Bruce Arians: Vanilla Defense Will Fade Away

March 26th, 2020

Bucs DC Todd Bowles

Change is coming to the Bucs defense, even though an infusion of new talent hasn’t been secured.

Bucco Bruce Arians hit the national airwaves yesterday on SiriusXM NFL Radio, and the Bucs head coach dove into why he wanted to maintain the status quo on defense, which included paying Shaq Barrett, Jason Pierre-Paul and Ndamukong Suh in free agency.

“That was my No. 1 priority,” Arians said. “The way our defense played the last half of the season, we were solid. I thought when we played Houston, who was a very good playoff team, I thought our defense played way well enough to win that ball game. And I thought the confidence they were building, and starting to do more and more, because we were kind of vanilla with all those young kids in the back end, and now to be able to take it to another level was our whole goal. And hopefully fix the quarterback situation, whether it be Jameis or whoever. Just fix that situation. And we were able to hit all the defensive guys, basically, and Tom Brady. So I have to give Jason [Licht] an A+.”

Defensive coordinator Todd Bowles is known for complexity and variety in his defenses. The young Buccaneers defensive backs weren’t up for that last season, and Bucs icon Ronde Barber was on the money when he said, “they covered up that young secondary.”

This season, the defensive backs come in more mature, and offensive coordinators will have more film on them to dissect.

Will Shaq keep up his torrid pace? Can Suh thrive at 33 years old? Will JPP’s knees hold up for a whole season? He was struggling by the end of 2018.

Lots of questions on the Bucs defense. Joe still expects a safety upgrade and more raw talent coming via the draft.

80 Responses to “Bruce Arians: Vanilla Defense Will Fade Away”

  1. Dewey Selmon Says:

    The defense will actually get to rest and not have to defend a short field anymore. The will also play with a lead and tee off on the opposing OL with instead of being in a shootout. The common denominator in all this is Jamies.

  2. Casual Observer Says:

    Sort of related. Is Beckwith done with football? He is still listed on the roster. He was a pretty good LB before the injury. Anyone know?

  3. Coburn Says:

    I think the answer for Beckwith is… probably, but only those within onebuc place know for sure. Maybe he’ll try a come back.. unfortunately might be short lived, but we will see.. sure would be a nice surprise and a real bonus if he did somehow come back, but wouldn’t count on it.

  4. Tampabaybucfan Says:

    Licht has done a good job in FA……we lost Nassib….but he went from $2mil to over $8 mil……I’m quite sure he would have stayed if we paid him….but there was no way we had the money.

    As for the defense having no new talent…..the way I look at it with that very young secondary….another year’s experience makes all of them new talent.

  5. ncbucsfan Says:

    Nassib played meaningful snaps last year and we need to replace him!! Perhaps a fellow Penn State product will be there at #14, Yetur Gross-Matos!! After watching his tape, I’d be ecstatic if we took him at #14! A younger JPP clone almkst that can easily add 15lbs of muscle to his frame at 6’5, 265lb now.

  6. StonedBuc Says:

    I would love for beckwith to play edge for us. He was a bigger stronger kwon coming out of LSU.

  7. Tampa Bay Demon Says:

    ^ I am really glad to get Shaq, JPP & Suh retained.

    I didn’t love losing Nassib either.

    Do you think maybe they like Anthony Nelson’s progress?

  8. Barbosa Says:

    It’s not a question of upgrading the talent, but keeping the talent together and further developing it. Good job so far on keeping the talent. I expect this Coaching staff to further develop the young guys in 2020.

  9. AlabamaBucsFan Says:

    StoneBuc said, “I would love for beckwith to play edge for us. He was a bigger stronger kwon coming out of LSU.”

    I hope I am wrong, but my impression is that he was medically retired, never to play again. I don’t think we will know if this is factual until the offseason program starts.

  10. Admiral Redbeard Says:

    Anthony Nelson and Kendall Beckwith as back-ups?!? Offenses would get no rest! FIRE THE CANNONS!!!

  11. pick6 Says:

    a guy like Beckwith didn’t earn alot of money by NFL standards, so maybe he wants to give it another go, but….if i were him, and it took me this long to get my body somewhere close to normal, i’m not sure i’d be dying to get back out there. the good news is i think he’s at least earned an NFL rookie paycheck the last 2 seasons with the full awareness he may not play again, and he’s probably been smarter about making it last than a guy who’s oblivious to his NFL mortality

  12. Pryda...Sec147 Says:

    Draft the DE from LSU

  13. Ndog Says:

    Question if you are giving up a ton of yards, then how is it teams are always working on short fields?

  14. Admiral Redbeard Says:

    Npup, when your opponents offense is getting the ball twice as much as normal because your QB is a turnover machine, they are naturally going to be able to put up a lot of yards, duh.

  15. Kalind Says:

    I think Chaisson makes a lottttt of sense in the first round. He can mitigate the Barrett regression and sub in for JPP if needed and not have to be Superman in year one. Develop a next great pass rusher.

  16. Tampa Bay Demon Says:

    Kalind, I like the thoughts on Chaisson, and there is the added benefit of his friend & former teammate, Devin White, being here to help show him the ropes of getting settled.

  17. Tampa Bay Demon Says:

    It brings up an interesting point.

    If the BUCS do draft Chaisson from LSU, in the first round….
    it would have to be the first time in team history that they took a guy in the first round from the same school in consecutive years.

  18. Mike Johnson Says:

    Arians hinted the other day he is pleased with our current O line. I am Not. But..he’s the coach. I got us going defense in the 1st rd. Maybe a lineman or RB in the 2nd. Arians thinks he can pick up another lineman in FA or the later rds of the draft. I hope he is right.Back

  19. SteelStudBuc Says:

    Oh poor n-puppy still sad about J-booboo not here anymore

  20. Buczilla Says:

    Super excited, but we’ll see.

  21. Bird Says:

    And what fabrication did i make?

  22. geno711 Says:

    Regarding the defense, there was good things and not so good things last year. I appreciate Joe’s point that there will be more film on the young defensive backs and their tendencies. I am not saying they will take a step back from the 2nd half of last year but to expect every game from them to be a gem in this NFL that is mostly a passing league would be shocking.

    What I liked about the 2nd half of last year was that our defense line was more the controller of the line of scrimmage against every team they played in the last 8 games. If everyone key is back except Nassib then I believe we are still going to be able to do that. The number of snaps that both JPP and Suh play at a consistent high level is amazing.

  23. geno711 Says:

    I tend to agree a little with Admiral Redbeard about the lots of yards.

    Yes we gave up more yards than most teams but a better telling stat is that gave up an average of 5.1 yards per offensive play to the opposing offenses last year. That was 6th best in the NFL – last year! That seems to suggest if we give the opposing team less chances through turnovers then we are giving up less yards and less points.

    Break that down further to what we all saw who were watching closely. In the last 8 games, the Bucs gave up an average of 4.6 yards per offensive play to the opposing offenses last year. That for the year would have put us 1st among all defenses if we had maintained that all year. Ahead of New England and ahead of San Francisco.

  24. Tbbucs3 Says:

    When is Arians gonna stop talking this off-season? Please just SHUT UP.

    Quit the Jameis shame tour and the defensive love fest. Yesterday he mentioned that the talent was there but the problem was turnovers. Oh really BA? Why don’t you talk about your pathetic defense for most of the season or Matt Gay’s crappy season or the inability to create a solid running game?

    Here’s what’s gonna happen, Licht and BA aren’t gonna get a FA DB just because they had a small sample size of playing well last year and the pass defense is gonna suck again.

    BA has been our best coach in this decade but Jesus Christ is he annoying in the media. Shut up and coach.

  25. BucsFIRE Says:

    Tbbucs3 Says:

  26. Tbbucs3 Says:

    Oh and being the best Bucs coach in the decade is barley a compliment.

  27. jmarkbuc Says:


    It’s silly season. You can’t take anything ant coach says seriously. Posturing and smoke screens are the order of the day.

    And I believe the D will be markedly improved, on the back end. Another vet safety would be nice.

    If the Defense will just do the fundamentals better, namely tackling, there gonna be all right. Plenty of times in the second half of the season they held opponents to short drives or three and outs, only for JW to come in and TO.

  28. stpetebucsfan Says:


    As usual I agree with you and this observation is I think what I believe in most when it comes to strategy.

    “the controller of the line of scrimmage against every team they played in the last 8 games.”

    One of the core facts of winning football…control the line of scrimmage…and I agree with you that by the second half we were not getting pushed around.

  29. BucsFIRE Says:

    Tbbucs3 Says:
    “being the best Bucs coach in the decade is barley a compliment.”

    However, when you convert barley into malt, you can make a great beer.

  30. Alaskan Abdominal Snowman Says:

    Chaisson is a poor man’s Josh Allen. All he has is speed move like Allen but he has NO pRODUCTION, unlike Allen who beasted his senior year.
    Chaisson is about as safe as Noah Spence.
    We need O-Line and if we miss out on the top 4, trade back.

  31. Dom>Licht Says:

    Licht great with free agents… lol! Can’t count Bowles pick ups this past year… he brought in the Eagles cast offs! How did that work out!

  32. Ndog Says:

    Admiral Redbeard Says:
    March 26th, 2020 at 4:48 pm
    Npup, when your opponents offense is getting the ball twice as much as normal because your QB is a turnover machine, they are naturally going to be able to put up a lot of yards, duh.

    Then why did we run more plays than our opponents and have more time of possession?

    You don’t get it you can’t win with me cause I’m correct and you people just spew garbage that is not factually correct.

  33. Imon Says:

    Offtopic but sue me: All I want before I die is to see Brady in Creamsicles.

  34. WillieG Says:

    A defense on an upward trajectory and a QB who doesn’t lose 6:games per year? That should mean playoffs.

  35. BucEmUp Says:

    JPP was also being double teams all of 2018.Anyone would get tired toward the end of the season.This will be a top five defense although the schedule is tough.

  36. stpetebucsfan Says:

    OK guys time to put another name into your Corona files.

    About a week ago I got the head cold from hell. And so growing tired of the hacking and fearing it would descend into my lungs…pneumonia! I decided to break down and see a doc to try and end this here and now!

    Good luck with that. A common cold now frightens everybody too much to treat you…at least without a test first. So I went to the Baycare walkin clinic to get some cold meds. They immediately directed me into the Corona test tents.

    So I got swabbed. The good news is that there were no long lines…very convenient…the bad news is that nobody will see me until the test comes back…7-14 days.

    Wish me luck! And stay healthy! We’re not at NYC levels of overload yet where women need midwives to deliver their babies because of overflowing hospitals but I fear for our future.

    As the optimist I gotta believe what I have is just a cold. I’m far more worried about friends and neighbors…I’ve had a great life and 72 years…far past what I ever dreamt when I was young. If I got it…so be it. I’ll either persevere or die.

    There are hashtags on Twitter now…#boomerremover. That’s a hilarious look at our tragedy eh? I mean who can’t find humor in death and suffering! And NO WE SHOULDN’T BE WILLING TO LET OUR SENIORS JUST DIE. If it gets that bad I”d volunteer but I NEVER would volunteer someone else.

  37. Chris@Apple Roof Cleaning Tampa Says:

    I did not want to lose Nassib either, but Oakland grossly overpaid for him.
    However, we kept a good percentage of our guys, and improved the QB Position.
    I am no Jameis hater, but he is no Tom Brady.

  38. TOM Says:

    First off I wouldn’t give loser Licht to much credit for TB12. I’m not so sure if he would have come hear if not for Arians. OL has to be the #1 pick. I do believe they think Nelson can replace Nassib. But to say use the #1 pick on a def. player to replace Nassib. ridiculus. You poor misguided fans.

  39. StAugBuc Says:

    Blessings StPete

  40. bucsfan951 Says:

    NPUPPY: here could be a reason why the tine of possession was off… Winston turning the ball over in bucs territory is a bad thing. that leads to a short field for the other team. And would you like to enlighten me the time of possession for the bucs and their opponents? i bet you it wasnt too far off/pretty even. but for your reading pleasure below should the answer to your question. yes, the offense gave up the ball A LOT in their own territory. this leads to less plays/more points. 121 points alone by jw. time of possession also helps when your defense ranks 5th(?) in takeaways.

    i also looked up average start of line of scrimmage and guess whos defense had the worst in the league?… you guessed it! our defense had the worst ranking. our opponents had the best average when it came to where they start on the field. i wonder how that could be. maybe jw tossing ints within bucs territory. anyways, have a nice read below.

    winston tds and ints by quarter:
    1st quarter: 8/10
    2nd quarter: 15/6
    3rd quarter: 4/3
    4th quarter: 6/10
    ot: 0/1

    throwing attemps 1-10 in all the games: 6 tds/11 ints

    ints within their own 1-20 yard line: 8 ints
    ints within their own 21-50: 16 ints

  41. stpetebucsfan Says:

    THX St A

  42. Jmarkbuc Says:

    Keep us posted spbf, Godspeed and get well soon ….

  43. SteveK Says:

    God bless St Pete! Hope you’re well!

  44. Brett Says:

    What about the kicker?

  45. SteelStudBuc Says:


    You just destroyed that puppy into oblivion.
    And he asked for it!

  46. SB Says:

    I can’t wait for JW to sign with another team so Ndog can go there.

  47. SB Says:

    @SPBF 7 to 14 days?!?!?!!?
    Trump had his results in 12 hours. SMDH!
    Be Well my e-friend! Prayers!

  48. SB Says:

    Joe your filters really suck.

  49. SB Says:

    I was wishing you luck and Prayers SPBF.
    It got moderated though

  50. SB Says:


  51. SB Says:


  52. SB Says:


  53. SB Says:

    Trying to figure out which word triggered Joe’s filter because there certainly were no cuss words or anything offensive.

  54. LaMarcus Says:

    I remember growing defensive players didn’t care about what field position was they would just go out and ready to show out to the world and stop anybody anytime

    Today we have to worry about defensive players feelings and protect their feelings or they cant tackle or make a stop.

    I hope Brady fires all the softies on defense

  55. Lamarcus Says:

    Get well St Pete. I for one works in the medical field and see it first hand so be extra careful

  56. geno711 Says:


    I got a cold at the beginning of March. Almost for sure not COVID-19, as I never got a fever or any aches and pains. But I did have two full weeks of a cold symptoms. Luckily I have a job that I can choose to work from home and I was able to isolate.

    I also had to get substitutes for musical groups that I play in during some of my evenings while I was isolating. In fact, the 1st group that I told people I had a cold, the 1st person said don’t worry about it – just come in. But the next 6 people in the text chain all said stay home and do not come in.

    I really got that stay away from me feeling from most everyone I know.

    StPeteBucsfan I hope you start to feel better soon. Rest up. That was the best thing for me.

  57. JimbobBucsFan Says:

    Best wishes, stpetebucsfan.

    You are in my prayers.

  58. SB Says:

    I tried to wish you luck and prayers SPbf but it got booted twice.

  59. Ndog Says:

    I’m not going anywhere SB so you have to deal not being able to lie and get away with it, sorry pal.

  60. Steven007 Says:

    @st.pete, good luck Buc brother! Hope you get better soon.

  61. SC Bucs Fan Says:

    St Pete good luck. Hope it’s a mild case.

  62. SB Says:

    The thing is Ndog is that nobody here considers you a Bucs’ fan.
    We All consider you a “Jameis Winston” fan.
    He is gone.
    Chapter read.
    Turn the page.
    Can you?
    If you can’t then you don’t need to be here.
    Dude…..Huge Gators fan and Alumni. I supported JW the Entire time he was here.
    He isn’t here anymore. No need to re-hash the ‘what ifs’
    Either be a Buc Fan or Not!

  63. Craig Says:

    If the D-backs have grown enough to switch from zone to man, or vice-versa, while the snap count is happening the Bucs D will be scary.

    Still think they need an upgrade at safety, but they are getting close, with the return of so many D-line guys.

    I agree with the ability for the defense to get some rest.

  64. WestChap Says:

    Imon, I’m not sure if I want to see Brady in creamsicle or just buy a Brady creamsicle jersey. Exciting times for Bucs, albeit in a world run amok.

  65. RODNEY ALLEN Says:

    Nothing for nothing but the last time a coach said that our defense sucked the next season. Remember 2016 ( I believe was the year) when they said our defense was vanilla n it would get more complex n instead it was worse. Hope that doesn’t happen again 😬

  66. patrickbucs Says:

    Lamarcus Says:
    March 26th, 2020 at 9:27 pm
    Get well St Pete. I for one works in the medical field and see it first hand so be extra careful

    Thank you for serving, in what capacity? I am as well..

  67. Imon Says:

    @StPeteBucsfan best wishes for plenty of health in your future.

    @WestChap I really want to buy the jersey, I haven’t purchased a single Bucs item since the Alarm Clock Disaster. Yes, the world has gone mad, and let’s just hope that we get to see our Bucs on the field at all this season!

  68. patrickbucs Says:

    @St Pete That’s a hilarious look at our tragedy eh? I mean who can’t find humor in death and suffering! And NO WE SHOULDN’T BE WILLING TO LET OUR SENIORS JUST DIE. If it gets that bad I”d volunteer but I NEVER would volunteer someone else.

    I hope you are at one of our finest Hospital’s in the Bay/US/VA (Specifically a BayCare or TGH) affiliate. Best wishes you should you be good.

  69. MadMax Says:

    Ive seen a few mocks of Derrick Brown being there at 14 because of the run on OT…..Even though we got Suh back, its only for 1 year….so I
    ll take that all day. Brown is a game wrecker!!

    Get better StPete! Load up on elderberry gummies with vit C and zinc…plus another supplement, 5000 iu of vit D every day. Builds your immune system.

  70. MadMax Says:

    Then we can go after Ezra in the 2nd or Peart/Bartch in the 3rd….and if Ezra goes before our pick in the 2nd, trade down, still land RB Clyde….Peart/Bartch in the 3rd, then trade back into the bottom of the 3rd for FS Dugger/Davis.

    DT – (If Brown is really there, you just cant pass that up)

    ….exactly what we need….and im liking this kid Matthew Peart, 6’7 310 RT for uconn

  71. Bucsfanman Says:

    Hey, ya’ll know that this is going to give stpetebucsfan even more time on the site! Scary thought!
    Get well brother!

  72. BucEmUp Says:

    Best wishes St.Pete, get better quickly.

  73. Bucsfanman Says:

    Somebody mentioned Anthony Nelson up top. I think the Bucs like his development and that may have made Nassib collateral damage. I remember seeing him make plays thinking it was Nassib.

  74. 2020 Year of the GOAT Says:

    our time of possesion will increase defense wont be coming on the field for repeated stupid mistakes …….. its a no brainer motivation and morale will be high ……. we have the GOAT …. he still has some gas left in the tank

  75. Defense Rules Says:

    StPete … Just read this thread and your comments from last evening. Scary times and I’m praying that you ‘just have a cold’. Personally not impressed that it was gonna take 7-14 days to get the test results back to you, but hopefully that’s just the ‘standard ballpark estimate’ and you get them back much quicker than that. Not easy during these trying times, but stay positive. And like I said, I’m praying for ya.

    As an aside StPete, back about 15 years ago I developed a severe staph infection that was life-threatening and required emergency surgery. I can vividly remember to this day waiting several hours for that surgery, scared big-time I admit. Anyways a certain piece of Scripture kept running through my head and it gave me great peace (I’d never memorized it to my knowledge). It was Jeremiah 29:11 and it’s the Lord talking through Jeremiah to His people …

    “For I know the plans I have for you’, declares the Lord, ‘plans to prosper you and not to harm you; plans to give you hope and a future”.

    Stay strong brother. He’s with you.

  76. Tampa Bay Demon Says:


    Sending you prayers & good vibes for all to be well, and for you to get feeling better right away.

  77. Easy Says:

    The best part about our young secondary thriving is we know they wont be playing a short field due to errand quarterback plays. TB12 will keep this defense off the field atleast 25% less snaps than last season.

  78. Tampa Bay Demon Says:


    Thanks man, yes that was me that mentioned Anthony Nelson, and I like what I see too. Plus, as an Iowa Hawkeye fan, I have gotten to see him play quite a bit. He has a great motor, and actually… some similarities to Nassib. — Like you, I sometimes mistook who I was seeing make the play, on first glance.

  79. stpetebucsfan Says:

    You guys are the best! Thanks for all the encouragement and inspiring words.

    And yeah Patrick I and my wife have had great care at St. Anthonys and TGH where my wife had successful open heart surgery.

    We are truly blessed in this area and I almost felt guilty even getting swabbed with all the talk of shortages…Baycare Carillon had no line…they were VERY efficient and kudos to them and to ALL of our health care workers who are literally on the front lines.

  80. Patrickbucs Says:

    Awesome ST Pete, in the medical field and your truly are hooked up with the best. Hope u r doing well today!