Arians Wants More Noise

May 6th, 2020

Bill Currie Ford general manager Sean Sullivan personally will guide you and give you a special Ira/JoeBucsFan discount. Historic 0%/84-month financing offers won’t last long.


Take a brief pause from Brady Mania to acknowledge that the success of the 2020 Bucs doesn’t rest on No. 12 alone.

The Bucs won’t make up six games on the NFC South champion Saints unless the youngsters in the secondary continue their growth curve.

Considering the way Tampa Bay’s defensive backfield finished the season, there are plenty of reasons for optimism.

Second-round pick Antoine Winfield Jr. will have every chance to contribute in a big way, either at safety or slot corner — or both.

No match

Winfield figures to be the only new starter on a defense that generated a respectable 28 takeaways and finished ranked 15th overall, powered by the NFL’s No. 1 unit against the run. With Ndamukong Suh and Vita Vea back to anchor the middle of the line, the Bucs should remain stout in that endeavor.

Just ask Christian McCaffrey, who averaged only 55 total yards from scrimmage against the Bucs in their two meetings last year. That’s a startling number when you consider McCaffrey easily led the league in that category, outdistancing Ezekiel Elliott by more than 600 yards.

Give Todd Bowles credit for never giving up on a secondary that was torched during a 3-7 start. He stuck with corners Jamel Dean, Carlton Davis and Sean Murphy-Bunting through the carnage.

Rewarding Patience

How bad was it?

Through 10 games, opposing quarterbacks completed 65.3 percent of their pass attempts. Through 10 games, opposing teams averaged 291 passing yards against the Bucs, who registered only 15 takeaways in that span.

That’s when Bowles was rewarded for his patience.

A confidence source for Bruce Arians

In the final six games, that completion percentage against the Bucs dropped to 55.4 percent, well below the league average of 63.5. Tampa Bay registered 13 takeaways in those six weeks, yielding an average of only 235.5 yards through the year.

“The improvement we made in the back end gives all of us a lot of confidence moving forward,” Bruce Arians told me. “As they grew and got confident, that’s when we started making some noise.”

That’s noise, as in a 4-game winning streak which vaulted Tampa Bay to the .500 mark.

That’s noise, as in two final games against the Texans and Falcons when the Buc defense continued its surge.

Some have suggested the Bucs faced inferior quarterbacks down the stretch, but it’s difficult to make that claim when you face Matt Ryan twice and Deshaun Watson. Besides, the Bucs played against two rookies (Daniel Jones, Kyler Murray) and two backups (Teddy Bridgewater, Kyle Allen) while they were getting lit up.

Second Act

Dean and Davis keyed the revival, combining for 36 passes defended on the season. That’s a huge number for any cornerback tandem and it’s especially impressive because Davis and Dean were both 22 years old.

They paid an early price for playing in an aggressive scheme, but both listened and learned.

Passes thrown in Dean’s direction fell incomplete half the time and this third-round pick out of Auburn was constantly around the football. The completion rate vs. Davis plunged from 63 percent to 50 percent between his rookie season and Year 2. Murphy-Bunting topped the Bucs with three interceptions.

But there’s no guarantee the late-season momentum will carry over.

The 2016 & 2017 lessons shouldn’t be forgotten, writes Ira Kaufman.

Remember 2016, when the Bucs went 6-2 in the second half, yielding an average of only 17 points during those final eight games? Then came the offseason hype of 2017.

The “Hard Knocks” crew arrived in force and Tampa Bay responded by allowing the most yards in the league.

This defense remained basically intact, which tells you all you need to know about what the coaching staff feels about the talent. While the offense could feature as many as four new starters, Winfield figures to be the only fresh face starting for Bowles.

Arians wanted the front seven back — and he basically got his wish.

Now Bowles has every intention of fielding a Top 10 defense. If that happens, a grateful Brady will be leading the cheers.

Ira Kaufman’s column is presented by Bill Currie Ford, where the stunning offers and 0% interest rates are waiting for you. Click on Ira to visit, where GM Sean Sullivan will help you personally.

22 Responses to “Arians Wants More Noise”

  1. stpetebucsfan Says:

    i frequently hear about the Bucs beginning their win streak against inferior competition. Nobody ever brings up the other side of the coin.

    Remember perhaps the most unfair schedule in league history. All those road trips with a “home” game in London sandwiched in there. The NFL totally hosed the Bucs with the 2019 schedule…we should have started winning later in the year..and obviously our defense in the back needed to grow up.

  2. El Buco Realisto Says:

    They played three backups in those final 6 games, when they supposively “turned the corner” and the Texans had hurt wr’s in that game of the 6!!!!!!!!! The truth will be exposed when they play this season and not that cupcake soft schedule they got to end with last year!!!!!!!!!!

    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”!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    2019 revealed answers to the sheep, that the “real” fans already knew!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

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

  3. El Buco Realisto Says:


    Team glazer gave away the “home” game, to make a bunch of cash off the hosting of a superbowl!!!!!!!!! Team owners giving away a home game for cash does not make a schedule “hard”!!!!!!!!!!!!

    Now if you want to argue that team glazer shot their own in team in the foot for cash money, then you have an argument!!!!!!!!!!!!

    it’s time to herd the sheep, and put them back in the pen!!!!!!!!!!!!!

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

  4. Dewey Selmon Says:

    We played 4 backups on sorry teams the 2nd half of the season. I’d like to see how much this played into improvement. I really thought we drafted Winfield to play centerfield, if he plays nickel that means SMB comes off the field? Defense might need to carry the offense the first couple games if the sickness affects the amount of practice time they have.

  5. Dewey Selmon Says:

    The pass rush helped the secondary tremendously.

  6. Mike Johnson Says:

    I see a lot of excuses written here..Buc Life. But to be the best you gotta beat the best. Schedule don’t matter. if you are a good team it will be proven in the end. I pray we win this year with our statue of Liberty. Because if not..there will be excuses galore like always. Win Bucs.

  7. Youngbucs Says:

    Ohhhh Mike Johnson we’re so scared 😱

  8. LordCornelius Says:

    I have beaten those stats to death with Realist and what the actual PPG is when you factor in turnovers we had vs the average turnovers in the league. During the Mike Smith days we did not have that many more turnovers than league average. Last year we were ridiculously higher than the league average.

    Regardless – anyone who watches football can see what Carlton Davis did to Julio Jones and DeAndre Hopkins and how Dean / SMB were getting their hands on balls from Matt Ryan / Deshaun Watson and see the obvious improvement over what we saw from other corners in recent years.

    During the 2016 5 game defensive decent play we had a great pass rush and Brent Grimes was solid & Tandy had a few moments but no young corners were ever developing / looking good. There were no marquee CB moments like we saw last year.

  9. Dano Says:

    JPP came back & instantly made the pass rush better thus helping a weak secondary out.

  10. JimmyJack Says:

    Ira……I have detected a little flaw in your football math. We are not making up six games on the Saints. It’s 4…….The reason is because you have no chance at making up them games if they sweep you again. So we gotta beat them at least once to do it.

    That’s 2for 1 so it’s 4 not 6. Fool around and sweep them and we probably will make up all 6.

    Either way it’s maybe too tall an order to wish for at this point…..if they can repeat 13 wins.

    They are an established and proven team. We aren’t there yet. They don’t have to get it might take us a little time to figure it out……….What we should hope for is this team figures it out and can establish themselfs as a serious contender down the stretch. Finish strong in that final month and get into the dance……….Let the chips fall where they may. If New Orleans wins 13 again we might not be able to match it……….But if we grow throughout the year we could be good enough to kick their ass in the postseason!!!

    GO BUCS!!!!!

  11. Tampabaybucfan Says:

    Several things helped the Buc defense to improve…….the development of the rookies Dean, SMB & Devin White and in particular the addition of JPP….

    I will agree that the schedule was a bit weaker….but that never stopped us from failing before.

    The best thing that can happen to our defense is to possess the ball longer, score more & early and not turn it over.

  12. Ndog Says:

    Tampabaybucfan with line of the day with ⬇️

    I will agree that the schedule was a bit weaker….but that never stopped us from failing before.

    I literally laughed out loud.

  13. Tampabaybucfan Says:

    Thanks Ndog,

    I know it’s a rough time for you to lose your favorite player……fortunately for me, I learned a long time ago not to fall too much for a player because something always happens……trade, cut, injury, retirement……and I’ve been there since the beginning, so i’ve seen a lot of them….
    But my allegiance to the team is unwavering.

  14. Bob Says:

    More wins=more noise

  15. Ndog Says:

    Yeah it’s not easy I’m not going to lie and I’ve never got so attached to a player so this is really weird for me. As you know I strongly believe in Jameis but it is what it is and we will see what happens. Let’s just hope we start winning again so we can stop leaving the stadium each week pissed off.

  16. El Buco Realisto Says:


    Yea, ndog, be like Tampabaybucfan, who sits on the fence on every subject, has no opinion, and is wishy washy, but then knows all the answers after the fact!!!!!!!!!! And least you choose a side and stuck with it ndog!!!!!!!! And now you know that ole stale biscuit is a phony!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Tampabaybucfan grades every draft an “A” days after, but ignores to look at them years later!!!!!!!!!

    Ask this ndog, who will still be here to answer if “they” fixed the Bucs years from today!!!!!!!!!

    It’s time to herd the sheep, and put them back in the pen!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  17. Tampabaybucfan Says:

    I do have at least one strong opinion, Realist….and it’s one that’s shared by many……you are relevant….only in your own mind.

  18. Tampabaybucfan Says:

    & Realist… fail to remember that I strongly agreed with you for several years that Dominick was an utter failure…..but, I guess your memory is fading….

  19. 813bucboi Says:

    The Buc Realist Says:
    December 15th, 2016 at 3:53 pm
    Back when I was telling everyone the truth!!!! But now it is plan for all to see in Buc land the Coach Smitty is the real deal!!! Some might even say he is the “MVP” of the season!!!! But now we need to keep it quiet, in hopes that he stays the offseason and just falls in love with the Tampa Area!!!! Now is not the time to promote common knowledge!!!!!

    everyone who believes in someone who thought smitty was “the real deal” is just as clueless as ndog….lol…

    GO BUCS!!!!!!

  20. Buczilla Says:

    Great article Ira.

  21. stpetebucsfan Says:

    Lord C

    “There were no marquee CB moments like we saw last year.”

    Exactly. We could see with our eyes including the game that was Davis humiliating start. He actually had Lockett covered very well and Russell just dropped dimes on him.

    BTW How are you and the band doing during the time of the ‘disease that cannot be mentioned here”? Lots of rehearsal time at least.

  22. Swampbuc Says:

    Ira — don’t let the hype train run us over!!!!!!!!