Brady Needs Defense

June 9th, 2020

Keep him fresh.

In 2018 the Kansas City Chiefs were a dumb@ss penalty away from a Super Bowl, losing to Tom Brady and the Belicheats in overtime in the AFC title game.

Why did the Chiefs get so far with such a horrible defense? They could get after the quarterback and they had a superstar quarterback.

Enter 2020, and Brady is now with the Bucs. Jenna Laine of ESPN had an interesting angle as to why Brady had so much success with the Belicheats.

The Patriots had the league’s highest winning percentage under Brady from 2001 to ’19 (.763), but they also had the league’s No. 1 defense in that span, giving up 5,607 points in 304 games (18.44-point average). In the past five years, the Patriots gave up an average of just over 17 points per game.

Meanwhile, aside from stopping the run, the Bucs’ defense has struggled for most of the last decade.

So what does this have to do with the Bucs? It’s called getting after the quarterback.

Watching the Bucs hound quarterbacks last year on defense was, for Joe, sort of like the Phoebe Cates’ scene in “Fast Times at Ridgemont High.” (Yes, Joe is dating himself with that reference.)

The absent pass rush and the inability to build one during the Lost Decade used to fry Joe so much, Joe just wanted to throw an empty Crown Royal bottle through his neighbor’s truck windshield.

It was equal parts frustrating, unnerving, maddening, irresponsible and uncalled for that an NFL team would just wave the white flag on such an important element of the game for so long. It drove Joe absolutely mental.

Then last year, voila! The Bucs stumbled over Shaq Barrett — “Hey mom, look what I found” in free agency. Bucs coach Bucco Bruce Arians said last year that no one in the organization had any inkling Shaq would blow up to lead the NFL in sacks.

Add that to a healthy Jason Pierre-Paul, who Bucs AC/DC-loving general manager Jason Licht stole from the Giants, and suddenly the Bucs were able to get pressure on a quarterback. It was a beautiful thing.

Is it any wonder that right about the time JPP came back (and Vernon Hargreaves was chased out of the building for serial loafing) the secondary took a couple of steps forward?

In her article, Laine states the key with the Bucs defense will be the young secondary growing up. Joe isn’t as concerned about the secondary. They made solid if not good progress last year.

The key is keeping graybeard JPP healthy and fresh as the season drags on. If JPP (and Shaq) are still burying quarterbacks, the secondary will be OK and Brady will be just fine.

If the Bucs’ pass rush evaporates, well, then all bets are off.

14 Responses to “Brady Needs Defense”

  1. REDZONE BA Fan Says:

    Hmm….a former QB who had to overcome a horrific D and Kicking game for most of season, and end of year, run an offense absent of his best WR’s… YEP, that QB was the problem! (See Seattle game on road). Yep, I saw the Falcons game INT….stupid pass! No explanation….

    Fans and BA, get their wish – GOAT Brady is QB for Bucs with exceptional offensive weapons. D is Maturing and should overcome past rookie mistakes. Gay should be over his rookie yips….

    Covid-19 issues for Bucs are BS – all teams are dealing with same issues, and Tom knows how to cheat within edges of rules…..

    Bucs should win SB, period! Tom has blessing of BA to run his offense. SB trophy is expected, period! Too much talent and weapons across the board – first for BUCS!

  2. SOEbuc Says:

    We went from almost the worst passing defense in history two years ago then Bowels came and first year and turned us into a very good defense that is returning for year two. Front seven is gonna be sick.

  3. Stanglassman Says:

    Great post Redzone. My expectations are high this year too but I’m not sure they’d be much lower with Jameis. Going into the 2nd year in the system an improved defense, RT and hopefully run game any decent Qb should get this team deep into the playoffs. With Brady we only got two chances let’s hope we make the best of it.

  4. Buczilla Says:

    Phoebe Cates was gorgeous. 😜

  5. Bucsfanman Says:

    Love the Phoebe Cates reference!

    Listen, if you’re a fan of this team, the expectation REGARDLESS of who the QB is, should be the SB.
    Here’s the thing about TEAM play: ONE player doesn’t make or break a football team. ALL Buc fans, true fans, KNOW that Jameis was not the ONLY issue with this team or why we lost games, OK. So just stop with the whining!
    If this TEAM is to be successful our defense HAS to play better. Our kicker has to make kicks. Our QB has to play better. Our coaches HAVE to make better decisions.
    Stop acting like the addition of Brady and Gronk alone means we HAVE to go to the SB. Jameis was NOT getting it done at the QB position. Freakin’ deal with it! Everyone knows that Brady gives us a better chance to succeed. He cannot do it alone.
    TEAM game!

  6. Bird Says:


    Nailed it

  7. gp Says:

    Excellent post!
    Could not have said it better

  8. Lunchbox Says:

    Watching the Bucs hound quarterbacks last year on defense was, for Joe, sort of like the Phoebe Cates’ scene in “Fast Times at Ridgemont High.” (Yes, Joe is dating himself with that reference.)

    So were you Judge Reinhold in that reference, Joe? Lol

  9. Youngbucs Says:

    I got a better title Defense needs Brady
    I fixed it no thx required

  10. gp Says:

    Lunchbox Says:

    So were you Judge Reinhold in that reference, Joe? Lol

    Better than hitting the TV with his Big Storm beer!!!!!!

  11. Jeebs the Honey Bear Says:

    The Patriots have an incredible secondary. Pass rush is important, but analytics show us that coverage is more important. It’s going to be up to Bowles and this young secondary to continue their progress from last season. Our 3 young CBs look legit, and we added a playmaker in Antoine Winfield. Combine that with Brady’s improved ball security… This is shaping up to be an 11-12 win team with deep playoff potential. GO BUCS

  12. SOEbuc Says:

    Lol. No doubt Joe. Pheobe Cates in the pool is the Bucs and I’m Brad in the bathroom. And not in Ridgmont, but Jennifer Jason Leigh could be my C when she grew up.

  13. bucnole Says:

    they also played in cupcake division
    not so now
    Lets see if TB can be the savior in the NFCS
    fingers crossed

  14. stpetebucsfan Says:

    There is another coincidence…in the second half of the year when JPP came back so strong and that helped Shaq to turn it on once again….lo and behold our DB’s played better.

    Certainly a lot of the DB improvement was predicated on simple growth of young players. But getting a strong pass rush never hurt a DB’s performance either.