “So, a softness from that standpoint – he wasn’t really talking about the physicality of it.”

Now hold up! This really makes no sense if you think about it.

Yes, on the surface, it makes a world of sense. The secondary should not be giving up that sort of cushion to receivers.

But let’s think about this: The Bucs have a staff of coaches the size of the Sudanese marine corps. Not one of the defensive coaches on the field could have whistled at Vernon Hargreaves, for example, early in the game to get his attention and gestured for him to get up closer on the line?

Are you serious?

All these coaches saw the soft coverage and just sat back and never tried to direct or order a defensive back to get up on the line? Not once? Not one play? Not the entire game? And instead, the coaching staff decided to wait until the team prepared to pack up and go to London before they made any changes? Seriously?

If this is true, it says more about Bowles’ staff than it does about the defensive backs.

42 Responses to “No More Loose Coveage?”

  1. Says:


  2. TheBucsAnthem Says:

    You need talent and speed to help the secondary and the Bucs just don’t have that………………….maybe Mike Smith knew this all too well????

    Maybe we all owe Mike Smith a huge apology????

  3. ATLBucsfan Says:

    Agree with the Joes. Does he have that staff stacked 10 deep upstairs in the booth?

  4. tmaxcon Says:

    Scheme is irrelevant when your number 1 cb is too short, slow and stupid to make an XFL roster yet he is a number 1 on lowly bucs…. roster is garbage… licht is a buccaneer man

  5. BFFL Says:

    I think “stupid” is a better word. Single up Thomas with VH3. Really?

  6. Defense Rules Says:

    Personally think that Todd Bowles meant exactly what he said Joe some guys were playing too far off & giving up easy throws. None of us … including you …know what the gameplan called for. What we do know is that with the personnel we have, we had a near impossible time corralling Thomas & Kamara. Had our pass rush been more effective results MIGHT have been different in the Secondary.

    I give tons of credit to Sean Payton for calling a brilliant game personally. He found ways to capitalize on mismatches that ate us alive. A very balanced gameplan … 31 rushes (112 yds), 31 short passes (23 complete for 190 yds), 5 deep passes (all complete for 155 yds). The ‘playing off’ might’ve resulted because the Saints did a masterful job of keeping us off-balance with their mix of plays. Have a hunch that losing Carlton Davis also played into that a little (only 1 deep attempt prior to that).

    We got beat by a better-coached, more physical TEAM, plain & simple. Saints wanted it more, and they got it.

  7. rrsrq Says:

    You play off because you know you are not fast enough, it’s simple as that.

  8. jmarkbuc Says:

    “some guys were playing too far off & giving up easy throws”

    This situation has been going on for years now…it wasn’t addressed in camp?

  9. stpetebucsfan Says:

    Carlton Davis was ejected early. He was the ONLY Buc DB capable of replacing VHG on Thomas.

    Would that have made a difference? If we had a safety shading Thomas everywhere would that have made a difference?

    Perhaps. But we need to get real here. Michael Thomas is the LEADING WR in the entire league for a freaking reason. Yeah he had a career against us but he didn’t get all 543 of his league leading yards against us.

    Name a team that has an individual DB who can shut down Thomas? Perhaps he plays on the same team as Thomas…Lattimore certainly shuts down ME13.

    Thomas is going to get his against every DB and DC in this league. We are just the latest.

    Still he did expose VHG’s limitations…I want to see if the larger, faster, more physical Davis has anything for him. Or how about Bowles schemes?

    BTW…on the hit that got Davis run…such stupidity…not only does he risk neck and brain injuries on his target but for himself as well. Davis should learn how to tackle from Whitehead who blasted Kamara…no easy target…legally with his SHOULDER and still left a lasting message that got the oohs and aahs of the announcers. Davis wants to be a headhunter…I love that…but not literally…knock the wind out of them and they won’t forget you. Knock them unconscious and they literally remember nothing.

    Whitehead is THE MAN in this secondary right now. He trucks people legally! And he LOVES contact!

  10. Isaac haggins Says:

    The Curse of Licht !!!

    The debacle of the right side O L is about to Licht of your number 1 player for the rest of the season !!! Who in any type of insanity goes into a season with that right side !!! Licht truly is just an over glorified Jock that simply out thinks himself and acts a fool at the fans, glazers and the players expense and he gets paid 7 figures !!! Talk about a bank heist !!!

    This guy is such the fool in certain areas every year it’s way way way beyond unthinkable!!! Every and any football moron knew this wAs coming !!!! How is this guy employed !!! Btw Cappa was playing ok but has had some big big whiffs

  11. Rick Says:

    Good cop bad cop

  12. Ndog Says:

    rrsrq Says:
    October 12th, 2019 at 10:23 am
    You play off because you know you are not fast enough, it’s simple as that.

    I hate to say it but you nailed it.

    I had to play safety a few times and boy oh boy I was back peddling from the jump cause no body wants to get beat deep. You start to think if I keep them in front of me they will eventually make a mistake but in NFL that doesn’t work. Belief is key and Hargraves has none and the rest are just a bunch of young guys.

  13. First Down Tampa Bay Says:

    We draft physical, press corners and then expect them to play in soft coverage. 🙄

    Brent Grimes must still be pulling the strings around here somehow…

  14. bucnole Says:

    I agree with Joe on this one
    It just looked like the coaches made no in-game adjustments to the way the defense was playing.
    IF that is the case we have bigger problems than we ever thought

  15. Aceofaerospace Says:

    Is it just me or does that logo on his hat look like a thumbs down sign. That would make more sense anyway.

  16. Waterboy Says:


    How do you know they didn’t tell Hargreaves to stop giving up so much cushion during the game? If Arians cimmented immediately after the game that the secondary was too soft wouldn’t you think he would’ve gotten word to them during the game?

  17. Defense Rules Says:

    StPete … I agree that Carlton Davis, right now at least, is the only corner we have who could’ve kept up with Thomas (maybe). But it really doesn’t matter where we put VHIII, he’s a liability that the Saints would’ve picked on over & over again.

    BucsAnthem … As far as us owing Mike Smith an apology, then Yes AND No. Think back to 2017 and he didn’t even have Davis to work with … our whole Secondary was slow. But last year the ‘cushions’ became absurd; I think he simply gave up trying to do anything new (not that it would’ve helped … slow is slow & short is short).

    Speaking of short, BOTH of our Safeties are 5’10”. Even having them ‘over-the-top’ against a speedy, physical 6’3″ WR like Michael Thomas may not help much (except to tackle him AFTER he makes the catch). To my way of thinking, the best way to deal with someone like him is to get in his face at the line & jam him legally, get excellent pressure on the QB from your DLine, and then keep your speediest corner pressing him man-to-man. Give him a little space in zone & he gets open in a flash it looks like. He’ll still win plenty of battles, but MAYBE NOT 85% like he did Sunday.

  18. Son of Kobe Faker Says:

    “We have to naturally and organically fix and neuter VH3”

    Son of Kobe Faker

  19. AlteredEgo Says: Your comment is awaiting moderation. Says:

    No More Loss Coverage

  20. Joe Says:

    How do you know they didn’t tell Hargreaves to stop giving up so much cushion during the game? If Arians cimmented immediately after the game that the secondary was too soft wouldn’t you think he would’ve gotten word to them during the game?

    That’s an even more damning accusation about the coaches than Joe suggested. If you are saying Hargreaves blatantly ignored coaching and is insubordinate to coaches, that tells Joe the coaches have lost this team already.

    Joe knows of very few players who openly give a coach the finger and refuse orders during a game, especially a guy like Bowles who they seem to respect, especially this early in the season. And generally, those type of players don’t play the next week unless they are invaluable. Is Hargreaves that good and that valuable that he cannot be benched for insubordination?

    Hargreaves has never come across to Joe like he’s the type of guy who would totally ignore a coach. Hell, he’s a coach’s son. DeSean Jackson, Swaggy Baker? Yeah, of course. Hargreaves sure doesn’t seem to be that type of guy.

  21. TheBucsAnthem Says:

    At the end of day it boils down to talent.

    You’ve heard this time and time and time again………you cannot coach speed.

    Press corners from college will fail in NFL coverage schemes and VHGIII is the #1 example of that.

    Not only is VHGIII small for an NFL corner……but he’s slow by NFL standards.

    So let’s not give Sean Payton too much credit here for his schemes because alot of what you saw last Sunday was just your man getting beat one on one over and over and over again

  22. TampaTown Says:

    Loosey Goosey

  23. Pewter power Says:

    If you think VH3 cam play press on Michael Thomas and actually win then I’d say you were on drugs. Vh3 sucks and playing right coverage doesn’t mean he’ll magically stick with anyone, likely he’d end up getting beat deep. They are playing off coverage and still getting beat like a drum, dont ask that guy to play tight coverage. Hes the soft one because even when he does press he won’t actually touch the receiver because he’s small and skinny.

  24. bucnole Says:

    on BOTH sides of the ball!!

  25. Defense Rules Says:

    Pewter Power … VHIII is short (5’10”) but he’s hardly ‘skinny’ at 204 lbs (just about the same as Davis at 206 lbs & Dean at 206 lbs). The CBs who are ‘skinny’ in comparison are Ryan Smith (5’11”; 189 lbs) and SMB (6’0″; 195 lbs). VHIII is just ‘slow’.

    BucsAnthem … Yea verily on the ‘at the end of the day it all boils down to talent’ (assuming good coaching of course). A coach has to have the horses or he’s toast. Still, I disagree with you on Sean Payton … his track record. as an OC, pretty much speaks for itself. He used the mismatches that WE gave him (largely because we lacked the talent to do much else) to beat us. That’s to HIS credit IMO. IF it works, keep doing it until it doesn’t, then do something else. If a team can’t stop the run, beat ’em to death with the run. If they can’t stop a certain receiver (like Thomas or Julio Jones), keep throwing it to them until they figure out how to.

  26. gotbbucs Says:

    I saw too many times when the CB’s were up and the safeties were 15 yards deep. Against Teddy Checkdown that is just unacceptable.

    You cant build this slobber knocker defensive mentality by playing on your heels. I can live with getting beat over the top once in a while much easier than I can die from getting nibbled to death by 30 easy underneath completions.

    If after all these defensive backs picked in the last three drafts we still dont have at least two that can play decent press on the outside then heads should roll.

  27. D1 Says:


    VH3 is not too slow to play Corner.

    If you compare the top 10 CB’s from 2018, to VH3 he is 4th fastest.

    (Tied with Jalen Ramsay, Xavier Rhodes)

    VH3 speed Ranked vs Draft class of ;

    2018, 7th
    2017 , 1st
    2016, 6th.
    2015, 4th.

    VH3 speed ranked against receivers vs draft class of;

    2018, tied 4th
    2017, tied 5th
    2016, 3rd
    2015, 10th

    Carlton Davis is SLOWER than VH3.
    Didn’t you mention his frequent holding? And that’s against the slower receiver .

    The idea that VH3 is far too slow is incorrect.

  28. Waterboy Says:


    I’m not suggesting that the coaches have lost the team and Hargreaves is blatantly disobeying their orders. What I am suggesting is he was told by coaches during the game to stop playing so soft in coverage but Hargreaves being the smart guy that he is knows his own limitations. You can’t be forced to do what you’re physically incapable of doing.

  29. unbelievable Says:

    Who cares about his combine scores?

    You see it game in and game out, he IS slow! And short. Simple as that.

    And unfortunately he doesn’t have the crazy jumping ability of someone like Grimes who (until his last year or so) was able to recover and make plays on balls despite being smaller.

  30. Son of Kobe Faker Says:


    VH3 cant play Press of the LOS

    Its over 4 years, have you not seen him play

    Its not straight line speed or height

    VH3 has no recovery speed. He lacks quick twich, stop and go, change of direction reaction quickness and timing

    whenever you see VH3, he is lagging few yards behind chasing the receiver

    He cant jamb a receiver because he would be instantly 4 yards behind in chase mode

    he cant jump routes because he doesnt have the quick twitch to react before and after the catch point

    people here think my Dad and I have no real football experience

    15 years of nerf football in my grandmom’s basement is no joke”

    Son of a football legend

  31. BringBucsBack Says:

    …With you on this one, Joe. You (Bowles), are the DC, no? He only has talent to complain about…fire Licht for past lame DBs and yourselves for this year’s crop of crap!

  32. Billy_45 Says:

    I’ve been saying this since week 1.
    Bowles is washed up and his blitzes aren’t EXOTIC anymore.
    2 sacks by everybody not named Barrett

    LBs should be getting sacks every game.

    The delayed blitz only works if the back end can hold up for longer than 2 seconds. Lol.

  33. BringBucsBack Says:

    “Son” of Kobe (no longer a) Poster,

    Remember, prior to the ‘16 draft, how the “league” was in love with Vern’s back-pedal & fluid hips? #1 rated CB; ‘member? He needs the short & slow coached out of him!

  34. kevbeth5 Says:

    I rarely comment here but I just spit out my drink reading Joe’s comment of a coaching staff the size of the Sudanese Marine Corps. !!! That was HILARIOUS !!!!!

  35. orlbucfan Says:

    We’re 2-3 and we probably should be 0-5. How long has Sean Payton and his posse been coaching the Aints?? How many HC regimes have we fans suffered through????????????????? JCA, Bucs have a lot of talented players but no stability in coaching. How hard is that to understand??

  36. AlabamaBucsFan Says:

    It is easier to judge the fault of the game after reviewing the game film than making on the spot changes.

    CBs that do not have catch-up speed tend to play more soft. Dean and Bunting should be starting. Both of them have true game speed. VHIII and steward have average speed – at best.

  37. Joe Says:

    What I am suggesting is he was told by coaches during the game to stop playing so soft in coverage but Hargreaves being the smart guy that he is knows his own limitations. You can’t be forced to do what you’re physically incapable of doing.

    Then why are the Bucs’ coaches not saying this as opposed to “they’re soft” or “we give too much cushion?”

    You can’t be forced to do what you’re physically incapable of doing.

    Have you watched Jameis force passes to Scotty Miller when he physically cannot outmuscle a defender? Just have a hunch that wasn’t Jameis drawing those plays up.

  38. Alanbucsfan Says:

    Bucs must stop McCaffrey and pressure Allen into making turnovers.
    That must be the defensive game plan.

    Panthers can’t double cover Evans, Howard and Godwin so somebody is open.
    Jameis must get rid of the ball quickly or sacks and interceptions are happening- he doesn’t have time with this OLine to screw around in the pocket.

    Bucs will win or lose because of turnovers.

  39. Keith Ojay Moore Says:

    Please stick to writing because I swear you Joe’s don’t know much about the game from a scheme or technical standpoint. I love you guys and this site tho. By saying soft Bruce wasn’t talking about physicality as Todd stated and Bowels wasn’t necessarily saying soft from an alignment standpoint they are referring to guys not breaking on passes not being aggressive making plays on the ball. Our DB’s have played to safe they are letting receivers catch then tackle instead of trying to prevent the receiver from catching the pass.

  40. WyomingDude Says:

    “Coveage” the title…really?!? Surely there’s spell check program being employed, for a website…

  41. teacherman777 Says:

    @ joe


    My offer still stands to help with editing. I am an ESL professor abroad and my wife is a Moroccan translator.

    I edit all of her translations.

    Email me bro!

    I’ll edit everything for $100 a month.

  42. D1 Says:


    Spot on! When I heard those comments I knew exactly what he was referring to.


    It’s that simple because , like the rest of the jbf posters, you don’t know any other possible explanation. It’s understandable, you see VH3 constantly getting beat outside , He’s always a couple steps behind. So the only possible reason is he’s too slow.

    The problem is the numbers don’t lie. Which is something that goes against your belief and you do what most people do. Ignore the facts that are not supporting your belief. I understand and you’re by no means alone.

    Before you take the 2nd most likely detour, dismiss the facts by claiming I’m a gator fan, let me clarify . I don’t care two ships about UF, I wouldn’t draft a UF DB, that includes VH3. FSU, LSU, Miami and Ohio state all of those programs have produced NFL ready players and done so for years. That’s my preference.

    It’s interesting to see so many people claim VH3 is too slow for the NFL and it’s not a question. There is one question, how was it possible for Hargraves to even get a combine invite let alone be drafted? The NFL is a ruthlessly discriminating business. Even marginally slow players are cast aside by the league. Too small , too short doesn’t get you to a combine. Free agency possibly but draft material. …hell no.

    So how did he do it. Fool a league, a GM, and get drafted?

    Should be a fascinating tale trying to figure out how a player gets past such an unbelievable amount of scrutiny by multiple people representing various teams.
    All with huge financial decisions to make and you believe they don’t check things out before dropping millions of dollars on a prospect ?