The Changing Of The Defense

December 10th, 2019

Explains turnaround.

Early in the season, the Bucs had an elite run defense, an OK pass rush (mostly Shaq Barrett), decent linebacker play (mostly Lavonte David) and horrific results from the secondary (save for one Vernon Hargreaves tackle).

Now, the run defense is still very good, though not elite; the linebacker play is a little bit better and the secondary play, while not great, is light years better than when quarterbacks were playing flag football against the secondary.

What changed? It is as simple as snap counts, Barrett said after the game Sunday.

“Everybody got way more comfortable out there,” Barrett said of the defense’s transformation. “Getting reps for the young guys [and] getting them experience – that helps them be more comfortable out there. Us too, like me and everybody out there, we’re just getting more experience together as a group and it’s looking good for us right now.”

The sad thing is, Joe believes there is shot this team could finish 9-7, though realistically there is a better shot at 8-8. Joe isn’t willing to wager cash the Bucs can beat the Texans.

But yeah, just when it looked as if the Bucs would pick in the top five of the draft, the team has seemingly found itself.

That Giants loss might really haunt this team.

27 Responses to “The Changing Of The Defense”

  1. 1sparkybuc Says:

    Would it be that great of a surprise if we beat Houston and lost to Detroit and Atlanta? Wins and losses are still important, but these last three games will determine roster spots for next season. 2020 is going to be a big year for the Bucs. There are still holes to be filled, but not nearly so many as in years past.

  2. Defense Rules Says:

    Love Shaq’s take on our season thus far … “Getting reps for the young guys [and] getting them experience.” They’re all growing together, and that can be a very good thing.

    Fighter pilots are very familiar with the saying ‘Speed is life’. Slow down too much in-flight and you become a very expensive rock, and rocks don’t fly very well. IMO it’s exactly the same thing in the Secondary … ‘speed is life’ and opponents will capitalize on your slowness every time. Dean, SMB & Davis are ‘fast enough’ to do what we need our CBs to do; they just need more experience to refine their techniques.

    Our safeties still concern me though. I love Whitehead’s aggressiveness, but he has this habit of making fantastic plays followed by bonehead plays IMO. Beyond that though I’m confused. Edwards was drafted as a Safety, then they said he was a nickel, now he’s being used again as a Safety? I expect to see him at NT next game. Justin Evans is good, but having him & Whitehead back there probably wouldn’t be a good thing (they’re similar IMO), but he may never be the same player anyways because of his feet. Adams is a good backup IMO. Tells me we NEED to sign a quality veteran Safety to ‘direct the show’ on the field. We’ve got enough youngsters (for now), but we still need that missing piece.

    The key to our Secondary will always be our DLine & LBs though. No substitute for a good pass rush to keep QBs honest. I’m a big advocate for ‘keeping the band together’ when the season ends … re-sign JPP, Suh, Barrett AND Nassib & keep them together for the next 2 years. In the meantime, draft their replacements, develop them, and see what we get. I’d also re-do LVD’s contract; he’s a key PERFORMER AND LEADER who should one day retire as a Buc. Would also re-sign Mincey (he’s a very valuable backup too).

    And Joe, to draft in the Top-5 we both know you have to have a really bad year. That’d be the kiss of death to this young team IMO. They’re coming together nicely, and the future is looking a lot better than it did this time last season. Hallelujah.

  3. martinii Says:

    I’d take the 9-7 over the draft pick. You can tell by the Barrett comment that they are learning how to win. We’ve had our share of picks but high draft picks don’t translate into wins. Team chemistry, work ethic, and learning to win will.

  4. Bucsfanman Says:

    The defense has looked much better over the last few weeks. Still a work in progress though.
    9-7 baby! Go Bucs!

  5. Tbbucs3 Says:

    Perhaps if we cut Lichts filth earlier on we’d be sitting in a playoff race. But I’ll take 9-7.

  6. McBuc Says:

    All the high draft picks have not helped us in the past, so I am glad they are not tanking for a draft pick. Let’s win every game we can in y opinion. Hopefully this time it carries over to next year.

  7. Tampabaybucfan Says:

    Yes, the Giants game…..and also the Tenn game where we gave them two TDs….
    add the OT loss to Seattle and yes….we could be 9-4……(I know…..could be)….we also could be 4-9 with losses to Ariz & Ind.

    The bottom line is that our younger players are developing… more draft and we should be there.

  8. I Just Got To Get Better Says:

    Arians influence has help not just the players but also Licht.

    Barrett, White and the secondary has taken us back to experiencing what a good defense looks like. Field goal kicker seems to be a fixed problem.

    In 2020 hopefully Arians will help this team draft a solid Running back and O-linemen.

    I believe Arians also coached Licht with his final decisions. Drafting a kicker in the second round again has “No Risk It No Biscuit!” written all over it.

    Go Bucs!!!

  9. Brandon Says:

    Giants, Titans, Seahawks. Giants a missed FG, Titans a blown call, Seahawks a flip of a coin.

  10. #1bucfan Says:

    Getting young guys reps wish dean an smb were getting more in the beginning of the season. Not all rookies come in an lite the league on fire. Some take time to develop the pros are a lot diff then college. BA did get my hopes up about the playoffs this year an I got hyped for it. The wins are mounting an that is great to see BUT what is better imo is that these players are getting developed an starting to actually look like a defense an not pee wee football players. Keep it going I hope we these last 3 games are good quality development time for the players an we have a great offseason pretty sure everyone feels the same way about 2020. This team is pointing in the right direction. We are finally not on the basement this year an so hopefully next year JOE we can rid ourselves of the DEN OF DEPRESSION name hahaha go Bucs. Good times ahead

  11. Dusthty Rhothdes Says:

    Think we need to pump the brakes in the defense; it got lit up by Brissett and no name WRs on Sunday, this is sounding very familiar to that 9-7 koetter smoke and mirror season. This defense and the team as whole has a ton of places that need to be fixed due to having such an incompetent GM who has built this team so poorly. 2-3 dumb moves this off-season can make or break this team for the next 3 years.

  12. Miller5252 Says:

    So if they can’t beat the Texans what’s the point in all this talk about getting better? We can beat the bottom dwellers but not anyone with a wining record? So the 4 out of 5 is just putting us a crappy draft spot….. if we can’t at least give the Texans a game we’re wasting our time and this still needs to be blown up.

  13. Hodad Says:

    Calm down Joe, we have some momentum going, but this team shouldn’t be counting victories for games they haven’t played yet. Detroit, Houston, Atlanta, all capable of beating us, not just Houston.

  14. JP_09 Says:

    I guess the 9ers game where your QB threw two pick 6’s in a two touchdown game or the Panthers game where he had 6 turnovers in an 11 point game, or the 2 he threw against the Titans in a 4 point game and so on and so fourth weren’t that important and won’t haunt the team lol

    As I’ve said I’ll take 9-7 all day over a better draft pick, finish strong Go Bucs!!!

  15. Wayne PEREZ Says:

    Miller 5252 your not a fan

  16. Slugglife Says:

    I’d say anybody who has given up four hours of their Sundays to watch us miss the playoffs again is a fan.

  17. 813bucboi Says:

    experience for the secondary helped but the true key was the return of JPP and him getting back into football shape….

    even shaq’s production dipped once teams started to game plan against him….

    JPP’s return helped SHAQ and the secondary….

    GO BUCS!!!!!

  18. Bucs Fan Since ‘76 Says:

    Joe, the Giants game is already haunting the Bucs! That was a win if Gay makes the kick as time had expired. What a difference 7-6 would be heading to Detroit! Think about that.

  19. TiredBucsFan Says:

    I hate to be negative all of the time, but how many good defensive players are we going to lose at the end of the season. Its a shame, they are looking much better and will be a new group in 2020. We will see

  20. Miller5252 Says:

    Nope, not a fan at all Wayne…… haha

    I bet my neighbors wish I wasn’t a fan so they didn’t learn all this colorful language that the Mormon religion doesn’t teach them. Lol

  21. Danny Says:

    Honestly even if they won the Giants game 10-6 isn’t getting into the playoffs with our conference record

  22. Sport Says:

    Joe – how can the Bucs be #1 in Rush Defense, hold the latest stud, Mack to 38 yds rushing and not be elite? WTF are you looking at?

    In BA I Trust!

  23. LordCornelius Says:

    Our secondary is finally not the worst thing in the NFL IMO – because guys like Dean/SMB actually are panning out as Jason Licht CB picks for once.

    It’s been awesome seeing guys getting hands on balls and being in position in coverage in ways we’ve been missing for years here

  24. Defense Rules Says:

    TiredBucsFan … “how many good defensive players are we going to lose at the end of the season.” My thought is that we don’t have to lose any. We can afford to pay JPP $11 mil, Suh $9 mil, Barrett $15 mil and Nassib $7 mil and still ‘make budget’ … providing our next QB Jameis or whoever) doesn’t get over what Jameis is making right now ($21 mil). Break the bank with a QB signing & we end up having to sign lesser quality players than we have right now for less money.

    I’m convinced now that BA is calling the shots AND that he ‘knows which side his bread is buttered on’. He NEEDS a strong defense because any QB orchestrating in his ‘Bombs Away’ offense will suffer higher-than-average turnovers. He NEEDS a defense that can compensate for that.

  25. pryda...sec 147 Says:

    Really Bucs can’t beat the Texans smh loser mentality

  26. Coburn Says:

    Sadly I’m skeptical the Bucs actually found themselves.. wouldn’t be surprised if we started out next year same way we started this year, depending on schedule. reality is our schedule at start of year was fairly tough, but now that we’re facing team that likely won’t be in the playoffs we’re suddenly ‘figuring things otu and winning’. We’re probably just costing ourselves draft picks while getting everyone’s hopes up thinking we’re better than we are. We’re just winning the games we should and squeaking out a few that are a tossup.

  27. Buczilla Says:

    The Texans are a legit good team and if we beat them I would be esctatic. We’ve already surpassed my expectations (4-12) for the year, so outside of Jameis and Licht, I’m starting to feel good about the team again. Those two have a lot of improving to do before I have faith in them again.