Red Zone Defense Slipping

October 20th, 2019

Pressure is on.

If one is to look at the rankings of red zone defenses, the Bucs are neither awful nor good.

In fact, the Bucs are No. 16 overall, right smack dead-center in the 32-team NFL. Average.

But, as Jenna Laine of ESPN points out, numbers on face value can be deceiving. In recent games, the Bucs’ red zone defense seems to be falling apart.

In the first two weeks, the Bucs didn’t surrender any touchdowns in the red zone. But in each of the past three games, the Bucs have given up three.

Most teams with lousy red zone defenses have lousy records. That stands to reason.

Look, the Bucs’ run defense has just been lights out this year. Absolutely tremendous. The rest of the defense in recent weeks has played as if disgraced former defensive coordinator Mike Smith never left.

The Bucs have spent an incredible amount of draft capital into building the defense, including the secondary (Vita Vea sure looks like a home run). If this is the result of all of that labor and scouting, perhaps the Bucs need to go back to the drawing board and revisit what attributes and traits they prioritize in a defensive back.

Additionally, the Bucs all but blamed the previous coaching staff for players not developing and more importantly, not winning. The Bucs currently have an army of coaches. Lack of coaching shouldn’t be the reason the Bucs’ defense is slipping.

10 Responses to “Red Zone Defense Slipping”

  1. tmaxcon Says:

    I’m sure the glazers will convey thier disapproval that the Ranking is not closer to 28 to 32 range which is thier comfort zone to ensure the basement title streak is not broken

  2. Tbbucs3 Says:

    Defensive coaching is fine, Defensive players are bad

    Offensive coaching is bad, offensive players are good for the most part

  3. 941bucsfan Says:

    I remember when bucs fans said leslie frazier was the problem… Now look at him. I knew bucs fans would blame mike smith and then blame the players once we got new coaches. I said it before and I’ll say it again. This wouldve been a great staff for us in 2015. Todd bowles jets defenses sucked, and todd bowles bucs defense suck also.

  4. adam from ny Says:

    todd “outback” bowles…

    when your defense looks like a bloomin’ onion

  5. Jason Says:

    Just curious, but has the scouting department stayed intact during the Licht era?

  6. Defense Rules Says:

    Statements like “The Bucs have spent an incredible amount of draft capital into building the defense” really make me wonder about your expectations Joe. I EXPECT our 1st round picks to start on the Bucs AND play well. We have no choice because we’re so void of talent that we have to draft against NEEDS. In the last 3 years we’ve drafted VHIII (2016), Vea (2017) and White (2018) … ALL defense because of long-neglected NEEDS. VHIII was a mistake; Bucs would’ve been much better off signing a quality veteran CB to start outside & used that pick for say Tunsil, Rankins, Jackson or whoever. But both Vea & White show excellent potential IMO to be centerpieces in this defense for years to come.

    But beyond that, it seems apparent that you EXPECT 2nd & 3rd round picks to come in & start right away AND play like quality veterans. In some position groups that could be realistic; in the Secondary I think it’s unrealistic for most. Bucs right now have a Secondary that’s, on the average, not even one year removed from college … Whitehead (2nd yr), Edwards (rookie), Davis (2nd yr), Dean (rookie), SMB (rookie), MJ Stewart (2nd yr). Ryan Smith has been suspended until now, and he was never a barn-burner to begin with. VHIII is … VHIII (that’s the best I can say for him).

    To EXPECT a Secondary like that to play like veterans … even with some outstanding coaching … is unrealistic. But in time, IF the players we drafted have sufficient talent (a big assumption at this point because we simply don’t know YET), we could end up with a quality Secondary. In the meantime, we’ll have little choice but to take our lumps … and HOPE that our league’s most expensive OFFENSE can control the clock, minimize turnovers, and score points.

  7. Señor Harry in Costa Rica Says:

    @Defense, I have to disagree with a lot of what you said. First, I too expect 1st round picks to be solid; there was years of tape on VHIII for coaches and Licht to recognize we do NOT have a #1 DB on the team and go out and get one – that is on them; they said we have the talent to win, blah, blah and the secondary is #totallyfixed. And with the amount of draft capital spent, proper scouting should have delivered that, but it has not.

    I expect 2nd rd picks to maybe start (Justin Evans should be killing it by now, lol), but at least contribute significantly. I agree, having so many rookies (and VHIII) in the secondary is going to create a lot of bad moments, but it should show us moments of great play too, flashes, but it has not!

    I expect our scouting staff to do a good job of… scouting, and decision making. And this is just ONE of many, many examples, but we instead draft Noah Spence over Yannick Ngakoue. Notice I was kind and did not use the example of drafting a friggin kicker in the 2nd rd when the Bucs have sooooo many other needs.

    My point is that Licht and all of the Bucs coaches should be held accountable for not only who they choose in the draft, but who they keep on the roster as well. And with what we have observed so far, things don’t look so good. The defense has “long-neglected needs”, in part, because of very bad choices in personnel by Licht and, in part, BA. I am tired of giving time to the new coaches. I want to see some consistent progress.

  8. Rayjay1122 Says:

    Local TV has 3 good games on between 1 & 4 pm starts. That is the nice part of bye week. Good football on TV and the Bucs won’t lose a game.

  9. Barack's Crack Pipe Says:

    I predict that by the end of this season, we will no longer be panicking about our defensive backfield. One or two of our young cornerbacks will be getting significant playing time and Vernon will be in the slot, where he really belongs. Our defense will no longer be cellar dwellers, and Bowles will no longer be afraid to check his Twitter feed.

  10. Dapostman Says:

    Teams are going to move the ball between the 20’s. It’s always what happens in the Red Zone both offensively and defensively. Hence as to why the Bucs aren’t 3-3. For all the turnovers in two games this team should be 3-3 but alas they are not. Not surprised though.