“Most Vanilla” Equals Gold For Bucs Defense

February 9th, 2021

The Chiefs know.

A fired up former Buccaneers and Patriots linebacker has weighed in on the dominance he witnessed Sunday in Super Bowl LV.

Jonathan Casillas has two Super Bowl rings (Saints and Belicheats), was a New York Giants captain (2017) and spent time in Tampa under Commander Schiano and Lovie Smith before being traded to New England.

Now a retired and loquacious analyst in the New York area, Casillas joined CBS Sports Radio to hit on a variety of Bucs subjects.

One Super Bowl element that stood out to Casillas is just how plain the Bucs defense was while they made Patrick Mahomes look like an “undrafted quarterback” (his words).

Among other things, he praised Todd Bowles and the Bucs for succeeding with “traditional basic football,” which proved the better team won.

“Tampa Bay sat back and played the most vanilla defense that you can possibly play, the softest defense against the run,” Casillas said. “And those dudes proved that they could sit back against a vanilla defense and stop a formidable run attack from the Chiefs, and then have enough people on the back end to defend those amazing pass threats.”

Yeah, the Chiefs run game isn’t exactly special, but it is dangerous. And the Bucs’ elite run defense handled it like they always do. More fun for Joe was the Bucs also going vanilla with their pass rush. It’s was a four-man gig nearly all night, and they dominated.

Simply stated: the Bucs just pulled the plug on the NFL’s best offense with talent, desire and discipline. Little more.

42 Responses to ““Most Vanilla” Equals Gold For Bucs Defense”

  1. Chris@Apple Roof Cleaning Tampa Says:

    It must be remembered that KC lost their two best tackles, so that certainly helped.
    But, I think we would have beat them, even with their starting tackles.
    Anytime you can get pressure with only 4 rushers, good things will happen.

  2. atlbuc28 Says:

    That is called the Tampa 2. In case any of the younger crowd here didn’t know 🙂

  3. Casual Observer Says:

    Well said. Best game for a Bucs D in years, probably.

  4. JimBuc2 Says:

    One thing seems answered for now. Tom Brady owns all seven of his Championship rings. No doubt about it. GOAT!

  5. Conte Piscateli Says:

    Our offense want exactly anything revolutionary either, but is showed what happens when you dominate the line of scrimmage on both sides of the ball.

  6. Rayjay1122 Says:

    It was a magical season and saving their best performance all around for the Superbowl was just the icing on the cake. I would make a movie about this. Legendary stuff.

  7. gofortheface30 Says:

    “Missed their 2 starting tackles.” Missed other offensive lineman (4 total). I get it, but my response is….AND? Seems to me no one cared about their alleged o-line problems during the Bills game, or the weeks leading up to the Bucs game. All everyone talked about was that it doesn’t matter because Mahomes was going to dice up the Bucs D like an onion. But now I see on social media, these weak and feeble minded chiefs fans talking about their o-line. Funny how the narrative changes when they get their teeth kicked in. PEople need to take that L, hold it high, and hold it proudly

  8. Robert Says:

    the Chiefs barely tried to run…that was their downfall.

  9. Cannon Says:

    Kinda poetic that the Tampa 2 was used, with great success, in both of our Super Bowl wins.

    Did we play a 3-4 alignment with this Tampa 2? I suspect yes.

  10. TOM Says:

    I wonder how much of a difference it would have made if the KC had there two best lineman playing?

  11. '79 Defense Says:

    I wonder what might have happened if the Chiefs had their starting tackles. If Smith and Wirfs had been out for us, it wouldn’t have been good.

  12. firethecannons Says:

    KC was under the impression they could run their same backyard football and not make adjustments for anything the Bucs might be good at. Mahomes would overpower as he always does because they are superior because they always win, always.Bucs hit them in the mouth and the gut!

    Todd Bowles should only be defensive coordinator, he is not head coach material, he excels at what he is doing now, his game plan was masterful. We should all be so glad to be so talented at one position.

  13. Steven007 Says:

    79, you play with the guys you have. Clearly Vegas didn’t think the tackles made enough of a difference to not still have us as underdogs. Not to mention 90% of the talking heads. And in the end we didn’t just win, we dominated.

  14. Bird Says:

    The chiefs scored zero touchdowns in this beautiful super bowl

    That is domination

  15. Tampabaybucfan Says:

    I will say this…..I find it difficult to understand Mama Mahomes’ assertion that the refs untimely calls against the Chief’s defense impacted he Son having to scramble 497 yards….take 3 sacks and throw 2 picks…

    Am I missing something here….or did our pass rush make the difference in the game?

  16. Cannon Says:

    KC’s offensive coordinator really hung those tackles out to dry…

    In their hubris, they ran a 5 man protection scheme most of the night (to allow Kelce to run routes). On top of that, they continued with their game plan of looking to throw deep.

    It honestly reminded me of our offense, early in the season. We were 100% bombs away, with little no short stuff. No outlets. Not taking what the defense would give you.

    We learned from those mistakes, and our offense became a juggernaut. KC, well, they will look back and realize that they can’t just line up and “be better” than the opposition. Not when going against a team as complete as our Bucs.

  17. ClodHopper Says:

    In a nice change of pace, all the breaks just went our way. From the Oline to Mahomes’ foot to Vita coming back. And bad play calling by the Chiefs. CEH was averaging over 7 yards a carry but they only gave him the ball 9 times.

    Romo said the Bucs shouldn’t take the bait and just keep defending the pass. Bowles didnt take the bait and the Chiefs acted like they dont have the patience for long drives, even early in the game.

    I LOVE being on this side of poor coaching!! We should celebrate that!

  18. geno711 Says:

    We were pretty vanilla on offense as well.

    Our starting offensive lineman all played 67 snaps.
    Haeg as our extra lineman played 21 snaps – one of his highest in weeks.
    Gronk played 59 snaps. Mostly as an inline tight end.

    Pretty much a line an up, heavy run rush, heavy pass protect type of game plan.
    Overall, both sides of the ball just said that we are physically better than you.

  19. ClodHopper Says:

    “Chiefs can score fast” “They throw up points faster than anyone”

    Apparently what they CAN’T do is score slow. Make them dink and dunk and they get uncomfortable and fold.

    Analogy: Like when you’re playing chess and you try to keep the queen home as long as possible. The Chiefs pull her out in the 2nd move.

  20. mg Says:

    The defense was dominate and kc knew they were going to get punished physically.
    Mahomes stunk. The Redskins Q.B. was much better.

  21. unbelievable Says:

    The defense looked vanilla because they were trying to not show Mahomes what they were doing pre-snap.

    Clearly, it worked.

    Also our pass rush is night and day when Vea is playing vs. when he’s not.

  22. rrsrq Says:

    It was crazy, you saw Patrick running from players like Vea, McClendon, Gholston and Suh. It wasn’t just JPP, Shaq and Anthony Nelson

  23. Gofortheface30 Says:

    Who cares what CEH was averaging. And the fact that the chiefs didn’t run more was NOT their downfall. My goodness – the Bucs were literally GIVING THEM the run

  24. FrankPillow Says:

    I don’t buy the injury excuse. We were playing a backup guard, had JPP out there on one good knee. Vea on one good ankle, same for Winfield, and Whitehead played with one arm. AB on a bad knee. Mike on a bad knee. Godwin with a bum hand. Brate with a bad back. No OJ (the forgotten asset). This was simply the case of one team wanting it more. Executing a game-plan to near perfection and not letting ego, injury or excuses get in the way. We would’ve kicked their asses with Fisher or anyone else they wanted to put back their save, maybe prime Jonathan Ogden or Walter Jones. We humiliated the defending champs on every level, at every position.

  25. sgrd0q Says:

    Vanilla or not, the fact is Mahomes lost the 2019 AFC Championship game and the 2021 Superbowl to Brady led teams. That has got to mess with his head. Would love to see the same matchup in the next SB.

    Chiefs defense is suspect. Only two legit receivers on the roaster. And as good as Reid is – he keeps mismanaging the clock and not adjusting the game plan when needed.

    I like this matchup.

  26. 123urout Says:

    Todd Bowles did an outstanding job. I hope he remains our DC next season. BUCS SB LV Champions !!!!

  27. Frankinthe813 Says:

    Chiefs tackles were gone ..so was Alex Cappa & Jordan Whitehead

  28. DavidBigBucFan99 Says:

    How do you stop a supernova offense??? Drop a little bit of pewter and red matter into the middle of it, create a black hole that just sucks all of the energy out of it!

  29. Eric Says:

    The game reminded me of the old days when the flashy QB of the day would come into Tampa with a QB rating of 100, and leave in the 40’s. Completely shut them down in the red zone.

    A beautiful thing to watch, but I do admit feeling the pain when those three guys sandwiched Patrick and bent him like a pretzel.

    How the man got up from that is beyond me. Gutsy kid for sure.

  30. Jeffbuc Says:

    Man are any of you as sick as I am. That every other nfl site that allows comments. Everyone keeps saying the game was rigged. The calls were horrible. No they were not. Every call was correct. They showed on a couple of the defensive holding calls our receiver on the other side getting held also. Romo and there in house referee expert agreed with every call. The two mike Evans they try to say we’re up catchable you do t know that the first was so close you can say. The second the foul occurred before he let go of the ball he saw it and sailed it his direction. I now after watching as a Brady fan understand why all the haters say the nfl calls all the penalties for him.

    He is the greatest at seeing the penalties occurring and instantly sails the ball in that direction as soon as it is happening where they have no choice but to call it. Where as other quarterbacks see it they don’t throw that way look for a open guy then start screaming for the call. So that is another thing that makes him the greatest. That one on the honey badger in the end zone same thing he threw it inside cause he saw where he was. So when mike tried to go to the ball badger was interfering. Other QBs would have threw it to the outside where mike was for an incompletion. So I saw was the goat in action. On the pick he threw after watching the game the second time as soon as he let go of the ball he started throwing up the holding sign. So he saw it before he even threw it. But people say that was a phantom call to reverse the golden boys int

  31. ClodHopper Says:

    “Who cares what CEH was averaging.”

    People who understand what a first down means.

    “And the fact that the chiefs didn’t run more was NOT their downfall.”

    Yes it was. It was one of their many downfalls.

    “My goodness – the Bucs were literally GIVING THEM the run”

    Which is why it was dumb for them to not try to make us change our game plan.

  32. Conte Piscateli Says:

    Listen KC messed up when they came to our house and started clowning around in November. The Bucs came into this game angry and were the physically dominant team on both sides of the ball from the opening kickoff. Funny thing is I really felt the MVP should have gone to Mahomes, he was amazing at escaping pressure and getting rid of the ball. He kept this game interesting into the 3rd quarter by himself. Any other quarterback probably absorbs 8 sacks and half a dozen turnovers.

  33. Cannon Says:


    Exactly. The Chiefs had no intention of pursuing either a run game or a short passing game. They wanted to drop back, have Mahomes buy time, and throw deep strikes.

    We tried that too… and got clobbered by the Saints. Fortunately, we learned from it.

  34. Seemore Bucs Says:

    FrankPillow, you nailed it on the head. We had injuries all year long and in the playoffs and NO ONE cried for us. The Chefs didn’t mind that Dean and Vea were out in the Week 12 game. According to them, the just won so they can’t have it both ways when they have guys out in the Super Bowl rematch and get their doors blown off. In the right quarters the teams played this season, KC won the first one and were demolished in the last seven. And they were one of the most penalized team in the league so they deserved the flags they got in the SB. The best team won. Period. They got whipped by 22 points and it should have been more. They couldn’t score a touchdown. The 71 Dolphins and 2018 Rams say welcome to that pathetic club. The Chefs and their loser fans know the Buccaneers are better than they are and just want to make themselves feel better. Have at it. The results will never change. And we get to enjoy it forever. Once Tampa Bay came out of our Week 13 bye, there was one simple fact and Kermit and KC crybabies and the Chefs can take solace in this. Losing to the eventual Super Bowl LV World Champion, Tampa Bay Buccaneers didn’t make you bad….IT JUST MADE YOU LIKE EVERYONE ELSE!!!!!!!! BUCS RULE FOOTBALL!!!!!! The way it is supposed to be.

  35. 813bucboi Says:

    Great job BOWLES


  36. TampaTown Says:

    I’m sure every saw Mahomes interview immediately following the game. He said he was going to study the tape and start working on a game plan because he feels that now every team in the league is going to try what we did to beat them. That’s right NFL the Bucs just showed you how it’s done. Boom.

  37. TheMechanik Says:

    That was the best part of the game. Todd Bowles pulled off one of the greatest defensive strategies EVER! He essentially reached back in time and pulled out the old Tampa 2 defense from the glory days of Buccaneers defenses.

    It was simply brilliant…

  38. TheMechanik Says:

    Think about what the ’99 Bucs did to the greatest show on turf (St. Louis Rams)… I know they lost that game but they completely throttled a team that was averaging 35 points per game. That Bucs team held them to one TD in the last two minutes.

    This was basically the same exact defense.(this 2021 version used more man coverage) rush four, drop seven. It was classic.

  39. sgrd0q Says:

    Except few teams can put that kind of pressure with their front four.

  40. Jersey buc Says:

    Been saying it for weeks on here and anybody that would listen. No one no one talked about this Defense!! Channeled gruden when Bucs beat the falcons with Vick. Same deal all talking heads got mahomes D you know where. While no one talked about this relentless Defense they just eat!!!

  41. Sorryjackchuckiesback Says:

    Dean should have had that dang sack!!!! … Dude he was GLUED to his guy the whole night!! Best game I’ve seen from him and Davis all year!!

  42. Pewter Power Says:

    Copy cat league so d lineman and o lineman going fast this draft thanks to Bucs blueprint.