Has Bucs Defense Turned The Corner?

March 5th, 2020

Bucs DC Todd Bowles.

Joe is as guilty as the next guy. So this isn’t haughty preaching to the littles.

We all tend to get excited when our team does something right and looks to have turned the corner. For the Bucs, that can be anything remotely positive.

For example, the Bucs stunk so badly during the Lost Decade that fans looked forward to coach firings as a sign the team has ended its losing ways.

Last year, after Jason Pierre-Paul returned and got in shape, and after Vernon Hargreaves was thrown overboard for loafing, the Bucs defense had a huge rebound and ended the season playing damn well.

Bucs coach Bucco Bruce Arians, seems to think the defense has turned the corner. So does Joe; so have many fans.

But leave it to a mathhead to throw cold water in our faces and reminds us of a short time ago. Joe has to give the devil his due and a German mathhead working for the PFF tribe brings up a valid point.

Someone by the handle of “Moo” who types for the PFF tribe has a reminder of the last time, but four years ago, when it seemed the Bucs had solved their defensive problems as the Bucs defense, not its young franchise quarterback, put the team in position to make a postseason run.

As this “Moo” character illustrates, the Bucs defense fell flat on its arse after a strong finish to the 2016 season. At one point it was on a history-setting level of horrid play before a suit at One Buc Palace stomped on Dirk Koetter’s head and fired the notorious Mike Smith, thus stopping the bleeding on the rug.

Is the Bucs defense back to being a feared and respected unit? Maybe. Hopefully. But it would be smart to see another season of stout defense.

We’ve been hoodwinked before.

33 Responses to “Has Bucs Defense Turned The Corner?”

  1. TheBucsAnthem Says:

    LOL Joke of the Day ^^^

  2. Thisisouryear!!! Says:

    I think this defense was a lot different than mike smiths defense. The bend but don’t break. We didn’t stop anyone until they were at the 20 during that 5 game streak. Now both ends plus vita are coming at the QB. The corners are with the receivers. Our linebackers are the best in the league. I think we can improve in the safety department but I definitely think they’ve turned the corner. That’s why we need them back.

  3. Alaskan Abdominal Snowman Says:

    It is way to early to say the Bucs have “turned the corner”. Maybe we have started to turn but in the past we usually run right into a wall.
    I don’t think most people remember just how bad the defense was in the first half last year. Donnie Dimes literally got his name carving up our defense in his first ever start! What did he do after that?
    This defense was solid in the second half of the season and was dominant at times. For us to turn the corner, we need to dominate most of the time and stop getting walked all over. Stop giving up 4th quarter game winning/tying drives.

    I am optimistic we can turn the corner but it has not happened yet.

  4. Tampabaybucfan Says:


  5. Craig Says:

    The Bucs need to re-sign all of the defensive line (with back-up Nassib) and draft a top flight, free range safety (McKinney, Delpit, or maybe Duggar). Then Bowles attacking defense will be good enough to save a few games if we have a QB that doesn’t give those games away.

  6. 813bucboi Says:

    smittys defense was predictable and outdated….lol….

    thats why he cant get a job coaching flag football at roland park!!!!!

    @realist to his father/brothers rescue in 3,2,1…..

    GO BUCS!!!!!

  7. LaMarcus Says:

    Turned the corner? Hahaha yea right. They did played a couple good games at end but not turned the corner

    Kicking VH3 outta here did help. He is the worse corner I’ve ever seen play in the NFL and made our defense look super trash

  8. Tampabaybucfan Says:

    Turning the corner is relative…..of course we have…..we were absolutely horrible…….now we can stop the run better than anyone in the league…..our young DBs can make plays……finally.

    And….our needs are very little…..all we need to do is sign our players…..

    FA’s Suh & Barrett…….Draft picks White, SMB, Dean & Edwards…..

    When is the last time we had the NFL sack leader on our team?

    Yes….we’ve turned the corner…..but that doesn’t mean we don’t have room for improvement…..

  9. Doctor_Berto Says:

    Not having super-bust Hargreaves did wonders for the secondary

  10. Adrnagy Says:

    Trade shaq for a 2nd rounder.

    Draft kinlaw with 1st Move up and draft Chaisson or aj epenesa.
    Sign suh and nassib.

    Save million off shaq. Give to Winston.

    We have a stud young defense for awhile.

  11. Adrnagy Says:

    Fire Bruce. Give HC to Todd. And let leftwhich as OC with Winston.

    Todd moves the needle in defense and evaluating the talent.
    Bruce didn’t do nothing.

  12. 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”!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    2021 will be the fresh start from incompetent lovie setting this franchise back so many years ago!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

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

  13. stpetebucsfan Says:

    If the same D that walked off the field after the Atlanta game is the same defense for 2020 I’m not worried about overconfidence. But lose the wrong FA or pair of FA’s on that defense and who knows.

    I liked the way these guys played together they seem to have great chemistry.

    And when the star FA says he WANTS to be a part of this defense we are off to a great start…IF we sign him.

    Bring em all back and we’ll have a top ten D

  14. #1 Pick QB 2 Cent Brain Says:

    As a fan you gotta believe it when you see it

    Nothing with this team is a given, ever

  15. Defense Rules Says:

    I agree wholeheartedly StPete, the key is re-signing our own defense FAs. It took awhile for our very young Secondary to gel, but once they did they came on like gangbusters I thought. The biggest mistake we could make right now is to try to get away ‘cheap’ with this defense … and screw it up in the process.

    QUALITY veterans don’t come cheap, and we need to be prepared to pony up for guys like JPP, Suh, Shaq, and yes, Nassib. Every player we don’t re-sign HAS TO BE REPLACED, and that means either through the draft or FA. Either way it costs us. Odds of replacing a 1st Rnd pick like Suh with a 4th or 5th Rnd draft pick or with a cheap FA is pretty close to nil.

  16. Buccaneerscotty Says:

    Winston is not worth over 7 million Period!!! If the Buccaneers don’t sign him he will be a backup on a one year deal!

  17. Defense Rules Says:

    Oh and Joe, I forgot something. In that 1st paragraph you used the phrase “this isn’t haughty preaching to the littles”.

    Just for clarification … WE (JBFers) be ‘the littles’? Just wanted a little clarification.

  18. tmaxcon Says:

    No way this defense is fixed. you have a unproven secondary that is in diapers that played well but not great for a handful of games. 3 top defenders are unsigned. A couple will slump and a couple will go unsigned thats half the defensive starters therefore you HAVE NO CLUE WHAT THIS DEFENSE IS OR WILL BE!!!!!

    You have a cocky over the hill senile coach yapping off at the mouth and every low standard delusional bucfan lapping it up like it was the fountain of youth but the reality is its closer to a rosie o’Donnell golden shower than the gospel

    No one if you, not even me knows what this defense will be.

  19. 813bucboi Says:

    Adrnagy Says:
    March 5th, 2020 at 3:47 pm
    Trade shaq for a 2nd rounder.
    Save million off shaq. Give to Winston.

    thats the dumbest idea ever!!!!!….LMAO!!!!!!

    but expect nothing less from you!!!….lol…..

    GO BUCS!!!!!!

  20. 813bucboi Says:

    Buccaneerscotty Says:
    March 5th, 2020 at 4:11 pm
    Winston is not worth over 7 million Period!!! If the Buccaneers don’t sign him he will be a backup on a one year deal!


    GO BUCS!!!!!!

  21. Adrnagy Says:

    Do something !

    Bucs are playing with fire getting to close…. No jpp. No suh. No shaq. No Winston. No nassib no nothing.
    A lot of good and key players roaming around

    Hoping Bucs have a good plan.

  22. Adrnagy Says:

    We should hire lavar ball has GM.

  23. Aaron Says:

    I think Derek Brooks once said – it doesnt matter how you finished the previous year…every year is a new year…you start over and have to perform.

    I saw some improvement and a reason to be optimistic, but I wouldn’t say we’ve turned the corner yet. Seems like the Saints O-line kicks our butt every game…

  24. tmaxcon Says:

    Aaron Says:
    March 5th, 2020 at 5:10 pm
    I think Derek Brooks once said – it doesnt matter how you finished the previous year…every year is a new year…you start over and have to perform

    Coming from a washed up one year womder has been im confused why that is relevant

  25. LordCornelius Says:

    Realist has obviously avoided or ignored the multiple posts where I laid out how Todd Bowles was hampered by WAY more turnovers and points off turnovers than Mike Smith and it isn’t even close.

    Mike Smith had a 5.75 point per game advantage on Todd Bowles in terms of ADDITIONAL turnovers he faced over the league average compared to what SMitty dealt with.

    That’s insane.

  26. LordCornelius Says:

    Also looking back at that 5 game stretch from 2016, It was really just 3 great games (@KC / vs Seahawks / vs Saints) and we did not end the year that great either.

    Hell we gave up 26 to the Cowboys and like a 90% completion to Dak in Week 15 when we really needed to win that game.

    We gave up 31 to the Saints the next week when we were 8-6 and wanted that win bad.

    Then yeah we finished strong against the Panthers but Cam/the Panther sucked that year.

    And at no point was our secondary looking elite. We were getting some key interceptions in big moments (think of Conte in the end zone vs KC), but mostly it was just having some good pass rushing weeks against beat up O-lines.

    Last year we saw Carlton Davis shut down guys like Julio Jones / DeAndre Hopkins, and Dean/SMB/Davis all getting way more passes defended.

    Hell Davis & Dean knocked down 36 passes alone. Brent Grimes was our leader in that category in 2018 with a massive 6 batted passes.

  27. Bucnjim5656 Says:

    Just curious do the pick sixes and the 30 something turnovers (most in our territory) count against the defenses overall numbers and success? If so I’d reevaluate the this D taken these into account.

  28. JimmyJack Says:

    Lord Corn don’t forget in that Dallas game Ezekiel Elliot had his way with us all day and nationally embarrassed us. We were absolutely helpless to stop him…….That’s something that would never happen to this defense.

  29. CPN Says:

    Yea the Defense was a clown show because they had to keep coming out after Winston’s INTs. Which causes the defense to get tired.

    We had rookie corners on top of a young secondary. We need to sign a veteran corner or safety of some kind.

    Retain Shaq somehow too!

  30. catcard202 Says:

    The Bucs 2020 DEF roster isn’t set…There’s a ton of DEF FA from 2019 that will be testing the open market…No telling what the make-up of the Front 7 will look like. (let alone the QB room)

    So, It’s hard to say that Bowles has anything solved, just yet.
    What the roster does have on the DEF books, is incomplete at best…It’ll be 3wks before we know what the roster will need from the draft/UDFA.

    If Bucs can resign JPP, Suh & Shaq…It’ll take close to $40M in 2020 Cap space & DEF roster will still need 2 DT / 1 OLB / 1 DE / 1 ILB / 1 S / 1 CB to fill out 2 deep depth chart.

    If the FO also resigns OLB Nassib & ILB Minter, as well as goes in of Bowles former 3-4 DE Leonard Williams…That’s another $16-17M in 2020 Cap space…(Though, cutting/trading Brate ($6M)& letting FA’s Perriman/B.Allen/Nunez ($9M+) walk, will off-set majority of the Cap hits from those “luxury signings” & additional DEF depth would be left to fill in APR.)

    All above signings/CAP # assumptions are in line w/ “over the cap” & Sportrac market value estimates for each player & stills leaves $30M+ CAP consideration for QB1 resolution & $10M+ for Rookie contracts, w/ a little left over for incidentals/camp meat/1yr prove it signing or 2.

    DT / S / CB / LB positional deficiencies could then be prioritized, mixed & matched against offensive needs @ QB / RT / RB / WR / IOL-C , either in draft
    or UDFA.

  31. Defense Rules Says:

    catcard202 … Right now we’ve got $85 mil to play with, and have 51 ‘bodies’ signed. If we re-sign JPP, Shaq, Suh, Nassib & Minter plus add FA Leonard Williams that’ll eat up roughly $56 mil like you said, leaving us with $29 mil. Release Brate and we pick up another $6 mil BUT … we’d now have to sign or draft a quality TE to replace him.

    Even with that $35 mil ‘left-over’ at that point, we’d STILL need to sign BOTH a starting AND a backup QB, another DT plus a DE & OLB, CB, S and also add another starter-quality Safety (hopefully). And presumably in the draft grab a starting RT AND RB, as well as a #3 WR.

    That’s a lot of beef needed for $35 mil. But hey, why don’t we sign Tom Brady for $33 mil and see how it all works out. Or just give Jameis a big fat multi-year contract for $30 mil-Plus per year. Oops forgot, we still need to squeeze redoing Godwin’s contract into all this. Ya right.

  32. Mike Johnson Says:

    Any Buc fan who watched the games saw with their own eyes, this Defense came alive during the 2nd half of last season. However our QB…..? Mr Helter Skelter let us down. But he says, He be ballin..right? COME ON MAN!!!!

  33. catcard202 Says:

    Defense Rules:
    Your not considering that of the Bucs current “51” MANY of the controlled players are not carrying guaranteed money…(Roster change is coming & coin will be found for any contingency.)

    Auclair (RFA) – Hudson (ERFA) are cheap TE re-ups. Leggett is controlled & only $735K, as well. That’s an entire TE room (including OJ) that costs less in 2020 CAP space than Brate’s contract alone. (Which is 100% inline w/ the 2020 assumptions above)

    If starting w/ $85M…Moving Brate for a 2021 pick, open up $6M…Cutting Beckwith – J.Evan – a handful of camp meat contracts currently counting against the “51” you mention, will open up $6-7M w/o losing anyone vital….Now, your looking at $96-97M…Before any effort to “restructure” guys under contract to create $5M or more.

    So, spending approx. $56M in DEF FA investments leaves approx. $40 between QB & Rookie cap spending. (That doesn’t mean the 2020 CAP will take a full $30M CAP hit.

    (Again, a lot depends on contract structure…So, I’m talking AAV $$$ in general terms)

    BA has stated he wants QB Gabbert back…(A Griffin cut pays for that ..& Griffin has gotten NO LOVE from BA this off-season & chose to play JW3 w/ a bad knee & broken thumb in a meaningless end of season game over playing him, so his release should surprise no one)…So, it will be a break-even affair to bring Gabbert back as BU to which ever QB1 is leading the charge.

    So, your still playing w/ house money…Still splitting off (up to $30M) for QB1 & ($10M) Rookie contracts. However, QB TAG $$ is less than $30M -$27M at most if it’s JW3 that gets a FT. Which seems less less likely by the day.

    Only DAK / Brees / TB12 will command $30M (or more) – but are pipe dreams.
    Dak gets Tagged by DAL, Brees going back to NO & TB12 will end-up in TEN or NE. (Tannehill’s future in TEN is dependent on TB12 choice – But he’s no $30M QB either. He really fits in tier 2 QB’s below)

    FA QB’s Rivers / Bridgewater will get Derek Carr money…$25M/yr max.
    Trade options: Stafford / Flacco / Brissett / Foles / Dalton count between $17.7M-23.5M in 2020 dollars.

    There’s also less expensive reclamation projects QB options like Mariotta or a trade target like Rosen.

    IE…I seriously doubt TB takes a full $30M cap hit for a 2020 QB…But you have to leave space available for contingencies – until FA QB chairs settle…(which also is leaving a little space for extending Godwin, while keeping his 2020 # somewhat CAP friendly – again, it’s how they structure his guaranteed money.)