Bruce Arians Calls For Change In Defensive “Style”

September 24th, 2021

Todd Bowles

It’s a new season and a new approach for every NFL team, not just the Bucs.

Bucco Bruce Arians is feeling the effects.

The undefeated Bucs head to face the Rams on Sunday, the only game on the schedule featuring 2-0 football teams.

The hype helped lead to Arians appearing on ESPN Radio this week, where he was asked to explain why his defense isn’t looking like the dominant group that finished the 2020 season.

Arians said change is in the air and the Bucs must respond.

Keyshawn Johnson: … What are we missing [on the Bucs defense], what is it that we’re not seeing that you see”

Bucco Bruce Arians: Well, everybody’s playing [offense against] us about the same now. They’re playing empty, spread it out, and get the ball out of your hand fast. We hit Dak [Prescott] a bunch of times but Dak stood there and made great throws with guys barrelling down him. Matty Ryan, you know, got the ball out of his hand. We tipped three balls last week and got a couple of interceptions. So they’re going to throw it quick, then we gotta get our hands up. But spreading us out, we gotta tackle better in space. That’s one of the big things. We gotta tackle all those screen passes better. We can’t give up seven yards on a screen pass. And things like that where they’re moving the chains easily. It’s hard to (pause), we want to stop the run; nobody’s running the ball. So (laughs) we’ve got to play that style defense now and adjust to it.

Through two games, offensive coordinators have shown they want no part of the Bucs run defense and they prefer quick strikes than exposure to the Bucs’ pass rush.

As Arians said, it’s time for the Bucs to adjust.

The best part is the Bucs continuing to win while they figure it all out.

77 Responses to “Bruce Arians Calls For Change In Defensive “Style””

  1. AlabamaBucsFan Says:

    Hard to do when your DBs do not step up. Dean played much better last week, hopefully Cockrell steps up this week.

  2. Swampbuc Says:

    I’d like to see more of Whitehead, Winfield and Edwards on the field at the same time for nickel , add Cockrell only in dime when 6 DBs are required. Then have Vita, Shaq, Tryon, DW and LVD to round out the dime.

  3. Adrnagy Says:

    I dont see issues with the defense. Give credit to the other team. Can we be lights out in defense ? Yes. Can we dominate the game in defense ? Yes.

    But when your missing your starting safety ( whitehead) then sean … you got to adjust. Its not like shaq is dominating. You line up cockrell in the starting lineup youre asking for trouble. Do you blitz or drop?

    Right now our secondary cannot hold up. Give credit to bowles. Hes adjusting.
    I wanna see shaq , jpp, joe this olb get home. The push in the middle has been great.

  4. Robert Says:

    Short of having the name Revis, it would be very hard to be a CB in this D scheme. It’s the equivalent of going for it on 4th down every time as they are always blitzing and leaving CB’s on an island.

    I like it, but gotta cut the CB’s some slack. The will all be STUDS if they can keep up with this scheme.

  5. Robert Says:

    going for it on 4th every time on offense I mean….that would be tough on an offense.

  6. SKBucsFan Says:

    This isn’t difficult. Our coaches know what they need to do. Double up on Kupp and take 50% of their offensive threat away.

  7. Steven007 Says:

    Swamp, I’ve been thinking the same thing. Would be very surprised if we don’t have our best secondary athletes and ball hawks out there. Cockrell showed out in preseason and camp but he was a liability last week.

  8. Steven007 Says:

    SK, they would be foolish not to shade coverage Cupps way. He’s had very good games against us. They have little running threat. And their are other receivers are good but not cupp level.

  9. Ben green Says:

    For Chris sake, all they have to do is keep teams under 28. It shouldn’t be that hard. Get the f$#@ back, and stop blitzing. No need for it. Make them march down the field. Nothing should be going over the top. I can’t understad, you should be playing complementary football. You don’t need dominate defensive performances. You may need a great defensive performance maybe a few times.

  10. Sparky Says:

    At least we are making teams one dimensional. Half dimensional really, since there’s no run
    game and the pass rush is still getting close enough to limit long bombs. The INTs are gonna start piling up now. I’m not worried.

  11. lambeau Says:

    BA always blames execution–“tackle better”. What about a better scheme?
    How do you prevent a seven yard gain if you’re playing 12 yards off the line?

  12. Casual Observer Says:

    I think Arians described the D problems very well – and concisely. Now be ready to adjust D strategies quickly – even during the game.

  13. Cobraboy Says:

    #1 D problem: tackling

    #1 O problem: turnovers

    #2 Team problem: penalties.

    These should not be that hard to fix.

  14. Don’t make scene 35 Says:

    I’m looking for our defense to really step up this week
    #9 show us why we drafted you 1st round
    Go Bucs

  15. TOM Says:

    I don’t understand as bad as the CB’s are why we they release Herb Miller from PS instead of a wr which is their strongest position imo?

  16. Ben green Says:

    The penalties are on the coaching staff. They’re a superbowl defense, stupid penalties shouldn’t be happening. Tackling is angles and effort. You can’t turn it off and on. I see plenty of guys taking plays off. They’ve made some real boneheaded plays early. Hopefully for y’all, this is just working out the kinks.
    Ben will tell you one thing, if these games continue to be shootouts, your front will wear down. Tired pass rushers are about as useless as boobs on Bruce Arians.

  17. SB Says:

    With injuries to JPP and SMB we will just have to outscore teams!

  18. geno711 Says:

    Good coach willing to adjust and we keep winning.

    Very nice.

  19. SB Says:

    LOL @ Ben Green again

  20. Mike Johnson Says:

    This game against LA will be our toughest yet. No 99..the beast will be coming hard. The secondary and out tackling are dreadful Losing Pierre for this game hurts.

  21. JimmyJack Says:

    I think there is a part of last week vs the Falcons where Bowles didnt want to do too much on defense and put that film out there for teams to study. Ideally we win the game handily while staying pretty basic on defense.
    If you notice we didnt start running too many exotic blitzes until the Falcons started coming back. Once we starting ising more of his exotic schemes the defense started making plays and sealed the game.

    This maybe what happened last year when the defense went wild. Bowles unleashed some plays nobody had film on……It will be intersting to see the defensive approach this week in a game thats important for both the confrence and division vs a really good offense.

  22. Steven007 Says:

    Ben, what will Ben tell us again? What’s with the third person shtick? If the poster Ben is commenting then the poster doesn’t need to announce that the poster is commenting. Weirdo.

  23. SB~LV Says:


  24. JimmyJack Says:

    Mike Johnson I just looked it up and in the last two years vs Tampa Bay Donald has zero sacks, 4 tackles, 1 TFL. And thats it.

    Last year against Tom Brady his stat sheet says 0, 0, 0, 0, 0, 0, 0, 0, ect. Not even a freaking tackle.

    Until he prooves he can outplay our line he is not worth worrying about.

  25. Delson Says:

    I think its going to be tough playing against matthew Stafford. This guy ain’t afraid to throw deep. I’ve noticed our opps throw before our d line can make their first pass rush move. Or they run deep routes and throw short underneath.

  26. ClwJB Says:

    Its two games, and we won both – give the DC a some time and we are not the heathiest unit on D either….

    I recall being at 7-5 last year and thinking uh-oh, then….we haven’t lost since – its going to be okay, even if we lose on the road, undermanned to a potent O

    I think TB wins it anyways…but who cares if we drop 3 or 4 games – get to 12-13 victories and lets get ready for the playoffs!

  27. Rod Munch Says:

    Bowles really hasn’t done much different on defense, until the 4th quarter of the Falcons game — one he felt confident that the Bucs offense had put it away, he finally unleashed the ‘exotic’ blitzes and got 2 quick TDs.

    In one way you could say it worked. He saved everything for the 4th quarter. On the other hand you could say that by not changing it up or doing anything different, he let the Falcons stay in the game until the 4th.

  28. Ben green Says:

    Ben isn’t going to dignify that hurtful comment with a response. Ben will only say that I see the game differently from couch potatoes like yourself. Ben’s keen insights are a treasure on this site. Ben will continue to offer these gems despite attempted subversions. Why can’t you attack my argument? Ben has feelings you know. I’ll continue to pray for you. Love Ben

  29. JimmyJack Says:

    Ben Green stop blitzing? Yeah dude our defense sealed last weeks victory making plays off of the blitz. Tampa 2 is dead dude get over it. When Bowles got here the first thing he did was take old crumbled playbook and threw it outside Ray Jay. The fans burned it to ashes at the tailgate to ensure it will never hurt us again. Get a clue man.

  30. Steven007 Says:

    Um, Ben actually did dignify my comment with a response. Hence your… Response. However nonsensical and self-serving it was.

  31. Pickgrin Says:

    First 3 games on the schedule we face Prescott, Ryan and Stafford who are all quite good at negating the pass rush with quick throws.

    So it was likely from the day the schedule came out – that the 2021 Bucs defense was going to appear to get off to a ‘slow start’…

    The majority of teams on the Bucs schedule this year don’t have QBs that are good at throwing the ball outside quickly and accurately.

    After the Rams game – the Bucs face a bunch of young, fairly inexperienced QBs over the next 2 months (+ Winston on Halloween).

    The pass rush will get to its intended target more often starting in game 4 and the secondary will magically “improve” once Bowles can start dictating the action up front instead of being dictated to with successful quick outside passing as we’ve seen in the first two (and likely 3rd) games.

  32. mark2001 Says:

    And Ben..a top notch defense and O line effort is useless to a QB that throws lollypops, holds the ball too long, can’t read defenses, and isn’t accurate.

  33. Ben green Says:

    I love you Stevey. Hey Jimmy Jack, who said anything about cover 2? Not Ben. The actual defense should be a modified cover 4. He’ll, I’d Play quarters most of the time. They can stop the run with a lower box number. That’s what Vea is for. These DBs aren’t good enough to be blitzing all the time.
    Incorrectly characterizing my argument, then telling me to get a clue is priceless.
    Nothing should be going over the top of this defense. The offense is to good. It’s called complementary football. I wouldn’t expect you to understand, so Ben will put it in terms even you can comprehend.
    If other team is destroying secondary, make more secondary. I took some of the big words out. Now do you get it? Ben is available for tutoring anytime. I don’t even charge. Ben is what you call solvent

  34. 74 Bucs Fan Says:

    Ben Green = 🤡

  35. Ben green Says:

    That means loaded

  36. mark2001 Says:

    Sounds like McCaffrey may have a hammy issue. Could be out a few weeks.

  37. Ben green Says:

    74 Bucs Fan + Stevey = the reason Ben gets up in the morning

  38. crazybucs_CL Says:

    easy fix…no is not.
    A good unit is made by the quality players, and quality coaches. most here were super happy with “SB level” D we had, so bring them ALL back. JL did, why they all came back is to be seen!!?? The truth is they are NOT super stars. Still acceptable if you work as a unit. Here is where the DC take over, and the other coaches… this unit (of coaches) is not great, actually is not even good to champion level.
    Mr Magoo is recognizing, what most of us knew, and what im not optimistic our DC can fix it.

  39. Winny Testaverde Says:

    Has Ben/green backs…so you say with your solvency claim(s). Easy on the high steppin’ as you’ll almost assuredly be a grandpa ( or Pop Pop as you probably prefer ) in 2022. Taking over those payments ( while perhaps sponsoring yet another useless liberal arts degree from “Daddy’sLittle Girl” ) may put a dent in your fanny pack/wallet. But I digress.

    You bring something to these conversations…not sure what…but I’ll give you that.

  40. Taampabaybucfan Says:

    If you can’t get there……HANDS UP!!!

  41. Ben green Says:

    Hurtful, uncalled for, and incorrect. Ben’s daughter graduated with a 3.8 from northeastern with a criminal justice degree. My grandson refers to me as Dear Leader, as all my family do. Ben’s age has nothing to do with this. I’ve been buying nuts and concussion water from TB12 for years. I’m as pert as a rutting buck. What Ben wouldn’t give for a strawberry. Like the goat I haven’t had one in about 15 years. I guess it’s Ben’s cross.

  42. Winny Testaverde Says:

    Has Ben…excellent update. That criminal justice degree will come in handy when shaking down the baby daddy for some shekels. We refer to you as Dee Knuckle vs Dear Leader…so we’re close in principle.

  43. Listnfrmafar Says:

    No sh#t Sherlock

  44. JimmyJack Says:

    Ben Green I didnt said cover 2 I said Tampa 2. You are describing concepts that are essiential to that defense. I dont even know who you are trying to kid here dude……Maybe a few kids who are too young to have seen Dungy/Kiffens Tampa 2 defense perfected.

    But you are not fooling any adults here. Ived watched that shell defense you are describing for nearly 30 years dude. Fans older then me have seen it even longer……Sounds like your too young to realize but will assure you Tampa Bay fans know their defense if nothing else. Have fun trying to pull a fast one on any Bucs fans about defense.Aint happening.

    Fact is all of them concepts you described in your 1st post are basically the exact opposite of what we do on defense. We are an agressive attacking defense so you better deal with it……No blitzing? HA HA HA HA………Why dont you ask Brady to quit looking for biscuits while you at it. Sorry dude. You had an awful take on that one.

    **END RANT**

  45. Steven007 Says:

    Ben, you’re the second JBF poster/troll to feminize my handle in a desperate attempt to make you feel like you’re somehow “winning”. Which of course says more about you than it does about me. I appreciate the rent free space in both of your weird heads. Stick to football talk. You’re better at it. Which is not a compliment.

  46. Bucsfanman Says:

    I’m sorry but I just don’t see why all the panic. BA mentioned the single MOST important aspect that has cost this defense points: TACKLING!
    It’s an aggressive defense that, by design, will get torched from time to time. If the front 7 get home this conversation is nearly moot.
    I have faith in our coaching staff. A SB says so!
    Remember, we’re the ones everyone else is chasing.

  47. Ben green Says:

    Apparently Ben must give a lesson. Here goes, the Tampa 2 is essentially the same as a cover 2. The difference between the cover 4 and Tampa or cover 2, is the depth of the corners. The alignment makes it less likely a defense will be beat deep. It’s not that difficult.

  48. Ben green Says:

    BTW apparently antisemitism is alive and well on this site. My last name and the reference to shekels is clearly a racist and biggoted statement. I guess the south is alive and well.

  49. Ben green Says:

    Ben has been dealing with this subtle racism for my whole life. I guess because of my financial success I must have control over the banking system. You should be ashamed

  50. Ben green Says:

    Suddenly I feel like Brenden Fraser in school ties. Cowards!!!!!

  51. Ben green Says:

    I still pray for you. That’s what makes me stronger than y’all

  52. Winny Testaverde Says:

    When in doubt or you are getting beat like a rented mule ( better call PETA )…pull a race card out. Desperation is a stinky cologne.

  53. You gotta be crazy Says:

    @Jimmy Jack…. You understand👍

  54. An Erection for Sacks Says:

    “Ben green Says:
    September 24th, 2021 at 4:06 pm
    I still pray for you. That’s what makes me stronger than y’all”

    No, that’s what proves you’re likely to believe almost ANYTHING.

  55. stpetebucsfan Says:

    What’s a bit ironic is that we have the perfect “scout” QB to practice against our D and show them what they’ll be facing week in and week out.

    However you don’t take the GOAT and turn him into a “scout” QB. LOL

    But Brady and Bernard and most of our possession receivers could run these offenses we’ll be facing perfectly. It used to be Brady’s bread and butter until he decided to have fun with the “no risk it no biscuit” offense.

  56. kgh4life Says:

    If the Bucs think they can just and play their off coverage schemes and just come up and tackle better and that will solve their problems, Todd Bowles is sadly mistaken. The Bucs should play cover 2 press man like they did to the Chiefs in the super bowl.

  57. Ben green Says:

    Hey winny, don’t blame Ben that your life didn’t turn out the way you wanted. It’s typical of an anit Semite. I use American dollars, not shekels you anti Semite. People like you belong in the past. I bet you have a picture of general Lee hanging over your fire place. Wait, trailers don’t have fireplaces, so It must be in the kitchen/living room/dining room. Probably right next to the picture of Jefferson Davis. Racist cowards

  58. Ben green Says:

    Unreal, my comment is under mod. You are allowed to spread race hate and Ben can’t even respond. You said my daughter shakes men down for shekels. You obviously know Green is a Jewish name. Ira must be really proud of the site he sponsors

  59. Ben green Says:

    Joe, if this site ever needed you it’s now. I know you don’t like me, that’s fine. Just have the courage to get rid of the racists.

  60. Ben green Says:

    Apparently no punishment exists for biggoted statements. Ira Kaufman is a sponsor. I think I’ll give him a call and tell him just whats going on here

  61. Ben green Says:

    Bill C. Will be informed also

  62. Winny Testaverde Says:

    Ira Kaufman is a valued employee…time to focus on your family, Ben. I’m worried about your drop out daughter. Take good care out there.

  63. SB Says:

    Ben Green = “TRIGGERED”!!!!!

  64. alton d green Says:

    you nailed it!!!! Double Cupp and bump their tight end on the line of scrimmage just enough to disrupt. we know they will quick pass. Just like when the Pats beat the Chiefs a few yrs ago. They doubled the Cheetah and disrupted Kelce. It worked. It might not work against the Rams but we need to MAKE THEM beat us.

  65. JimmyJack Says:

    Ben Green. Youre cute. You are commenting to a bunch of diehard football fans thinking you are special because you know what cover 4 means. What is your encore? Are you going to explain to all of us what shotgun means?

  66. Ben green Says:

    Hey winny, I understand the racists comments. Don’t pretend you didn’t do it. At least have the courage to admit it, so everyone here can see what you really are. I’m sorry mamaw and papaw got divorced. For you the grandparents are probably interchangeable. I’m sorry you struggle month to month to pay bills. My grandfather told me about people like you. It’s not my people’s fault you’re a loser. My family is just fine. I bet a portrait of Jeff Davis hangs in your trailer

  67. geno711 Says:

    kgh4life Says:
    September 24th, 2021 at 5:50 pm

    Certainly the Bucs played 2 deep safeties most of the Super Bowl. However, I do not remember it only being press man coverage. I remember on 1st downs it was almost all cover 3. The big key was Bowles blitzed less than ever that game in 5 years and our DL got pressures without the blitz.

    Not saying your suggesting is wrong about playing man coverage more. Just that the Bucs never really play man coverage on 1st down. I think there is benefit from playing coverage 3 that apparently others do not.

  68. Winny Testaverde Says:

    Oh Ben…here’s your playbook:

    1) insult everyone on the blog message board of the world champs

    2) Declare time and again how rich/solvent you are

    3) Get owned multiple times…desperately reach for racist/bigotry card

    4) Threaten site owners with running to sponsors ( again…Ira is a hired writer…not a sponsor )

    5) Another tale of a tough talker/keyboard warrior not able to take a beating back from his nonsense. Weak. Now…threats to sue everybody forthcoming.

  69. Ben green Says:

    Jimmy lets agree to disagree. I’ve forgotten more football than most of you girls have played. I had to explain the cover 4 because you apparently didn’t get it. The Tampa 2 and cover 2 are essentially the same defense. The 4 in theory is harder to beat over the top. Wtf is wrong with you people. You win one superbowl in 30 years or whatever, and you think y’all are experts. You’ve watched a junk franchise for years. You nearly destroyed Steve Young. The football gods took a giant dump on y’all, and the lower intestine will be directly over your franchise when Brady retires.

  70. SB Says:

    Ben, I think you should stick to Professional Knitting.

  71. Ben green Says:

    Don’t hold my knitting against me SB. Do they have a professional circuit? At 51 I don’t know if I could hold up against those young pups

  72. JimmyJack Says:

    Ben Green oh I get it you arent even a Bucs fan. That makes a lot of sense. So you are here to troll us and the best you can come up with is the old “i know more about football then you” routine. You are pkayed out and unorigional.

    The funny part is my whole conversation with you is about how you want to change our entire philosphy on defense. All the training all the practice……you say screw that, lets play a completly foriegn scheme. It really is an astoundingly stupid opinion by you. Trust me you have impressed no one here except yourself.

    Theres a story on the front paged called ‘do what you do’… opinion from a football legend. His take on the matter makes a total mockery of yours…….But your stoll cute dide dont worry. Enjoy your trolling.

  73. Ben green Says:

    I’m not a bucs fan. But I do cheer for Brady. Im not sure which football legend you refer to. If it’s your amonia brained drunk of a coach, I’d be worried. Brady can’t play defense. We learned that in 06. You have rotten cornerbacks, who couldn’t cover Ben. Even in my diminished state. Get the f#@& back should be the mantra of this defense. If they continue to play this scheme which it’ll be shootout after shootout. They should be inviting the run. Brady is going to score 28+ in almost every game. Why would you continue to play a defense that is uncomplimentary to your offense?

  74. Ben green Says:

    Jimmy, I like our little talks. Ben will remember you when I come into my kingdom. I was a Patriots fan long before our savior. If we couldn’t afford to go to the games, we didn’t see them. Blackouts and all. I know what it’s like to be a fan of a terrible franchise. We had the worst ownership in the history of the league, and almost got relocated. Ben, unlike many here, has the power to empathize. Believe Ben, you’ll suck something awful when Tommy reunites with the mothership.

  75. JimmyJack Says:

    Yeah our offensive HC is so dumb hes setting up Brady to have a career season at the tender age of 44. Granted the weapons were a big reason but if you dont think Brady choose Arians because of his offense you likely have brain damage.

    And dont be telling us what the defense should do. You are insulting yourself. People dont have short memories and everybody reading this remebers last Jan/Feb dude……..Pick, pick, pick,pick……Alls I hear is you trying to convice us that creating turnovers is not complimentary football………….Theres no possible way you watched the 4th Quater(crunch time) last week to have such a awful little opinion. You are an ignoramus dude.

  76. David Says:

    People need to lay off the DBs a little bit. I’ve been saying they need to step up as well but… They did! They played much better in week two. Coverage was tighter. But on the quick hits and quick outs and screens… BA is dead on. They need to step up their tackling!

  77. David G Says:

    i think if the dbs got up on recivers and jammed them on the line it would give the d line that extra second it needs to get home and sack the qb our safeties are good enough to cover if they don’t get home