A Reason Why The Defense Balled

April 16th, 2021

Defense powered by depth?

The Bucs defense was damn good last year when the team needed it most.

Joe is a firm believer that history will be much more kind to the Bucs’ postseason run than how current analysts view it. You roll through three teams, each with a Hall of Fame quarterback? NFL Films makes movies of stuff like that.

In succession, the Bucs punked Drew Brees and the slimy Saints, dropkicked Aaron Rodgers and the Packers and clobbered Pat Mahomes and the defending champion Chiefs.

Very, very impressive.

(Yes, Joe knows the Bucs beat Washington. No, Joe refuses to label XFL backup Taylor Heinicke as a potential Hall of Famer.)

One reason for this may have been unearthed by Mike Clay, a spreadsheeter for BSPN. Clay found out that the Bucs had an extraordinary amount of snaps logged on defense by backups.

So what does that tell Joe? The Bucs’ defense had fresher legs in January and February. All of those snaps logged by backups kept everybody fresher.

Given the fact the Bucs (like the rest of the NFL) had no offseason practices and a limited training camp, Joe is convinced that deep bench of the defense paid off when the season grew long.

Having those same players back is a very good sign, so long as there is not a rash of injuries.

22 Responses to “A Reason Why The Defense Balled”

  1. Dusthty Rhothdes Says:

    Fresh legs and also D White shaq, suh JPP were pressuring the QB like madmen

  2. adam from ny Says:

    defense is only getting better…

    while the running game is getting stronger…

    look out…

    this pass happy team doesn’t even most likely have to rely on slinging the ball…

    we just might be able to play old school football and keep winning…

    while always having the aerial attack in the back pocket as a go to option wit the goat leading the way…

    this team is looking crazy good right about now

  3. adam from ny Says:

    licht and BA convo:

    “hey bruce who do you want me to draft?”

    “Ehhh draft who ever the f*** you want jason…we already got sh!t on lock!…pass me one of those cold natty lights brother”

  4. Alanbucsfan Says:

    The Defense got healthy during playoffs- Vea, Barrett, White, Davis, Dean- All on the field at same time

  5. Medicated Pete Says:

    How do we know that he didn’t completely make up those #’s? Can u double check his work, Joe?

  6. Kobe Faker Says:

    “To have a elite modern day defense

    you have to have BOTH rush and pass defense to work together

    all 3 levels complementing each other

    hide weaknesses and propagate your strengths

    on the defensive side it is truly a team effort

    Barret needs Davis to stick a second longer for a sack and

    likewise Davis needs Barret to be in the face of the QB for an interception

    and most of all Byon Leftwich headset to be unplugged”

    Kobe Faker

  7. Cobraboy Says:

    The D-backfield finally figgering their sh!t out also helped immensely…

    Bowled even admitted it took a while for DB’s to gain lock-down confidence…

  8. Dewey Selmon Says:

    59 snaps is less than 1 games (60-70). So we have 19 players returning who played less than 1 game?

  9. Ben green Says:

    When you miss the playoffs every year, legs are fresher. Compare them to a team like kansas city, who have been deep into the playoffs the last 3 seasons.. it’ll take it’s toll this year and into next. 3 or 4 extra games a year, is equivalent to tens of extra car crashes per week.

  10. Defense Rules Says:

    Interesting stat. Reminds me of what Nick Saban’s Bama team has been doing for years. Rather than run up scores, Saban gets lots of ‘next year’s guys’ plenty of snaps so they’re ready. Seems to work OK for him.

    One additional stat about our defense worth noting IMO is that 11 defensive starters each got in excess of 600 defensive snaps (over 55% of our season snaps on defense) … Gholston, Suh, Shaq, JPP, LVD, White, Davis, SMB, Dean, Whitehead, Winfield. Key is that our defensive starters stayed healthy all season long (Shaq & White each missed 1 game and Davis missed 2 games; all the rest played in all 16 games). That despite it being the year of COVID. A real testament to the superb job done by our training staff IMO.

  11. Will Says:

    I have been of the belief that “the sickness” actually helped all rookies around the league. They were able to get their training in instead of flying to place to place meeting with teams and doing shows on BSPN or NFL Network. Everything was done through zoom. I also believe that today’s kids are trained better than back in the day with all the camps they attend as well a personal trainers which makes not having a true off-season or preseason not as much of a big deal as our SB winning coach wants to make it seem.

  12. AlabamaBucsFan Says:

    Most likely, Bucs will stock up on Defense in this year’s draft. I am guessing the first three or four picks will go to defense.

  13. Cobraboy Says:

    @Will: you are 100% incorrect.

    The vast majority of today’s college players lack the fundamentals of football. There are some exceptions, but fundamentals are not emphasized going back to high school.

    Attending “camp” without full contact is like America’s Turnover Machine, Mr. Eat My W’s, claiming he learned QBing through Google (he saidn that.)

    There is no way to learn fundamentals without full balls-to-the-wall contact. Over. And. Over.

  14. Cobraboy Says:

    Every football player hates Spring Practice. This goes back to when Dad CB played for Vanderbilt in the 1910’s.

    Older players (JRs. and SRs.) don’t like younger guys (Frosh & Sophs) getting better and threatening their job, and there is no payoff, no Games For Glory to be had.

    I admit: I played baseball in HS and college to get out of Spring Practice. I hated spring football. We just didn’t have Covid as an excuse…

  15. SOEbuc Says:

    Always liked Minter. Trenches. I would have no problem with two DL or one OL and DL with our first two “picks.” Nothing but all-star players and coaches to learn from and will definitely motivated to be on this team. People don’t look at the C/G situation as seriously as I do especially if is such a difficult position to just step into. Licht is very good at chess in the draft so I’m thinking unless there is someone they are really excited about, they trade back.

    So stacked. So excited.

  16. Will Says:

    Not sure where you live but the “camps” I’m talking about and have seen were full contact. Yes there are some that work only on fundamentals without full contact until the final day when they have a scrimmage and show what they’ve learned throughout the week.
    Correct me if I’m wrong but isn’t there less and less actual full contact in training camps now days?

  17. Cobraboy Says:

    @Will: I’ve been around, young feller, and the liability for full-contact camps is large, so IF they exist, they are few and far-between.

    AND not for ALL players. They cost.

    Yes, there is less contact in TC’s, a negotiated point in the CBA. That has nothing to do with the fact that players are less prepared fundamentally than in years past, all the way to the Jr. Hi level.

  18. Will Says:

    I graduated highschool in 91 not sure of your age but do you honestly believe that the kids that are coming into the NFL are less prepared now than back in the 90s? If that’s your belief we can agree to disagree.

  19. Joe Says:

    Compare them to a team like kansas city, who have been deep into the playoffs the last 3 seasons..


  20. Chris L Says:

    What is this narrative history will look better on their run? They won the super bowl. That can never be taken away. Who said it wasn’t good? Lol

  21. Hope springs eternal Says:

    The dbs should be even better this year after a long 18 game season . They played much better as the season progressed. They come back this year as a well seasoned group with much higher confidence. The way they played in the Super Bowl showed the growth and potential.

  22. Sport Says:

    Does anyone want to still question/criticize the large coaching staff Arians hired?

    This is exhibit A in the case for great coaching and it’s effects.

    Looking at you Ira….

    In BA I Trust!