2020 And The Bucs’ Defense

March 8th, 2020

Bucs DC Todd Bowles.

Perhaps because it is roughly a week before the NFL free agency dinner bell rings? Perhaps it is because we are overthinking?

Joe has noticed on social media a perception starting to percolate that the Bucs better not bank on the defense this season playing like it did in the final weeks of 2019.

This concept has even reached the keyboard of Scott Smith of Buccaneers.com, as he answered a question from a reader about offseason battle plans.

And while the defense played well in the second half of the season it still must prove that the midseason turnaround will last and that they can play an entire season that way.

Could this newfound hand-wringing be a result of getting burned in the past? Likely.

Look, we’re talking about the Bucs here. In the post-Chucky era, the Lost Decade, this franchise has turned into the NFC’s “Kick me” sign. What can go wrong for a football team has gone wrong. In some ways, spectacularly wrong.

Bad play, bad coaching, horrible performances at home, mind-numbingly ignorant personnel moves compounded by worse moves (one can damn near come up with a starting squad of ex-Bucs who later started for playoff teams), the Bucs in the post-Chucky era have pulled them all off. More than a few times, in fact.

Case in point: Back in 2016, the Bucs defense turned the corner and it was the defense, not its young, star franchise quarterback, which damn near carried the Bucs to a wild card berth. The Bucs finished 9-7, only the second time in the Lost Decade with a winning record.

Then it seemed the defense was fixed. Instead, it was a massive tease as the defense circled the drain the next two seasons and was so godawful in 2018, that if not for the intervention of a Bucs suit to fire disgraced former defensive coordinator Mike Smith, the Bucs were barreling toward setting all-time NFL records for the worst defense since man first walked upright.

The Lost Decade has turned Bucs fans into abused children. They’ve been kicked in the groin so often with bad football, even after glimpses of light at the end of the tunnel, Bucs fans actually expect the roof to cave in. They’ve been conditioned to expect the worst.

Programmed to await doom.

20 Responses to “2020 And The Bucs’ Defense”

  1. gotbbucs Says:

    I no longer set expectations from year to year. I’ve been let down way too many times and all it does is make me more miserable around the house on Sunday nights.

  2. NPRSageBoy. Says:

    Its all about the character of the players. If they come back this season with something to prove, they will be ok.

    If it was the Hargreaves waiver that spurred them to the next level, they will be in trouble.

    Only time will tell.

    Peace, out

  3. Alanbucsfan Says:

    If they re-sign DLine FA’s , and Dean and Davis stay on track, an upgrade in safety and some good luck health wise – alot of ifs and wishful thinking, but we’re used to that, right.

  4. El Buco Realisto Says:

    Hardly call playing good against three rookie qb’s as “turning the corner”!!!!!!!!!!! And that was with a soft schedule (especially the back half) a very healthy roster, and upgraded at positions!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    At least they let toilet bolwes run the defensive scheme that he wanted to run, unlike the last defensive Coordinator, who was told to keep (by the GM), She-mc93 happy and run the scheme that she wanted!!!!!!!!!!! Which was incompetent lovie’s predictable and outdated scheme!!!!!!!!! And worse the gm doubled down by “building around” she-mc93 with a bunch of slappy free-agents!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Thank goodness they demoted and are not letting the gm make hardly any decisions anymore!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    and for those keeping score!!!!!!!!!!!

    Loser Frazier 25.6 Points Allowed per Game (16 games)
    Loser Lovie – 26.1 Points Allowed per Game (16 games)
    Coach Smitty -24.97 Points Allowed Per Game ( 37 games)
    mark duffner – 26.45 Points Allowed Per Game ( 11 games)
    toilet bowles – 28.1 Points Allowed Per Game ( 16 games)

    Pretty telling stats that the local media and sheep will never say or talk about !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    Sad how the local media and sheep fell hook, line, and sinker to the “all they need is to be coached up”!!!!!!!! even 813Buffoon now “REALIZES”!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    Incompetent loser lovie set this franchise back a decade, but the glazers keep renewing it year after year!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    go bucs!!!!!!!!!!!

  5. Bird Says:

    The turn around was a result of young secondary getting reps and playing consistent ball.

    Team is still an injury or two away from disaster

  6. Defense Rules Says:

    See, this is exactly why the Bucs can’t have nice things. Despondent Joe, the cynical cousin of Larry & Moe, escapes from the closet and before we know it … WHAM, he & Realist have everyone circling the drain.

    The Bucs have a simple path towards having a Top-10 defense this year. First, re-sign Shaq, Suh, JPP & Nassib. Second, re-sign Nunez-Roches, Minter & Ryan Smith for depth. Third, sign a quality veteran Safety to provide FIELD LEADERSHIP for our still young Secondary. And fourth, draft a DLineman someplace in the Top-3 Rnds, as well as a LB further down to develop IF one’s there who catches TB’s attention.

    We can accomplish ALL THAT for in the $90-$95 mil range, which would still leave us $110 mil or so for our offense PLUS the majority of our draft picks to use on offense. IF Bucs are to make the playoffs this year, an improved DEFENSE will need to lead the way. Same as it was in the early 80’s and same as it was in the late 90’s.

  7. El Buco Realisto Says:

    @defense rules

    You forgot in your equation, of where they play back up qb’s for 10 out of the 16 weeks!!!!!!!! Just like when they played those 3 backup qb’s during that 4 game when streak, that the sheep count and crowned the defense as “turned the corner”!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    go bucs!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  8. SufferingSince76 Says:

    Since 1976, regardless of ownership, players or coaches this franchise has had an albatross around its neck. There have been relatively few bright spots along the way, the one SB being the exception. That seems like a lifetime ago. Back then Malcolm Glazer ponied up the money to build a winner. Perhaps when this franchise stops trying to do everything on the cheap, we will make the playoffs again. If they don’t do it this year with the cap space available, when will they?

  9. SufferingSince76 Says:

    And that includes a GM and staff that can actually evaluate talent.

  10. geno711 Says:

    gets it.

  11. Blogtalkfootball.com Says:

    Where are you coming up with your numbers, @defense?

  12. Tampabuscsbro Says:

    I wonder if Realist did that calculation for points allowed subtracting the pick sixes or how often said defense had to defend from it’s own 30-20 yard line. which was more then any other team in the NFL…

    BY A LOT!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  13. El Buco Realisto Says:


    Did you just learn that turnovers were bad????? That offensive turnover/giveaways hurt the defense!!!!!!!!!!! Did you just the think that the bucs were the worst with turnovers/giveaways in 2019????????????????

    Where were you and your calculations TWO years ago when no one wanted to point out the horrible turnovers/giveaways like The Buc Realist did!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    What you and the sheep just figured out, is what the “real” fans said two years ago!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Its time for another “Realist Repost”!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    The Buc Realist Says:
    April 19th, 2018 at 11:11 am
    Joe needs to start posting about the “give a-ways” by the offense that negate takeaways!!!!! The offense has been at the bottom of give-a-ways for the last 3 years

    2015 (28) tied 22nd
    2016 (27) tied 24th
    2017 (27) tied 26th

    the offense has literally dropped the ball in protecting the rock!!!!!!!!!!!

    Go Bucs!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  14. El Buco Realisto Says:

    Its 3:29 PM Tampabucsbro!!!! That means you just got told “What time it is”!!!! Twice!!!!!!!!!!!

    go bucs!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  15. SOEbuc Says:

    One of the top run defenses and SMB was one of the best rookie CB. Professer in secondary Bowels teaching this young group. One of the strongest LB Corp. Doing so well at the end of the year is a good thing. They’re just getting better with Bowels scheme and continue to learn from a damn good DC.

  16. MadMax Says:

    With a QB taking care of the ball like Brady (he’s coming here), our D will be better rested. Plus Smith was a joke….Todd not so much!!!!

  17. Defense Rules Says:

    BlogTalkFootball.com … I can only tell you how I looked at it. Decide what you think the defense will look like this year (IMO … 24 on defense: DL/OLBs: 10 … ILBs: 4 … CBs: 5 … Safeties: 5). Look first at who’s already under contract (Vea, Gholston, O’Connor, Nelson, LVD, White, Cichy, Davis, Dean, SMB, MJ Stewart, Whitehead, Edwards, Dixon). Add to those 14 the 8 UFAs you want to re-sign (JPP, Barrett, Suh, Nassib, Nunez-Roches, Minter, Ryan Smith, Adams). Add a FA veteran Safety & draft a DLineman to complete your 24-man defense. (Drafting a LB later in the draft may be a smart move in case Cichy continues to get banged up … we can always develop him on the Practice Squad).

    When I plug in the salaries of the 14 under contract already ($34.95 mil), then add projected salaries for our own 8 UFAs ($51.8 mil) and throw in $4.0 mil for a veteran Safety plus $1.3 for a 2nd Rnd DLineman (compromise between Rnd 1 & 3), I came up with $92 mil. A range of $90 – $95 mil seems likely to me.

    Obviously my preference is retaining our own who performed well last season. There were a couple who I’m ‘on the fence’ about admittedly (MJ Stewart, R Smith & Cichy), but if we replace them it’d be with players making roughly the same as what they’d be making most likely. So, no big deal in the end?

  18. BucEmUp Says:

    This article is all the evidence needed to prove winston hasnt been the issue in tampa

  19. Barack's Crack Pipe Says:

    El Buco Realisto Says:
    “You forgot in your equation, of where they play back up qb’s for 10 out of the 16 weeks!!!!!!!!”

    With our historic penchant for making backup QBs look like heroes, don’t you think that beating them is a good thing?

  20. Buczilla Says:

    Gosh darn it Joes, it’s not even October yet. No need for doom and gloom just before what has become my favorite part of the season for nearly 20 years now. The draft! Plus, Arians and his 50,000 coaches give me better vibes than the other coaches that we’ve had since Gruden. I’m not fully on board yet, but a good season (9-7 or better) will make me a believer.