“That’s What His Best Position Is”

November 20th, 2019

Rookie defensive back Mike Edwards

Joe is confused by something Bucco Bruce Arians said last night.

Back in May, Bucs safeties coach Nick Rapone talked about now-injured-after-being-benched M.J. Stewart was a guy who could be the next Tyrann Mathieu. Stewart was viewed as the Bucs’ new powerful, blitzing nickel cornerback, the key cog in the defense.

Stewart got all kinds of reps at the position as did rookie cornerback Sean Murphy-Bunting. And Stewart was the go-to guy when the season started.

He couldn’t cut it and after a while Murphy-Bunting got nickel snaps, and then Vernon Hargreaves asked for them. The problem was neither guy fit the blitzing, power-mode nickel this defense requires/needs.

Meanwhile, rookie Mike Edwards was the starting safety for the first five games — in which he at times resembled Sabby Piscitelli — before he got hurt and then benched for Andrew Adams.

Edwards surprisingly re-appeared at nickel last Sunday against Drew Brees, and last night on Buccaneers Radio, Arians said Edwards played well except for two plays and then he dropped this nugget.

“That’s what his best position is,” Arians said of Edwards at nickel. “You know, he played safety and nickel his whole career. We’ve used him at nickel some and he had a great week of practice.”

Joe is flummoxed. So Edwards is best at nickel, then why wasn’t he there originally ahead of Stewart?

Exactly who is evaluating the talent on this roster? Joe heard over and over this offseason that Todd Bowles is a master at putting players in the right positions to succeed. So far, the secondary is ugly and the guys in charge missed badly on Stewart and Hargreaves.

Now Arians says cornerback Jamel Dean, who mysteriously was benched Sunday after a good game the week prior, needs to be on the field more and that will change. So where will Dean play and what really pulled him off the field?

Former Bucs receiver Michael Clayton was on WDAE radio speculating that Arians hid Dean on Sunday because he looked lost in practice playing zone defense (which the Bucs used extensively against the Saints), and the head coach wanted to spare Dean the embarrassment.

Joe is having trouble making sense of it all. Joe also suspects Matt Ryan will not.

Regarding Edwards, at least he didn’t sleepwalk through Sunday’s first half, like many Bucs did. It was refreshing, despite his mistakes. Joe didn’t like how Evans let up significantly on one of his effective blitzes when he could have delivered a punishing, legal hit to Drew Brees.

For now, Joe will chalk that up to rookie inexperience.

41 Responses to ““That’s What His Best Position Is””

  1. Tbbucs3 Says:

    I wouldn’t be surprised if the Matt Ryans and Falcons beat us twice.

  2. Coburn Says:

    These guys are clueless. . And to me this certainly seems to suggest that when they’re drafting theas guys th ey aren’t paying enough attention to whether they fit the schemes or not.. just drafting some ‘hidden gem’ they figure has athe tic ability or character and out smarting thenselves

  3. Tampabaybucfan Says:

    I’d have Davis & Dean on the outside……SMB at nickel & Edwards & Whitehead at Safety……use Ryan Smith & Adams to fill in.

  4. LordCornelius Says:

    So Devin White is a roaming CB that covers opposing #1s and Mike Edwards is the nickle and I guess Vita Vea’s best position is S at this point

  5. Bucfan81 Says:

    So should we expect Julio Jones to have 200 plus receiving yards come Sunday. The more I hear from these coaches the more it seems like they are throwing crap at a wall hoping something will stick. Starting to think maybe they really did come here for a free paycheck and early vacation.

  6. tmaxcon Says:

    coaching fixed…. glad we finally have real coaches this time around.

  7. jmarkbuc Says:

    how could this staff be so blatantly, obviously clueless?

  8. 813bucboi Says:



    deans strength is man press….CD’s strength is man press….

    GO BUCS!!!!!

  9. Clean House Says:

    They don’t know how to scheme and coach db’s
    And what do you expect with all first second year guys?
    Poor planning by Licht, who should have been fired long ago.
    It’s not even arguable.

  10. unbelievable Says:

    It’s almost like Bullchit Bruce is…. completely full of chit.

    How many more retreads will this org continue to hire? The game has simply passed them by.




  11. R.O. Says:

    I think if you paid attention during the offseason and training camp… Bowels uses alot of Nickel Safeties. Come down and cover the TE in the Slot. Not saying its right. If you remember early in the Game Edwards was on Jared Cook in the Slot. Playing inside leverage and still bit on the fake to the outside.. Cook got a big gain and It may have been the 3rd and 7 play after the 2 Offsides penalties.

  12. bojim Says:

    the head coach wanted to spare Dean the embarrassment

    He’s not your son coach. He’s a professional that gets paid.

  13. Tampabuscsbro Says:

    So we have another nickel on this team when we lack at every other position. GREAT GO BUCS

  14. Frank Pillow Says:

    …but I thought the secondary was ‘completely fixed,’ Bruce? This coaching staff has ZERO credibility here in Tampa. ZERO. They have systematically made things worse (which, given the state of the D last year, would seem impossible) and can’t figure out how to keep Jameis from being Jameis. Worse, it now seems like Bruce is trying to work the media into believing this is a well coached team–all the blurbs about ‘our best week of practice’ and how we felt like we were ‘well prepared’ –and how its on the players for their poor execution. One and done this clown and his merry band of sycophants. Blow-up the personnel department too.

  15. Erik W Hesson Says:

    Seems like Boozin Bruce’s is starting to feel the side effects of a lifetime of drinking and partying.

    I think Dementia is setting in…

    Set up the lineup how Tbbf has it up above, and our secondary is prob pretty workable… At least maybe enough to get some wins, C’mon Man!

  16. Erik W Hesson Says:

    Boozin Bruce

  17. NPRSageBoy Says:

    Chalk it up to the clueless BS that seems to be the MO of this enormous BA staff.

  18. jmarkbuc Says:


    You may not be far off, I’ve wondered a couple times if he’s all there.

    It’s either Dementia or #PaidFLVacation, no other way to explain the dysfunction of this entire staff.

    I can’t think of ANY position group that’s really solid, much less stellar.


  19. gotbbucs Says:

    Arians doesn’t know, he’s just parroting whatever his army of assistant coaches is telling him. Every week is going to be something different because they are all grasping at straws.
    Good teams aren’t still evaluating what positions players can play in mid November. This means they are drafting guys that they really have no knowledgable plan for before they get them. “Well…we think this guy is a corner, but he might be a safety……errr, nickel corner…….errr, you know what I mean, right?”

    I wonder why these players never develop? Sad.

    I need to start researching other team blog site’s to see if this kind of bull crap is global, or if it’s just a Buccaneers thing. My guess is it’s mostly a loser franchise thing that happens with teams like the Bucs, J-E-T-S, and Brownies.

    At some point someone with a clue is going to come in and rescue us, right?

  20. Pewter power Says:

    Damn hoe people can be told what to think and not even realize it is amazing. Yea dude played safety and nickel in college but look at VH3 doesnt mean you can do it in the nfl until you get here. How many saw mark barron as a linebacker in the nfl? They went for 3 secondary players and probably wouldn’t have drafted a nickel guy if they were going to plan to use Edwards there. If justin Evan’s was healthy we’d probably have a completely different lineup then expected

    Let them get snaps at all the positions because next year there should be no mistakes about who’s gonna play where

    Having said that Arians is too damn hung up on what he did in Arizona, it’s hot but its tampa hot it ain’t the same. Godwin ain’t Fitzgerald and no one here is like honey badger. They need to move off of that Arizona crap and coach this team different.

  21. whaaatttsss uuuup Says:

    dean is the best CB on this roster make no doubt about it … but you watch his college tape and he is not very good in zone defense … they usually had him man to man … he is one of the few CB i have ever seen CONSISTENTLY totally shut down that little 5 yard slant play the bucs have not been able to stop in 10 years!! PUT DEAN ON THE FIELD!!!! he will make a lot of rookie mistakes but this kid can play ya’ll!!!!!

  22. JustBucNwin Says:

    “Totally fixed” What a joke our team is!

  23. Tbbucs3 Says:

    BA and staff haven’t been perfect…

    But why are we putting so much heat on BA and crew when clearly the main problem is lack of talent at key positions throughout the team.

    Jason Licht is a way bigger issue than the coaching staff. The staff will improve. The GM won’t.

  24. Defense Rules Says:

    BA is spinning it again trying to justify poor decisions by himself AND especially by the Bucs’ MANAGEMENT. Don’t buy it.

    Bucs coaches have praised Mike Edwards from Day 1 … as a Safety. Not a word about using him at nickel. We had tons of nickel backs they insinuated (MJ Stewart, VHIII, SMB, Ryan Smith). What we DIDN’T HAVE was Safeties to start opposite Whitehead after it became obvious that Justin Evans wasn’t gonna make it back & after Darian Stewart flamed out after Game 1 (he’s gotten 13 total defensive snaps since starting the 1st game, yet he’s still on the roster … tell ya anything?). So the braintrust started Edwards in Games 2-5 and he didn’t fare so well because, oh yes, he wasn’t ready for the big time.

    Edwards has now started 5 games … 4 at Free Safety & 1 at nickel, plus played some in 3 others. According to Pro-Football-Reference, he’s gotten 2 PDs, 1 sack, 1 QB Hit, 2 TFL, was targeted 27 times & has surrendered 22 completions for 5 TDs & 329 yards … all in his 5 starts. For a Free Safety, those AREN’T GOOD STATS. And I guess that’s why a guy who was sitting on his couch at season start, Andrew Adams, replaced him in Game 6 and has never relinquished the role.

    Still, I’m not down on Mike Edwards. If the Bucs’ management had DONE THEIR JOB and found a way to get a veteran safety back there (as well as a veteran corner), Bucs wouldn’t have been starting a bunch of 2nd & 3rd round ROOKIES in our Secondary paired with two 2nd year guys. Mike Edwards obviously wasn’t ready to start, but once Darian Stewart flamed out, TB had little choice. Unless of course you buy into Jason Lichtweight’s hype that MJ Stewart is really a Safety, not a CB 9need to spin that one better Jason). Edwards just became the weak link & he got roasted multiple times.

  25. stpetebucsfan Says:


    We are incredibly schizophrenic!!! Sometimes folks figure out the games we coulda shoulda won…missed kick here…lose coin toss there etc.

    But then we say…this stinks and want to throw the baby out with the bath water.

    Certainly mistakes have been made. Here is some heresy…perhaps we should have never hitched our cart to JW.
    Perhaps we should have gotten a veteran DB…maybe another OL…

    We found a kicker…we now have a middle linebacker and a beast on the interior of our line…IMHO we probably have 2-3 future NFL DB’s.

    I think Jimmy Jack frequently states what should be obvious to all of us. Rarely do teams or franchises as horrible as ours turn it around in one year. But because of missed kicks…lost coin toss etc giving us a horrible record…we are now questioning BA’s sanity….his age…really?

    Perhaps the fire is gone in his belly…but he’s as sharp as ever when he’s interviewed. EVERYBODY makes mistakes and BA is no exception. I for one have no problem seeing him around for next year.

  26. Defense Rules Says:

    Joe … Those same ‘Advanced Defense’ stats show that Devin White has done reasonably well in terms of Pass Defense … UNTIL Drew Brees started chewing on him in this last game. Still, he’s only given up 1 TD all year, and it was ridiculous to have him covering so far downfield without help on that play.

    o Game 1 … 2 Targets – 2 Completions – 37 yards – 0 TDs
    o Game 2 … 0 Targets – 0 Completions – 0 yards – 0 TDs
    o Game 3, 4, 5 Did Not Play
    o Game 6 … 4 Targets – 2 Completions – 20 yards – 0 TDs
    o Game 7 … 3 Targets – 2 Completions – 23 yards – 0 TDs
    o Game 8 … 2 Targets – 2 Completions – 19 yards – 0 TDs
    o Game 9 … 6 Targets – 3 Completions – 20 yards – 1 TDs
    o Game 10…12 Targets – 12 Completions – 96 yards – 0 TDs

    So he’s been targeted 29 times and surrendered 23 completions, but over half of those were by Drew Brees in this last game. Barring that one game, he’s done reasonably well … for a rookie … in terms of pass defense.

  27. Allbuccedup Says:

    Bullchit Arians and Toilet Bowles defense what a joke. And if course Jason “very dim” Licht.

  28. Colonel_MP Says:

    Evans blitzing? You guys really could use a copy editor.

  29. Little Bo Peep 🤡❗️ Says:

    This is to “Defense Rules”: The main reason Former Bucs LB Kwon Alexander was let go by the Buccaneers Front Office (I.E. GM Jason Light Blub, HC Bruce Senile Arians, And Ass Clown DC Todd Bowles was because despite Alexander’s play since the 2015 NFL Season, there was 2 main reasons, 1. Despite Alexander being the QB (Middle LB) of the defense, the Buccaneers defensive units from 2015-18 were amoung the worst in NFL history. And 2. Despite Alexander having above average speed, his ability to cover RB’s out of the backfield on flair passes and TE’s were below average at best. So Light Blub, Arians and Bowles decided to scrap the 4-3 Defense and go to the 3-4 Defense. Also another reason why the Buccaneers decided to cut bait with Alexander, he proved to be injury prone. So the Bucs decided to go with someone else. And remember this, Devin White, The 2018 SEC Defensive Player of the year, was hyped by the Mel Kipper Jr’s Of The World as the 2nd coming of Ray Lewis, The Baltimore Ravens HOF LB. So far White as shown flashes as a rookie, but White WAS TOTALLY EXPOSED AS A RUN STUFFING OVER HIS HEAD STIFF ! In his Pass Coverage Skills, especially in the New Orleans Saints game this past Sunday by QB Drew Brees And RB Alvin Kamara. The Buccaneers biggest need in the 2019 NFL Draft was at DE And OL, and despite 2 Blue Chip defensive players in Edge Rusher Josh Allan Of Kentucky And DT Ed Oliver of the Univ. of Houston, the Bucs went with White, despite Michigan LB Devin Bush consided by everyone the higher rated player, and having the biggest impact of the 2019 LB class, once again the Buccaneers, picked another stiff in the 1st Round, Just Like OJ Howard, The Bucs 2017 1st Round Stiff TE out of the Univ. of Ala. Even the Great Ira Kaufman will tell you that “LITTLE BO PEEP” IS ALWAYS 💯 % ON THE MONEY 🤡❗️

  30. passthebuc Says:

    Taking a page from the Great Larry Bird, Ryan was heard saying he is going to play the game left-handed, at least the first 3 quarters. (Bird, by the way, had 27 points in the first 3 quarters)

  31. Chesapeake Bucco Says:

    You guys are all so all-knowing about verything football and how to coach a NFL team. I bet almost none ever coached even a pee-wee league team. Y’all are the joke! This staff will turn it around but not overnight. Get over yourselves. geezus!

  32. BigHog Says:

    STOP DRAGGING ON THE COACHING STAFF…there iOS no staff alive today that could come in and turn this team around in one season….KEEP BA…KEEP GRINDING ….GET A WIN ON SUNDAY!!!

  33. TDTB Says:

    I don’t recall anyone having Bush rated higher than White. White will be fine. He is improving/learning. Dean and Davis will be fine at CB. IDK about SMB. I thought he was a reach at the time and nothing i’ve seen changes that view. I though Edwards was an over reach as well. Would love to come out of the draft with Derrick Brown or Javon Kinlaw, but I believe o-line needs outweigh d-line. Also think it’s easier to sign good DL veterans than OL veterans in free agency.

  34. Defense Rules Says:

    Little Bo Peep … never mentioned anything about Kwon (his price was too high anyways, so no way we were gonna re-sign him). As far as Devin White goes, he’ll be fine. And Devin Bush wouldn’t have been there in the 2nd round, so your argument is moot. No way Bucs could’ve drafted say Allen AND Bush (who wasn’t rated higher than White BTW). Bucs have made a ton of mistakes drafting, but picking Vea in 2018 & White in 2019 will help solidify this defense for years to come … UNLESS we screw it up (which we have a tendency to do?).

  35. Buczilla Says:

    Wake me up from this nightmare when Licht is gone and Arians ends his Tampa vacation.

  36. cmurda Says:

    I don’t disagree D Rules. I’ve hated the Vea pick when I thought it had to be Derwin James. Since Vea was the pick, I’m pulling for him. Not going to lie, I wanted Josh Allen instead of Devin White but now seeing White flash, I see some serious potential there.

  37. Jeffbuc Says:

    I will definitely be starting Matt Ryan and Julio Jones in my DraftKings millionaire maker this week. How come no matter the coach every year we here these same stupid problems after are season is toast. We should have started him here. This player is having the best off-season and deserves to start only to be inactive after week 5. Then get told that the players need time to adjust. I hat do you think it is joe different coach different players same exact story every year. So you think there could be mold at one buc place that no one knows about and is messing with our players and coaches. How do you go into a season watching a month of preseason and training camp and think that guy is my starter to three weeks into the season have him inactive. When all those reps could have went to the rookie. But the sad part is this is a high second round pick from last year we are talking about. That was drafted ahead of 1st round slippers who are now starting for there teams and playing well for a second year player. So the blame goes on licht. He has to be the one telling the coach this guy is going to be good play him. Fire licht fire licht he is the common denominators in all of this. Horrible at drafts horrible at free agents. And horrible at trading relaeasing players when they have value or no more value. Hangs on to every player wether they are trade able or should be cut a season to long in hopes they pan out for his big headed ego.

  38. Jeffbuc Says:

    Jameis should have stayed benched last year but know we bring him back and he throws how many more picks and every year we hear the same excuse his contract is almost up you have to see what you have. Should have traded him in the offseason. To a team that missed out on a QB. But know have to hope this is the year he quits throwing interceptions that aren’t his fault. I ha w never seen a web throw so many interceptions in my life and then have to hear every week that none were his fault. I watch the games he is luck he doesn’t have more because I see 2-3 dropped easy interceptions a game on top of it. Maybe he is guilty of his college tassel. That would be the only thing to explain why he has the worst luck of any where in the league ever. Only 70 of his 98 turnovers are his fault in less than 5 seasons played. Of total games he just hit the 4 seasons of games stared. So 98 in 64 games started. He averages 1.53 turnovers a game all by himself. Thank about that so 1 1/2 drives a game are already killed done defense has the ball if they didn’t score a defensive touchdown a game. How can you win with that. On top of the 6 third down passes that sail over everyone’s head that kill 6 more drives. So the start of every game is bucs fans know we are going to fail on 7 1/2 drives just because of jameis. Then add the 3 because of piss poor play calling. And the other 3 because of stupid players commuting the same penalties. And then throw in how many times do we keep drives alive for the opposing team jumping offsides and defensive holding and pass interference. We are cursed. I couldn’t win a madden game against my 2 1/2 year old son with those odds already stacked against me. We are fortunate to win a game. It just sank in I am a fan of the league laughingstock. I think we are better than we are that is the whole problem. You guys just witnessed an epiphany from a lowly bucs fan

  39. lambchop Says:


    They had to keep Mike Edwards at Safety to start the season. Adams only got into the game against the Giants. They probably felt that Adams wasn’t 100 on taking full-time reps at Safety with a new defensive scheme. So, Edwards had to stick around S. Then the MJ Stewart experiment imploded and didn’t work out. Probably, another weekday warrior.

    So, now we have the Edwards at nickel experiment cuz they’re trying to do anything and everything with what they have.

    They should have tried to get some help before the trade deadline. But, I’m sure nobody wanted the Bucs loser juju to infect their locker room.

    But, nobody talks out of their as* quite like BA. He wants to make it seem like they actually have a plan and know what they’re doing. The average fan can see right through those lies.

  40. Jean Lafitte Says:

    I still wonder when all the rookies hit that proverbial rookie wall. Think they’ve been bad now, wait till their legs turn to rubber. Most these rookies never played more than 11 games a season until now. Good conditioning and mental fortitude needed to push through the rest of the way. Expect a lot more mistakes.

  41. Owlykat Says:

    Adams got three interceptions in one game last year and he needs to regain his playmaker status this week to beat Atlanta. Edwards is fast and quick and was used often by KY in college covering the slot. So our DC needs to put Dean on the Falcons nr. 1 receiver man to man and put Carlton Davis man to man on the nr. 2 Falcon’s WR. Whitehead is great as the Strong Safety.