Inexperience Dooming Bucs

November 8th, 2019

Key is experience.

It is rare for rookies to enter the NFL and master the game right away.

Or sure, there are rookies who come in and play well. For every such player, there are likely 10-15 rookies who need to get a year or so under their belts.

The mark of a young player is often inconsistent play.

Yesterday, Bucs defensive coordinator Todd Bowles seemed to indicate the problem with his young, yet atrocious secondary is that they simply lack the snaps to succeed.

The Bucs’ defensive backs haven’t been “consistent – obviously inconsistent,” Bowles said. “We can play well for spurts of the game then there will be a spurt where we go haywire and then they make plays on us.

“We’ve got to be more experienced from that regard and we’ve got to play the last quarter like we play the first three quarters.

“I think they have a great attitude. Just the experience of the game and learning how to play it mentally – the faster that catches up, the better they will be.”

Joe isn’t so sure it is only inconsistency. If that were the only issue, these defensive backs would be making a whole lot more plays. They are not. The Bucs, through eight games, have only five picks. That’s not even middle of the pack.

And when your safety leads the team in passes defended, Joe doesn’t think that is a good sign.

Bowles believes the secondary will play better as the season progresses.

“It’s frustrating losing,” Bowles said. “We’ve got to win no matter what – it’s frustrating losing. … It’s about getting these guys experience and getting them to play together more than anything. … We’ve got to make sure we cut down on the mental mistakes that are beating us. Getting beat physically is one thing – getting beat mentally and beating ourselves, that’s what we’ve got to stop.”

When that stops? Your guess is as good as Joe’s.

Joe has to wonder if the Bucs fooled themselves into thinking the young defensive backs didn’t need experience and that’s why the team never went out and got any help?

20 Responses to “Inexperience Dooming Bucs”

  1. BA FAN Says:

    On sports radio in Tampa today an ESPN Analyst that analyzes all the NFL Teams was asked about the Buc’s Defensive problems and his comment was that whenever 4-3 teams convert to 3-4 Defense it always takes a year to train the players how to play it successfully. And that is what is hurting the team this year and not Jameis. He said if the Bucs don’t keep Jameis there will be 10 NFL Teams that will all want him. He said our Offense is playing well with Jameis and all they need to focus on to win is their defense. (There have been only two high turnover games that our Offense had this year he said). And that Defense is why BA is not getting his usual big turnaround in the first year like he usually does, but he is preparing the Bucs for that turnaround next year. The Bucs have a higher number of young players than most NFL teams. I happen to believe the ESPN Analyst is right on the money!

  2. Tye Says:

    5-11 the last 2 years and sitting at 2-6 now looking at quite possibly a 3-13 or 4-12 finish..

    Not going in the right direction…
    The owners are going to run this team in the ground and be lucky to get 5-10 thousand to attend at RJ…

    For this team to ever get beyond mediocre, they need to bring in much better talent all around..
    As a whole, the team is just trash compared to the top 15 teams!

  3. MtBucsfan Says:

    I see the bucs finishing 8-8. They’ve had the hardest schedule to this point. Finally get a Jones game and have some weak teams left. Also somehow usually find a way to strip a game from the saints. I was hoping for some crazy year full of wins. But was skeptical with all the changes. I have felt the whole time next year would be the playoff year. We have been competitive in every game. 5 of the losses are by 1 score.

  4. DB55 Says:

    Come on coach it doesn’t take much experience to jam a guy at the line.

    fwiw DK Metcalf is a rookie who had a career best 123 yards going up against our rookie.

    Jonnu Smith and Anthony Firkser are back-ups with 80 catches between the two of them in 3 years.

    I’ll give coach credit for finally benching Stewart hopefully VH3 joins him soon and Davis, Dean, Bunting, Edward and Whitehead can focus on playing together.

  5. Joe in Michigan Says:

    That’d be great if it’s ONLY inexperience holding our DB’s back. With Davis, Whitehead, SMB, Dean, and Edwards, it might be inexperience. In the cases of VH3 and MJ Stewart (unless he’s moved to Safety), I think it could be a skillset problem.
    On a side note, any “fan” who would call another human being “trash” or “garbage” should probably get some help, IMHO.

  6. Pete I Says:

    Experience can cover up for a lack of talent but experience takes time.

    Experience can make talent even more lethal but experience takes time.

    However, experience alone does not make you better.

    For example, Jameis “meaningless stats” Winston America’s QB has experience but still makes many of the same mistakes he did at FSU.

  7. Pete I Says:

    Sabby Piscitelli had “experience” in his 5th year in the NFL it was also his last.

  8. Defense Rules Says:

    This is the best article you’ve ever written Joe. I’d become convinced that you thought Websters dictionary listed ‘rotten’ & ‘atrocious’ as being synonymous with ‘young’ & ‘inexperienced’ but apparently I was wrong. My apologies.

    Love Todd Bowles’ analysis of his Secondary’s play … ‘inconsistent’. Hmmm, where have we all heard that before in describing another part of this team? And I’m convinced, like he is, that it’s the mental mistakes that are killing us. Sorta kinda a pretty good description of ‘youth’ isn’t it … inconsistent & make a lot of mistakes.

    But the TALENT is there, and these youngsters are gaining the experience they need to be successful. DB55 & I don’t always agree admittedly, but his comment nailed it … “I’ll give coach credit for finally benching Stewart hopefully VH3 joins him soon and Davis, Dean, Bunting, Edward and Whitehead can focus on playing together.” Those 5 are our future Secondary & they need the playing time TOGETHER to gel as a unit. Would still love to see a quality veteran CB in that group but doubt it’ll happen as long as Jason Lichtweight is our GM.

    Oh and Joe, their 5 INTs is FIVE TIMES MORE INTs than last year’s defense had at this same point in the season. And this year’s defense has almost TWICE as many Passes Defensed (39 vs 22) as last year’s defense had midway in the season. And this year’s defense has reduced our opposing QBs pass completion percentages from 73.9% after the first 8 games last year to 64.1% this year. And oh ya. reduced the average Yards per Passing Attempt from 8.9 YPA at the midway point last year to 7.2 YPA this year. And believe it or not, they’ve actually given up over 200 fewer passing yards this year than last year after 8 games and fewer passing TDs (19 vs 22).

    Biggest problem? Like TB said … INEXPERIENCE. Which has led to some INCONSISTENT PLAY and some VERY costly mistakes. Hmmm, where have we heard THAT before?

  9. richbucsfan Says:

    I don’t think any of us disagree with the premise that rookies don’t do so well in their first couple of seasons. My question is, do they have the mental ability to grasp the game. Time will tell. Coaching will either make them or break them. Again, time will tell. This season is shot as I thought it would be. Perhaps, if the Bucs have the money to spend, they can get a seasoned DB to help with this process.

  10. JAB83 Says:

    Honestly, when it comes to culture,. Identity is one of the first thing you try to establish. I think we have that on offense. You take the good with the bad. And with the positive stats that they put up. We are in prime position to overcome the negative stats they put up. What the Bucs need is a Defence that has an identity. If I knew my guy would turn it over 3 times a game. I would play to take it away 4 times.

    Bottom line. If our D would just step it up to, IDK, RESPECTABLE? We would be a really hard team to beat.

    That said, year 1. Establish a new system… 4-3 to a 3-4…. Year 2 bring in the guys to give it an identity. Which IMHO, signing Suh pver GMC and keeping JPP and LVD with VV was a good start. You MUST keep those guys together for another year if not 2.

  11. Suh-Flex Says:

    BA Fan- Thanks for sharing that take. It’s easy to lose sight of the big picture. I forgot we transitioned D for awhile there. Too easy to get caught up in the moment/season.

  12. Mauler Says:

    How long until Jameis gets some experience?

  13. Kevin Says:

    Jamel dean was very consistent against Seattle.

  14. Allbuccedup Says:

    Jameis needs more experience also. Sounds like someone trying to save their job. After 2 previous years under mike smith with most of these same DBs I call BS.

  15. Allbuccedup Says:

    Bucs have 2 wins dolphins have 1. Bucs reload dolphins rebuild. Bucs 1 1st round pick dolphins 3 1st round picks. Which is the best route to take?

  16. stpetebucsfan Says:


    With all due respect I beg to differ.

    Dean was not consistent against Seattle. Russell Wilson was
    ABSOLUTELY consistent. Wilson threw deep balls that I haven’t seen very often…Rodgers…Rivers…Russell Wilson’s touch was exquisite.

    Tyler Lockett may be one of the most underrated WR’s in the NFL. I think Ronde addressed this during the broadcast.

    Dean was playing his FIRST game. He made a couple of GREAT plays…Wilson and Lockett obviously made many more. There are very few DB’s in this league who would have handled Wilson and Lockett. They were two excellent players at the top of their game

    But let’s dump all of that on a ROOKIE DB drafted in the 3rd round making his first NFL start against the #1 rated and current top MVP candidate at QB.

  17. tmaxcon Says:

    bla blah blah blah….. just more excuses from the king of excuses low standard foolish bucfan…. glazers are not even trying and you fools still act like there is a chance!!!! so adorable…

  18. tmaxcon Says:

    if it was so easy as getting rid of jameis and mixing in some experienced players why have the glazers not fielded a respectable product in nearly 2 decades?????? come on!!!! you ladies have excuses for everything else… let’s hear it…. if they glazers are trying I hate to see tanking

  19. Show me the TDs Says:

    Posting 10 articles every single day on the exact same subject is just plain lazy. Yeah, we get it. Our DBs suck.

  20. Brandon Says:

    What everybody is forgetting, especially Joe, is that you don’t get quality experienceb y sitting on the bench. Practice is practice, but game reps are the most valuable experience one can get. You can’t constantly buy your way out of problems. It not only hurts you as far as the cap, but now those game reps are being lost to somebody that won’t even be here next year. We’re trying to improve, not build a roster of retreads like Gruden did.