“Terrible” Defense

January 10th, 2021

Fingers poor defensive effort.

While you were sitting at home or at Big Storm Brewery watching the Bucs’ first playoff game since 2007, you were likely cursing out loud at the Bucs’ defense.

So was Joe.

And so too was Bucs coach Bucco Bruce Arians (with a much better angle than from a barstool) who laid into his defense after the game.

Arians said his defense played “terrible” and he had no issues letting it be known to America.

“We weren’t tackling worth a sh!t the whole game!” Arians growled. “We finally got (former XFL backup and Washington starter Taylor Heinicke) when it [did] matter,” Arians said. “It wasn’t the best our defense has played. Terrible, up until the last eight minutes.”

The invisible pass rush and lack of coverage in the backfield, not to mention the awful tackling, sure made Joe think Lovie Smith snuck into FedEx Field. It was embarrassing.

The only plausible excuse Arians could come up with is that he felt the younger defenders eased up and relaxed too much when they heard Alex Smith would be inactive.

Arians tried to caution his defense to not take the bait but apparently, his words were not heeded.

“We wanted Alex,” Arians said of Smith. Why? Because, Arians said, the Bucs were concerned Heinicke would burn them with his wheels whereas Smith no longer has any wheels.

Turns out Arians was dead-on correct. And it damn near lost the game for them.

That kind of crap must improve next week as it looks as if the Bucs will either host the Rams or more likely play at New Orleans.

64 Responses to ““Terrible” Defense”

  1. David Says:

    Absolutely. The D line needs to step up the QB pressure next week. The good news is next week the quarterback is not as mobile. The bad news is it could be Brees who gets rid of it in about 1.2 seconds every time

  2. Destinjohnny Says:

    Dean , bunting are moderate bust
    Davis is average
    We drafted 6 safeties in last 4 drafts……
    Winfield is only keeper

  3. Kentucky Buc Says:

    My 84 year old mother lives with me. She came in the living room where I was watching the game and asked if I heard someone yelling. 😂. It was me cussing the defense.

  4. Bucsministerfuller Says:

    If the Falcons want Todd Bowles i say let them have him.

  5. Miller5252 Says:

    The first thing you do is make SMB walk home and take his access away from 1 Buc. That kid just keeps getting worse game after game. Next you better find a way to get JPP and Shaq to the QB. Both of em don’t deserve a paycheck for tonight. Really, the only one that’s deserves a check is David and it’s for that game ending sack. The D was really a joke tonight allowing another crappy backup look like he deserved a gold jacket.

  6. BDub Says:

    If we continue to play def that’s soft as puppy chow we’re going to loose.

  7. richardtyson Says:

    Basically, Arians said don’t hire this guy.

  8. 813bucboi Says:

    SMB made 1 great play but a few horrible plays….

    Dean looked lost at times and Davis seemed a little rusty…

    Defense needs work fast….


  9. Fernando Says:

    I was cussing them out with you lol

  10. Kentucky Buc Says:

    I don’t get it. What do the Dbs think the receivers are there for. They just stand there and wait for them to catch the ball. The one Tightend who kept burning them is slower than me. Oh well going to enjoy the win.

  11. Rod Munch Says:

    Devin White was really missed, there were more than a few times that he would have made a play – and where Minter just didn’t have the burst, or flat out would miss something. Minter didn’t play terrible, he’s just not an All-Pro LB like Devin White.

    Also that Redskins QB, yeah yeah, I get he came in off the garbage heap, but give the kid some credit. He made the tacklers miss and made some pinpoint throws – it wasn’t all bad coverage (although there was a lot of that). I wouldn’t be shocked if that kid ends up sticking around in the NFL for a bit, and it wasn’t just because of bad defense.

  12. Razor Ramone Says:

    That defense is hard to watch. Better get to Brees or big trouble! PU!! Go Bucs!!

  13. Joe Says:

    It was me cussing the defense.


  14. Wesley Says:

    Just pathetic, guys were left wide open. The problem is we’ve seen it all season.

  15. timbucs2 Says:

    Why do our DBs always play 10-15 yards off? Davis is a big guy, surely he could jam at the line? I feel like it always gifts 6 to 10 yards each passing play.

  16. FrankPillow Says:

    Rod is right. 45 would’ve made this a different game. I’m not excusing what was some VERY curious game-planning and lousy execution…not to mention more that one dropped INT and iffy zebras. Our DL was completely out muscled- with 58 and 90 unable to substantially impact the pocket. Our DBs save 31, are all marginal, at best. With all of that, WE WON!!!!!

  17. NaplesBucsFan Says:

    Well the good news is the last time we had a horrible performance against an underperforming offense we came back the next week and shut down one of the best offenses in the league. Maybe that same juju can manifest next week. Maybe…

  18. The Red Mirage Says:

    SMB is terrible.

  19. tbbucs3 Says:

    Taylor Heinicke just earned himself a new contract with that game tonight but the Bucs always look bad against backup QBs. Remember our inability to beat Case Keanum and Paxton Lynch?

    That defensive performance tonight is very concerning….why do we keep putting SMB and Jamal Dean out there and expect different results?

  20. Buxszntkt Says:

    Sad , our defense seems to be very dependent on the 5th man, Devin White. Without the threat of his speed and strength going up the middle, JPP and Shaq are much easier to control . So disappointing we didn’t have him and how big a step down we take without him. At least he is back next week.

  21. Dreambig Says:

    By far the worst defense we saw in all of the playoff teams today. Where the F is the intenseity?

  22. lambchop Says:


    You’re delusional if you think SMB is a bust. He’s been holding down his nickel slot area pretty damn good. Rarely gets his name called for a burn compared to Dean. We still need a shutdown corner cuz Carlton Davis isn’t one. But, I think overall they have done a good job. They only get exposed when the DL doesn’t get pressure and they have to hold cover longer. Can’t blame the corners on that.

  23. NashvilleBuc Says:

    I absolutely lost my mind on that Heineken TD scramble and scared my dogs so bad they wouldn’t come back in the room.

  24. DalvinCookRules Says:

    Bucs are going to get exposed again very soon. Bucs are one of the Top 3-4 teams in the NFL on talent alone, but also have one of the top 4-5 worst coaching staffs.

    Fire Arians & his crappy coaches and watch this team win it all.

  25. Rod Munch Says:

    I went back and watched the highlights again – and I’m not excusing the Bucs defense at all, but Heinicke looked damn good. He made guys miss, he made some pinpoint passes, and he often did it under pressure. I thought I saw that watching the game, but rewatching the highlights a few times now, you got to tip your hat to him, some throws were dead on accurate with someone in his face. I can tell you with certainty he’s better than Gabbert (then again I can say that about most QBs in the NFL).

  26. CalBucsFan Says:

    Saints will be next, damn glad White will be back for that one. Revenge game too, can’t wait!

  27. dmatt Says:

    Did anyone notice that Washington ran some of the same offensive formations that the falcons ran against us last week. To be honest the formations were identical n urs truly, deer in the head light smb n JDean allowed big gain on the the same plays. I really believe they are learning on the job. They play scared, timid, passive, confused, n just lost. Let’s call it for what it is. We need corners!

  28. Bird Says:

    Defense is only thing keeping this team from going all the way
    Need a few tweets so maybe next year.
    And not upset if bowles goes

    Great win

  29. Defense Rules Says:

    I’m still trying to figure out what I saw last night. It looked like we played zone almost all night against a team with very average receivers. Why? Only reason I can figure out is that we expected Washington to run-run-run with Heinicke in there, and we wanted to be in a position keep him (and Gibson) contained. Turns out we didn’t keep him all that well contained because he ended up with 6 rushes for 46 yds AND completed 26-of-44 passes for 306 yds. I tip my hat to him also Rod … Taylor Heinicke played a whale of a game IMO. Gutsy kid.

    Bucs’ pass rush looked meh most of the night, but it did get pressure when it counted. Shaq, JPP & Nelson had a total of 4 solo tackles among them (Nelson did get 1 sack), while Suh, Gholston & Nunez-Roches had 1 solo tackle among them … that on a night when Washington ran 69 total plays that included 23 rushes. We REALLY missed Devin White IMO (not to mention Vita Vea). Minter only had 3 solo tackles which is probably less than half of what White normally has. I’m thinking that our lack of depth on defense is really showing right now.

    Still, the Bucs’ D only gave up 23 pts on the night & did get 2 takeaways. Not their best game by any stretch of the imagination, but we have now made it to Round 2.

  30. Christos Says:

    Last season ended with the Defence getting better. I was optimistic about Dean and SMB but not so much about Carlton Davis. I was wrong. David has played so much better than i thought, when he is in press man coverage he is really good and you have to play to his strengths he is not as good in zone. Dean is inconsistent at best and SMB is really playing bad and with no confidence ( both of them have taken steps back from last year).
    These players just dont know how to play zone, it does not work. What i cannot see again and again is a blitz is called and the corners are 10 yards back, i mean why you just giving an easy completion even if the blitz gets pressure. I cant understand. The defence needs to be better like it was the first 6 to 7 games this year. They playing scared or passive.
    Go Bucs

  31. Mike Says:

    If we keep playing soft zone coverage this will continue to happen. Todd did call a large number of blitzes and give Washington credit for picking up most of this blitz attempts.

    Washington did their homework.

    If we play NO, we will have to come with a new scheme or we may give up 60 pts.

  32. Tampabaybucfan Says:


    I think it was just 1 takeaway…..the SMB interception…..

  33. Listnfrmafar Says:

    The bend don’t break defense is killing me. Catch underneath and come up and make the tackle. One dink by a quality receiver and it’s a TD. HATE Bowles as a DC. Let him go to Atlanta so Bucs can assure 2 wins next year. How is it possible Bucs score 31 and still a threat to lose the game? It ain’t the offense. Russel, Murray probowl over Brady? Now that’s funny.

  34. Defense Rules Says:

    Right on TBBF. The fumble by Heinicke wasn’t really a fumble it turned out. We could’ve used that turnover but it was a non-call. Bummer.

  35. Hodad Says:

    The younger guys didn’t take this game serious enough, what about the old guys? Where was Shaq, JPP, Suh when the beer named QB from no where was carving us up? Did Shaq play? I sure didn’t see him sacking the insurance man. Ask yourself what the Saints D, or the Rams D would’ve done to this kid. Enjoy the win. It’s one, and done. No way we beat the better teams with this defense. Next years draft load up on the D line, not the secondary.

  36. BucsFanSince1976 Says:

    When your All Pro Linebacker Devin White is absent , you will not look as good on D. I fully expect that you will see a big improve next game by the D. Brady looks sharper than he has the whole season , but we need to clean up some drops .
    While I would certainly rather play at home against the Rams , Bucs are ready and able to beat the Saints. There is no reason to believe this team cannot go all the way providing they play up to their potential.


  37. Darin Says:

    Rod Munch
    You definitely have to give him credit. That guy played great. His TD run was awesome. I can appreciate a great play from an opponent. He made himself millions upon millions in that game. Played better than half the starters in the league would’ve. Now having said that if you’re gona blitz so much how about some man to man!?!? My goodness that Lovie coverage is making most Bucs fans pull their hair out during games. I’m gona buy stock in rogaine if bowlsie keeps calling these clunkers.

  38. Chris@Apple Roof Cleaning Tampa Says:

    I agree with Rod Munch, we were missing Devin White, and that Washington QB played lights out.
    Still, we have to play better on defense, or we will be eliminated in our next game.

  39. kyle Says:

    secondary is trash except for Winfield. Brady is going to have to score 35 plus to win next week regardless of who we play.

  40. Brady follower Says:

    I have blogged about the Bucs AWFUL defensive play and coaching since following the Bucs because of Brady.
    Brady has been able to get the offense on the right path but the poor defensive play and poor coaching is killing the team. No Super Bowl rings this year with that type of play and if the owners do not step in and clear up the defense mess this summer we will be seeing the same thing next year. Remember this poor play existed prior Brady

  41. BucsFanSince1976 Says:

    When your All Pro Linebacker Devin White is absent , you will not look as good on D. I fully expect that you will see a big improve next game by the D. Brady looks sharper than he has the whole season , but we need to clean up some drops .
    While I would certainly rather play at home against the Rams , Bucs are ready and able to beat the Saints. There is no reason to believe this team cannot go all the way providing they play up to their potential.


  42. ClodHopper Says:

    Every time a team finds a soft spot in our coverage, they throw it there again. And again. And again. and again. And again. And again. Get the point? Not sure Bowles does yet.

    And its always effing third down!!

  43. BringBucsBack Says:

    Who is to blame? The coach who calls soft coverages or the players who execute them poorly? Bowles was ultra conservative, assuming the offense would win the game and that approach almost lost us the game. I am really OK if Bowles doesn’t return from his interview with Atlanta this week; let LD call the plays. It was also funny listening to Dungy talk-up his buddy, Bowles while his defense gets carved-up by a 4th string QB in his 2nd ever NFL start, simultaneously.

    Also, Leftwich’s call in the red zone on 2nd & 2, that lead to a Brady’s sack in the 4th, forcing a FG, was utterly & mind-numbingly stupid. At times Leftwich’s playcalling was fairly creative & they moved the ball. Other times the run game gets abandoned too easily. These guys (Bowles & Leftwich) are overated, to put it mildly.

    By the way, if anyone from the Buccaneers organization is reading this and would like a two-point conversion play, or two, that cannot be stopped, please respond. Seriously!

  44. BucsFanSince1976 Says:

    HEY FOLLOWER LISTEN UP- Bucs D is ranked 6th overall in the league and #1 against the run. The #1 against the run is significant , because when you make the other team one dimensional , playing defense should get easier. Our D is young , but gaining valuable experience every time they step on the field and with Devin White back will get a much needed boost next week.

  45. Bucsfanman Says:

    No pass rush=DB exposure. We see this type play any time we don’t pressure the QB.
    We’ll need to bring our ‘A’ game next week.
    Great playoff win!
    Go Bucs!

  46. Joe Q Says:

    I don’t know wether it’s poor D coaches or poor Secondary players, but the tackling and especially zone defense sucked. What was worse is they didn’t switch to man to man after a lousy 1st half. The Defense also got carved up by Matty Ryan last week using zone. D coaches don’t seem to learn. If the D plays the same next week, Brady and Company will have to score 50 points.

  47. TheMechanik Says:

    The secondary is not good. If there isn’t instant pressure, they will give up receptions. Draft some cover corners…

    As far as the rest of the playoffs? We will have to out score everyone in a shootout. This defense is great against the run but sucks against the pass.

    If I was playing against the Bucs, I wouldn’t worry about running the ball. I would just spread them out and shred the secondary.

    Go Bucs!

  48. gotbbucs Says:

    I’m sorry, I know everybody loves him and he’s been a great pickup, but JPP should not be rushing from the right side. I know he had the one batted pass, but most pass rush situations he gets absolutely now push. Barrett looks so much more comfortable on the right and has twice the get off that JPP has.

    The problem with our secondary isn’t all talent. Our corners are press cover guys. They weren’t drafted to play zone. Dean just looks too stiff for the position, but SMB and Davis can play. They just need to be able to play their game, but the pass rush needs to be able to get there.

  49. Mike Johnson Says:

    We barely got by DC with their 3rd string QB. Everybody knows Once you get past David and White, its..easy pickings. Our secondary is comatose. Its kinda scary how really bad we are back there. Saints or rams..either one will be tuff.

  50. Jay Adams Says:

    Whether by design because the secondary is inexperienced or not that good or by part design/part poor play I saw mostly soft zone and also missed assignments. When a WR would do a quick out I saw 2 DBs go to him and that left a WR go 1 on 1 vs a Safety and the Streak pattern was nailed by the accurate QB who might win that job in Washington next year.

    Our 4 man rush uses little good technique such as swim moves, arm over, spin moves, stunts, etc. Mostly bullrushes. Not effective.

  51. Steven Says:

    What happened to Whitehead? That kid showed all kinds of promise. However lately you hardly ever hear his name called.

  52. Cobraboy Says:

    I mentioned yesterday what that QB brought to the table: mobility.

    The pass rush was fine, but QB’s who are mobile will frustrate an effective rush.

    With little tape on Heinicke, who knew how well he could run? It’s not like playing Vick: you KNEW about his wheels, so Kiffin made Brooks his shadow.

    Heinicke played an excellent game, even after hurting his shoulder. Had Alex Smith played, the Bucs would have won by 4 scores.

    Mobile QB’s can keep a less talented offense in the game.

  53. Cobraboy Says:

    There is a direct correlation between the effectiveness of a secondary and effectiveness of a pass rush.

    If you have to blitz to get pressure, it’s boom or bust: the more players committed to the pass rush, the more holes in a secondary.

    With a mobile QB, the edge guys have to me more restrained for containment. That gives the QB a little more time to find receivers.

    IMO, the Bucs D issues are not the secondary. It’s getting good pressure with just four DL.

    Therein lies the problem. JPP and Barrett are good, but not great by any stretch of the imagination.

    This team misses White badly.

  54. Marques Says:

    Did you prefer to see a loss or did you end up on the wrong side of an 8.5 spread?

    Seems BA agreed with me.

    You probably watched the game a second time to see how bad our defence played.

    A 6-8 team put up 27 with a chance to tie late and you think I was being over critical about their performance?

  55. mark2001 Says:

    I tend to agree with Cobra on this. The pass rush didn’t get to Heinicke, even when we blitzed. And we got burned a number of times when he got outside the pocket. Im sure white was seriously missed. And don’t know why JPP and Shaq have disappeared. Is Vea missed that much and his loss is part of the problem in this situation? I don’t know. Maybe it affects the pass rush “creativity” to mix it up. But we need the pass rush to get home, or seriousy risk elimination with the quality of the QB’s in the upcoming games.

  56. unbelievable Says:

    All 3 cornerbacks were disappointing, but the pass rush was even worse! It was non-existent for 95% if the game!!!

    Guess Bowles is already thinking about Atlanta.

    Did JPP and a Shaq switch sides again? Whatever they were doing last night was NOT working.

  57. stpetebucsfan Says:

    Again Cobra spot on with those takes.

    DR. You are the defensive guy. What frustrated me was how many times our rush actually got there…surrounded the kid and yet somehow he broke out.

    Perhaps some lack of concentration or poor tackling but without D Whites incredible speed we were vulnerable and as you and Cobra and others have pointed out the kid played lights out and used his mobility incredibly well and demonstrated the ability to throw on the run. He may have saved his NFL career with that performance. Or it may be just a flash in the pan.

    So I want to play N.O. for personal reasons…I want to beat the best so we can claim to be the best. As for that challenge…at this point I almost fear Hill more than Brees. Yeah I know that’s heresy but it seems our weakness has been more against mobile QB’s.

    In the end it won’t matter. We just need to fasten our chin straps and outplay them whomever is back there. How’s that for coach speak. LOL You know as in stating the obvious.

  58. Bucamania Says:

    Shaq needs to show up next week.

  59. Oneilbucs Says:

    Revenge beat the saints and prove that you are good !! To be the best you have to beat the best !!! No excuses !!!

  60. BucEmUp Says:

    Yheir qb was extremely mobile and breaking tackles.While it could have been better my buggest problem is the continued zone defense. If a third string qb can keep the game that close brees and rodgers playoff ready are going to violate our secondary in unimaginable ways. Well….unimaginable for some teams, but its something Bucs fans have seen far too often.Backup qbs throwing for 400 yards and guys like brees rodgers and mahomes dominating so bad in first halfs just to ease up in the second half out of pitty and not put up 600 yards on us. Its not the talent its the coaching.I have always been one of Leftwiches biggeat critics and he and arians have turned the playcalling and execution around. Todd Bowles on the other hand has not adapted or improved. In fact Id say hes just about stayed the same all season. Hot then cold then hot then cold.Why he doesnt just stick with what works is beyond me.

  61. Leslie Raymond Garcia Says:

    I’ve never played organized football. However, I do know that if the front four don’t pressure the QB within 3 to 4 seconds the secondary will not be able to continue to cover the receivers! If the D-line can’t continualy pressure the opposing QB, it makes for a long day for the secondary.

  62. alton green Says:

    Kentucky Buc you said it all but i’ve been screaming that since the second frickn game. Do y’all think Mike Tyson would stand and wait for his opponent?????

  63. Wideleftandright Says:

    Is JPP healthy? Doesn’t look like early in the year jpp.
    Smb, idk what everyone raves a out All I know hes always in the trail position,slow to his coverage or outright burnt.

  64. Robert jojola Says:

    We will need our best game of the year from every body to have a chance