Ian Beckles Believes Bucs’ Defense Wins Championships

March 27th, 2021

Loving Bucs’ offseason.

A former Bucs guard believes Tampa Bay will make a Super Bowl run in 2021 thanks to the defense.

That’s the word from former Bucs offensive lineman and current popular local sports talk show host Ian Beckles.

In detailing what he expects from the Bucs in 2021, on his podcast “In the Trenches,” Beckles points to defensive coordinator Todd Bowles and his troops as key to a possible repeat.

“When you listen to all the national sports shows, about 80 percent is about the Bucs,” Beckles said. “I don’t know why they wouldn’t when you have Tom Brady talking that they will be better next year.

“I don’t see any reason why our defense shouldn’t be better next year. Our defense progressively got better all the way through the season last year and culminated in an unbelievable playoff run and jamming one of the highest-flying offenses of all time in the Super Bowl holding [the Chiefs] to no touchdowns.

“There have been some better defenses than the Buccaneers that have played in Super Bowls. But I am not sure anybody has accomplished more than what the Buccaneers did in that game.”

And Beckles thinks the offense will be fine, no matter if Father Time taps park-violating, home-invading, NFLPA-ignoring, down-forgetting, handshake-stiffing, jet-ski-losing, biscuit-baking, tequila-shooting, waffle-grilling, trophy-throwing, Bucs-Super-Bowl-winning quarterback Tom Brady on the shoulder.

Why? Joe sensed Beckles is way fired up for how good he is convinced the Bucs’ offensive line is.

“Donovan Smith played as well as he has played in his career, for sure,” Beckles said. “Donovan Smith played like a legitimate left tackle last year. All season long. Maybe 1 1/2 games he struggled out of 20.

“You guys can say what you want about Donovan Smith. I will take the Buccanneers offensive line over any offensive line in the NFL right now, OK? They started to run the football better. Tristian Wirfs is a witch over there on the right side. And they are very solid inside. We are in very, very good hands.”

Beckles also isn’t hip to re-signing furniture-tossing, bicycle-throwing receiver Antonio Brown. The Bucs dodged a bullet with Brown last year, Beckles believes.

“It could backfire,” Beckles said of bringing Brown back. “You want to take that chance again?”

As always, Beckles welcomes feedback and encourages listeners to submit Bucs questions by e-mailing him at IanBeckles@RadioInfluence.com.

22 Responses to “Ian Beckles Believes Bucs’ Defense Wins Championships”

  1. Defense Rules Says:

    Wow, what a monstrous turn-around for Beckles. Actually coming out & saying that we’ll make a SB run this year thanks to our DEFENSE. Can’t help but agree with him, but I still think the key has been the BALANCE our Bucs have shown between the offense & the defense. And yes, Special Teams too.

    The key to winning football teams in this era IMO is BALANCE leading to the capability to play great COMPLIMENTARY FOOTBALL. The Bucs did that beautifully in 2020, as each side of the football fed off of the other side game after game (and especially during our 8-game win streak).

  2. Mike C Says:

    This team unlike the 2002 team has a top ten offense and defense, THAT is why we will be the favorites to win it all this year.

  3. lambeau Says:

    Because AB is unpredictable, I suspect nobody wants to guarantee his money, and that’s probably the hangup in signing him; he’ll have to settle for incentives.


    I guess averaging 30+ points a game means nothing towards a W. The def came up big from NO on to SB, they were not very good in the later part of the season. The offense has less work to do to improve than the defense, the secondary is still questionable, fortunately front 7 is probably best in the league.

  5. Sport Says:

    The greatness of this team is how many ways we can win a game.

    Defense compliments Offense compliments Special Teams – rinse and REPEAT!!!

    In BA I Trust!

  6. Youngbucs Says:

    A lot of fake buc fans like to gloss over our offense. Because god forbid they give Brady any credit. Acting like the didn’t just witness the best offensive season in Buc history smh!!!!!

  7. Alanbucsfan Says:

    EVERY NFL TEAM’S SECONDARY is questionable when the front 7 stinks.
    Also- when the Bucs D got everyone healthy- Barrett and David off Covid restrictions, Dean back and most importantly, Vea back for playoffs, the D was dominant.
    You are right, the Offense was great as well, but it was the D that turned game around vs Saints, overcame 3 Brady interceptions vs Packers and dominated Chiefs in SB.

  8. Alanbucsfan Says:

    ^White off Covid restrictions

  9. SOEbuc Says:

    “Donovan Smith played as well as he has played in his career, for sure,” Beckles said. “Donovan Smith played like a legitimate left tackle last year. All season long. Maybe 1 1/2 games he struggled out of 20.“

    Penalties: 11 (T-1st)
    Sacks Allowed: 6 (T-1st)

    Don’t try to play me saying Donovan Smith was an elite LT because he played a few hits and misses this year. He did get better towards the end of the year into the playoffs. We have great oline coaching so I’m excited to see him and the rest of the oline 2021.

  10. HeyItsAdam Says:

    “There have been some better defenses than the Buccaneers that have played in Super Bowls. But I am not sure anybody has accomplished more than what the Buccaneers did in that game.”

    🔥 I said this 6 weeks ago on this very page. The Bucs beating the Chiefs in the manner that they beat them was the greatest defensive performance in a Super Bowl ever. Never has a defense shut down such an explosive offense with such vigor and prejudice. Not the 85 Bears. Not the 00 Ravens. Not the 03 Bucs.

  11. Defense Rules Says:

    The one thing I don’t see much written about in terms of 2020’s success (11-5) vs 2019 (7-9 with same coaching staff) is the Turnover Differential, and its’ monstrous impact on BOTH our offense AND our defense, AND on our S/Ts.

    Back in 2019 our defense actually had a helluva year garnering 28 takeaways (12 INTs among them) resulting in a #5 ranking. Offense unfortunately had 41 giveaways, resulting in a #32 ranking (NFL worst by far). Net result: MINUS 13 Turnover Differential (#28 ranking overall).

    Things turned around in 2020 big-time, primarily for the OFFENSE, while our defense stayed very consistent. Our defense garnered 25 takeaways (including 15 INTs) resulting in another #5 ranking (tied with Indy). Pretty much same performance as 2019 in that area. Offense improved dramatically in that area though, having only 17 giveaways, resulting in a #7 ranking (tied with New Orleans). Net result: PLUS 8 Turnover Differential (#6 ranking overall).

    That improvement IMO was the biggest difference between a losing season (2019) and a winning season (2020). Our defense surrendered far fewer points, largely because they didn’t get tagged for all the offense’s Pick-6s AND poor field position from many other giveaways. Our offense was able to score far more points because, oh ya, they held onto the ball better. Even our S/Ts benefitted (Gay got 124 pts in 2019 vs Succop getting 136 points based on more opportunities overall).

    I fully expect that with our starters & key rotational guys returning this year, that our Turnover Differential will be even better than it was in 2020. These guys know each other better & that should be key to helping them become even more productive on the field. Of course, it’s still ‘one game at a time’ … but 2021 looks awfully bright right now.

  12. stpetebucsfan Says:

    I’ve never seen a team like this…at least in the NFL recently. The Lightning have this kind of team…what drives them a great offense or the best defenseman and goalie in the game?

    We could argue all day about which side of the ball is more important or contributes more. And we would ALL be right.

    This team has awesome balance on and off the field. Great rookies…great veteran leadership…winners!!!

  13. Alvin Scissors Harper Says:

    Gotta keep #12 upright throughout the season though. If Brady goes down, so does our chance of repeating.

  14. Perimeter Blocker Says:

    Defense does NOT win championships (see 1999 Buccaneers). POINTS win championships!

  15. Chris@Apple Roof Cleaning Tampa Says:

    I HOPE a sleeper of a new pass rusher falls to us when we pick!
    Yes, our defense will be even better next year, especially our young secondary.
    But another good pass rusher will put us over the top, IMHO.

  16. MarkR Says:

    Depth, Depth, Depth. Injuries are always the biggest obstacle for good teams to repeat when all/most of their starters are coming back. It would be difficult at our draft position to draft a CB who would offer immediate help, but OL & DL will be available.


    Alanbucsfan, I am not saying defense didn’t play good but to say they were the reason Bucs won SB is a stretch. Mahomes threw 3 passes in the end zone that were dropped. One off a players finger tips and two off facemasks. Do the math that is a possible 21 more points or more because KC would of had to go for two at some point. As far as GB, score was 28-10 prior to 1st pick. Neither of those picks turned into a score. So Def let them back into the game. Offense won Washington and I will agree Def carried the team in NO. To average 31 points in PO & SB is pretty good offense I would say. Bucs have a good defense but weak secondary. The numbers don’t lie.

  18. Bucsfanman Says:


    It is NOT a cliche. There are few instances that differ. POINT BLANK and PERIOD!

  19. D1 Says:


    League wide last year was the most points scored ever, by a large margin. Offenses put up record setting points. Nine teams averaged 28 or more points per game in 2020, and all nine of those squads made the playoffs.

    If you have to bet on an offense or defense week to week over a season then it’s not close. Offense is more consistent than defense week to week. Reason is fairly obvious and easy to observe.

    Defense and offense ie team is what wins championships. But there’s the exceptions and that imo, is what gives additional life to a cliche based argument.

  20. D1 Says:

    Sean McVay had the leagues best defense last year, no championship, and if defense won then why did he trade for a QB? Goff was good and defense was the best. But the rams believe that they need to score more to get back to the championship game.

  21. J$MCSports Says:

    This upcoming draft will be key to building the depth of the defensive line and at Edge. They got Spencer but I feel they need to find a young speedy guy with some size in the first. Find a way to get 2 seconds and 2 thirds and reload the offensive and defensive lines. Get two decent DB late in the draft.

  22. nate Says:

    All those years of sucking we finally got a Team to be proud off…