Safeties Not Safe

October 14th, 2019

What’s going on?

The Bucs have drafted seven defensive backs in the first three rounds the past four years. That’s an incredible amount of draft capital.

And what do the Bucs have to show for it?

Well, the Bucs currently have the absolute worst pass defense in the NFL and it’s not close. The Bucs’ defensive backs are little more than parking lot attendants waving traffic through, allowing 304 yards a game. Second-worst is the Giants coughing up 285 yards a game.

Now much of the focus has been on the rotten cornerback play. Vernon Hargreaves has become quite a target, both for opposing offensive coordinators and Bucs fans. But to listen to a former Bucs tight end, the safeties are blowing chunks as well.

(One of those safeties in question is not among the defensive backs drafted in the top three rounds.)

So far this season rookie Mike Edwards has been lauded for his tackling, though he was a healthy scratch yesterday. And who doesn’t love Jordan Whitehead’s nose for the ball and hard-hitting? But a man who used to go up against safeties for a living, John Gilmore, is not buying the hype on the Bucs’ safeties. He called them out yesterday during the postgame radio show heard on the Buccaneers Radio Network.

“I tell you what, our safeties, Jordan Whitehead and Mike Edwards, are making some mistakes,” Gilmore said.

As Joe detailed earlier, plucked-off-the-street Andrew Adams started at safety yesterday.

Now mind you Gilmore said this on the Buccaneers Radio Network. As in he’s paid by the team. You generally do not hear a team-paid employee rake a player or players over the coals. So Joe has to wonder if Gilmore said this on live radio while collecting cash from the Bucs, how bad must he really think of the play of the Bucs’ safeties.

Joe knows this and it is easily one of two things: Either all of these draft picks in the secondary since 2016 were swings-and-misses, or these guys haven’t been developed. Joe wholeheartedly agreed that was the case under disgraced former defensive coordinator Mike Smith.

And if these same players were not being developed by Smith and his henchmen, why isn’t current Bucs defensive coordinator Todd Bowles and his assistants getting better play out of them (last year the Bucs gave up 259 yards of passing per game)?

So either the defensive backs are garbage, or the coaching is garbage or — gasp! — both elements are garbage.

You get to pick.

56 Responses to “Safeties Not Safe”

  1. Bucsfanman Says:

    Yeah, all of them. They look lost. Bad angles, bad tackling, no discipline, other than that though, we’re good!

  2. soggy Says:

    just like garbage some get recycled..

  3. 813bucboi Says:

    not only are the safeties making mistakes but the DE’s/OLB arent getting the job done either… pressure on the QB exposes every one…..

    CD and SMB are getting beat left and right too…..

    fix the pass rush and you fix the secondary….

    GO BUCS!!!!!!

  4. adam from ny Says:


    on the plane, when the flight attendant walked around, everyone was handed one melatonin, one ambien and a can of mello yellow…

    sleep well guys…

    a coffee in the morning will have you all good to go…

    yeah right !


  5. Dusthty Rhothdes Says:

    Awesome…. in the off-season how these know it alls on here said Bowles was going to bring in a new “defense” never seen before and that the coaching the players was going to get this year from this “great arians” staff is going to put the bucs into 11-5 territory and the PLAYOFFS. No its the NFL, people know about bowles and his defense, people in tampa thought it was mike smith; it wasnt mike smith its the bad players; Maybe its just that jason licht has drafted and built THE worst team in NFL history

  6. adam from ny Says:


  7. The Coroner Says:

    Trade for Patrick Peterson or Jalen Ramsey.
    #’s 1 2020, 2 2021, 3 2022.
    Release JPP to free up the $$$$.

  8. LUVMYBUCS Says:

    D.J Swearinger

    Acquire via Trade:
    CB William Jackson III

  9. LUVMYBUCS Says:

    D.J Swearinger

  10. A Train Says:

    This tells us either the Bucs are horrific at evaluating talent when drafting or have horrific coaching….or perhaps a combination of the two. I would start with the GM. His ability to draft well is suspect, at best, to say nothing of his overall track record.

  11. adam from ny Says:

    you can’t only blame hargreaves…CD3 sucks just as much…neither are good…neither can stop anyone…

    and add in mj stewart, and then 3/4 of your secondary is simply not good at all…




  12. LUVMYBUCS Says:

    CB William Jackson III

  13. adam from ny Says:

    does anyone even know what a PBU is on this team ?


  14. stpetebucsfan Says:

    Opposing teams are clearly targeting VHG…and why not. It’s almost as if the QB comes up to the line and finds which target is VHG’s responsibility and then goes there. It’s always such a horrendous mismatch it’s hard for me to get worked up about our safeties. At least they are both VERY willing hitters and they can be taught a lot of the rest. Whitehead lowers the boom without leading with his head and yet he still manages some major collisions…with NO penalty.

    We are young at safety…our one experienced DB is everybody’s favorite target…what does that tell us.

    We need a better rush…more pressure on the QB however we get it…we could use a shutdown corner…might be time to make the move for Petersen…yeah this season may be gone but if we could get Petersen signed for a few years that could make a big difference as well as giving Carlton Davis a role model.

  15. adam from ny Says:

    our corners should be nicknamed…

    “Mushmouse And Pumpkinpuss”

  16. 813bucboi Says:

    so safeties are making mistakes and DE/OLBs arent getting any pressure but we blame the CBs….1 in particular….lol….

    GO BUCS!!!!!

  17. adam from ny Says:

    bowles is not that good of a DC…but i gotta say, he makes good choices in buccaneers gear and hats to sport in pressers and on the sidelines…


  18. Lamarcus Says:

    It’s not that hard to fix. Cut VH3 or bench him for good. There problem solved. These safeties can’t do their jobs when that Vh3 guy gets burnt every single play

  19. Pewter power Says:

    To be fair there is no press coverage going on and they still play 8 yards off the ball, even when they do press they dont touch the receiver or try to reroute them. I called these jokers out in training camp and Joe’s tried to brush me off. Everyone shows up in practice but turn turtle under the big lights.

  20. 813bucboi Says:

    adam from ny Says:
    October 14th, 2019 at 12:36 pm
    you can’t only blame hargreaves…CD3 sucks just as much…neither are good…neither can stop anyone…

    and add in mj stewart, and then 3/4 of your secondary is simply not good at all…


    GO BUCS!!!!!

  21. SteelStudBuc Says:

    It’s not the coaching. It’s the players. Hargreaves falls down on every play. Guy needs some better footwear or something… I seriously doubt he will be back next season

  22. Tbbucs3 Says:

    Agree SteelStudBuc,

    I am not blaming Todd Bowels at all, he is a good DC.

    I am blaming Jason Lichts crap players.

  23. 813bucboi Says:

    the pass rush is non-exist outside of shaq…..

    even if we get ramsey, pat p and a ball hawking safety, things wont get better until we get a pass rush…..

    maybe this is why we’re holding on to JPP……JPP and shaq would be a good combo but the season may be lost by the time he returns…..

    GO BUCS!!!!!!

  24. NPRSageBoy Says:

    The trade for Patrick Peterson crowd needs an education; this team is way more than one player from a playoff run.

    In fact, the only way this team gets into a playoff game is to buy Yankee/Astros tickets for the ALCS. Anyone who thinks this Bucs squad has ANY chance of a postseason appearance this season should be committed for observation via the Baker Act

  25. Bucnjim Says:

    Once upon a time when we would face a backup QB it was pretty much a guaranteed win. Now you could throw a third string QB in there and have success. There is also team moral that I haven’t heard anyone talk about. Every time a turnover happens the team moral goes down a notch. It’s human nature! Every player is very aware that with every turnover the chance of winning goes down 30%. By the second half there was a better chance of it snowing in Tampa then us actually winning the game.

  26. Tbbucs3 Says:

    Anyone who thinks that defensive coaching is the problem do you think it was Todd Bowels fault that Vernon Hargreaves fell down when trying to tackle Christian Mccafrey.

    Is it Todd Bowels fault that everytime a WR slightly pushes VH3 he gets pushed 10 yard away from the receiver

    Todd Bowels didn’t get punked by Christian Mccafrey like Devin White did.

    Offensive coaching is more of a problem than defensive coaching right now because we actually have talent on offense and it’s not producing.

  27. unbelievable Says:

    Whitehead is the only DB playing well.

    I can excuse the rookies, but Carlton Davis isn’t developing as much as we had hoped (though at least he’s physical). And Milli Vanilli, VH3, is just straight garbage and a colossal waste of a 1st round pick.

    Funny how all of us know-nothing commenters could see that pre-draft, but Licht could not. Move him to the slot and salvage what you can.

  28. MadMax Says:

    Draft Delpit!!! Been sayin it!!!!

    And draft QB Eason or Fromm if there, trade up for it….franchise jw as an ease in for our new qb for one year, then release.

  29. adam from ny Says:

    where is the Tandyman ???


  30. Troy Says:

    This team has a losing mentality. The Dolphins will be a winning franchise before the Bucs because they are willing to absolutely clean house to get the stench of losing out the door. The Glazers refuse to do it. I love the Bucs, but they have too many players who accept losing. Too many coaches who accept losing. Too many people in management who accept losing. Until you get rid of all of that, this team will stay right where it’s at. You can keep drafting corners, linemen and qbs. It won’t matter. The culture is toxic.

  31. DB55 Says:

    DWhite still not ready. He left cmc wide open lvd had to remind White that’s your man.

    Oj had to remind Scotty Miller to turn up field and WGT the first down on a 3rd down play where Scott ran out of bounds one yard short of the sticks.

  32. MadMax Says:

    @Troy……post of the day! Yup, how does this happen? MENTALITY….LOSING MENTALITY!!! Yes Sir!

    And theyre so predictable at it, i made 100 bucks because i just knew it…..i even told everyone at work to lay money on the kitties,…well, i hope they listened.

  33. Defense Rules Says:

    So the good news is that we’re #1 in stopping the run. The bad news is that because of that, opposing teams pass and we’re #32 at stopping the pass.

    Is that what they call a conundrum Joe?

    Might be wrong, but it’s looked to me like a LOT of the passing yardage is YAC. You’re the one Joe with access to the fancy player stats generated from those fancy sensors that they now wear. I would think that type of info would tell us what’s REALLY happening. Seems like we’re getting eaten alive with short passes that are making a LOT of yardage. Maybe our Secondary (and LBs) are being too predictable? Maybe our tackling is lousy? Maybe the same players keep getting picked on?

    I think we all expected rookie mistakes. That’s inevitable during the learning process. But too often it seems like those mistakes aren’t being corrected, and THAT is a problem. We’ve got some talented players out there; not as much as I’d have liked but still some talented players. We need to at least see some steady progress. And that should start by benching VHIII. He’s NOT the future.

  34. Cgmaster27 Says:

    @813 im just post these stats here so hopefully you’ll shut up with the hargreaves defense.
    Hes allowing 6 cathes a game
    Hes allowing 86.4 yards a game himself!
    Hes allowing a completion rate of 64%
    Hes allowing 15 yards a catch
    Qbs have a 120 quarterback rating when targeting him!
    Just stop with the defense ,hes awful and a BUST!
    And all while having a magnificent 2 passes defensed
    And heres where i got the stats ,in case you continue to be blind to the obvious.

  35. PhillyBuc Says:

    So the largest coaching staff in the NFL can’t coach these guys up? Jason must have stocked the pond with a bunch of carp

  36. MadMax Says:

    Somehow, Mr. Licht needs to work us in…”Defense Rules” and “LUV”…then little ole me…..IM FREE DONT NEED MONEY!!

  37. America's Disgrace Says:

    Is that the same second to last, horrible giants secondary that America’s Disgrace had one of his only two good games against?

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

    Make that Jason Lite has drafted 7 DB’s….

  39. Colorado Says:

    I was on the boat to trade for a shutdown corner… No more.

    We are not a playoff team. Period. Why mortgage the future when we can’t win in the present?

    We’re not one player away. We’re a whole team away. I say we begin to strip the roster. It’s rebuild time. If we don’t win many more games, which is what will happen anyway, we have a shot at Joe Burrow, Jalen Hurts, or Justin Herbert.

    And while we’re at it let’s try to get Lincoln Riley. Arians is done.

  40. SOEbuc Says:

    A secondary complete with guys that aren’t out of the their rookie contracts playing in a complete opposite defense that Smitty almost put us in the record books for worst of all time? Justin Evans has been out the entire year and Mike Edwards just went down. Whitehead though not so great in coverage, is a great tackler and as of last week had the most PD (don’t know now). We’re stacked with young DBs with high potential and you expect them to learn a very difficult Todd Bowels scheme within six games in??? Darkest before dawn in the next two years with Bowels and this secondary. If they don’t try to give reps to Dean on the outside if he gets healthy and keep VH3 there all day, Jack will be a dull boy. We’re all looking down on VH3 now but he could possibly be really good in the nickel.

    Baa…Baa…Baa. Keep it up posters. Reminds me I’m a true Bucs fan. Certainly six games in at 2-4.

  41. JimmyJack Says:

    On top of the CBs and Safties we also got the LBs who can’t cover a lick.

    DB55 good observation on D.White. I noticed that too. Our star LB not even knowing where #22 is on the field is totally unacceptable. I did notice he was seeing and started really reading the field well in the 2nd half……..So there is a glimmer of hope I’d say…….But it needs to carry over and be immediate…..If he can make an impact and give us good coverage over the middle of the field we might actually see the pass defense turn a corner. Just not sure who we can put on Vernon’s sideline.

  42. unbelievable Says:

    Thanks for the link CG, backs up what I’ve been trying to tell 813 for the last several weeks… VH3 is just not a good cornerback.

    Just look at where he ranks in so many of those categories… in the 50s, 60s and 70s. Hell there’s only 32 teams in the league!

    7/8 passes completed on him against New Orleans. And the one incompletion was a miss by Bridgewater, not b/c Vernon actually made a play.

    5.6 receptions allowed per game average – good for 68th best in the league
    9.8 yards allowed per target – good for 76th best in the league
    86 total yards per game allowed – good for 75th best in the league

    But hey, a whopping 2 passes defended all season!

  43. SOEbuc Says:

    Minter needs to be starting over Devin White, also. Devin White certainly isn’t running a 4.4 on the field and looks like he’s just confused in the middle of the field most of the time. Give White his reps, but Minter been playing some good ball in a Bowels defense which he is aware of.

  44. crazy Says:

    They play like they know how bad they are. They’ve lost hope. Hard to get that back.

  45. Rayjay1122 Says:

    Move the Bucs to London and promote the Vipers to the NFL. Can’t do much worse……

  46. Dom>Licht Says:

    7 DB drafted the last 2 years…. what do we have to show for it? The WORST overpaid OL in the league! Our MLB looks lost compared to the Steelers 1st rd pick he was all over the field last night.

  47. Bradinator Says:

    I think Whitehead is doing his job in the run game. You see him everywhere. Edwards was definitely out of place on a lot of passes that I saw. Unfortunately there are a LOT of problems with the Bucs D stopping anyone from passing on them. Probably too many to point out here. That said, the D didn’t sink our little pirate ship yesterday. 7 Turnovers?! The ’85 Bears couldn’t overcome that. Everyone of the young dbs is learning a new system in their 2nd year, except Hargreaves who hasn’t seen hardly any action for last 2 years. What were we really expecting? Ok, not quite this bad, but it wasn’t going to be pretty.

  48. Alanbucsfan Says:

    Well , when your qb has 25 sacks and 10 interceptions plus fumbles in 6 games, the opponent has alot more opportunities.
    And since they can’t run on the Bucs, they pass .
    Secondary is young, injured and average at best.

  49. 813bucboi Says:

    cg & unbelievable

    VHG is not a good CB(for the bucs)….lol….




    GO BUCS!!!!!!!

  50. 813bucboi Says:

    Bradinator Says:
    October 14th, 2019 at 3:21 pm
    Everyone of the young dbs is learning a new system in their 2nd year, except Hargreaves who hasn’t seen hardly any action for last 2 years. What were we really expecting? Ok, not quite this bad, but it wasn’t going to be pretty.


    GO BUCS!!!!!

  51. CPN Says:

    Should have drafted Allen.

  52. TampaTown Says:

    Maybe we should find out who’s in charge of the draft and get rid of that guy

  53. I’m a Tandyman used to be Bucs Fan Says:

    The secondary has been trash since Smith stocked up on Safety’s that can’t cover or tackle! Releasing Tandy in his prime was the demise of the secondary!! May not be the fastest but hands down the most fundamental and smartest Safety Tampas had in last 5 years!! Bowles would be smart to give him a call to teach these so called super star rookies how to be pros and play the game!! He’s in shape and in Tampa!!! Or keep getting your ass handed to you every week !! One more piece of advice!! If you sign Jamies to a Multi Millikn Dollar Contract you will just validate what we all know !!! Jason Licht is a Bona Fide Fool!!

  54. Tbbucs3 Says:


    Jameis WInston is better at what he does than VH3 is at what he does, its not even close.

  55. Stevebobucsfan Says:

    I am with joe. We’ve drafted several DBs over the pass couple of drafts. Why Aren’t they playing any better? Either they were bad draft picks or the DBs coach is not doing a good job or both. Bowles ain’t no Monte Kiffin but he’s a decent coordinator a hell of a lot better than Mike Smith the problem cold be the D-line is not get pressure on the QB and with this issue I think Deion may have had some problems when the QB doesn’t get pressured 😊😃

  56. SteelStudBuc Says:

    Jameis is the highest paid player on the team. Hes not producing. End of employment coming soon.