Young, But Solid

May 30th, 2021

Nicknames for position groups in the NFL used to be a thing.

“Purple People Eaters” and “Steel Curtain” for defensive lines was cool back in the 1970s.

Then in the 1980s you had the “Hogs” for an offensive line and on the same Washington team, you had the wide receiver group known as the “Smurfs.”

There hasn’t been a cool nickname for a position group in a long time. But Joe thinks when the Bucs’ secondary started glossing itself “GraveDiggers,” that snapped the drought.

One of these days Joe has to get to the bottom of what specifically made the Bucs defense so horrid with Vernon Hargreaves on the field. The minute he left in 2019 (or to be more direct, got kicked off the team) the Bucs defense made an immediate turn for the better.

Much better.

Last year, especially in the playoffs, the GraveDiggers dominated. Shutting down Drew Brees, Aaron Rodgers and Pat Mahomes in consecutive games is damn impressive.

Then Joe read an answer by Scott Smith of to a mailbag question about the Bucs secondary.

Arguably the six top defensive backs on the Bucs — each drafted by Bucs AC/DC-loving general manager Jason Licht — are 25-years old or younger. The oldest is Mike Edwards at 25.

Let’s say Carlton Davis, who is in a contract year, sticks with the Bucs beyond this season. Just how good could this secondary be as it gets a little more experience?

Perhaps the 2020 postseason season was just a sampling?

Always remember and never forget, a stat chick claimed the Bucs had the worst secondary a year ago.

35 Responses to “Young, But Solid”

  1. chris L Says:

    the gravediggers is the coolest nickname. michael thomas still doesnt know what hit him and is still yapping his stupid mouth off. they buried ’em all!!!

    also agree on the whole notion the bucs are the hunted. i think they were more hunted last year given all the hype when brady joined and we were still coming off 7-9 and finding our way through the season. people were chirping hoping it would fail and you know the rest of the league and teams wanted that too. bucs now have that confidence and swagger. i dont think this team will be anymore hunted than they were last year.

  2. Medicated Pete Says:

    The Indy 500 winner talked about TB12 in victory lane speech & so did the announcers after that. GOAT

  3. Swampbuc Says:

    I too am interested in what it was Hargreaves did (or didn’t) that made them so bad. He was a serial loafer, we know that. Maybe he just didn’t study or communicate?

  4. Tampabaybucfan Says:

    I think it wasn’t as much VH3 as it was that they were willing to cut a 1st round draft pick…..if a team will do that….nobody is safe….I think it shook things up considerably.

  5. Jason Says:

    Doesn’t Monster Jam do a couple of shows each year at RayJay? I see an opportunity for cross promotion here with Gravedigger and the Gravediggers.

  6. Alanbucsfan Says:

    If they’re as good as the Seahawks’ “Legion of Boom”, the Bucs’ secondary will make their mark in NFL history.

  7. Bush's Coke Spoon Says:

    Lightning Win!

    The Rays are have also won 14 of their last 15…

  8. August 1976 Buc Says:

    30+ points a game by offense covers a lot of warts. The secondary began to play better as the season went on but as any fan that goes back and watches every game, the secondary needs to take the next step and improve. They are not near the level of the Front 7. People can say whatever but WATCH the games last year. Just get NFL Gamepass and you SEE every game. GO BUCS!!!GO SECONDARY, TAKE THE NEXT STEP!!!!

  9. rrsrq Says:

    What about the “stick carriers” 😃

  10. geno711 Says:

    @August… I get your point… and do agree. I would just add this is 2020 NFL and no secondary looks good every game.

    The passer rating in the NFL last year was 93.6. That was the highest in league history.

    The completion percentage was 65.2 percent. That was the highest in league history.

    The fact that we had the number one rush defense, I can accept us being average in pass defense. I sure want us to be better and we can get better but overall not a bad way for success.

  11. Miller5252 Says:

    The thing that made the legion of boom so good…. at all times their D line was going to get home quick. That made the back only covering for a small amount of time. You could probably add Cam back there scaring the heck out of anyone willing to catch a ball over the middle as well. As long as the Bucs D line continues to get home, the gravediggers are going to be successful.

  12. Joe Says:

    Doesn’t Monster Jam do a couple of shows each year at RayJay? I see an opportunity for cross promotion here with Gravedigger and the Gravediggers.

    Couple of months late on this. 🙂

    That’s exactly what happened. One of the trucks was named “GraveDigger” and SMB and possibly Carlton Davis were there as special guests of the truck owner. SMB posed with the truck and put out photos on Instagram.

  13. August 1976 Buc Says:

    All fair points Geno, just want to see them improve. They are not bad at all, as some thought I have said in the past. But they are not near the level of the Dominant front 7, and need to take the next step. Any “legend of boom” talk by some is just a little premature lol. But again fair points Geno. GO WORLD CHAMPION BUCS!!!!!

  14. Medicated Pete Says:


    “Stick Carriers” classic 😀

  15. August 1976 Buc Says:

    Somewhere Dirk is giving a thumbs up, as the former leader of the stick carrying mob 😀 GO BUCS!!!

  16. Iamabuc Says:

    We are definitely carrying a big stick this year….and they all know it!!..😂😂😂

  17. Ddogg Says:

    By becoming the number one run sports has helped make our opponents one dimensional. The pass rush has tremendously improved again allowing and helping the secondary time to grow. Plus the offense taking long drives into scores, mostly touchdowns…… The secondary will be fine, the whole team plays for each other and have a great amount of conference, swagger….. Can’t wait for September and see some football

  18. Jmarkbuc Says:


    Bite your tongue.

  19. Winny Testaverde Says:

    As it turns out…the Stick peoples were part of an embarrassing if not notorious bunch. The lost decade truly was awful.


    Show me a defense that can stop the run and pressure the QB and i will show you a solid secondary. A qb with 7 seconds to throw will kill any backfield. Recruit the all-star offensive and defensive lines and speed at the other positions and you are good.

  21. lambeau Says:

    August is right–they need work to be solid.
    I feel much better that there’s some depth with Raven Greene, Ross Cockrell, and maybe Herb Miller. We’ve got at least eight talented DB’s.But SMB is inconsistent.

  22. JimbobBucsFan Says:

    Hey Medicated Pete, I really enjoyed watching Helio join the four-time winners’ circle yesterday also!

    I do love the Gravediggers name for the guys back there. It was fun learning where it came from. Thanks, Joe!

  23. Peter Says:

    Nicknames scare me. As a TB12 following new Bucks fan, I am painfully reminded of the 2019 Boogeymen and what happened a week after the they got that nickname.

  24. Tb4life81 Says:

    Anyone who knows Tampa Bay Bucs history we’ve always had one solid or Superstar corner but now we have two to three stars at one time that is a huge improvement over the years granted the corners we have now arent legendary like Ronde Barber Grimes Darrelle Revis but they have plenty of time to get their ……. This is the best secondary bucs have had since first super bowl team go bucs ……… Ps for got one of my favorite players john lynch best tampa Bay bucs as to date…… Edwards second best not knocking him at all

  25. Tb4life81 Says:

    Strong safety ^^^^^^^^^

  26. Cobraboy Says:

    Amazing how a good pash rush instills confidence in DBacks, and allows a “worst-to-First” transformation.

    One second difference in a pass rush is a difference between win and lose.

  27. lambeau Says:

    I’m sure the Bucs realize the Gravediggers are feisty, but they are the weak link the whole NFL is spending the offseason scheming to attack. SMB and Jamel Dean are the only hope teams have of beating the Bucs. Nobody is running on the front 7. They know that. The Bucs only repeat if the Gravediggers step up.

  28. August 1976 Buc Says:

    lambeau Says:
    May 31st, 2021 at 8:56 am

    “I’m sure the Bucs realize the Gravediggers are feisty, but they are the weak link the whole NFL is spending the offseason scheming to attack. SMB and Jamel Dean are the only hope teams have of beating the Bucs. Nobody is running on the front 7. They know that. The Bucs only repeat if the Gravediggers step up.”

    This is right on, the front 7 is gold, but as you said Lambeau, the NFL is going to go hard at the secondary plain and simple. Gravediggers grab the stick and step up, another WORLD CHAMPIONSHIP IS ON THE LINE.

    NO matter how good your team is, you are only as strong as ypur weakest link!!!

    GO BUCS!!!!!!

  29. BucsFanSince1976 Says:

    Still remember the ” New York Sack Exchange” Dline of the Jets in the early 80’s with Gastineau , Klecko , Lyons , and Salaam. It was their sack prowess that made the NFL start counting sacks and a great nickname.
    How about something simple like Bowles Ballbusters.

  30. lambeau Says:

    Bill Walsh said in 1982 that one reason it’s hard to repeat is teams d, but improveon’t realize they have to be BETTER; not just maintain their championdhip level, but improve.
    Gio helps, Vea helps, OJ helps, TB12 2.0 helps, I think Tryon and Darden will help. I think BA and Licht get it.

  31. kyle Says:

    She is a pretty fkn hot stat chick btw.. just sayin

  32. Anonymous Says:

    gravediggers? lmao yea the 90s are long gone buddy

  33. Tony Says:

    BUC EM’ UP!

  34. Tony Says:

    The Bad Bruise Bucs.

  35. unbelievable Says:

    You wanna know what Hargreaves did?

    He sucked.

    That’s it.

    Too small and too slow with poor instincts. And due to his high draft position, he was always the “#1 corner”, getting roasted by the opposing teams best receivers.

    Simple as that.