Time For The Secondary To Step Up

January 16th, 2021

Is the Buccaneers secondary playing better than it was when it walked off the field at the end of the 2019 season?

Joe can’t say that at all, but Joe can say there’s enough talent back there to make game-changing plays in Sunday’s playoff game in New Orleans, and to show Bucs fans that the unit can recapture its early-season form.

Will Carlton Davis look like the Pro Bowl corner that coaches — and he — claimed he is?

Will Sean Murphy-Bunting play like a No. 39 overall pick in the draft should?

Jamel Dean has officially defended just two passes in his past 10 games. The same guy defended 17 passes in just five starts last year. Will the old dean show up in New Orleans?

What about Antoine Winfield, Jr.? Does he have more big plays in him, like he’s sprinkled in throughout his strong rookie season?

Where was hard-hitting safety Jordan Whitehead against Washington?

Bucco Bruce Arians had an interesting take on the defensive backs this week. Joe asked whether there is a player among the young group that Arians thinks is best suited or positioned to draw from experience and help lead the unit through its toughest test yet on Sunday.

One reason Joe asked is because Arians often has said his goal is to have one strong leader in every position group, and former Arians cornerback Patrick Peterson told Joe the same thing during a private chat at the Pro Bowl a couple of years ago.

Arians replied saying that Murphy-Bunting is the big talker among the defensive backs but it’s really just a matter of the individuals stepping up on and there is no standout leader.

Joe’s hopes the secondary can hold up against the Saints like it hasn’t in weeks. It’s not just critical to beating the Saints, Joe believes, but also to having enough confidence to cruise in Lambeau Field in frigid conditions and play confidently against surgeon Aaron Rodgers next week.

Good luck, men.

43 Responses to “Time For The Secondary To Step Up”

  1. RussianCoverage Says:

    “Totally fixed.”😑

  2. ModHairKen Says:

    It starts with the pass rush. And the pass rush needs coverage for an extra second to surround breeze. We also can’t have LBs not covering safety valves.

    NO has been here before. There is simply no way they are as hungry as the Bucs.

    Suh. JPP. Shaq. Gholston. White. Hit Brees and rattle him. We know he backs down.

  3. Clean House Says:

    It would be amazing to see these guys start showing up, I think if they do we can make it to the Super Bowl. Go Bucs!!

  4. BradyBucs Says:

    Let’s face it, our secondary sucks. They gave up 200+ yards to Tyreek Hill in the 1st half. They consistently get burned and get caught out of position.

  5. Walter Says:

    Might need to sign Patrick Peterson this off-season to be that leader next season and help show the young guys back there how an all pro sees things and handles his business.

  6. August 1976 Buc Says:

    You cannot count on a secondary playing scared soft zone. Look at the Rams, they played scared soft zone last night and GB did not even punt until the middle of the 3rd Qtr. The Rams have a decent Secondary led by J Ramsey, but when you play soft zone you negate your ability to dictate on defense. You have to jam receivers at the line to break up timing, and give the Dline time to get to Brees. You know Brees and his 11 cracked ribs will be getting the ball out in record time, so you have to cause a moment of delay to even begin disrupt Brees. GO BUCS!!!!!

  7. David Says:

    Davis, Whitehead, Winfield are all very talented, they just need to stay focused and not make stupid mistakes.
    Dean and Bunting … one of them needs to step up

  8. mg Says:

    The defense has been playing with 4 flat tires. Hopefully a week in the pits will fix the flats.

  9. Defense Rules Says:

    August 1976 … Watching the Packers-Rams game yesterday I was thinking exactly the same thing about their soft zone. But the even bigger story IMO was how the Packers CONTROLLED THE GAME with a beautifully BALANCED ATTACK. They kept the Rams defense off-balance on just about every series & disguised their plays near perfectly.

    Packers dominated the TOP 36:12 to 23:48 by rushing 36 times (188 yds – 5.2 YPC) and passing 36 times (completing 23 for 296 yds – 8.2 YPC). They made 12 rushing 1st downs & 15 passing 1st downs, and were able to keep long drives churning by going 8-for-12 on 3rd downs. Offense had 0 turnovers, allowed 0 sacks, and the team only committed 3 penalties all night. That’s pretty decent effectiveness, and BALANCE.

    Rams played a decent defensive game IMO in holding Rodgers to 64% completion percentage, but their pass rush proved to be ineffective (thanks to the Pack’s OLine AND Rodgers’ mobility). Packers’ rushing though was what kept the Rams’ defense off-balance for much of the game IMO. Rams’ offense didn’t really do bad (no turnovers but Goff did get sacked 4 times), but they were terrible at converting on critical downs (only 2-for-9 on 3rd & 4th down conversions).

    Strange thing is I felt like I was watching a replay of the last Bucs-Saints game yesterday. Look at the stats from that game and there’s some eery similarities. Saints dominated that game (40 mins TOP to 20 mins) by employing an effective BALANCED ATTACK (37 rushes; 35 passes) and holding our offense to 1-for-12 on 3rd/4th down conversions. Bucs’ offense was anything-but balanced: 5 rushes; 38 passes). That made us very predictable IMO & was largely responsible for our poor 3rd/4th down performance (and played in to some degree I’d bet in Brady’s throwing 3 INTs that game). We can’t let that happen again.

  10. Bird Says:

    The only good game the secondary had this year was the packers game. Thats about it. Maybe the carolina games were ok. Other then that that were que terrible

    Need them to have game of the year
    Hope we do better then sniffing brees. We need to sack him a few times.

  11. Hodad Says:

    They are what they are, not very talented. Licht drafted a bunch of them back there, but not one turned out to be much above average. When you think of good starting corners in the NFL no Buc player’s name will ever be mentioned. Licht used high draft picks, and got a secondary that’s mostly back up material.

  12. NOLES Says:

    You aint wrong Brady Buc & it is hard to miss on 3 2nd rd’s ( lets not forget MJ STEWART) & 1st ( VH) who got cut he is so bad & lazy….

    For all the props JL is getting for moves like Brady he should also be held accountable for wasting 4 picks in these DB’s

    Especially when he selected MJ there were several corners taken after him that are quality starters.

    VH was a reach as well…

    Vit Vea is key to pass rush & makin these guys look better than they actually are. The need a FA vet to pair w Davis let the other scrubs battle it out for the Nickel

  13. Tampabaybucfan Says:

    The best thing we can do for our secondary is to take the lead early……expand it if possible and force the Saints to abandon the running game……easily said….tough to do because the secondary/defense has to hold up early in order for us to take the lead…..
    I must say, i feel quite uneasy about this game….history seems to repeat itself…

    But….with Brady….we have a chance…..With Jameis…..not a prayer.

  14. Listnfrmafar Says:

    Key is if they get beat early not to quit. Donald’s unsportsman like penalty was a turning point last night. Had them 3&6 and def was excelling. Goff has no idea what to do under pressure. Defense, defense & Oline are the key to tonight’s success.

  15. Bucco bruce Says:

    Bowles needs to put them in position to be successful.

  16. Darin Says:

    It’s up to Bowles, or Arians. They know the bend but dont break doesn’t work when a team has guys who can run after catch and don’t fumble. Are you gona get in their faces and punch em first Todd? You gona give your high paid DEs a chance to get to the QB? Or you gona let them take the 5 yarder and turn it into 10 all game? Cmon we ask for aggression and can live with the result. Go Bucs

  17. Delawest Says:

    I played DB in college and this so far is the most well thought out
    Comments. SMB hasn’t been the same since he got hurt. JD has no
    hip swivel what so ever, as group they are extremely undisciplined.
    The DB coach should be fired. Everyone complains
    about our LB’s not making the Pro Bowl, they can’t pass defend.
    With all that said, we are going too win this game.

  18. Mitch Says:

    It’s gonna be even harder with Jordan Whitehead injured.

    At least we may not have to deal with their Taysom Hill pacakages. I read this morning it’s unlikely Hill or Latavious Murray play.

  19. DBS Says:

    Here he goes again with the built in excuse. if we lose it will be the offense fault.

  20. Señor Harry in Costa Rica Says:

    One cannot compare this year’s 2 games against NO with today’s. The first game was week 1 – Brady had no clue about our offense. Game 2 on Nov 8 was AB’s first game and Brady threw 0 TDs to 3 INTs; since then, Brady has thrown 12 TDs to 1 INT. I think that stat alone screams this is a totally different game.

    The Oline is playing lights out (WFT’s Dline is as good as NO’s), AB is finally AB, Brady is All World right now. NO’s offense in our Nov 8 game was friggin on fire (like the Bucs are now). Now? Not so much. Am I wrong? I don’t think so.

    #PoundBressIntoRetirement – how friggin glorious would that be?

  21. DBS Says:

    Just add the rest. The secondary is young. defense is tired. Not enough money spent or offense scored to fast.

  22. Bobby M. Says:

    Now its time? As in game 18 of the season…..there is no stepping up with this unit. The rookie might shine…..but that’s it. The rest of them will do exactly what they’ve been doing….either play off the line and get dink and dunked down the field OR get burnt over the top. Throw in some poor tackling and miscommunication…..stepping up is a fantasy.

  23. Cobraboy Says:

    The DBs will hold up if the front seven can put on an effective pass rush.

    Simple as that.

    The same can be said for the Saints.

  24. Cobraboy Says:

    @DR: get down by 17 early and no team will have a balanced attack to catch up.

  25. Destinjohnny Says:

    Asking them to do something they aren’t capable of

  26. BucsFanSince1976 Says:

    It all comes down to getting pressure and hits on Brees to stifle Saints offense. Would not be surprised to see a couple of one step late big hits on Brees trying to remove him from the field.
    First team to 38 points is a winner , so just score TB12 and keep scoring. Vegas has the line at Bucs +3 , so they see it being very close and so do I. It will be a nail biting, nacho puking , hair pulling , shouting at zebras 3.5 hours that I would not miss for the world.
    We will beat the Aints – GO BUCCSSSSS!!!!!!!!

  27. Aceofaerospace Says:

    Plus the d-line needs to up their game and knock the snot out of Brees. Keep in mind JPP only needs one more super bowl ring to complete one hand, then he can focus on the other hand. That should be enough motivation right there.

  28. Deminion Says:

    They just can’t cover hope we play man instead of the soft stuff

  29. Bucsfanman Says:

    Cobra nailed it. It is all predicated on getting pressure. No pressure and it will be a long day for our secondary. That’s just a fact. They are inexperienced and young playing against a HOF Drew Brees.
    Also agree with Defense Rules in that we need to have a balanced offensive attack that keeps Brees and company off the field.

    We will need to play complementary football today for 60 minutes; Offense, defense, and special teams.

  30. ReverseTowelGirl Says:

    Beat the Stains!

  31. teacherman777 Says:

    As I have said since we drafted Jonathan Banks over the Honey Badger.

    Only draft Corners who run sub 4.4 forties.

    4.3-4.4 Corners. Thats it.

    And only Draft corners from the SEC or the South.

  32. JimBuc2 Says:

    Send D.White on A-gap blitz often. Use LVD to spy Kamara. Tackle to put your man down. In man cover, bump the receiver, and stay glued to the guy, turning to locate the ball only after seeing that receiver put his hands up. Remember, the sideline is your friend. Redirect you man, box him out. The Three Amigos secondary is our weaksauce. If Brees is victotious, it will be because this unit panty waisted under pressure. Grow a pair and nut up, guys. Because you will be tested.
    Go Bucs!

  33. Listnfrmafar Says:

    Senor, those 2 games do matter. Yes the offense is better, remember they did score 23 game one but the defense let up 34 & 38, that’s the problem. Now if Hill doesn’t play that’s great he ate them up in game 2.

  34. ThisIsOurYear Says:

    The corners have been burnt all year because they can’t cover speed or the LB are not in position. They will need to be disciplined this week and play to win as a team not solo stats. If we get past this week we will be in the SB but our defense needs to play like those Bills and Ravens last night. smh The CB shutdown was real. smh

  35. Defense Rules Says:

    Cobraboy … I agree with you 100% on both counts: needing an effective pass rush AND getting down early kills being able to use a balanced attack. We’ve sacked Brees TWICE this year TOTAL in our 2 games, but given up 6 sacks … apparently we’re not doing all that great in the matchup in the trenches. Brees has thrown ZERO interceptions this year total in our 2 games, versus 6 INTs thrown by Brady … that aspect isn’t working out so well either.

    I don’t expect that our pass rush will all of a sudden materialize against the Saints in today’s game. I am hopeful however that our offense continues to click & can do a better job of scoring (3 pts won’t hack it), of keeping the TOP manageable (20 mins TOP won’t cut it either), and especially not turning the ball over (that’s the real killer IMO).

    Hopefully I’m wrong Cobra, but I don’t think our defense is good enough to keep the Saints from scoring in the 30’s (unless of course the Saints simply implode, which they’re not prone to do). Our hope of winning lies in outscoring them, and a huge part of that is to NOT beat ourselves with turnovers & penalties. Can’t wait for tonight’s game; I think we can pull it off & advance to Green Bay.

  36. Cobraboy Says:

    DR: bet the over. Don’t be surprised with 80+ [points. The O/U is 52.

    I “feel” the same way going into this game as I did the Iggles in the 2001-2 SB run: we all thought the Iggles had the Buc number, and we went into the game hoping for the best, but expecting the worst.

  37. Destinjohnny Says:

    How many dbs have we drafted in the last few drafts?
    I think 9?

  38. orlbucfan Says:

    Reading this site made me think back to the game in NOLA, where Fitzgerald blew the Aints out the water. The Bucs didn’t have the offense or defense or kickers they have now. I have also been waiting for them to play a perfect game like the Green Bay win. Why not do both tonight?

  39. Sorryjackchuckiesback Says:

    It’s not them it’s coaching! They have played in 3 and 4 deep zones more than any team in the league and are one of the worst at it… When they do play man they play much better, when they blitz they have success… Too bad Bowels is not a good enough coach to see it!! Why he chose to do it the right way against the Packers then TOTALLY go away from what worked is called over coaching…. He’s not very smart! You hear his interviews and he’s just not very bright! He’s not the defensive guru everyone says he is!! He plays scared and trying not to lose!! There’s nothing aggressive about this defense!! …. Now when he finally does choose to do that they are very good! Hell it’s the defense they drafted it to be!!

  40. Defense Rules Says:

    Cobraboy … I’m expecting kinda the same type of high-scoring game. So many times though games like this (2 powerhouses bumping heads) come down to who makes the least mistakes. Saints always play solid football, and Drew Brees is Drew Brees. I don’t see any surprises there.

    But the Bucs have been playing solid football recently also, and Tom Brady is Tom Brady. Our offense is gelling: our scoring is up, our turnovers are down, and so are our penalties. Many JBFers pee-and-moan about how bad our defense is, BUT … in the 8 games since we last played New Orleans, our defense has allowed 152 points (19 PPG). And that includes 4 games against some pretty good offenses (Chiefs, Rams, Falcons). IMO tonight’s game is all about who makes the least mistakes AND who wants it more.

  41. Jmarkbuc Says:

    Bobby M

    Unfortunately you’re dead on point.

  42. Snook Says:

    #23 is a big talker? Ugh. He’s the worst. Worse than Savvy.

  43. Bucsfan951 Says:

    Secondary needs to step up for 3 more games! Do I see them doing that… absolutely not! I have little faith in that secondary UNLESS the front gets to brees. You won’t hear “that’s a coverage sack” today